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Technology in the classroom - what do you use?

 
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mr fred



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Technology in the classroom - what do you use? Reply with quote

I've noticed, lots of people are afraid of technology in the classroom but it's what keeps me in a job.

I'm not using that much but it's making such a difference to the kids, I get a pay rise every year without asking.

Mine is simple enough and consists of an LED projector and a set of speakers.
Doesn't sound a lot but you'd be amazed at what it does.

I make slides of all the vocab in a given chapter. Grade one can jump straight past "banana" and move on to describing it.
The kids love the pictures so the parents are happy.
In a private school, parents wanting you to stay makes a big difference.

Grade one were doing a lesson about what's around their house. There are 15 vocab pictures but they managed a full lesson on one slide, a fast food restaurant.
Brilliant work from seven year old kids and a lot of that is them being able to see a picture of what I want them to talk about.

I download videos from youtube that help with the lessons. An example was shop role play where I used a PC world training video. That saved a load of messing about.

I make small movies about various things related to the text books and play them to the kids. A break from normal lessons but not a waste of time. The kids get interested and want to talk about it.
Same goes for field trips where I take as many photos as I can, use windows movie maker to put them together and add a bit of music. The kids go wild for it.
I made a time lapse video of a day in the language lab and played it back to the kids last week. Sounds odd but the kids were falling over themselves to comment.

Excellent BBC podcasts are used to make my "Phrase of the month"
Usually an idiom, I play one podcast per month.
I make up a answer sheet based on the recording and use it as a test but I go on to use that phrase as often as opportunity allows over the month.
I also put up an A4 poster to remind them of the phrase.
My kids are smart cookies.

Lots more to go at, including movie afternoons where I invite all the kids in a class along with parents.
From an educational point of view, it's listening/understanding practice but it's great PR and one more thing that helps me get paid silly money for an easy job.

More to go at but you get the idea.
What do you use/why don't you use technology?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most teachers are wary of the tech because very, very many places in the world do not believe in tech support. Unwritten rule of assessment observations, for example, is akin to Murphy's Law: if you use a video for a lesson, be assured it will breakdown...
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mr fred



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Most teachers are wary of the tech because very, very many places in the world do not believe in tech support. Unwritten rule of assessment observations, for example, is akin to Murphy's Law: if you use a video for a lesson, be assured it will breakdown...


Buy kit that's likely to work when you switch it on.
Well looked after equipment doesn't break down...well, hardly ever.

Seriously, I've been using this simple tech for two years with just one damaged mains lead leading to one lost lesson.
The massive gains far outweigh that one minor loss.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably true, but very many teachers do not have control over school finances and have no say in what kit should be purchased. I for one do not feel the need to invest my own money instead.

Still do not see what these benefits to learning are in the first place.
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I regularly use pens, whiteboard, chalk and blackboards, among other technologies.
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 971

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chalk. Coloured chalk if I can sneak some from another classroom.

I often bring my laptop/speakers to class. I'd love to have a little USB projector that I could attach to my laptop so I could show films (I mean clips, not the latest blockbuster) to help my students. I've seen some but they are expensive.
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mr fred



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:
Chalk. Coloured chalk if I can sneak some from another classroom.

I often bring my laptop/speakers to class. I'd love to have a little USB projector that I could attach to my laptop so I could show films (I mean clips, not the latest blockbuster) to help my students. I've seen some but they are expensive.


We're all whiteboard so no chalk to be had.
Not that I ever use the whiteboard either. Most of the stuff on there is graffiti about me but it's all nice so I leave it.
The common grammar points (one cat IS; two cats ARE) are on banners I had made.
My LED projector is what I use for the most part and it works a treat. I can show the kids a picture of what I mean so the vocab bit is skipped and we go directly to adjectives that fit the item in question.
I'm lucky because I have a dedicated room so I bunged a set of speakers in there as well.
The bonus is after school treats. I can use the place as a cinema so the kids can watch movies. Parents invited so it's a pro me PR stunt as well.

The LED projectors are getting pretty cheap now but most are only 200 lumens so you need a fairly dark room.

http://event.asus.com/2012/LCD/P1_Portable_LED_Projector/
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Shonai Ben



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 576
Location: on the floor

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use chalk in one of my classes.It feels very comfortable and natural to me.Never really liked the white board and markers.Old school I guess.......
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: USB Reply with quote

In China, where many public school classrooms are equipped with computers connected by projectors to large screens, I used a USB (a.k.a. flash drive) on a daily basis. I found it really handy to store songs, games, video clips, photos and even text-based lessons on the USB, pop it into the computer, and get right down to business. For text-based lessons, I would write down the main points of the lesson in a simple MS Word document, blow up the font to 36 or 48 and add a few photos or animated graphics to spice it up a little. Beats the hell out of writing on chalk boards and saves HUGE amounts of time as well. On weekdays, I would often be teaching the same lesson plan to 3 or 4 different classes on the same day. For this kind of 'repetitive' teaching, having your lesson plans and games stored on a USB was / is a life-saver.

As with all technology-based lessons you need a back-up plan, since the power may go off, the projector bulb might burn out, etc. but in general, I'm sold on the USB as a teaching aid, especially in larger classrooms of 50 to 60 kids, where the chalkboard may be difficult to see from the back rows. A USB is also small enough to fit in your pocket, can be easily formatted if you pick up a virus, and gives teachers the ability to easily and quickly switch between lessons and activities, which helps maintain students' interest. But best of all, from the teacher's perspective, your lesson plans can be stored in a folder and re-used.

Of course this only works if the classroom has a computer and projector, but I think this is the direction that ESL classrooms are heading, and I'm all for it. Students of all ages enjoy visual media, teachers can spend more time getting students to speak and less time writing on the board, and the fact that you can re-use your lesson plans over and over again is simply brilliant. In short, it's a win-win.
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of my classes have a wall mounted flat screen TV. I connect my laptop through their HDMI connection or sometimes I can connect my sound to the teachers microphone speaker and the TV with their PC connector.

One school I work at gives me a room with a projector and and a sound system. Otherwise I prefer coloured chalk and a a chalkboard. Which is my backup plan for power failures and/or rare glitches.

I find and use songs, chants and vocab from You tube. IMHExperience this greatly improves their outcomes, their fun, eases my workload and accelerates their learning while greatly increasing their engagement, my popularity and random gift accumulation. I will not want for a cute eraser for many years. It helps with classroom management.

I find more material for young beginners and intermediates not so much for older children or adults. I suspect the effectiveness of my approach decreases as the age of the student increases. A noticeable drop off by grade 7.

I have recently read some newspaper articles reporting studies that suggest learning with music has benefits. Cute erasers weren't mentioned.

I find this a very powerful tool as part of a lesson. Maybe 5 or 10% of the lesson. I don't like powerpoint.
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Wanderir



Joined: 23 Mar 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm happy to see someone is doing what I plan to do!

I'll be in Bangkok shortly to take a cert course and find work. I've been in IT for 20 years, so I don't need tech support and if I have to buy my own projector, I will.

Being able to prepare lesson plans and materials on a computer is massively helpful. I work as a CIO for college on the west coast and all of our class rooms had pc's projectors and sound, some had smart whiteboards as well.

I just hope I end up at a school with high speed internet!

Once I get settled in I'll post what ever my setup will be.

Should make for more impressive teaching demo's as well.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1816
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys use a classroom? How old fashioned!
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 155
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished working on a powerPoint presentation for my advanced debate class last night. The nice thing about PC generated material is it is very easy to modify and adjust them for future classes. The downside is it can be a bit time intensive depending on your skills in making digital material.
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