Innovation and Education have always been the two major propelling forces of humankind. Underpinning these forces there lies Technology in all its shapes and potential. Nevertheless, what cannot be forgotten is that there will never be real innovation unless our efforts, as educators, aren’t sustained by a purposeful integration between Education and Technology. Adding to all this the current speed in which communication is established across the globe, we believe the alignment of Innovation, Education and Technology to be paramount in order to promote meaningful teaching and foster productive learning. So, if what you need is to think Innovation in the classroom, you are in the right place! Our Digital Integration is where technology meets Education to generate Innovation without frontiers.
Marcella Sousa (Marcella is a teacher and teacher trainer at Cultura Inglesa, the Adult Centre branch in Rio de Janeiro. She graduated in English Language and Literature in 2005 and has been teaching since then. She recently obtained a Masters in Literature and is currently also involved in working as a consultant for the Course Management and Design Department.)
Lucas Rigonato from our Goiania Sul branch has sent us a very interesting activity. Check it out:
• First of all, this was an activity I carried out as an assignment for the Early Inset course which I'm taking these days. As a lead-in I posed the following question to my Plus 5 students "What would you say if I asked you what your favorite English word was?". After that I showed them these 2 videos:
The latter one finishes reading the lines "Learn English, Love English, Live English" and then one of the students questioned why we didn't see the same happening with Portuguese. I, of course, directed the discussion to the other kids in the room. They all came up with different reasons. Then I put a list of factors favoring English as a Lingua Franca (which can be found here: http://revolutioninlearning.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/global-english-a-paradigm-shift/ ) on the board. I briefly asked some of them what their favorite English words were and then said I wanted them to do the same thing they saw in the videos using their iPhones, iPods or whatever gadgets they had. They looked a bit shocked at first but eventually seemed to love the idea. It was a 20-minute activity. After they finished one of the pupils promptly offered to edit the shootings. The following week they saw the result and were extremely amused laughing at themselves.
Check this wonderful activity developed by Nik Peachey that allows students to practice their English skills in an authentic way: interviewing people or answering people's questions with video recording. In his suggestion, students will interview Ophra Winfrey. Make sure you check Nik's website because it is full of other activities:
This edition of SandBox, we feature Camila Santos, teacher at our Freguesia - RJ branch. Take a look at her activity and you will realize it's not difficult to integrate simple yet effective uses of technology in class:
DIGITAL ACTIVITY USING MOBILE(S)
I had some extra time with my Junior A group so I decided to prepare a different activity with them. I do not remember exactly what lesson it was but they had just learned on the previous class how to ask and answer questions about people’s possessions by using “whose”. Besides that, they also learned some parts of the body in English on the previous week. The initial idea was to make them use their own phones but unfortunately some of them did not have them there so I used my mobile. I showed them a video on the board in order to catch their attention for some minutes while I was taking pictures of some parts of their body, one student at a time behind the group so that the others could not see us (it is a small group so it made this part easier). Then, I presented one of the pictures I had just taken and asked them, for example, “whose arm is that?” and they answered “it’s Camila’s, oh no...it’s Jessica’s” and so on. After modelling, they were able to ask their friends by themselves and make them answer. It was funny and very fruitful as they laughed every time they saw a picture of themselves but they could not tell the others. Some of them found it funny because they had forgotten that they were on that picture I/their friend was showing. If I had more time on the following class, I would have repeated this activity but with their phones (or with somebody’s mobile if they did not have it). All in all, it was a great experience! =)
What about you?
Have you got any ideas on how to use technology in class?
Jumping onto our Sandbox of the week, we have Francisco Gauldino Costa from our Ilha do Governador branch. Check what he has done with Wallwisher (click on the pic to go to his page):
Theme: interesting animals. The theme was based on a coursebook unit which focused on pets. The aim was to promote class and online dicussions on the issue. My students built up a webpage whose title is 'World 'Wlid' Web'. It consisted of a number of mini-articles featuring animals written by them. The articles are displayed throughout the page, most of which enclose a short video. The site address is: http://wallwisher.com/wall/worldanimals
By now, all branches should have receveid the infographic about the Olympic Games. We would like to reinforce that the multiple representational nature of infographics allow students to be exposed to the language in terms of text and images in a very estimulating way.
How has the experience of using infographics been going at your branch? Have you been able to chat with students who stopped to read it?
What other ways do you believe that infographics can be used to promote conversation?
Ever since the first iPhone was released, touchscreen devices have been a major interest for everyone. Concerning education, these devices provide a plethora of opportunities to integrate technology into the curriculum. If you are like our students, you need to look no further for such opportunities. Our Touch Screen tables offer our students a way to practice English while having fun with a variety of educational games.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore the potential of the Touchscreen table bear in mind that the games that it contains, provide work on different areas of learning such as:
- Cognitive abilities: students have the opportunity to work collaboratively and as well as memorization and deductive reasoning.
