Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Using pocket pc's
Pocket PCs and Palmtops have fallen out of favour these days, however, they are a very useful tool both inside and outside the classroom. I have a Hp Ipaq 1930 (see here for more up to date version) which is a life saver as far as organisation is concerned. It allows my to see, and more importantly to change my schedule at a glance. This is particularly important as my programme changes from week to week and I have to be aware of when I can do a lesson. In addition I read newspaper extracts from the Washington Post, New York Times, BBC, The Times, The Guardian etc. downloaded every morning off my computer using Avantgo. It can also double up as a mp3 player (great for listening to audio books) and even a "tape" recorder.
As far as lessons are concerned I can use the mp3 player linked up witha couple of cheap computer speakers to do listening exercises downloaded that day from CNN etc.
You'll need to download a CNN podcast (see here)
1 Ask students to write down recent intenational stories. They then discuss them with each other.
2 Ask students to decide which are the most important.
3 Write down a list of words (3 to 5 taken from each CNN story) on the board.
4 Ask students to guess what the content of the story might be.
5 Play the podcast. Ask students write down details as possible.
6 Students then get together in groups and swop information.
7 Play the extract again. Students then check their answers with each other once more.
8 Discuss the answers as a class. Students then decide which story is the most important for them.
This is good preparation for the listening component of the TOEFL and Michigan exams. It can also be used as a preparation for students to create their own podcasts/news stories, which can be recorded on the pocket pc.