ELT Technology ….you know you love it!
You arrive home in the evening, you stretch out on the couch and pick up your tablet to check your emails (maybe something your life depends upon has arrived in your inbox in the last ten minutes while you were driving), then you check your Facebook app…. and there you are tagged in another photo you don’t remember posing for.
Then, you check your LinkedIn app…..another endorsement, GREAT! Any cats doing crazy stunts on YouTube today? No, so you watch a father and daughter rendition of ‘Let it Go’ for 3 mins…..cute!! Might as well share it on Facebook…..ok, you put your tablet down and go out to your kitchen to start cooking dinner….
How do you cook Chicken Pesto anyway?……..Google it!!
You take your phone from your pocket and while you’re at it, you check your Facebook….just in case! You recheck your emails…….nothing! So you look through your apps and try to find something to keep you technologically occupied while you’re waiting for your oil to heat…..
And then after you eat your Google guided version of Chicken Pesto, you start planning your lesson for tomorrow’s class. You’re in one of the rooms with the Interactive Whiteboards……and you love ELT technology, don’t you?
‘I hate technology.’
But it’s not hate, is it? Most of us are merely suffering from ‘ELT Technology Anxiety’. How can teachers have this lack of confidence when technology is such a huge part of our everyday lives? And you can be guaranteed it’s an even more integral part of your students’ lives. We are living in a digital age; students are surrounded by technology, they are engaged by it and their minds have been programmed to expect digital stimulation because that’s what they’ve grown up with! So you might wonder how these students could possibly be engaged by marker and whiteboard!
Instead of finding obstacles, such as your fear of the server going down, the Wi-Fi crashing or the sheer hassle of dragging cables and laptops to and from your classroom, give your students what they expect and watch your classroom come alive.
Here’s five useful and engaging online tools! Choose at least one to use with your students this week, see how easy it is and notice the difference it makes to your classroom. Your students will love you for it.
5 Online Tools for your ELT Classroom!
Create collaborative written projects for students to share!
Has a room of yawns ever nearly swallowed you up when you gave instructions to ‘create a story in your groups’? Here is your answer….!!! Stories can be saved on your account in the ‘class library’ and then shared with other groups. Use your IWB or digital projector for groups to present their stories to the class afterwards.
Capture your screen and record a voiceover!
Russell Stannard has recorded a great tutorial on www.teachertrainingvideos.com
Set homework, record instructions and email! What about pronunciation? Practice stress and intonation patterns, highlighting word and sentence stress as you talk through each one……
Create a verbal message board for class discussions!
There’s five minutes to go and your students are showing no signs of finishing up, but you still have an error-correction slot and paired correction to get through ….argghhhhh!!!! Here is your answer – create a talkgroup for your class discussion, set the discussion as homework and invite your students to continue online! You can even use this forum the next day on the IWB to correct pronunciation errors!!
Capture facts, thoughts and images on a mind-map. Use it on the IWB as a lead-in exercise to a discussion topic and get students to add their ideas.
Set a brainstorming task as homework and ask students to create their mind-map in pairs on a given topic and present to the class the next day. Use it as a way for students to research a topic. For example, if a group are doing a project on ‘The Dangers of Social Media’, students can add images, thoughts, facts they have gathered on to the mind-map to help their structure their ideas and help them prepare a presentation.
Record a message and mail it for students to view!
Instead of giving students the good old grammar gap-fill, make your tasks come alive with recorded homework!! Students can record themselves giving their opinion on a topic or question that you set in your recording and send to you for feedback.
Do you have any other online tools that you use with your students? We would love to hear your suggestions. Head over to the forum here and join our discussion on classroom technologies……
Don’t forget to check out our latest A2 lesson ‘At the Pharmacy’ here