- Affective aspects: games can work as a stimulus for learning
- Knowledge and content learning: the Touchscreen table games can be used as an extension of the material learned in class in a fun a dynamic way.
Here is the list of games included and their potential:
Prepositions: up to 4 players can play simultaneously. The aim is to provide the correct prepositions for fun sentences such as “I have English lessons ___ Mondays and Wednesdays”Spell it: students of different levels can work on pronunciation (easy, medium and hard) – up to 4 players can play at the same timeAffix: for intermediate to advanced levels, this game required a good knowledge base of vocabulary can it can also help students build their own repertoire.Matching: Students can play 3 different matching games – words x pictures, American x British words, and compound words. It’s a nice way to work on vocabulary as wellLead 1: students have to provide the past simple form of verbsLead 2: students have to match expressions with their meanings
We would like to encourage you to play along with your students. These games can really boost students’ proficiency and motivation towards learning.
We would love to hear from you about your experiences with the Touchscreen table. Get in touch with us!
This week's "Taking into the Cl@ssroom" combines collaborative work, creativity and some principles from Task Based Learning. Not only is this a fun activity but also helps teachers to become aware of their students relationship with the English language.
Have you ever been asked to draw the English Language? How would you do it?
This is a great tool for creating short audio files which can be posted to Facebook, Twitter or shared by email. The tool runs in the browser but there are also apps for iPhone and Android. In the settings you can also change the speed and pitch of the wudio file. Very Useful.
Cultura Inglesa Águas Claras is promoting a very interesting competition that involves technology, singing, acting and a great deal of creativity: it's the English Video Competition.
The branch will award the best of individual and group videos based on your vote. So take a look, have fun with the videos, and see that big projects that involve more than just a group can actually work.
This kind of project is an example of collaboration and integration of students, staff and the community. We believe that a healthy partnership with the comunity can foster educational experiences for our students and that it is through actively involving and inviting parents, families, and community members into our projects that we can hope to make the best possible learning experiences for our children.
Welcome to Sandbox – our collaborative space for practices related to the integration of technology in class. Sandbox is a place where you will have the opportunity to explore, reflect, apply and adapt activities that have been envisioned by our teachers.
Use this space in order to gather input and ideas for your own activities, to discover what other teachers have been doing, share your successful ideas and ask for help for those activities that did not go the way you planned.
Livia has created an activity for Cultura Express 2 - Writing Helpdesk B. Check it out:
1st step Writing Helpdesk B New Interlink 2 - Describing a favourite room in the house and the neighbourhood Pre-writing activities done in class T. assigns writing task as hw T. asks sts. to send her a photo of their favourite room by mail T. explains the digital project and shows them the app - Educreations
2nd step Sts. hand in their paper T. collects and marks them
T. returns papers Sts. re-write it making the necessary corrections/adjustments in class
T. goes to another room with a small group of students. They type, record their text and send it to their email , FB or Twiter.
Meanwhile, the other sts. stay in the classroom doing Revision Section exercises Then, they swap roles
As the app is very easy and friendly to use, the T. can be in either rooms helping and monitoring the students
Last step They all listen and watch their work in class
Try this virtual job interview with your students. Before they go to an actual job interview, it's good to have a few practice runs so they don't freeze like a rabbiet in the headlights. This virtual interview will let your students know whether their answers are on the right track.
The newest edition of Info Bites has been sent to all branches. This time we have created a few posters to trigger students' curiosity about Cats and Dogs. Some of them contain QR codes while some others contain riddles. The use of QRcodes follow the example of our new Junior and Basic materials where some lessons make use of this interesting technological feature. We believe, thus, that the visual and textual representation of the infographic and the digital aspect of the QR codes can help us create "speaking moments".
What did you think about this edition? Have you got suggestions for activities or an infographic for our next edition?
Please drop us a line with ideas, suggestions or questions.
This edition of Sandbox features an activity created by Luciana Sá, teacher in our Taquara branch.
Her students used Google Docs throughout the semestre in order to write their compositions. Some tasks were done collaboratively, that is, a group of students wrote the same composition together. This way students had a chance to learn from each other's mistakes and get ideas from their peers.
This idea comes from Ana Maria, a teacher at Cultura Inglesa Uberlândia. She focused on narrative tenses, but the tool she introduces Photopeach (http://photopeach.com/) allows teachers to create quizzes through drawings and it can be used for a variety of types of exercises. Why not trying it out?
Teachers around the world have been using Skype so as to connect their students with other classes. They exchange experiences, chat, have fun and develop their speaking and listening skills.
Recently, the project Skype in the Classroom (http://education.skype.com/) has created a partnership with Penguim books. Penguin Young Readers Group will connect authors, such as Adam Gidwitz, Caroline Lawrence and Nancy Krulik, with students for discussions about books, reading and writing;
Join the Skype Education project and let us know about your experiences!