Monday, 2 March 2015

Digital Technology activity ideas

I recently delivered a session on using technology in teaching English. Most attendees were delivering GCSE English to vocational students who were retaking the subject.

I knew going in that I didn't want to stand at the front and tell people about available technology. While hearing about tools automatically makes me wonder what I can do with them, it's difficult after a hard day's work (this was an evening session) to focus long enough to process an understanding not only of what a tool's function is but what you can use it for.

Text taken from Wikipedia. Clipart taken from PowerPoint.

So I wrote a mini list of example activities and tools to cite and planned to sit back and let them do the thinking.

We covered a few common activities and below are the few that stuck in my mind:

  1. Using Twitter for... well, pretty much anything.
    1. Define words
    2. Describe an idea
    3. Tell a story
    4. Re-write a paragraph to fit into 140 characters
  2. Using Facebook for characters and stories
    1. Create character profiles
    2. Interact with the profiles to rewrite the story
  3. Using video in class
    1. Split into groups and set a task. Each group videos the culmination of their task and plays it back to the class at the end of the activity.
    2. Split into groups for a large class project. At the end each group produces their piece and a video of the whole group can be used to review the project at the start of the next class.
  4. Using comics
    1. Ask students to use a comic generator to interpret a scene from which all descriptive text has been removed. Compare their interpretation to the original text and see if it has changed.

I really enjoyed the session and although there was nothing unique discussed, I think the attendees got a lot more out of it than they would if I'd told them what was available.