Heroes of Troy. That’s a blend, and a good one too. Leah was motivated and loved doing it. She had us all singing along and choosing our favourite style of music. Thanks to her wonderful teacher, Theresa Brookes, at The Olive Tree School for that one!
Embrace and engage
Technology is now so omni-present in our lives that we will find our students bringing technology into the classroom whether we like it or not. Some teachers find this off-putting (students findling with their smartphones rather than paying attention to class will be a well known irritant). But rather than resist and fight technology in the classroom, it’s better to embrace and engage with it. That way, at least, students get to use their Smartphone in a constructive way in line with the learning objectives. Don’t pick a fight with a Blackbery or i-Phone for attention. You’ll probably lose. I recently atended the IATEFL conference in Liverpool. One of the presentations I enjoyed most was Isil Boy’s review of m-learning. She makes the valid point that it’s not just teachers who transform education. It’s students too. If you don’t know how to What’s App, then ask your students to show you. You won’t be short of volunteers, as they’re probably messaging each other from under their desks. Why not get them to share ideas using this free messaging function as part of peer to peer feedback? You may find the shy ones are less shy when communicating by text. I think Isil’s best tip was the App Search Tool, Quixey. It’s dead easy to use and throws up the practical and functional aswell as the intriguing and truly bizarre. If you’re looking for an online space to share with your students for notifications, document share and calendars, you need look no further than Edmodo. It’s a fantastic tool and a great place to start if you’re new to Blended Learning. Just enter the site and you can learn enough to start using it with your students in about 15 minutes. No cost. The best things in life are still free.
Do not fear!
There’s so much stuff out there that the challenge is keeping up to date, and it can be a little daunting and overwhelming to those who don’t consider themselves technophiles. Do not fear, these days Apps and online tolos have to be user-friendly otherwise no-one woud choose to use them. The challenge now to find ways to ensure that our teachers are able to share their knowledge and grow in confidence in their use of online spaces and techology to enhance the learning experience for themselves and their students in the classroom