10 years OF DIGITAL EXPERTISE AT THE HEART OF THE ELT CLASSROOM
by Pete Sharma
en years ago, I had never used an interactive whiteboard. I hadn’t blogged, used a wiki with my students or even heard of blended learning. So much has happened in the language classroom over the last ten years that it can only be described as a digital revolution. Many learners have grown up in this digital world and spend time happily updating their online profile, posting videos on YouTube, T texting and communicating in real time across the internet with friends and family. Many language teachers embrace new technology and apply it readily in their classrooms, be they real or virtual. Others are understandably more cautious, more hesitant at integrating technology into their language courses. Furthermore, this is an area which excites controversy at every turn: is blended best? Should we buy interactive whiteboards? Should students have their mobile phones switched on or off in class? Will the printed course book disappear in the future?
‘So much has happened in the language classroom over the last ten years that it can only be described as a digital revolution.’ Fortunately for us teachers, Macmillan has always pushed ahead in its digital publications and support, from the early days of developing digital exercises for the Macmillan English Campus to organizing webinars for teachers around the world. From superb electronic dictionaries to the latest award-winning Sounds app for pronunciation, Macmillan has always combined cutting-edge materials with sound pedagogy, as well as providing teacher training and a range of must-read articles. I am delighted by the appearance of this collection of tips and ideas. It pulls together many of the best articles Macmillan has published in the last 10 years to support teachers in using educational technology and, by virtue of being an all-in-one volume, gives a unique flavour of just how much has changed over the past ten years. The collection contains articles by a number of teachers, teacher trainers, authors and experts in the field. Among the many gems inside are Nik Peachey on why we need to use technology in our classrooms, Nicky Hockly and Gavin Dudeney’s exploration of mobile learning and Sarah Milligan on running a successful webinar, along with articles on blended learning, interactive whiteboards, wikis and more… If, like me, you love technology in language teaching, you will enjoy what you read. If, however, you are somewhat fearful of using technology, then I urge you all the more to read the collection. I hope you will end up believing that there has never been a more exciting time to be a language teacher.
WHY DO WE NEED TECHNOLOGY IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM by Nik Peachey
TTechnology is transforming the world of global communications. New genres of communication are being created and we need to support and enable our students to use these new forms of communication in English, just as we do with more traditional forms such as writing letters and making telephone calls.
These new forms of communication and collaboration are leading to a redefining of what it means to be literate in the digital 21st century world. These new digital literacies are broadening the scope for self-expression and creativity, democratizing the role of the media and making it possible for more people to have a voice and play a role in defining the society that we live in. English is playing an ever more important part in creation and collaboration in new media, so itâ€™s important that we support our students in the linguistic aspects of this process and help to make sure they are equipped for their future.
TTechnology can enable us to extend the reach of our classroom and take our students into a world of authentic language use where they can really use their English language skills to communicate, collaborate and participate in activities that are relevant to their own lives and interests.
TTechnology also has a supporting role to play within our own professional practice and sound use and understanding of how technology can be used can help us to work more effectively and efficiently as teachers and to cope with an ever-increasing workload.
Launch of the Macmillan Dictionary BuzzWords In November, Macmillan Education launches its first complete blended learning platform, the Macmillan English Campus. 4
The weekly BuzzWords are launched, designed to help teachers and students navigate the latest media lingo.
THE BENEFITS OF
by Jeremy Smith
BLENDED LEARNING digital age and the ways in which we work, socialize and learn are changing. People are now used to receiving a continuous stream of digital information at a fast pace and incorporating it into their daily working and social lives – so why should the classroom be any different? It is best to think of blended learning as an additional element to the classroom; one which supports existing teaching practices whilst integrating them with new technologies. Responding to the needs of the modern learner, it combines many of the best elements of face-to-face teaching (personalized learning, social google also Google VERB [TRANSITIVE]
to search for something on the internet, especially using the Google™ search engine (July 2003)
interaction and direct contact with the language) whilst allowing greater variety and flexibility than a traditional classroom set-up. Using a blended learning approach means that teachers not only access online content within their classrooms but integrate it into a cohesive lesson or syllabus. One of the major advantages of blended learning over other approaches to language study is that it is easily adaptable to specific syllabuses. This adaptability comes from the varied ways that online resources can be used. One of the most important components of a blended learning programme is its courses. Balanced and flexible courses can guarantee a successful blended learning programme and knowing that a course is being tailored to suit the specific needs of a class can be a great source of interest and motivation for students. TTeachers also have more opportunities to engage learners by creating collaborative and project-based
work and can help them to develop their online research skills and improve their critical thinking. Blended learning is not confined solely by its approach to content, however. A key ingredient of blended learning is independent learning. Accessing resources and courses online allows language learning to fit more easily into people’s everyday lives and gives learners more opportunities for useful study away from the classroom. In order to drive learners towards independent learning, products designed for blended learning allow learners to monitor their own progress remotely and provide them with instant feedback on resources without the need to check with a teacher first. Blended learning also provides a way of repositioning the teacher in the learning process. The teacher’s role is evolving from that of a lecturer to a facilitator who monitors and assesses students’ progress while allowing them to learn for themselves. Blended learning supports this approach by allowing a wider range of personalized information than ever before. A teacher can quickly and easily check how individual learners or whole classes are performing. This dynamic approach allows teachers to analyze where further explanation or additional practice of a topic area or language point may be required. These are just some of the benefits of using a blended approach if you are a studying or teaching. And there are additional benefits for language institutions in adopting a blended model as well but, regardless of the audience, blended learning provides a great solution.
