The IXperium experience 

To round of our TELL course, are teacher had planned a interactive day at the IXperium at our school. Let me explain what the IXperium is. 

The IXperium

The IXperium is a place were you have access to all different kinds of technological devices. The employees know all about technology and follow the latest developments when it comes to technology. We had to choose beforehand what we wanted to do. We chose to do something with making a video. 

The day itself 

We started around half past 10. We gathered in the lecture hall and got an explanation about the program of the day. After that we went to the IXperium and were allowed to test all the devices. The next thing we had to do was choose a tool you wanted to work with. In our group we choose to work with the app videolicious. 

Videolicious

Videolicious is an app were you can make photos and put these together to make a video. After you have submitted the photos, you can add recorded text and make a little lead in video to put before the pictures.  We decided to make a video about bullying and used the present continuous to explain what was going on in the video. 

The app works really well. But a disatvange is that you have to make an account to be able to add some details to the video. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make an account. We tried but this didn’t work. We asked one of the IXperium employees if they could help us out, but they also had difficulty with it. Due to time we weren’t able to figure this out. Another disadvantage is that you have a limitation when it comes to inserting photos. So you have to make a plan about the picture you want to use. 

My experience 

I really liked the IXperium experience. There were all sorts of tools like VR and a green screen. Some groups immediately claimed some tools. Unfortunately weren’t able to test these tools. This might be something to take in account for the next time. And I found the explanation very long. At some point I got distracted and bored. 

But overall I really enjoyed the day and the course. It really made me aware of all the tools and opportunities in second language teaching.

 

Exam training: how to make it more fun? 

Since I am teaching fourth years VMBO at my placement school, I have to do a lot of exam training with my students. As you might imagine, the students don’t like to do this because they have to do it at every subject they have. Of course they understand why this is important, but I can imagine how boring it must be if you have exam training all day long. The boring old past papers from previous years with long texts. If I had to do that for weeks, I would be demotivated to come to school. 

So after I had given a lesson exam training , the old fashioned way, I thought about how I could make it more fun for the students. So I went online and found the website of British council. Of course this is still reading a text and anserwering questions but here they are able to choose a text they like. One of the advantages is that they don’t have to make an account to be able to access the text. 

Besides reading there are a lot of other opportunities to practise the other skills. There are listening and watching videos, vocabulary and grammar games, writing, apps, fun games. There are all sorts of opportunities for the students to improve their English. And they are able to work on their own pace and pick something they like to do, which can arouse their motivation.  

My experience 

I had prepared my lesson and reserved Ipads for my students, so they were able to do exercises on British council. Unfortunately, you need some sort of device to be able to do the exercise. You can do it on a smart board but then students have to wait for each other to continue to the next question. This might take a lot of extra time. 

While the students were doing the exercise on British council I was walking around in class to see how it went and to help them out. But while I was walking around a lot of students were doing other things on their Ipads. So you have to take that in account when you give the students the Ipads to work with. You can’t always walk around and checking what they are doing. Students get distracted when they have to work on Ipads. At least my students do. 

To tackle this problem, you can print some exercises. But then the students aren’t able to choose what they like to do. 

Students are demotivated when it comes to exam training. The students like British council better, but they are still critical about exam training even though  they know they know its for the best. 

It is a good website ,especially for improving your Engelish but you have to think about the pitfalls when working with Ipads. 

British council

Watch and listen 

Watch and listening test 

A lot of students have to do these test at their secondary school, the watch and listening tests. Most teacher prepare their students for these test by practicing with older ones. Most of the time these tests have boring subjects that are not in the field of interest of the students. Luckily now a days there are a lot of other opportunities to practise and prepare the students for such a test. One of my favourite tools for this is Ed Puzzle. 

What is Ed Puzzle? 

Ed Puzzle is a tool were you can design your own videos. You can pick a video from the internet and insert your own audio notes and questions at any point in the video. And if you don’t feel like making a video yourself, you are able to use a video from other creaters. The program is easy to work with. Everything is explained by videos or pictures and you can sign up for free. If you have created a video you can send it to your class or share it online so other members can use it. 

What is in it for the students?

As I mentioned before, you are able to access the internet for the videos. So you can find videos of all sorts of topics, which lay in the field of interest of students. You can share the video with your class which means you can also use it as a tool for flipping the classroom. If you use it in class you are able to differentiate amongst your students, because they can work in their own pace. It’s a good way of practicing for the watch and listening test and these videos can be more fun. 

