5 Tech Tips for Your Class at Washington English Center

by Lee Griffith

Need a few easy, fun ideas for incorporating technology in the classroom?  We have you covered!  See this list of fun ways to use laptops and iPads to support your students in meeting their learning goals!  Also, technology is a great way to fulfill the “C” in ACCESS Teaching Standards by keeping lessons “Centered on students.”

  1. Class poll

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Website: www.polleverywhere.com
Perfect for: Warm Up, Evaluation/Review
Prep time needed: less than 10 minutes

Suggested activities: This is a really fun website (teaching or not)!  The best part is it requires no sign up, and is easy to create polls; simply follow the tutorial on the homepage.  For a warm up exercise using unit 2 in Ventures, give each student an iPad (or in pairs).  Before class create a few questions you may ask students as an introduction to “School.”  For example, “What do you see at school?  What do you see in the classroom?”  Make the poll go live, give students the website to find on the iPad, and let them begin!  Or for day two of the lesson, use this to create a Word Cloud as a vocabulary review.

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  1. Twitter

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Website: www.twitter.com
Perfect for: Homework, review
Prep time needed: about 15 minutes to setup an account

Suggested activities: Last spring semester, class 1B had loads of fun playing on twitter as part of an end of unit review.  In the picture below you see an example of a conversation we had.  Simply coordinate with a staff member, co-teacher, friend, or anybody to ask your class some review questions.  Give your students iPads, have them sign in under the same account (which you will have to create before class), and have them answer the review questions.  Also, encourage the use of hashtags for more fun!  Take this a step further by coordinating with other classes, and have students tweet each other from similar levels.

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  1. Facebook

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Website: http://www.facebook.com
Perfect for:
Homework
Prep time needed: about 15 minutes to setup an account

Suggested activities: Like twitter, you will need to setup a Facebook account.  The majority of your students should have an account already.  Of the many, many things you can do on Facebook in class (check out comprehensive list here), I would recommend researching different news outlets or current events happening in class.  For example, October will feature Mexico as the “Country of the Month.”  Perhaps your students could find information by connecting to others, or by connecting to the Mexico page directly.  You could create a class page where you engage students throughout the week when they are not in class.  Post photos of the students while studying in class and you are guaranteed many likes!

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4. Film and Video on iPads

camera

Perfect for: Practice and Expansion Activities
Prep time needed: less than 5 minutes

Suggested activities: Exposing students to natural English is important, but to help students with pronunciation consider using the camera function on the class set of iPads.  Simply have students work in pairs to model the pronunciation goal of your lesson for the day.  For classes using the Ventures series, every lesson A has a section directing students to “Talk with a partner.”  This is a great opportunity to have students record their conversations, listen to them, and compare their pronunciation to the listening activity preceding it.  Lessons A – E all have a conversation component; consider recording to address some pronunciation issues.

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  1. Image search

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Website: www.google.com (or any search engine online)
Perfect for
: Presentation, Practice and Expansion Activities
Prep time needed: less than 5 minutes

Suggested activities: The best “go-to” tool when you just can’t explain that tough vocabulary word.  So don’t explain…SHOW!  For example, unit 7 of Ventures level 2 has students identify furniture.  Inevitably, someone will ask you about an obscure piece of furniture.  A quick google image search can solve most problems in class while following the old axiom: “Demonstrate, don’t explain.”  Or, try it in the reverse.  Give students iPads, then have them google search for images of furniture they may know of that is not in Ventures.  Have fun and be creative!

“Teacher, what is a lazy susan?”

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