Award-winning Macmillan Education wins an ELT ELTon award for its range of dictionary products, including website and web-zine. Macmillan English Campus is ‘highly commended’ too.
THE BENEFITS OF USING AN IWB IN THE CLASSROOM Manipulating text and pictures
Language practice can be physical, fun and motivating. When you type words, phrases or sentences onto an IWB, you can move them around the screen with your finger or an e-pen. You can also manipulate pictures and objects on the whiteboard, which can be beneficial for the kinaesthetic learner. In fact, the IWB can benefit different types of learners: using pictures and photographs can benefit visual learners, while the integration of audio clips and the discussion stimulated by challenging tasks can benefit auditory learners.
Using a simple tool such as ‘screen reveal’, the teacher can reveal a photograph bit by bit and ask students to guess what it is. This can be fun, as well as generating interest in a topic. Video clips, audio clips, animations and photographs can all be used to create memorable lesson lead-ins.
Saveability TTeachers can use pens to annotate a text, a picture or a screen-grab from the internet, and then save the annotations. ‘Saveability’ is one of the key benefits of using an IWB. You can show another group what a previous group has done. TTeachers can brainstorm a topic and build up a handout during the lesson, then save it to the school’s computer network to print out later, post it to the students’ learning platform or email it to individual learners. A complete course can be saved on a memory stick, customized and reused the following term, saving preparation time. In fact, you can prepare lessons at home and bring them to class on a memory stick. In order to do this, you will need to have the relevant software (SMART, SMART Promethean) loaded on to your home computer or laptop.
by Pete Sharma
Personalizing content The teacher and students can import their own photographs into a language lesson. The power of personalizing a language lesson is well known.
Reviewing language has never been easier, with teachers able to access all the digital flip charts they have created during a language lesson. You can also review the flip charts from earlier in a course.
Launch of Macmillan English Campus version 2.0
Launch of the weekly eLessons by Macmillan
Macmillan English Campus version 2.0 launches, providing content in British and American English.
Delivered straight into the email inbox of thousands of teachers all over the world, the Macmillan Education eLessons are still going strong today.
Encouraging heads-up learning
Do you use a coursebook? With an IWB, teachers can encourage what is known as â€˜heads-upâ€™ learning: students do the follow-up work on an exercise they have done in their books by looking at the whiteboard. The teacher can keep students together by controlling what the students see on the whiteboard, as well as the pace of the lesson. In terms of giving feedback on exercises, the teacher can instantly reveal the answers only to the question(s) the students got wrong.
Using audio and video transcripts The audio transcript can be displayed and specific sections of the script can be played at will. This option was simply not possible with an audio cassette or CD. Video can be played with or without subtitles, with or without sound and even with or without pictures, opening up opportunities for different language activities.
Onestopenglish gets a new look The number one resource and community site for English language teachers gets a brand-new look to accompany the constant growth of its content.
by Bela Toth
E-LEARNING COURSES This article focuses on problems regarding designing e-learning courses and it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the course design principles. When talking about course design in connection to e-learning we have to differentiate between blended learning and distance learning courses. Blended learning courses aim to complement face-to-face sessions, while distance learning courses exist on their own.
Course building: blended learning
facebook also Facebook VERB [TRANSITIVE]
1 to communicate with someone by using the Facebook™ website 2 to search for information about someone by using the Facebook™ website (March 2008)
he standard approach to blended learning language classes suggests that receptive skills, writing and grammar should be done individually. Meanwhile, face-to-face classes should concentrate on speaking and necessary explanations that support the individual’s learning. Course designers need to be aware that less-experienced teachers will start to panic: how can I do the same amount of work with fewer face to face classes? Of course, when they become more experienced and understand the key concepts of blended learning they start tailoring courses according to the mentioned ratio i.e. to separate materials for class discussion and individual work. Up to that point, the course design should support them in their decisions by clearly stating which part of the course material should be discussed in class and which part should be done individually by learners. A corporate client of ours wanted to cut costs and decided to change regular English courses into blended learning courses. TTypically, this can result in reducing the cost by up to one-third (they pay for fewer classes plus the cost of the virtual learning environment – Macmillan English Campus in our case). A course was designed, keeping the beforementioned ratio in mind and the classes started.
