It might be a day

February 24, 2015

Reading Samuel Beckett never helps you clear your thoughts: you just keep waiting for something to happen.

There have now been three hundred and eight posts over five years on this blog. I am officially calling it a day. I think the original intentions of the blog have been fulfilled but time does move on as the post below indicates: it is no longer necessary to provide resources or aid to teachers setting out in their exploration of technology. It is time to move forward, as this blog has over time, into new spaces where mobile phones will be automatically on rather than off in our classes. The post below and many other reflections over the years on this blog indicate that it takes time, but that when technology is involved it is very often hard to predict exactly when, how or where its greatest impact will be, is or indeed has been. Just like waiting for Godot.

On that thought I leave you.



An invasion of regular verbs

May 15, 2014

Well, try explaining irregular verbs to students. Always a nice challenge as you search for a rule or at least some guiding principle. And, of course, many of the most common verbs we use are actually irregular. It is surprising then that verbs which have remained notoriously popular in history are all regular: explode, implode, annex, invade, divide and conquer.

Mr. Putin is just one of the fans of such boring patterns. The Economist has a fine take on his justification of annexing Crimea on the basis of protecting Russian speakers. The Economist article takes this logic and gives a graphic vision of what the world could look like if all speakers of particular languages were to be protected: imagine what the English Empire would now look like! And the Spanish one? And the Irish one … ah maybe that is the problem … we don’t all speak the same language in the same way for starters so that may influence what country you annex in a friendly way: and if you annex some land and impose your language on it does that also justify the process?

Language and politics, seldom far apart. Enjoy the original article on:

P.S. After a break of some months I appear to be back on the blog. Putin has a lot to answer for. I will try and keep it regular.

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.

It’s a howl! Unplugging for the summer.

July 9, 2013

Here is my summer message to you all! Have a break, unplug completely before a new course in September.

And for a further break try Alen Ginsberg HOWL

Streams of info

April 8, 2013

The IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG is currently live streaming its pre-IATEFL conference event. Check it out on

If you can’t make the IATEFL conferencce itself make the most of its online offer at

Future Perfect

April 1, 2013

Back after Easter. Here is a short, neat summary of IT and schools. It is from the US but interesting to compare to our own situations.