Showing posts with label mlearning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mlearning. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2nd Planning Hub - 3rd Ed Tech in Action

In our 3rd Ed Tech Training/2nd CTJ Planning Hub, we had the pleasure to share with teachers some simple, practical, but super effective tools that can enhance the learning experience and engage students in their English practice.

Here´s what our guest teachers shared with the group. Check the ideas that use a tech twist to help students work in their language production through creative approaches to pedagogical practices:

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

mLearning - Using iPads with Kids - Apps and Activities

Though it is clear nowadays that learning can be engaging and dynamic with the use of technology in the classroom, some teachers still resist using iPads with kids. Many of them still believe students might break the iPads, or feel afraid of losing control over the class.

Take a small step by finding a simple, but fun activity. Establish some classroom management rules before handing in the iPads, and make sure you have a clear set of expectations in mind. Don´t be too demanding on yourself. Noise and movement are good. Enjoy monitoring your students as they create and practice English.

Here are some apps to get you in the groove. Enjoy the ride with your digital classes with kids. They will surprise you!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

iPads in the English Classroom: Notability

After using IPads to produce short videos with my students, I became more excited and curious about the power of IPads in the language classroom.  If my students had got all excited about using a simple native app, the camera, what impact could other fascinating apps have on their learning? Therefore, I started attending IPad workshops to become more familiarized with other apps and to learn about other teachers’ experiences with them.  That was how I came across “Notability”, a fun user-friendly app that allows you to write texts through typing or by using “a pen”, to take  pictures and to record texts.  Playing with Notability was really fun, but how could I integrate it into a lesson? As I started a lesson on clothes, I could visualize an effective way to incorporate the use of technology through Notability into my lesson plan. To wrap up the lesson, the students developed a simple project on what their partners were wearing.  Each pair talked about what they were wearing and took each other’s pictures. Then, I showed them how to use notability by producing the model below. 

This is my student. He's Hemmanoel. He's wearing black shoes, jeans, a black belt and a beautiful striped shirt. He's so elegant!

They enjoyed “being  a model”, taking pictures and recording their texts. After they finished the task, they  presented it to the class.  In short, students were excited about working on the iPads and felt proud of their digital production.  Notability allowed them to practice the target structure in a fun and motivating way.

Roberta is wearing a pink
sweater, jeans and beige and
black shoes. She’s beautiful!

This is Eduardo. He's my English course friend. He's wearing gray and
blue sneakers, white socks, blue jeans, a brown belt, a purple shirt,
glasses and a watch.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ABLA Conference 2014

It is a great honor to have been invited to present at  the ABLA (the Association of Binational Centers in Latin America) Conference about our ipad implementation project for the classroom and Resource Centers.

It´s been a long ride since 2011 when we participated in a Latin American grant contest from the American Embassy that would award a certain amount of money for any project in the technology area. We had the idea of having a trifold project in which we would implement the use of mLearning at Thomas, work on the ACCESS students´ digital literacies and use the opportunity to train our teachers, besides keep looking ahead in terms of best practices in the realm of Educational Technology.

We got the grant, we started, we expanded the scope of the project, we learned and we keep exploring. So, this is exactly the story I want to portray in the Conference to help other Binational Centers who want to implement this kind of mlearning project. Also, it will be an amazing opportunity to learn from the ones who have been in the same path.

All the resources and slides I´ll be using in my presentations are available online at 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Whatsapp and Education - is it feasible?

Social networks have surely opened up new ways of communication, new opportunities of interaction and collaboration, and teachers can take advantage of these tools by including them into their lesson plans. 

One of the most popular social networks nowadays is WhatsApp. It is basically an instant messaging application for smart phones. Everyone uses it, everyone has it. Many times, teachers can see students' phones constantly receiving WhatsApp messages or notifications during classes. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, videos, and audio messages.

We believe that the use of WhatsApp might encourage students to get more engaged in their own learning process, which might lead to a better long-term retention of structures and vocabulary. Teachers are able to work with all four skills, and should consider designing different tasks and activities in order to cater various learning styles.