But the first course evaluation, which was done in a form of a questionnaire after the tenth class, yielded disappointing results. What went wrong? you may ask. After analyzing the problems we found that the reason for dissatisfaction was the lack of a proper needs analysis. The company management wanted business English but, as it turned out, learners wanted non-ESP English, so the completion rate of the online materials (business English mostly) was very low. They also felt that their individual needs were neglected. In conclusion, without a proper needs analysis even well-designed courses could flop. Luckily, blended learning is quite flexible. In the above case, we added regular English materials, available on the English Campus platform, to the business English courses and, at the same time, we asked teachers to assign learners further material on the English Campus according to the learners’ needs. Survey answers at the end of the course were far better. Thus, to achieve the best results and maximize students’ interest it is not enough to have wellprepared and professional teachers but course material also needs to be tailored to the individual student’s needs as much as possible. A At the same time, administration load has to be kept at a
Bugs wins at the ELTons
Macmillan English Campus starts blogging
Bugs, the multimedia course for Young Learners, wins an ELTon ELT Award. A
The official blog of Macmillan English Campus launches in 2007, providing a forum for discussion on technology in ELT. ELT
reasonable level. A good way to achieve this balance is to create courses that focus on separate skills or ideas, for example on listening, reading, language practice, vocabulary and pronunciation. Note that one course can be assigned to a lot of learners by putting the course into a class and assigning learners to that class. This method also reduces teachers’ workloads so they have more time to assign other materials according to the needs that come up during the course. When level testing, mark learners’ weaknesses and assign extra courses on the English Campus according to that. You can also have learners fill in a questionnaire about their own opinion on what practice they need. TTeachers’ feedback is important for the extra materials to be altered depending on the progress of the learner. In other words, the vital parts of course design are: needs analysis, tailoring according to those needs, feedback and further tailoring according to the feedback. The above personalization of materials makes learners more eager to do their work and it is also easy to check.
Course building: distance learning Distance learning packages are similar in tailoring but one has to consider the absence of face-to-face sessions and teacher guidance. TTypically, when a distance learning package is sold, learners tend to do some work at the very beginning and later forget about the whole thing. There are several ways to overcome this problem. Try to remember how difficult it was to sit down and study for hours and how tempting it was to do anything else. Regular feedback, at least once a month, gives
learners a feeling of support and achievement. This can be done in the form of emails, which can include the amount of work they have done in the past month or you can just send them their progress report with a short comment. It is also easier to complete exercises in smaller blocks. Therefore, it is good practice to cut up courses and send them to learners in biweekly or monthly chunks. This way, learners will experience success on a regular basis and won’t give up or abandon the material. Assigning courses in chunks can be done automatically on the Macmillan English Campus platform. It takes a relatively large amount of work at first but it requires much less later on; not to mention that once you have created the chunks you can use them as many times as you want. All in all, if we want to summarize blended learning course design in one word, it would definitely be tailoring. If we wanted to do the same for distance learning, we would have to use three words: dividing up and support. And now the moral of the story. Some individual learners or companies tend to opt for blended learning only to cut costs and treat the online material as an unimportant addition to the course. Before learners take a test in class, I sometimes ask them to write next to their names the amount of time they have spent studying and the results they are expecting. This way, they might realize that if they study less their results tend to be worse. As obvious as it is, learners are not always aware of this fact. The same stands for blended learning: learners (and company managers) have to understand the nature of blended learning and the importance of online material. They have to appreciate that without doing the relevant online part they will not achieve the desired result. By applying the
Digital native NOUN [COUNTABLE]
a person who has grown up in a world with digital technology such as the internet and mobile phones Opposite: digital immigrant (noun | countable) (August 2008)
Launch of Macmillan Practice Online In 2008, Macmillan Education launches the Macmillan Practice Online courses, offering easy and affordable supplementary practice online for students of all levels. Since then, hundreds of thousands of students have used Practice Online courses. 9
by Astrid Krake
IN YOUR WRITING LESSONS Even if your school hasn’t opted for a VLE yet, there are numerous ways to start introducing an online tool to your teaching. You can choose from a number of options, with wikis being the obvious choice for collaborative writing tasks.
Blogs and wikis – what’s the difference?
password so that only those who know it can edit the
Whereas a blog is a web page used for regular diary
wiki. TTopics can include anything from famous people to writing about your own town/city, preparing a trip
or journal entries and tends to be kept by one person,
abroad or working on writing tasks for Cambridge
a wiki is a collaborative web space and consists of a
examinations or school/university exams. Set it up,
number of pages that can be edited by any user. A
outline the topic and the task and write down the steps
blog is read by its readers, who can comment on the
your learners have to take. Think about the timing for
entry or on someone else’s comment and thereby
the task. As a rule, projects with a set aim and deadline
create an online discussion, forum around the topic. tweetup also tweet-up NOUN [COUNTABLE]
a meeting of two or more people who know each other through the Twitter short messaging service (January 2010)
tend to work better than those without a clear end.
