ACEnglishteacher

All things EFL… A collection of practical ideas, resources for the classroom and thoughts on EFL today


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Tools to engage students and teachers

I’m finally back after an extended Christmas break. I would feel guilty about being neglectful (especially after all my good intentions) if I didn’t have a really good reason for my absence over the past few weeks…bett2017

I’ve been working on an exciting new project to help develop and accelerate learners’ speech and language skills in L2 with @hellochatta and was lucky enough to get invited to #Bett2017 to present it.  

Apart from meeting lots of amazing people involved in education and bumping into a few old faces (very small world,) I picked up some interesting ideas and learnt about some great tools to engage and inspire my students.  

There was so much going on, it was impossible to see everything, however these are some of the things that caught my eye over the four days: Continue reading

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Learning and teaching with a wiki

 

After watching a great session from the British Council “Teaching for Success” conference presented by my good friend and former colleague Jo Budden, Helping learners survive – and thrive – in the digital world, it got me thinking about how I help my students to survive and thrive in this digital world.  At my school, ICT resources are quite limited. There is one computer room with, at best, a slow internet connection and a laptop and projector in each classroom, with dubious internet connection. There are no formal ICT classes and mobile devices are banned!  Faced with this situation and a determination to ensure my students leave school capable digital citizens, I needed a solution. The solution was a wiki… Continue reading

Powtoon


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Using Powtoon to enhance teaching and learning

I first started looking for online presentation and animation tools when I got interested in blended learning.  Looking for ways to give students access to information outside of class, I came across Powtoon.  I still use the free version, although there are paid options which give you access to more features, templates and greater flexibility.  With the free version you can still upload to YouTube, embed in your website, blog or wiki, download as a pdf or share your video on social media.

Some of the ways I have used this tool so far include:

To welcome students and set expectations

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Padlet, versatile and simple.

Ways to use PadletI have been using Padlet a lot recently.  What I like about it, is its versatility and simplicity.  For anyone who hasn’t used it before, Padlet is a digital canvas which works like a piece of blank paper where you can post text, links and upload images, video, audio, documents…

You can customise your canvas by changing the wallpaper (background) and the layout (free form, stream or grid.)  There are different privacy settings (useful when working with younger students), and the option to moderate posts before they appear on the canvas.  Padlet Backpack is a paid version which offers more control, privacy and extra security for schools.

I have only used group canvases that I have created in my own Padlet account, although students can create their own if they set up an account.  I then share the link or embed the canvas on the class wiki.  In this way students don’t need to log in and I have more control (a bonus if you aren’t using Padlet Backpack and working with teens!)

Ways I’ve used Padlet:

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