EFL

Death By PowerPoint? No Thanks! – Digital Storytelling Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint has the ability to utterly, utterly destroy your soul with boredom – and yet it can totally engage your students’ attention and draw them into a digital story plot if used well. And how should you use it well? These slides will show you! ūüôā

I have posted these before, but this is a slightly updated version that I made for the teachers and trainers at Bolzano Free University’s language department (a tri-lingual University in the north of Italy!)

I had wanted to upload this to VoiceThread so that you, my dear readers, could ask and answer questions and see how effective Voicethread is – unfortunately, Voicethread allows a maximum of 50 slides per presentation and … well… this has several more slides than this. Anyhow, the first slides are the digital story part. If you’d like to skip straight to the¬† PowerPoint hints and tips, go to slide number 48.

Hope this is helpful – if you have any questions, leave them in a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe University

10 Key Things I’ve Learned about IWBs – IATEFL Conference Istanbul.

The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe UniversityI was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s IATEFL LT & TD SIG conference in Istanbul, Turkey. I put in a proposal to discuss IWBs and the lessons I’d learnt from watching teachers get used to using them in my training sessions. When the confirmation came through in early May, I gave a whoop! I’d never been to Turkey before, but had heard loads of good reports from friends who said how friendly and welcoming people there tend to be.

What’s more, Burcu Akyol who is a conference organiser par-excellence, was co-ordinating the team which organised the whole weekend. Basically I need say little more than I can’t wait to go to Turkey or Istanbul again. I had such a great time, the conference attendees were wonderful people, the talks were really top quality and the on the last night, when I went out for dinner… the food… oh the food! It was fabulous!

Anyhow, let’s get to the point, during the talk I promised the teachers present, that I’d post up the IWB slides I used to support my talk. The slides contain useful hints and tips for teachers starting out with IWBs as well as a whole bunch of links to some really handy tools to make teachers lives easier when creating interactive activities.

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Cigdem Karin

Take Your Phone Out Of Your Pocket (And Use It In Class) – Karin Tirasin and Cigdem Ugur

I saw a few great Talks at IATEFL Glasgow 2012, I met some great people including a few EFL Stars” like Scott Thornbury, however, no-one left a greater impression on me than Karin Tirasin and √áigdem Ugur who gave a talk at the LTSIG event. Inspired, enthusiastic and perhaps a tiny weeny bit overwhelmed by talking on an international stage, they and their ideas were, quite honestly, brilliant.

If it’s possible to summarise a 45 minute talk in a just a few words it’d have to be: “They used mobile phones.” Seeing as that doesn’t really tell you much, perhaps: “They used mobile phones, in class, in great fun, engaging activities, using multimedia, QR codes, digital literacies and.. and and… ..and the main thing to note is the activities were all very well thought out pedagogically and they used “all four” of the language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading, writing as well as grammar and dictionary skills.

 

What I thought was best of all from a memorable lesson point of view is that he students loved it (and if you don’t believe me, after the break, there’s a video from the students themselves with their own opinions on mobile phones:

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Vicky-Saumell1

Vicky Saumell – The Lesson Comes First, Technology is Just an Aid #IATEFL

I was lucky enough to see Vicky Saumell talk at IATEFL this year. I met her after her seminar to ask whether she would be prepared to do an interview and lo and behold it was another one of those wacky feelings you get at conferences nowadays: I realised I already “knew” Vicky, as we are connected via our PLN.

Vicky gave a brilliant talk about digital storytelling in the classroom, the slides for which you can see after the video interview. Her talk was given as part of IATEFL’s LTSIG group, or for those of us who can’t deal with all the acronyms: the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group of the International Association for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – phew! In a day or so I’ll be posting an interview with Graham Stanley too, who talks more about the LTSIG and some of their work, so if you’d like to know more about the group, keep an eye open for that interview.

Here are Vicky’s smart and well-reasoned comments:

 

 

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Nik Peachey

Nik Peachey – Technology Is Not That Hard Now #IATEFL

In my fourth interview from IATEFL Glasgow 2012 I spoke to Nik Peachey, a man who probably doesn’t need any introductions at all! Just in case; Nik is a teacher-trainer, educational technology consultant and a blogger on all things to do with language teaching and technology (he’s been blogging even longer than me!) What’s more, Nick is a really friendly, approachable guy, so if you ever get the chance to meet him at a conference, be sure to go and say hi.

Knowing that Nik’s areas of work are very similar to mine, I thought it would be interesting to ask him what advice he has for teachers wanting to get started with technology in their teaching. His answer was a really interesting one, part “old school” and part “new school”; Nick suggests blogging as a good first step (and I heartily agree!) Old school as it’s what teachers have been doing for a while now (proven effectiveness?) and new school as he suggests a great blogging platform which makes life much easier for teachers trying to get started.

 

 

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Ronaldo

Ronaldo Lima Jr. – Challenges when Adopting Digital Teaching #IATEFL

An innovative, passionate educator; an active member of the Webheads and the wider ELT community; happy to share his thoughts, experience and knowledge about our work; a lovely, positive and happy guy – what’s there not to like about Ronaldo Lima Jr?

I met up with Ronaldo at the IATEFL conference and he kindly agreed to join our series of interviews of educators interested in how technology is used for teaching languages. Ronaldo talks about what his experiences of IATEFL 2012 have been and some of the challenges he thinks still face schools who want to include technology in their language teaching curricula.

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