Readers cannot create their own blog entry within the
Students can start by brainstorming ideas, writing them
writer’s blog. A wiki, on the other hand, can be started
down and saving them. As soon as they are saved,
by one person but allows its readers to alter, delete or change the content. Therefore, it can have more than one author and is ideal for collaborative work such as a class project. One of the best-known wikis is the online encyclopedia Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org).
they are visible to their peers, who can comment on or add to them. Work on the text begins with one student suggesting a paragraph and others working on the draft until they are satisfied with the result. The text illustrates a shared effort and is the property of the
There are several free sites you can choose to set up
whole class. Therefore, the result needs to be regarded
a wiki. Some of the most widely-known are Pbwiki
as collaborative work.
(http://pbworks.com/), Wikihost (http://wikihost.org), and MediaWiki (http://www.mediawiki.org). Setting up a wiki
What are the advantages?
to do so. Some sites require you to set up an account;
Students often find working with wikis more motivating and enjoyable because they can share the tasks, edit
others let you start straight away.
each other’s work and regard the result as a team
is a simple task, and you don’t need to be an expert
achievement. Writing is thus turned into a social
How can I use wikis?
experience during which students develop their writing
You could use a wiki for an internal class project.
skills and learn how to give peer-to-peer feedback.
Although the wiki itself is a public site, you can give it a
Given the public status of the wiki, knowing that their
Launch of the Test Compiler within Macmillan English Campus The Test T Compiler offers both the convenience of pre-built tests and the flexibility of creating custom-made tests from a vast library of resources. 10
Launch of the Macmillan Education YouTube channel Macmillan Education joins YouTube with its first official channel at www.youtube.com/macmillanelt.
work can be read by their peers and readers outside their group serves as an incentive for the whole group.
Are there any pitfalls? While the skills needed to set up and contribute to a wiki are similar to using a word processing programme, its pitfalls are similar too. All the wiki requires you to do is type your text, save it, and it’ll appear on the site. Make sure both you and your learners are familiar with editing and saving processes. As with any document, it is important to save it regularly – we all know how frustrating it is to work on a document for some time and then lose it due to technical difficulties. All in all, using wikis for writing tasks can help turn them into an interesting and motivating experience that helps to develop your learners’ writing and social skills alike. Why not try it out soon?
USING THE INTERNET WITH GRADED READERS by Fiona Mauchline Any kind of group project work is a good way of consolidating your students’ progress after completing a Reader, and the internet is the ideal tool to help them. For example, if the class has read The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (Intermediate level), they could then use the internet to research, for instance, the film, any ‘on-location’ anecdotes from the filming, the author’s biography, mini-biographies of the main stars, the truth behind the weather conditions depicted, any true cases of similar events, the setting (Newfoundland) etc. Students can be encouraged to produce visuals to illustrate their work. If the class has read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (also Intermediate level), they could research the fashions of the period, social customs, the filming of the book, the life of the author or what life was like for women in Great Britain at that time. They could also be asked to ‘update’ part of the story and consider which aspects they would have to change. For further ideas for dynamic projects, visit www.macmillanenglish.com/readers, where you will find a wide range of ideas, such as inventing and describing a villain or ‘baddy’ for a James Bond book, or creating a ‘Find the Perfect Partner!’ web page related to the romantic Readers, plus photocopiable worksheets and teachers’ notes.
Macmillan English Dictionary goes online
Onestopenglish launches onestopblogs
The first online edition of the award-winning Macmillan English Dictionary, already available in print and CD-ROM format, becomes freely available for the first time at www.macmillandictionary.com.
Bringing together the best blogs in the ELT community, onestopblogs makes it easy to keep up with the latest news and trends in English language teaching. 11
by Paul Drury
SUCCESSFUL INTERNET LESSONS IN THE EFL CLASSROOM Unfortunately, trouble-free internet lessons are rare but if you prepare well there is no reason why you will not be able to cope with the possible pitfalls. Below are some common problems experienced by ELT teachers using the internet for lessons together with suggested solutions:
Meme also Internet meme NOUN [COUNTABLE]
a concept or idea that spreads very quickly via the internet (September 2010)
Some students are not comfortable with technology.
The internet is not working as quickly as it should. The relevant page wonâ€™t open...
Consider doing some remedial teaching. Everybody should be able to point and click, copy, paste, highlight, recognize links, recognize the back/forward buttons on the browser. Give students clear instructions, preferably written. Talk them through the steps of the lesson (show them on screen) and make sure the objectives are clear. Pairing a strong student with a weak student is not always the answer. The stronger will become frustrated and the weaker may take on a passive role.