If you are making the video and add the questions you have a choice between true/false questions or open questions. You can record your own voice to give some extra explanation. This can make the video more interesting for your students and you can differentiate in the level of difficulty. 

If you like you can let the students make a video. They most lickely are motivated by experimenting with technology and make a video of a topic that they like. At the end, you can project the videos on the smart board and share it with the whole class. As with other tools you have to be able to have access to internet. But nowadays this mostly isn’t a problem. 

You can make it as creative as you want or just use it to practice watch and listening. That is up to you.


My experience 

In the beginning I had some difficulty with making a video because I didn’t understand how I could insert a question. Luckily they had a video that explained how Ed Puzzle worked.  It may take some time to make the video but the more you do it the easier it gets. 
I have used a video during one of my classes. I projected the video on the smart board and gave the students pen and paper to answer the questions. Unfortunately I was to late to give the students an Ipad so they could watch the video on their own pace. I think this works better because some students need some more time to think about the answers. Now I had to wait until all the students were finished to continue with the video and I could see that some students were bored. 

But overall I am very enthusiastic about Ed Puzzle and will definitely continue using it in my classes.

Ed Puzzle

 

  

Teaching vocabulary with flipquiz 

We all know the difficulty of learning and testing vocabulary. Students often cram right before a test and hopefully they get a good grade. For years it’s been going this way and it continues to go this way. 

But what can we do as a teacher?

I believe we should try to change the way we present vocabulary to the students. The old fashioned way is to maybe explain the words to the students and do an exercise about the vocabulary and that’s it then. I see it happening at my placement school. Students read the words out loud and in their workbook they find two exercises were they have to incooperate the new vocabulary. 

I believe this should change en luckily this is happening. Now a days there are a lot of handy tools in which students can learn and improve their vocabulary. Flipquiz is one of these examples. I have tried it at my internship and the students were very enthausiasitic. 

What is flipquiz? 

Flipquiz is a tool were you can create your own games. There are a lot of opportunities in creating a game. You can add pictures and scores to the questions you ask. And one other advantage you can sign up for free. 

How can you incooperate it in you lesson?

At my internship I used it at the end of my lesson to revise the vocabulary. The vocabulary was divided into different categories and different levels of difficulty. You could score 100 till 500 point per question, depending on how difficult you wanted the question to be. Students wer competing against each other. I had four groups of 6 and the students were allowed to discuss the question before giving the answer. If they couldn’t come up with the right answers the other groups were allowed to try. If nobody could come up with an answer, then the answer was given to them. 

The students quite liked the game because of the game element in it. The students see the scores on the board and this motivates them to come up with the right answer and win the game.  Another advantage for the students is that they have the opportunity to discuss the answers. I believe that in this way the students will remember the words better.

Some disatvanges are that students can be easily distracted when they are working in their groups. You can’t always check if they are really discussing the questions or discussing their weekend. The enthusiasm can cause a lot of rumour in class. I personally don’t mind the rumour but this should’nt overrule the lesson. 

You can use flipquiz for all sorts of subjects, not only for vocabulary. But as a teacher you have to prepare the game and this might take some time. I believe it is worth the effort if you see how enthusiastic your students get during the game. 


Flipquiz

Flipping the classroom 

During one of my classes, I heard about flipping the classroom and I was immediately interested. At my placement school I am preparing the students for a book test. And I saw a lot of opportunities with the use of flipping the classroom. But before I tell you my experiences, I will present the advantages and disadvantages of flipping the classroom for reading. 

Advantages: 

  • Students have more control in their own learning. 
  • Parents can see what the students do at school. 
  • Students don’t have to read at home but can listen to the story. This is espacially benfitiel for lower levels. 
  • If it is done properly, you have lots of time over for explaining and helping the students to understand the story. 
  • More exercises can be done in class. So as a teacher you are able to observe their understanding. 

Disadvantages:

  • It relies on preparation and trust. 
  • For the teacher their can be extra workload in preparing the flipped sessions.
  • It can create differences in understanding amongst the students.
  • Students spend more time in front of a screen than actually interacting with fellow students.

My experience 

Now you might understand why my lessons did go as I had planned. Let me explain it to you. 

