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.


Sing n tell

February 1, 2012



Great site this to combine lyrics and music videos in one place.

Cool link for students so they bring their own worksheets to class and save you time!

It is exam time so this provides some light relief:

It’s English Jim, but not as we know it …

October 31, 2011

You may have seen this before but it is new to me: gibberish … how to speak English without making a sound, or rather, without making sense.

And more on the theme from this great blog post:

It’s music Jim … but not as we know it

June 27, 2011

A quick test of how long somebody has been teaching is to check out their experience of using music in the classroom. Who can remember listening to fuzzy tapes, pausing and desperately trying to write down the words and then copy out afresh into a worksheet? To anybody who has grown up with internet that is obviously stone age lesson preparation. Nowadays, it takes a fraction of the time to download video, lyrics and lots more. What I had partially forgotten and partially not realised are the variety of videos you can find of many songs. Try Taio Cruz “Dynamite” on YouTube for example and look at the variety: apart from the official video you will often find many more including versions with the lyrics. Great variety fi you want to listen to a video more than once with a class. And for some real fun (I learned this from my own kids yesterday) check out the versions by Bob Spongebox and / or the Chipmunks … drive yout classes crazy with these versions.

Know all

March 30, 2011

Just found this site which is full of resources Not the prettiest of sites, not the easiest to navigate and it comes with lots of ads BUT it does have a lot to offer. Check out for example the link on the left to Canciones. A great collection of lyrics in English and Spanish and if you scroll down and follow the “Ejercicios de comprensión” you will find even more. As I say, not the most beautiful but more than worth spending half an hour exploring.

Going for a song

January 24, 2011

Two sites I have come across recently relating to music, or more specifically, songs for use in class. provides worksheets and lesson plans based around popular songs. It is a pay site but still worth looking at the free samples for an idea of what is on offer. Here is another stite based around lyrics which is worth browsing Listen to songs and complete the lyrics online as you listen. Great for IWBs or for students to use at home.