It is a good idea to give students addresses on screen so they only need to click. Physically typing the address increases the chance of making a mistake. Always have material to fall back on. Computers and the internet are temperamental beasts. Always check the sites/ computers before the lesson â€“ what was there last week may not be there this week.
Many people will not read extended pieces of text on screen. It is physically more taxing to read on screen. Make concessions to the medium by using texts that are manageable chunks or interspersed with pictures or activities.
Students get lost, open the browser ten times or end up reading something totally different to the rest of the class. Give specific addresses; take the student directly to the relevant page. Although information searches can be an important part of the lesson, make sure that you have an idea of what is available and be prepared to provide addresses.
Video resources published into Campus
Launch of Macmillan Test Maker
The first video exercises within Campus are launched in 2009; since then they have grown in number to over 200.
Designed for online testing, Macmillan Test T Maker includes a ready-to-use placement test as well as a bank of thousands of testing resources.
FROM BOOK TO WEB TIME TO GET CREATICAL
by Rui da Silva A bit of theory – analogue and digital With our primary focus being on student engagement and motivation, we adopted Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design as a useful starting point. Keller states that motivation is made up of four elements: attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction. With these in mind, we then thought about how web-based tools might enable us to maximize each of these elements. The fit seemed very promising indeed… Attention can be encouraged through a variety of instructions, A tasks and materials, so what better place than the web with all its multimedia, multisensory madness?
A more course-integrated use of web tools With more and more EAP teachers at our school bringing the digital world into their classrooms, we decided to consider more concretely the idea of ‘pedagogy before technology’.
‘Motivation is made up of four elements: attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction.’
While individual teachers were experimenting with a variety of web tools and multimedia activities, we had yet to fully integrate these into a whole course and assess the impact they could have on student engagement and overall development. We chose an EAP book and got straight to work, mapping web tools and activities onto the language and skills areas in the book.
Relevance relates to the need for more personalized learning experiences where students can express their identities. The social web of creating and sharing ideas and texts seemed tailor-made. Confidence stresses the importance of self-efficacy, where students are given control and choices as to how they study. It also takes into account the need to work with students’ strengths and other, non-language skills. Students in charge of designing their own web-based texts, using a whole range of technical and creative skills, might be in a better position to develop this kind of confidence. Finally, satisfaction refers to a student’s sense of achievement, for example from displaying their work. And if Mary Barr was right when she said that the existence of a real audience online and the professional appearance of texts could prove highly motivating, then our proposed activities seem to bode well.
Macmillan Education and Macmillan English Campus join Facebook Macmillan Education opens its social communities, exploring new ways of joining the ELT conversation.
Launch of Animal Explorers Designed to use with interactive whiteboards, Animal Explorers is the platform dedicated to young learners.
AN INTRODUCTION TO
MOBILE LEARNING by Nicky Hockly and Gavin Dudeney What is mobile learning? Mobile learning (or mLearning) comprises any kind of learning which is done on mobile and handheld gadgets either in or out of class, or learning which takes place ‘on the go’, as part of class time or outside. Although mobile learning is often taken to be synonymous with the use of mobile phones, it is increasingly associated with other devices such as tablet computers, portable games machines, mp3 players, ebook readers and other devices which allow people to continue more traditional approaches to learning as they move through their daily lives. As such it fits comfortably into definitions of blended learning.
How do I get started?
app NOUN [COUNTABLE ] INFORMAL
an application program designed for a particular purpose on a computer or mobile phone operating system (January 2011)
school has had a no mobile policy for some time), so the first thing to do is to ensure they know why you’re asking them to do that. TTake time to explore what their gadgets can do and how they might use them in the service of their learning. Look at the different features of each phone and brainstorm possible uses: Video camera: video interviews, presentations Digital camera: personalized picture dictionary, slideshows Audio recorder: audio interviews, pronunciation & fluency practice Note-taker: learning journals, etc
An easy way into mLearning is to assess which gadgets you already have in class. As many schools struggle to afford technology investments, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option is becoming more attractive as a way of integrating technologies into the learning process. There’s a very good chance that your learners will already be carrying around the gadgets you want to use so check what they have first. Learners may be surprised to be asked to take out and turn on their mobile phones in class (particularly if your
Starting off like this can give learners plenty of ideas for using their phones. And, of course, these ideas are infinitely more exciting if your school can provide wireless access to these devices. Have your students talk about what they do with their phones – the sort of use they make of them on a daily basis, and the apps (applications) they use. As they do, try to pick up on anything that might be useful in their learning.
Onestopclil and onestopenglish become one site
Launch of Macmillan English Campus version 3.0
All the resources are now available in one place.
The English Campus introduces a brand-new, modular homepage, with a fresh design.
by Lindsay Clandfield
VOCABULARY QUIZ Test yourself on your digital jargon below!
