Christmas confusions

December 9, 2014

Do we know it’s Christmas? Do we believe in Santa and the Three Wise Men (if you live in Spain)? Those of us who have worked with technology and education always have our doubts!

Here is my Christmas message to you: two conflicting (or maybe not) thoughts on technology in education.

Firstly a video on why it never really works.

And now an article on why we should stop learning our maths tables given that we all have a calculator on hand.

Allow students Google their exams.

And a very happy Christmas to ye all.


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 little bird told me …

March 5, 2013

It’s story time today, something easy to read but hopefully useful. There are many sites out there offering tool sfor creating comics, stories and videos. Here are two I had time to look at in more detail recently (they do all require you to create an account).

http://storybird.com/ is a simple site where even quite young kids can create their own story. Even looking at the samples is fun in class! Well worth a look and adaptable for many different levels.

More ambitious is http://storify.com/ a site which allows you to build your own newspaper effectively, based on feeds you take from social media. This would have to be for higher levels, maybe adults, but could provide the background for some nice project work as students build either a class journal or individual ones which they can then share.

Finally, http://www.weebly.com/ is even more ambitious. This site allows you and/or your students to build an attractive website very quickly and effectively. Again, lots of potential for project work.


Don’t be spooked!

October 29, 2012

Quick search on google turned up this which I think should fulfill my needs for classes this Halloween. Good luck at keeping the witches at bay.

http://www.esolcourses.com/links/halloween-resources.html


Treasure trove

October 22, 2012

A colleague, who in turn had been shown by a student, led me to this site recently. Not sure why I had never come across it before as it is an incredible resource for games and material which can be either printed or used on an IWB in class. My kids have also used it for fun and practice at home. Well worth checking out.

http://www.eslgamesplus.com/


Killing the radio star

September 18, 2012

I am surprised I haven’t seen this before but an incredibly useful blog full of video and lesson plans if you are interested in killing the radio star in your classes.

Check out the ideas and links as well.

Great start to the new course.

http://film-english.com/


On a high

May 16, 2012

Well, tripping in fact. Here is website which allows you to plan, review, remember, invent a trip and add photos and comments to the adventure. Sign in with your facebook account is the easiest.

This could be interesting as a class exercise on the IWB and then students could plan their own trips, online or on good old pen and paper.

http://www.tripline.net/