Thursday, 22 December 2011

Technology without technology

I've been meaning to put together a session on this for a while but haven't had chance to here are 4 or 5 ideas that I have put in other sessions that I would put in this session.

We all know that technology is THE buzz word in teaching at the moment. We are told that not using technology means we are not allowing our students to reach their full potential. Which is frustrating because the classrooms I have used recently do not have the equipment to allow me to incorporate technology into my teaching.
But that does not stop me ... so here are my ideas.
1. Text speak. All our students use mobile phones so how can we get mobile phone language or text speak into the lessons?
After a reading or listening put some sentences on the board written in text speak - ask the students to work out which character from the story wrote them. Then ask them to rewrite the text speak into proper English.
Some examples of text speak can be found here.
Alternatively give the students each a character from the reading or listening and ask them to write some texts as that character. Put the texts on the walls and allow the other students to read them and say which character wrote them.
2. Facebook.
In an early lesson in the year ask the students to make a Facebook page on a piece of paper. They can add a photo or draw themselves, they can add some status updates and write who their friends are.
Pin these up on the wall. Encourage students during future lessons to write up dates on their posters, to change their pictures and encourage them to comment on other peoples updates etc. (Thanks to Travis Rout for this idea.)
Facebook Roleplay
A lot of course books have photo stories, Project 3rd Edition levels 3 and 4 for example. This is a listening Roleplay using the idea of Facebook updates.
Ask the students if they use Facebook and what they write in the updates. Give each student a role from the listening. (it helps if there are 4 or 5 people in the listening).
Play a part of the listening and stop it. Ask the students to go into character and write a Facebook update for that character based on what they have heard. Then ask them to look at each other's and comment.
Then play the next part of the listening, and repeat.
(If the student's role has not appeared in the listening, ask them to imagine what that person is up to.)

Twitter - 140 character or fewer (A character is a letter a number punctuation and gaps.)
Twitter summaries
after a reading or listening ask the students to summarise the text in 140 characters or fewer.
I often make a grid of 140 squares for them to do this. I find it really fixes the mind and gets them to concentrate on clarity of message.

Writing Brainstorm.
If you have a writing task in your course book ask students to answer it in a twitter style 140 characters or fewer.
Then ask them to swap and read each others and reply in 140 characters etc.
At the end put them on the wall and allow everyone to read each other's.
What you have effectively done is a brainstorming activity, the students have new ideas to write about, have shared ideas in a fun way.

These are just a few of my ideas ... I will add more here as I think of them.
Please try them out and let me know how they go.

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