What is one of the main differences between 2G, 3G and 4G wireless networks? a) connection speed b) colour or black and white c) connection security
Which kind of online learning involves both teacher and students online at the same time (for example, in a chat or video conference)? a) asynchronous b) symmetrical c) synchronous
In e-learning terms, what does f2f stand for? a) face to face b) front to front c) phone to phone
What does the G in GPS stand for? a) Global b) Geographical c) Generic
How many pixels are there in a megapixel? a) a hundred b) a thousand c) a million
What are Windows Mobile, Pocket PC, Android and Symbian? a) smartphones b) operating systems c) tablet computers
What is this image? a) a bar code b) an RSS feed c) a QR code
What is another word for the messages sent on Twitter? a) micros b) tweets c) twits
Which of these web tools allows multiple users to edit a web page? a) a wiki b) a podcast c) a micro-blog
If you are using the phone’s camera, internet and GPS to find out information about the world around you then you are probably using … a) augmented reality b) bluetooth c) streaming
ANSWERS: 1 a, 2 c, 3 a, 4 a, 5 b, 6 b, 7 c, 8 b , 9 a, 10 a
Global eWorkbook wins ESU award Onestopenglish has its latest revamp and launches a brand-new look, with an easier-to-use structure.
The Global eWorkbook is awarded the ESU President’s Award. A
A MULTIMEDIA ACTIVITY FOR THE PRIMARY CLASSROOM
by Carol Read
Class e-zine Level: all
Organization: pairs / groups, whole class Aims: to prepare, write and/or collate material for an electronic class magazine; to develop creative thinking skills; to collaborate with others Language focus: any, depending on the topic and/or material Materials: essential: computers and software / optional: printout(s) of the class e-zine
TIPS FOR YOUR E-ZINE Creating an e-zine can either be done as a one-off activity or, if the children respond positively, they can produce one more frequently, eg every term. If you have set up a class email group, a copy of the e-zine can be sent as an attachment to the group or uploaded to the group file for everyone to share. Alternatively, the e-zine can be linked to the home page of the school or class website.
Explain the idea of producing an electronic class magazine. Ask the children to suggest ideas of things to go in the magazine and write a list on the board, eg class news, articles, letters, poems, recipes, cartoons.
Divide the class into pairs or groups.
Write a list of everyoneâ€™s possible contributions on the board. Review this at the end and ask the children if they think this looks a good set of contents for their e-zine. Make any changes or adjustments to the contents and the childrenâ€™s contributions depending on their (and your) response.
Ask each pair or group to think about what they would specifically like to contribute to the e-zine (this can be work they have already done and/or new contributions). Give the pairs or groups time to think about this and then ask them to report back.
Children work in their pairs or groups preparing their contributions to the magazine in draft form.
When they are ready, and after checking with you, children work on computers formatting the text and scanning in any photos or pictures, using the software or publishing programme you choose.
10th birthday of onestopenglish
First Macmillan Online Conference
Onestopenglish celebrates its 10th birthday with parties around the world - including IATEFL Brighton.
Free to attend, the conference brings together 4,000 teachers and some of the best presenters and teacher trainers in ELT. ELT
At the end, there will still be work to do A collating, ordering and combining everyone’s contributions into the final e-zine form. Either you can do this outside class time or you can ask two or three children to help while the rest of the class does other work.
When the e-zine is ready, save it in pdf and print out one or more copies for the children to see. From
REFLECTION TIME As you use IT and multimedia activities with your primary classes, you may like to think about the following questions and use your responses to evaluate how things went and plan possible improvements for next time: Motivation: Did the use of IT and multimedia applications affect the children’s motivation? In what way(s)? Did this apply to all children or only some of the children? If so, which children and why? IT skills: Did the children already have the basic IT skills needed to do the activity? If not, how did you support them? Was this successful? Can you build on IT skills the children practised as part of the activity in the future? If so, how? Language skills: What language skills did the children practise as part of the activity? Did the use of IT and multimedia applications lead to meaningful and purposeful language use? ‘Screen time’: What was the balance of ‘screen time’ to other class work? Was this balance appropriate to achieve the desired learning aims? Would you make any changes next time? Personal work: Has the opportunity to use IT and multimedia applications improved the quality of children’s work and the effort they put into it? Has it had a direct impact on improving their writing skills, do you think? Your approach: What impact, if any, has the use of IT and multimedia applications had on your own approach to teaching and learning? How do you envisage developing this in the future?
m-learning also mobile learning NOUN [UNCOUNTABLE]
learning methods and materials that involve the use of mobile phones or handheld computers (September 2012)
Launch of Sounds app
Launch of Onestopenglish Jobs
Based on the best-selling by Adrian Underhill, Sounds helps you study and play with pronunciation wherever you are.
