Saturday, December 3, 2011

ELTMag Edited by Jill Hadfield

I just came into contact with the ELTMag through my LinkedIn connection with Jill Hadfield. I really like this new magazine because of their aim to share ideas at a global scale to 'counterbalance a largely Eurocentric bias' as they say. The articles on this first issue are also interesting and I think it is a great way of keeping abreast as a teacher and trainer myself. I particularly like Briony Beaven's article on ideas for feedback!

Here's a link to the online PDF version: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/toolbox_items/eltmag_oct2011.pdf and deleting the final bits in the URL will take yu to the unitec.ac.nz site - lots of info if you're interested in studying in NZ!

Enjoy reading it!

Robert

Sunday, November 27, 2011

BBC's Skillswise rocks!

Francesca Pelli a CELTA tutor, colleague and friend told me about this site and voila', here we are.  I think it's just wonderful. There are so many things that can be used not only but the average English learner but also and especially I'd say by our CELTA trainees.  I spent a few hours browsing and looking through it today and it is addictive. I've got lots of ideas now of how to incorporate work from in on to our CELTA pre course work. I particularly like the reading activities which are very well designed and in line with standard s-centred methodology.  Great job BBC!  An excellent tool for tutors and learners alike!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GLOGSTER EDU

I posted about Glogster in Feb 2010 when I first came into contact with this wonderful tool. Since then I have slowly but steadily created Glogsters for my trainees on University of Cambridge CELTA and YL Extension to CELTA courses and the response has been very positive.  Glogster is now turning entirely to education so they're asking users to migrate their accounts to the new Glogster EDU.  I had a quick look at the features and it's definitely safer as it'll be more secure, private and tailored for students and educators.

SO... if you don't have a Glogster account, get one now.  It's free for educators and it's an absolutely fantastic tool.  I like it because whenever preparing a Glogster, it helps me re-elaborate the information I want trainees/teachers to see in a a different, more involving, interesting way.  I really enjoy it and believe it provides a good opportunity to give our students input in a variety of ways!

Here's a link: http://edu.glogster.com/what-is-glogster-edu/#five

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New look!

It'd been almost 2 years since I started blogging and it's wonderful to see how many more options there are now to make your blog look really cool. It was about time too for me to give mine a new look so here it is! The new/added features are more user friendly too. Well done to Blogger!!

My favourite new feature is under the design tab - the template designer and all the customising options available.

If you're new to blogging, why not have a look and play around with the different tabs? A blog is a reat way to keep learning!




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm back!!!


Hello,

It's been over a month now since I last posted and so I'm now back. It's been a busy period with lots of assessments taking place over the summer and the corresponding travelling to be done, but all good stuff. Our next CELTA course starts on Oct 3rd so I'll be posting new tools, ideas and reviews on what I'll be doing with my trainees on the course.

Stay tuned!

Robert

Monday, August 8, 2011

The New Sounds Application Rocks!



I've been playing with the new Sounds Application for over a week now and I think it rocks! I've been making notes on the ideas that I've had while playing with it and here are some of them:

CHART - it can be used with trainees and students to introduce them to individual sounds. I have done this already with both groups using my iPad and iPod touch and the feedback was very positive. I've had them work in two groups as I only have these two devices. After a self discovery activity that heightens their awareness of their oral cavity and makes them think of the place and manner of articulation, I gave them 3 to 5 words and asked them to try and locate the sound in the chart. They enjoyed it and had fun.

WORDLIST - This could be used as an answer key to a phonemic treasure hunt. A list of selected words featuring specific sounds can be given to ss to first try and write in phonemic script and then check against the list.

PRACTICE - I really like the options given here. You can read, write or listen to phonemic script. You can choose which phoneme to practise with and how many questions 10, 25 or 50. It's really addictive and fun! I started practising the sounds I had most difficulty with when transcribing and I can say I feel a lot more confident now!

I'd like to try this as soon as we're back at school. I'd like to divide the class into 3 groups - read, listen and write and give them the same words to either write, listen to or read in phonemic script and see what happens in feedback. I'm already asking trainees at selection interview whether they have an iPad or an iPhone or iPod touch. Unfortunately, they're still rather expensive and so not many people have them. I'll keep using my iPad and iPod touch. I just got an iPhone so I'll be able to use the three in the sessions!!! Yay!!!

Ok, more ideas to come, so stay put! I gotta go back to playing with my Sounds App. Have you got one? You don't? What r u waiting for????

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Moodle or not to Moodle?


