Sunday, 16 November 2014

Adding Another Dimension to the Classroom with Digital Conversations

Checking Twitter on the bus going to work on Friday, I read Mark Anderson's blog post: Ways to use technology to support questioning in the classroom:

Padlet is one of my favourite tools and I've used it successfully in a variety of ways: as a welcome / introductions page, to share recommendations / links - film trailers, books.... but this suggested using Padlet as a live response tool in class - an inspired idea.  

I decided to put it into practice that morning and sent all my C1 class a Padlet link.  I didn't actually use it to explore questioning, but instead used it to support what I'd already planned to do in my lesson.  It worked really well and clearly enhanced learning by maximising participation - all groups were submitting answers and could check everyone else's - widening support and creating a more student centred approach.  

The students seemed to really enjoy it too as it added another dimension.  Two students were absent but had been sent the link so could potentially see what was happening in the classroom in real time.  

Today I read another related blog post on giving students an open platform and increasing engagement in the classroom by Hope Morely - How to use Backchannels in the Classroom:

I look forward to exploring the potential of this in terms of questioning and differentiation, and creating a live link for digital conversations in the classroom will definitely be part of my teaching toolkit and have a place in my lessons from now on.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A winning combination: & Phraseum is a fantastic site for learners to find out how to use a word or phrase.   Here's an example exploring the word distorted

However, there's more...  If you scroll down, you'll see it also provides definitions, synonyms and classifications to support meaning and form.

If you continue scrolling, you'll see scrollable images to further support meaning:

As I think you'll agree, it is an amazing resource.  This week I discovered another tool called Phraseum by taking part in #ELTchat -   Ways of making authentic material accessible to students in class.

On investigation, I discovered that and Phraseum work really well together.  Having followed Nik Peachey's advice on how to use Phraseum , I signed up and discovered that using the clipping button and choosing as the source, meant that not only would learners have a record of use, meaning and form, but also a superb tool for organisation and storage in Phraseum.  I used a phonemic script typewriter to also include a record of pronunciation.

When you click on the contextualised sentence, you can see the source link ...

and then by clicking on the source link, you see further contextualised examples, definitions, classifications and images - as highlighted at the beginning of this blog post.

I created this first attempt at one way of using Phraseum and as an example for my C1 learners  to show them an alternative way to record, save, organise and review vocabulary by starting to make a phrasebook for vocabulary in Unit 7 of the course book we are using. 

I look forward to exploring different ways of using Phraseum with language learners, such as clipping phrases from the internet to record and store useful chunks of functional language. 

Hope students are as excited as I am when I show them ...