Thus, to improve reading skills, the teacher can send the group a text (i.e. a short story). Then, as a follow-up, the teacher can ask comprehension questions about it , and also questions on specific vocabulary presented in the text. It is also possible to ask students to come up with a different endings for the story they've read.

Teachers can also create several writing activities by proposing a topic for discussion, for instance. Students can also write descriptions of a place, based on an image sent by the teacher. 

An interesting function in this application is voice recording to practice speaking skills. Students can record their voices to present their ideas/opinions about a certain topic, or answer specific questions based on a text or image sent by the teacher. Furthermore, the teacher can also record his voice and send to the student and work on listening comprehension. There is also the possibility of sending a video and then ask questions about it. 

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Some practical examples now.

1. I designed two slides on PowerPoint and saved them as images. Then, I sent them to students and asked them to perform a simple task: write sentences using the passive voice.


2. This is another very simple activity that can be done using WhatsApp. I used it with a group of teenagers to practice adjectives. After having explained the meaning of the adjectives from the lesson, I made a numbered list of the adjectives on the board. I, then, asked them to pick up their cell phones and log into our WhatsApp group. I gave them 3 minutes to find an emoticon for each adjective from the board. They would have to make the whole list and only hit send when they had finished. The following class we performed the activity a bit differently. First, I sent the adjective and they had to find an emoticon to show they remembered its meaning. Finally, I sent the emoticon and the students had to type the adjective (in order to practice spelling).  It became a competition. We had a blast!

        3. Another activity I developed using emoticons was concerning 'if clauses'. I prepared the if clause in advance and the main clause should be provided by the students. However, they had to create this main clause using a key word that I provided using and emoticon. For example: "If I get a book on my birthday, :) ". They were supposed to say something like "I will be happy."  Although I included the emoticon to control their answers, they had different and funny ideas.

       4. This activity was done with an advanced group. I just wanted to check their pronunciation of certain words. I sent the word to the group and they had to send the a recording of their voice pronouncing the word.

Ask students to choose an object they own to put up for sale. They got to take a picture of the chosen object and add a description saying the story behind it and why it is special for them. Students can then bid on each others items and justify why they'd want to buy a certain object and not the other. I have used this activity in class with my 5B group and it has worked quite well. 

This is a fun game which  can be done with any group or age. Teacher starts the game by saying a random adjective, for example the color "red". Then students have to type up as many combinations as possible using the word red. Ex. red lipstick, red light, red dress.

As the title already gives away, it's a verb tense game. Teacher starts by typing up a verb in the base form and students gotta type it up in the past simple or past participle. Students can also join in adding verbs and competing amongst themselves. The points can double when the teacher adds a talking face Emoji and the students record a voice message pronouncing the word accurately. 

The teacher send a sentence and students have to decide if its right or wrong. That can also be done to practice pronunciation. 

Teacher sends part of a picture (you can easily use your own phone's camera to take a picture of a pic) then students have to guess wha or who it is by saying "It might/can't/may/could/must be..." . It's great to practice modals. 

The teacher writes the answer to a question and students have to guess what question was asked. Ex. Answer: Hardly ever. Possible questions: How often do you...? Do you still see each other? Do you go dancing? Did you use to go to the beach? etc...

The players send part of a song and the others have to sing the following bit. 

The game starts with a description of a phrasal verb and students have to write a sentence using the corresponding phrasal verb. Extra points if they know if its separable, inseparable or always separated. 

One assigned student at a time has to to narrate (using the voice message) an impromptu  part of a story using the words the teacher types up. The other assigned students follow the story line trying to give sequence to it. Ex. Anna - gold, chest, gun, shoot, man, get away. Pedro - robber, blue eyed, charming, laughter, dream. etc. 

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Have you tried using this app with your students? If not, would you be willing to give it a try? Let us know about your outcomes! 


        Paola Hanna                      Tatiana Severo                  Lilian Marchesoni