I just finished a Moodle Starter course with TheConsultants-e.com and I must say that I'm very impressed! Not because of the quality of the training offer by them because this is my third course with them and I KNOW as a matter of fact that they're the best, but because I learnt so much over the 8 weeks! I should've done the course before!!!! Anyways, the way to go now is, I humbly believe, Moodle! More and more of our students are telling us they have no time and ask whether we have an online version of the courses we offer here at school. Up until now we had said no, but things are changing and this is because of the course I did!

I have completed 3 courses now using Moodle as the chosen platform and I'm in love with it. I'm now writing a course on Legal English for the school but this time as a teacher I can clearly see the benefit of all those activities we did on the previous courses where I was a trainee! It's really exciting to see how things fall into place when you mnake informed decisions which show pedagogy leads technology and you use it to enhance leanring!

Moodle away!

Robert

Sunday, June 5, 2011

11 Free Mind Mapping Apps



Hello again!

It's been a while since my last post, but I'm back. Anyway, I'm writing an ILEC (International legal English Certificate) prep course in Moodle and so while looking for a mind mapping app I found an article with 11 free ones at www.Lifehack.org

I tried the first one Free Mind and it works ok. Check the other apps out and see which you prefer.

Enjoy!

Robert

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Iaza your images and have fun!


I came across Iaza while looking for image son the internet and disovered a really cool tool. I still don´t know how to use it in the classroom, but I´ll fiddle with it for a while and see what it can be used for. In any case, it´s a nice way of experimenting with images.

Check it out at www.iaza.com

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Edutecher's New Look!


Edutecher has a new look and it rocks. This is a super cool website which gives yuo access to loads of great resources which you can use in the classroom. Do check it out. Here's the link: http://www.edutecher.net/

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The pronunciation app for iPad, iPod and iPhone


I just came across the MacMillan pronunciation application for iPad, iPod and iPhone and I think it rocks! It's free and can't wait for the improved version (at a charge)! It's great for both students and trainee teachers! I've used in an introductory session to pronunciation on our current CELTA course and it was a success. I used my iPad and iPod touch and they loved it. I used the iPad to present it and then gave both the iPad and iPod to trainees in 2 groups to explore the sounds in a task. Cool results!!!

Do check it out!

Robert

Sunday, March 27, 2011

iPad in the classroom


Right... I've been using in the classroom as a portable flashcard display for lower levels and offsite (as per my previous entry) for both visual input (clips, PPPs) and audio with small groups. I still have loads to learn but I think it's got lots of potential. I asked my students and only a couple have them so I'm trying to think how I could exploit them more in the classroom. I also have access to an IWB in the classroom, so I want to make sure my use of it is fully integrated into the lesson. Pedagogy must lead technology and not all the way around!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flashcard Machine... and I'm back


It's been a while since I last added a post, but I'm back. We're in the middle on our first CELTA course here so pretty tihgt in terms of time I can dedicate to my blog. All the same, I'm here to stay :-).

Today's post is about Flashcard Machine which is great! I've started using it and students are repsonding well to it. I'm using it both on the IWBs and off site on my iPad :-)

Hope you find it useful :-)

Robert

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sites for Teachers


While surfing the web in search of new resources and sites I came across a pretty nice site for teachers with lots of links to 'sites for teachers'. I've checked some of them and it's worth checking it out in more detail.

Here's the link: sites for teachers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back to basics???

I've been in Vietnam for about 2 weeks now working on a YL Extension to CELTA course, which I'm enjoying and learning lots from. Although I have had access to a projector and I've used my laptop, I do miss IWBs and the things we can do with them. I've been thinking a lot about IWBs v powerpoints and through the current experience, I have come to the following conclusions:

1. Both can be used effectively in the classroom and 'Death by PowerPoint' has nothing to do with the tool itself but with not having a sound pedagogical ground to base the training on.

2. IWBs definitely offer a wider range of interaction between the content and the participant - again when pegagogy leads technology and not vice versa.

3. A sound understanding of learning processes and how the activities we prepare for the students and the outcomes of those activities are co-dependent, is a good base to get started using ANY piece of technology in a student-centred and leanring enhancing way.

Well, this is my update from HCMC!

Robert

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Teachnology site.... graphic organisers


HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's been a long time since I last posted, but the festivities got on the way! :-) Well, I'm back and here to stay! I've been working on CLIL lately and so I have come across a site which offers lots of links to Graphic Organisers. I believe that these are very useful not only in CLIL but in teaching in general as there is nothing easier to help students say: 'Ah, I see what you mean' than to help them SEE what we mean.

Anyhow, here's a link to the site: http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/graphic_org/

By the way, this site does not only offer the above info. There are plenty of other resources such as lesson plans, worksheets, etc.

Enjoy!