Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Incorporating technology into your teaching

Another tiring day over and I was just thinking on the journey back home that I would be lost if I didn't have access to technology. Over the past few years it has crept into my teaching practice, going from an occasional extra to being an integral part of the way I teach English, both in the class room and in private lessons.

For instance, today I found stuff at the British Council site to help with one of my students, updated his blog and next time I'm going to give him some American comics to read which I'll download.

In the next lesson at the school I realised that I'd made a big mistake, as I had prepared for the Wednesday's lesson instead of today's. It only occurred to me when one of my students asked my about what we were going to do in the lesson. With only ten minutes to go I surfed the web to find the lyrics to Nerina Pallott's "Everybody's Going to War (which I have on my pocket pc), printed them out and photocopied them.

In the lesson I used the song as the basis of a listening exercise which was in turn a warm - up activity for a debate on whether there is such a thing as a "good war". I asked the students to post their opinions on their blog. In addition I also asked them to take part in a competition; take a photo connected with leisure which will be posted on the class blog as well.

Later on we'll send them off to the BBC young photographer competition and see if we get lucky.

Finally, in the last lesson of the day I also got my student to post on her blog her latest film review, one which I copied without Greek subtitles, using DVD Shrink. I also asked her to listen to a couple of chapters of the first Harry Potter book audio book , which she has as an mp3 download, and write a summary. Also, as I didn't have any ink in my printer I scanned and emailed her the test from the course book we use.

As you can see access to technology and all that it offers allows me to find materials that my students find interesting and so they make the effort to understand and as a result they learn more effectively. All I have to do is open the door to a place they find fascinating and they'll do all the rest.


The Tablet PC In Education Blog said...

Thanks for the link to your blog. Do you use a desktop, notebook, or a Tablet PC? Keep up the good work.

teacher dude said...

Sometimes I have access to the school secretary's pc, other times I take my ibook with me. In the private lessons we use their computer. I'd love to have a tablet pc. though. The problem is that they are way beyond my budget.