Category: Technology

All the info. about using technology in the classroom

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Who’s Speaking? Guess the Accent.

This game, Guess Who’s Speaking, I designed using the Speech Archives and stock photos. It could be a good listening activity for students (it provides repetition) and also a way to discuss stereotypes. Basically, you first guess who might be speaking (these aren’t the real...

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5 Favorite & Fabulous Video Based Lessons

As a language teacher, I love video!  Students do too, so it’s a happy class when a video is being used. I’ve pounded the pulpit before on the benefits for video in the language learning classroom.  See my Using Video In The Classroom Guide Book as...

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Oktapodi

Following up on my post last week – 5 Simple Ways To Use Video In Class, here is an actual lesson with lesson ideas.  Oktapodi  is a stellar short film with a great moral/lesson at the end. Lots of ways to use silent videos in...

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2 Way Tasks

Two way tasks are the staple activity of the communicative approach. Also known as an “information gap” activity, they force students to communicate with each other in order to retrieve information to complete a task. Usually these tasks involve students with different sets of information, usually...

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A Cowbird Lesson example

I’ve long been a member of Cowbird and it’s a sterling example of real, authentic listening/reading/watching for ELLs. Along with several other sites that are truly “authentic”, it is ranked at the top of my list.  Off the top of my head, for students, I’d...

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Video: Going To Pieces

I’ve long been a big fan of using video creatively in the classroom. My work with speech recognition and EnglishCentral proves that. However, I have a long history of not only making 100s of video based traditional lessons (see Lessons In A Can for EFL...

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Job Interview Practice

Job interviews can be pretty tough in your first language but imagine doing one in your second! You need to be well prepared and the more “real” you can make it, the more successful your practice will be. As someone who believes in video as...

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Literal Video Versions

Very creative “literal version” where the audio / lyrics are exactly describing what is happening in the video. Students will love it.  Get more of the best literal videos available online, on this page. I also highly recommend the video documentary: Remix Manifesto.  Highly though...

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Teachers Pay Teachers Pay Teachers

Every week or month brings another announcement within the educational tech space of a new player in the “Teacher marketplace” place. I remember back in the early years online, before all the social media, Web 2.0 craze. It was natural and easy for teachers to...

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Colorizing History. Technological Dilemmas.

Technology is allowing teachers to not just tear down the walls that surround their classroom, it also is allowing improved ways to present content. For the language classroom, images are an essential tool to generate conversation, contextualize vocabulary and build critical thinking skills. I’ve always...

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Not just playing a part

I’ve been working on a new post this weekend, a reflection on my own development as a teacher and all the footprints that truly led me to where I am right now. Something for myself but which other teachers might find some truth therein. I’m...

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Standardized Learning

One conclusion I’ve come to after years teaching – testing and assessment are poorly used as a way for students to learn. This is curious and unfortunate because students for the most part DO get motivated and energized through tests and quizzes. The pickle is,...

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Kinetic Typography Generator

I’ve long been a fan of KT – Kinetic Typography, videos where the text is displayed in a “contextual” and visually appealing fashion. Find Here or many of my favs, all collected for teachers to use. This one is a beautiful example. Made with Adobe...

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Using photos when teaching

In a few weeks, The Image Conference is being held in Barcelona, Spain. I won’t be able to attend but EnglishCentral will be a sponsor. The future of language learning and teaching is visual, is controlled reality. I got to thinking about all the powerful...

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Low Impact Teaching

Over the last 5 to 10 years, I’ve been developing new ideas about how we should be teaching in our classrooms.   These ideas have changed as the possibilities and promises of educational technology have become reality. The most fundamental of these ideas are always...

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To Those Who Believe In Ideas

Contrary to what many think – it is not action, it is not money, it is not the vote which makes this world a better place. It is the interchange of ideas, the free flow of ideas. In light of the death of Aaron Schwartz,...