A one hit wonder

June 9, 2014

Here is a statistic: 3 out of 5 people spend more time with their technology than they do with their spouse. Time to unplug?

Did you know a “device-agnostic” APP is one that will work on most platforms? That will make your life much simpler if you are expecting lots of different students to use it: you don’t have to check what devices they are using and whether they are compatible or not with what you want to use.

Ever wondered what a teacher’s brain might look like?

Have you ten quick ideas for using mobile phones in your classroom?

The answers to all these questions and more are on www.edudemic.com

Great, easy to navegitate site with tons of ideas and advice for teachers. Love it. It’s in my top ten.


Thanks for all the phishing

September 19, 2013

Hi all and welcome back to a new teaching year after the summer. For those of you who may be slightly paranoid about internet security the Economist has an in-dept survey on the issue and an interesting debate about whether or not security agencies should be allowed pervert the flow of information as it were. If you don’t want to read the complete article scroll down to the fun section on Panoramic paranoia where the newspaper gives some tips on being really safe electronically (ie keep your mobile safe from interference by switching it off, taking out the battery and storing it in the fridge when not in use).

This blog is, of course, about technology and teaching but maybe the security issues remain the same. At what point should we shut technology out and store it in the fridge just in case it corrupts our classrooms? My daughter has just started secondary school and has been told that all mobile devices have to be turned off and locked away during school hours. A recent talk by a work-mate encouraged me to get my teenagers to take our their mobile phones and use them creatively in class last night. There is always a back door when it comes to technology. The trick may not be finding it but using it productively, creatively and in a way that stimulates the teaching and learning process. Technology is not an automatic virus. It can be, but in education that probably depends on the teacher.

That has always been the intention of this blog: learning about and using technology in the best pedagogical way possible. I have just re-read the aims of this blog stated in the WHY section and I hope to some extent they have been fulfilled.

Time moves on and technologically things change ever quicker than time does. After nearly 300 posts I think this blog may have reached an end. Three years is a long time in the history of internet. Things have moved on. I may return here or on a new blog when I have found a new angle: at the moment I feel that it is time for an upgrade, and they always take time to de-bug.

Meanwhile thanks for all the phising! Let me leave you with one final clip which does what we try to do every class: put a humanistic layer on intelligence, artificial or not.


A funny olde world

December 3, 2012

It may indeed be a funny old world, or not but no better place to find out than at the World Digital Library! Just search for Spain to get a glimpse into what is on offer. This is obviouosly set to grow in the future. Gives a whole new meaning to CLIL. In English at http://www.wdl.org/en/ (also in Spanish).


On your bicycle, or maybe tricicle

May 14, 2012

El Pais published a long report on the issue of bilingualism and trilingualism this Sunday. The issue is of course of particular interest in areas of Spain where apart from Spanish there is a local language such as Basque, Catalan or Gallego and also the need to have a third language such as English on the agenda.

The article begins with a discussion of whether or not being trilingual is just as easy as being bilingual. There are arguments for and against this but ultimately the conclusion is that not enough research has been done.

In terms of aiming for a trilingual education system the key of course will the teacher training as we all know. An expert from China also, however, stressed the importance of parents contribution in terms of how important they value the languages involved. In just three decades English has replaced Russian in China as the language most valued by parents as being useful  and therefore most successfully implemented in the educational system

Interesting stuff although I would have welcomed some more detailed description of what being bilingual or trilingual actually entails. Are they referring to speaking or using a second or third language efficiently or actually being bilingual or trilingual in what I would consider the proper sense of these words. I know many people who, being native Spanish or English speakers, also speak the other language with a high degree of fluency and many of our kids do so as well but I remain hesitant when it comes to defining somebody as being bilingual. It really isn’t that easy, is it?

Your comments on this more than welcome and meanwhile the original article (in Spanish) is at : http://tinyurl.com/7tkm3ot


Double trouble?

March 20, 2012

Not a lot new perhaps in this article on bilingualism but it does touch on all the issues involved. It is also interesting to compare this view from Madrid with other areas of Spain. Madrid may be in the center but, for lots of logical reasonos, Andalucia is certainly not the same as the Basque country when it comes to forms, means and attitudes to bilingual education.

http://tinyurl.com/72hhm6b


Just kidding

December 14, 2011

Here is a curious site with videos which could be used with kids, essentially CLIL but worth a look. http://thekidshouldseethis.com/


Child’s play

May 10, 2011

In the search for new sites, material and ideas sometimes it is comforting, relaxing, highly profitable and just plain easy to go back to old favourites and spend some time browsing. The BBC is a perfect example. I read some months ago they were reducing the number of sites and pages they maintained for financial reasons but they still provide the most amazing range of material for all ages, interests and much of it usable in class.

The CBEEBIES site http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/ is wonderful for younger kids and essentially, following the menus, self-explanatory. My daughter can stay here for hours if allowed!

For slightly older students, young teenagers, there is another site which I have only recently discovered http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/ Again, it takes time to explore all the options and material but well worth the investment as there is lots here that could be used for homework or on IWBs etc. Check out Newsround for simple news stories and the Things to Do section for some great material.