You can now find your dream job in ELT directly from onestopenglish.
Launch of the onestopenglish app Onestopenglish launches its first app, making it available on the go, any time you need it.
Onestopenglish produces its first infographic
Launch of Culture World
TTo see it in full visit www.onestopenglish.com/ teacher-infographic
Available within the English Campus, A Culture World brings learning to life with a variety of media-rich resources.
12 STEPS TO
by Sarah Milligan
Whether you’re a webinar novice or pro, it’s always worth checking out what the rest of the teacher training community is doing to make their webinars a success. I’ve outlined 12 steps you can take to give clear, informative and successful webinars for teacher training purposes.
Why give a webinar? The reasons are endless but here are some that I think are relevant to teacher training: Webinars are easy to access, which means you can invite teachers from all corners of the world to attend and not have to worry about travel or costs.
WHAT’S OUT THERE? Before you research online rooms, it’s good to check what kinds of tasks you’ll be doing and what types of multi-media you will need to use during your webinars. Here are some online classroom/conference software providers you may like to investigate using: Blackboard Collaborate Skype DimDim Adobe Connect Join a meeing
If your teachers can’t attend your webinar, they can watch the recording later. In fact, teachers that do attend can also use the recording for revision purposes. Having everyone in the same online room, sharing the same whiteboard, makes it very easy to collaborate and with most online classroom/ conferencing software you can save the whiteboard and share it at the end of the session. Even teachers are shy at times and being in an online room means teachers can use the chat function to express themselves comfortably. If budget is an issue, there is a wide range of software to choose from to give your webinar free of charge. Webinars have been around for a while now but many participants still find webinars a novel way of learning and enjoy the new experience. If you are training teachers on digital there is no better way to share information than screensharing.
Should online teacher training sessions be different from face-to-face? Yes because … You’re using a screen and it’s uncomfortable to stare at screens for long periods of time. Sessions should be shorter than the average face-to-face session. You’re not physically in the same room and unless everyone is using a camera you can’t see people’s facial expressions. You may need to incorporate some checks to make sure participants are focused and clear about what they are expected to understand or do. There are times when audio and/or internet connection may fail on you. It’s good to have a plan for this sort of event. Unlike face-to-face sessions, webinars don’t have to be live. No because … The aim of your teacher training session is the same as a face-to-face session.
Now, we arrive at the 12 steps to take before, during and after a webinar. These are suggestions based on my experiences giving teacher training sessions and watching other webinars ...
Sounds wins an ELTon Award
Launch of the IELTS Skills apps
The Sounds app becomes the first ever app to win an ELTon. ELT
Students can practise all the four skills they need to do well at IELTS.
12 STEPS TO WEBINAR SUCCESS Before
During What type of session is it?
You have to be clear on what the aim of your webinar is before you start planning it. What level of knowledge do you want your teachers to leave the session with? Is it a presentation, workshop, training session, drop-in session, a meeting or something else?
Post a set of rules on the whiteboard so participants know what’s going on from the moment they log in.
Get the message across
Most decent online rooms allow you to give and take away certain tools for participants to use during the session. For example, you may want to only allow two microphones to be enabled. This prevents a deluge of audio responses all at once.
Use every way possible to advertise the session. We use Eventbrite which is a free way for participants to sign up to events and allows you to track who has signed up as well as send reminders. On top of this, we use emails, newsletters, our websites, blogs and social media.
You will get questions about the online classroom software throughout the session; have an extra person on hand to answer questions in the chat box.
Prepare and remind your participants Advertising your webinar once is not enough. I recommend you send reminders a week before, a day before and a few minutes before your webinar. On top of this, it makes sense to send your teachers clear instructions on how they access the online room. If possible, ask them to check they can log in a few days before the session.
Practice run for guest speakers Similarly, if you have a guest speaker for your webinar, give them the chance to do a practice run with the same computer and software they will use on the actual day of the webinar. This can put the guest speaker’s mind at ease as well as highlight any potential issues which can be resolved before the day of the webinar.
Have sound sound Sound is as important as internet connection for webinars. Check your sound with someone else before your give the webinar.
Manage your participants! If you’re giving a webinar with a large number of participants, it’s worth thinking through how you’re going to manage them. Here are some suggestions based on my own experiences of giving webinars:
Materials Online presentations need to be even more visual than in a face-to-face presentation because you’re not in the room with your participants. Don’t make the whiteboard an e-book to solely be read by you and the participant, you are there to present and explain and the material you use is there to assist you. Make your material professional and where possible use branding. Screensharing is the best way of explaining a new website or platform. If you wish for your participants to continue their training after the webinar, share worksheets with them either during or after the session.
Go slow Speak slower than normal when presenting and when screensharing move slowly between web pages to make sure the participants’ screens can catch up with yours.
Macmillan Practice Online gets a new look
Launch of the Young Learner portal
The Macmillan Practice Online platform gets a fresh look, more functionality and free teacher access.
