Posts tagged tesl

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Teacher Development Webinar – “Using Virtual Meeting Tools with Students.” #besig

The excellent English360 online learning platform are holding a community webinar next week, with the guest speaker Mike Hogan. (Disclosure: English 360 is one of the companies I do consultancy work for.) The webinar is on the topic of Virtual Meeting Tools and even though it’s geared towards those using, or thinking of using the English 360 platform, it will definitely be of interest to any language teachers who are using online meeting tools, or who want to, with their students.

Valentina Dodge, on the English360 blog has the following to say:

Are you using English360 in conjunction with real-time tools?

Do you have experience teaching in WebEx, Adobe Connect, or on Skype?

How can these virtual meeting environments be used with learners?

Come along to our English360 Open Community Webinar to find out more on delivering lessons in real-time when learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.

Register now to enjoy Mike Hogan ‘s expertise and experience of using virtual meeting rooms.

Send us an email to Register for the Community Webinar 28th Feb 13.00-14.00 CET

 

I’ve personally spoken to Mike about e-learning quite a bit over the last few months and he certainly seems to have a good deal of practical experience of what “synchronous” e-learning requires. As it’s being organised by Valentina Dodge, too – I’m pretty sure that it will be well worth attending.

The 10 Best Ways to Look Professional Online

Maintaining a professional image on-line is vital nowadays for everyone. From  newly qualified students looking for their first job to top managers with years of experience under their belts. If you’re on-line, you’ll be seen more easily, so it’s a good idea to make sure what they see of you on-line makes a positive first impression, hey?

A positive image goes a long way.

Image From: http://www.flickr.com/photos/colleen-lane/

The How Stuff Works site is often a great source for authentic material for EFL teachers. It is regularly updated with articles about, well… how stuff works and things like that 😀 More than this though, it also often has some handy little “Top 10” lists which are easily exploited by language teachers. The article they’ve just published today, 10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online is perfect for in-class activities, both for business English students and for high school students. To be honest, it’s pretty darn good advice for a lot of language teachers, too. Here’s the introduction:

Whether you like it or not, you probably already have a significant online presence. Between government documents, newspaper articles and self-generated content, it’s not hard for others to dig up information about you. And whether those people are potential employers, co-workers or casual acquaintances, it’s generally a good idea to put your best foot forward on the Web.

For example, although social networks like Facebook were designed more for casual socializing, more and more human resource managers use these sites to screen potential employees. You must realize that personal Web content can have an effect on you professional life.

As a class activity, I will probably give 1 of each of the 10 pieces of advice to a different student. Ask them to read it, then do a mingle activity where they summarised their advice to each other, noting down what their partners told them. Probably afterwards I would read one or two of the key articles again as a class and do some vocabulary or comprehension work.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the 10 headlines, or the 10 best ways to look professional online. Click the individual headline to read more.

10: The Best (or Worst) Stands Out

9: Professional Perception is Reality

8: Defend Your Reputation

7: Protect Passwords and Other Vital Information

6: Control Your Branding

5: Use an Alias

4: Establish Your Expertise

3: The Internet Never Forgets

2: Prepare for Potential Employers

1: Privacy is Still Real — If You Want It

What do you think? Do you agree with How Stuff Works’ list? Would you add anything else? Make sure you let us know what you think in the comments section!

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 2 – Blogs Grow With Comments

As I mentioned in the first post in this series blogging offers a lot of scope for authentic communication from EFL students. From “guest speakers” to reflective jornals, to simple discussions, to stronger “opinion pieces” there are all sorts of ways EFL teachers can use blogs with their learners.

For example this year at the high-school I work at, we’ve been discussing social issues that we feel strongly about in our personal blogs. We’ve also used a class blog to share hints and advice for classmates about how they can improve their own blogs.

Although the slides in this series are all quite specific to my own students (and trainee teachers,) I hope they can be helpful to other teachers and teacher-trainers, too. I’ve learnt a lot from what other people have generously shared over the internet and I hope now to be able to “put a bit back” for others.

