Teaching with Technology

Further to my review of Bringing Technology into the Classroom by Gordon Lewis, I thought it would be good to share some applications/websites that we have been known to use in our centre:

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“Kahoot! makes it easy to create, share and play fun learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes”

I tend to create quizzes for controlled practice after presenting new language or as a warmer to review things we have done before.  It is very easy to create your own Kahoot so that it does exactly what you want it to do but I would suggest you do a search first to see if someone has already created what you are looking for (make sure you check it thoroughly for errors before using it in the classroom).

Another site for creating and doing quizzes is baamboozle.com

Having signed up you can use the featured quizzes that are already prepared or create your own. There are 2 options – study mode or play game. To play the game, put students into teams. You need to display the screen but, unlike kahoot, students don’t need to use their own device. Teams take it in turns to choose a number and this reveals a question, Once the team has given their answer, you check the answer by revealing the correct answer on screen. If the team got it right, you click okay and the team gets the points and it’s the other teams turn.

AnswerGarden is a good brainstorming tool – there is no need to register and there is very little preparation required, just type in your question and give the students the link for them to answer it.  Have a go yourself, complete this AnswerGarden and share your own ideas for technology in the classroom.

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Padlet could be used in many different ways, I’m sure.  However, up til now I have only really used it for students to create their own Taboo cards for a filler at the end or beginning of lessons.  Why not go to this Padlet and give us your ideas of how it could be used?  You don’t need to sign up to add to someone else’s Padlet but you will have to register if you want to create your own.

Quizlet is a flashcard website that, to my mind, is more useful for self-study but could be used in class for reviewing lexis. You need to sign up and there is also a user-friendly app. Once signed up, there are several activities students can use including games to practise the meaning, spelling exposure to pronunciation.

Quizlet Inc. (Public Domain)

Jamie Keddie’s lessonstream.org is a good site to go to for lessons based on videos and he includes a lesson plan for each of the videos, some of them eg Doris and the raspberries are quite short so a nice filler or round up activity.

While we’re on the topic of using videos in class, I also use Christmas ads for lessons around that time of the year. These are really quite versatile and can be used for different activities depending on the focus of the lesson.  Check out “A stress free, prep free Christmas” for some possible activities.

Plot generator also appeals to imaginative students and can be used to review story-telling lexis such as descriptive adjectives or verbs. Students input words based on prompts such as “four emotion adjectives” or “a type of music” and then the website creates a story based around these items. This could be used as a follow up activity, having introduced language eg adjectives that describe emotions or could be developed further by then working with the stories created.

Another website I discovered recently but have yet to use in the classroom is forvo.  Here you can type in a word and then hear the pronunciation of that word by different speakers from around the world. I’ll probably just recommend it for learners to use at home but I can imagine it could be quite a fun activity to get students to first of all guess the pronunciation and then check to see who was right.

Nik Peachey’s  learning technology blog contains a plethora of ideas including how to use QR codes or how to exploit infographics in the classroom. 

Please do share your ideas for the classroom via the AnswerGarden or Padlet as mentioned above or by just leaving a comment here.

For more wise words from experienced CELTA Trainers why not buy The Ultimate Guide to CELTA?


Author: Emma Jones

A CELTA Tutor based in Munich and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to CELTA

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