Designed especially for teachers of young learners, the portal offers free resources and fun tools for the classroom.
Interaction and tasks If your webinar is a training session, presenting the content will not be enough. Generally, people need to be exposed to the subject you are training them on several times, have guided practice and then the chance to try out whatever the skill is in their own time. Below is the order of events I would usually use when training teachers on a new digital product. Introduce topic. Demonstrate content of training session.
THINGS I LEARNT FROM RUNNING AN
Provide chance for participants to ask questions and/or be asked questions.
Give tasks to participants.
WITH THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS
Time for feedback. Share further tasksheets. by Caroline Skydemore
After (or at the end)
Share details and hand-outs This is the time to share worksheets, further reading and any website/platform access the participants may need. If you have recorded the session, send the link. Leave your contact details for those who will have questions after the session.
Feedback Share an online questionnaire so you can gather feedback about your webinar and make improvements for the next one. It can be illuminating to hear how participants felt during a webinar.
End on time No one likes going over time and ending a little bit earlier will put you in favour with your teachers.
The Macmillan Online Conference reached 12,000 teachers in five continents. It was without a doubt the highlight of 2012 for me and running it one of the steepest learning curves I’ve ever faced. It turns out that no matter how old a teacher may be, when placed in a classroom situation they revert to student mentality – scribbling and scrawling all over the whiteboard from behind the relative anonymity of an online persona. No matter how many times a direction is repeated, there will always be some who need it repeated just one more time… And no matter how tested your patience may be, or how frayed your temper at the end of the day, that desire to share, nurture and educate is always present, ever more vibrant, always pushing you to make sure the next day is an even greater success than the last. Running an online conference with thousands of teachers taught me that whether we’re aware of it or not, there is an inner teacher hiding in all of us!
Macmillan English Dictionary goes online-only
Macmillan English Campus turns 10
The Macmillan Dictionary moves from print to online only, going with you where you go.
Macmillan Education celebrates 10 years of digital expertise.
FURTHER READING Inspired to discover more about using technology in the classroom? Interested in developing your digital teaching skills and techniques? Here’s a list of resources and websites where you can find plenty more information, tips and ideas.
The number one resource and community site for English language teachers includes a variety of resources to help you bring technology into the classroom: from lesson plans and worksheets to materials for your own professional development.
The ideal companion for any teacher interested in the use of technology in the language classroom, provides a practical overview of the technology currently available and ideas for using it in the classroom to enhance and support students’ learning.
www.blendedmec.com The Macmillan English Campus blog is dedicated to sharing ideas on using online resources and technology with your students. A team of regular authors and guest bloggers post regular articles, with their teaching tips and experiences around blended learning and teaching. www.youtube.com/macmillanelt On your official YouTube channel you’ll find videos of interviews with our authors, as well as tips and ideas to help you answer any digital doubts and questions you might have – and we’re always adding more! www.macmillaneducationapps.com Discover the latest apps to help you and your students and join the conversation in our apps blog.
provides a wealth of resources to help teachers integrate the digital board into their classrooms, from using regular programs and software to creating specifically-tailored materials. Carol Read,
This indispensable collection of practical activities for teaching English to primary-aged children includes an extensive section with IT and multimedia activities.
Webinars Watch live talks from some of the biggest names in English language teaching right in your web browser, then put your questions directly to the presenters. All webinars are free to join - all you require is an internet connection and a computer. To find out more and sign up: www.macmillanenglish.com/webinars.
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THE ARTICLES AND TIPS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY ... Lindsay Clandfield Author, Teacher and Trainer
Nik Peachey Learning Technology Consultant, Trainer and Writer
Paul Drury International Primary Publisher at Macmillan Education
Carol Read Independent Primary/Secondary Education Professional
Gavin Dudeney Director of Technology at and Owner of The Consultants-E
Pete Sharma Director of Training at Pete Sharma Associates and Pre-sessional / in-sessional lecturer, EAP, at the University of Warwick
Nicky Hockly Director of Pedagogy at The Consultants-E
Rui da Silva Senior Advanced Practitioner in Learning Technologies at Study Group
Astrid Krake Head of the Language Centre at the University of Bamberg
Caroline Skydemore Digital Marketing Executive at Macmillan Education
Fiona Mauchline EFL Writer, Trainer, Teacher
Jeremy Smith Publishing Manager at Macmillan English Campus
Sarah Milligan Training Manager at Macmillan English Campus
Bela Toth Headteacher and Head of Online Department at Katedra Language School
Curated by: Jenny Lovel, Giulia Merlo, Joanna Trzmielewska Designed by: Erica Walduck
All copyright Macmillan Education 2013
Macmillan Education has representatives, offices and distributors in 120 countries. To find your local representative, please visit www.macmillaneducation.com.