Friday, 16 August 2013

New tools for the new school year

You know, teachers celebrate a New Year twice every year, in January and September, the 2nd this year in Latvia. And it pertains to think a little about how you are going to spend it.

My simple and straightforward aim is to use more technology in the classroom because I am sure my students will be waiting for something new and exciting, as most of them are used to working online.

There are loads of web tools that I am going to use, both for preparing my own resources and materials and for involving my students in using more technology in their daily studies.
Here are a few web tools that I would like to employ in my work.

I and my students are definitely going to use Google Drive, documents in particular, for essay sharing and feedback, and I will use voice comments as a very convenient way of giving my opinion. We are also going to try collaborating on a piece of written text or presentations in the Drive.

I would like to teach my students better collaboration skills and for that purpose I will try using which is a great tool for creating attractive non-linear presentations that can be made individually or collaboratively, in pairs or groups.

There is another great web tool which has aroused my interest - Living Junction. It is a tool for creating media rich online magazines which can easily be turned into presentations. We'll see what we can do with it!

For fun and for younger students I am going to use PosterMyWall which will be a perfect tool for creating different kinds of posters.

As a teacher, I will try out StudyShuffle which is a tool for creating interactive flashcards. I intend to use it for making studying vocabulary more exciting and productive, hopefully.

Finally (and I mean finally for this moment only), I have discovered a superb website Language is a Virus where there is a section of text manipulation games, a fantastic web page with lots and lots of writing games, such as Visual poetry, Text collage, Sentence builder, Word medley, Text weaver etc. Some of the games may be too hard for non-native speakers but they are worth a try!