In this second set of slides we discuss how important comments are to a blog (and a blogger) and how to enable them. The slides use screenshots from Blogger itself. On occasion things have changed in Blogger slightly from when I originally wrote this guide, but the basics have remained more or less the same.

If you want any more information about edublogging, or if you’d like to share a lesson idea that you’ve tried out with your students, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

 

All the very best!

Seth.

High School Digme Courses Inspire

Minneapolis Roosevelt High School students have been using blogs, Twitter, wikis, video, podcasts and other digital media in their English lessons.

At the University of Minnesota they have been looking at how the Roosevelt High School “Digme” programme has given students an opportunity to engage with English lessons in a way they never did previously. Judging by some of the feedback in the video, the use of Web 2.0 tools has inspired the students so much that they now really look forward to their English lessons.

Apart from mygeneral interest in the use of ICT in education, this program has really grabbed my attention as the school seems to be doing almost exactly the same kind of activity that I’ve been doing with my students this year at Martino Martini in Italy. I too have been using Twitter to facilitate e-twinning, podcasts and voice recordings to encourage oral fluency videos of science experiments and a social studies video to enthuse the students and encourage them to use the target language.I have also been using a wiki to co-ordinate the whole programme and give teachers, students and parents one central place to check up on the latest classroom activities.

In short, they’re doing just what I’m doing. It’s nice to know that you’re heading in the right direction! 🙂

Have a look at this video of the U.S. students to see how positive they seem about the whole project.

Improve your PowerPoints in 45 minutes

I saw a fantastic video by Alvin Trusty recently where he talks about how to create high-quality PowerPoint presentations. There are many great ideas in his video, among the ones that I really liked were the use of Flickr Creative Commons photos, the excellent Flickr photo search tool Compfight (which also finds creative Commons photos for you) and Alvin’s move and grow Powerpoint animation (watch the video to find out how this works!) I used the advice in this video to write the Philosophically Speaking PowerPoint lesson I recently posted here. It’s good advice!

Although this video is 45 minutes long, I think you’ll agree that it’s 45 minutes that are VERY well spent! Enjoy!


How to Create a Great PowerPoint – Take 2.0 from Alvin Trusty on Vimeo.

WARNING! This video will seriously damage your contentedness with previous PowerPoints you’ve made! I am now re-doing several of my favourite PowerPoint lessons!

Best,
Seth.

students-at-work

Speaking Philosophically – CLIL Lesson

students-at-work2This year I’m working as a CLIL/ICT teacher at Martino Martini, a high school in Mezzolombardo, Italy. It’s a really interesting project where I co-teach different subjects together with the “regular” class teacher. The difference with this CLIL project is however that I don’t just help teach the subject in English, but I have to use technology to teach the subject too.  This means that so far this year I have taught subjects as diverse as History, Biology  and Social Sciences using all sorts of different Web 2.0 technology such as wikis, web-based video, online surveys and so on. I tell you what, it’s been great fun! Take a look at our wiki if you’d like to see some of my students’ great work.

For one of my philosophy classes recently I decided to do a speaking activity based on one of the arguments from the BBC World Philosophy Day article from last year. As philosophy is often taught as a fairly dry subject here in Italy, I decided to “spruce it up a bit” by using some of the great creative commons photographs from Flickr to illustrate the arguments. I put them together as a Powerpoint presentation and I hope you’ll agree that the results are pretty good!

Although the PowerPoint presentation deals with philosophical ideas that Kant had, I’m sure that many speaking classes would really enjoy the subject. The references to Kant are infact only in the last slide. I used this lesson with a class of 17-18 yr olds. It does deal with some pretty “full on” issues, so have a good look through the slides before taking it into your class.

talking-philosophy2

Click on the image to download the PowerPoint file. It’s 14 MB so it might take a minute or two!

Talking Philosophy PowerPoint

!!STOP PRESS!!!

Thanks to some great ideas from The Webheads, I’m now also going to do this lesson as a VoiceThread. So, if you (or more likely your English class) fancy joining in the debate, click on the comments button in this VoiceThread version below:

Best,
Seth.

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