My students were very demotivated to read the book and found it hard to understand the main idea of the book. So after hearing of flipping the classroom I thought it might work for my students. So I went online and searched for an audiobook of the book and found one on youtube. I made a schedule for the students. In the schedule the students could see what we were going to do in class and what they had to be done at home. I even incorporated the minutes of the audiobook they had to listen to. 

I was happy with the result of my preparation and had made a lot of exercise to help the students with their understanding of the book. So I gave my lesson and explained the concept to them. The students were very enthusiastic and really appreciated that I put a lot of effort in this. Maybe that’s why I expected them to do their homework. But as you can imagine they came to school unprepared. 

Their I stood in front of the classroom with a group of 25 students who didn’t do their homework. I ended up explaining the whole three chapters they had to do at home. I was a little disappointed that they hadn’t done their homework. But I was even more disappointed in myself for explaining the whole three chapters because the whole idea of flipping the classroom is that their is more time for coaching and students who do the exercise in class. 

I didn’t quite work out for me. I am still in fever of flipping the classroom. I think it is a great way of teaching. But for a next time I have to explain the essence of flipping classroom better. And maybe not give up after one failure. 

Luckily the students used the audiobook for preparing for the test. And the result were above my expectations. You can imagine I was very proud of them.

 

A kiss before dying

What to do when you suddenly got time left 😫

I think everybody comes across this problem at least once. You thourougly planned your lesson from minute to minute. But your students work really hard en suddenly you have time left for an other exercise. What do you do? Well I found a solution to that problem.

Yesterday I gave remedial teaching to one of my students at my internship. So I asked her what she wanted to this lesson and she wanted to practice some extra listening. So I did some research online to find some fun exercises and then I remembered the site https://lyricstraining.com/. I used it a lot during my internship of last year. I decided to do that with my student because it’s more fun than the usual boring recordings of dialogues between two people.

As she was practising on lyrics training I asked her if she enjoyed this kind of listening more then the usual listening exercises? She liked the lyrics training a lot. Because she could pick her own songs, so it fits the world of experiences of the students.

How does it work?

The students pick a song a play the recording. While the recording is playing the students have to fill in the blanks. If they fill in the wrong word or can’t hear the word the sentence will be played again. If you fill in the right word the recording continues. The students are able to change the level from easy to difficult. And if they have an account they get a score after song is finished.

But why should you use lyrics training? 

First of all, it is easy to look up and you don’t have to prepare anything because you simply listen to the songs and fill in the blanks. Secondly, students are able to pick a song they like. As I mentioned before it fits their world of experience. Furthermore, you can adapted it to their level. If it is to difficult you can easily change the level. And if they can’t hear the word correctly the recording will play again.

It is a fun exercise which is easy to do when you have five more minutes left. And if the students don’t have access to a ipad you can do it on the smart board. You put two sudents behind the computer and ask the rest of the class to help them. And if your are bored giving the students the usual listening exercises, you can easily swop the exercises.

https://lyricstraining.com

 

 

Why you should teach with blendspace

Monday I was preparing my lessons at my internship school for the next day. Since we are encouraged to do more with technology I decided to look online for handy tools. I came across an article on kennisnet about the 10 most handy tools for teachers. In the article I read about blendspace and it made me curious. I decided I wanted to know more and found a link at the bottom of the article of a video promoting blendspace. After I watched the video, I was convinced.

As I was preparing the lesson I had some difficulty to understand the program. As you might know technology and I don’t always go together. I was struggling with uploading a video and almost lost my patience. But I didn’t give up and in the end the video was uploaded.

But why should you teach with blendspace?

First of al it is a online program and you can save it online. No more USB-sticks, which I think is very handy since I lose USB-sticks a lot or forget to bring it with me. Secondly, you can add the learners to your lesson. The learners are able to look up the lesson later when they are home and want to look at something again. Which is  useful if you put on a series of lessons. Then the sudents don’t have to open a series of PowerPoints, they just can see it on one screen.

In blendspace you can easily add videos via youtube or links from a site you want to visit. Everything that is acceble online you can add to your wall, so no longer al sorts of different tabs open! It’s kind of a database of your lessons which you can easily acces when you have internet. But that is also the disatvantage, if technology fails you have a problem cause you always need internet to be able to acces blendspace.

I definiatly think the program is worth trying and I will continue to use it. But it is always smart to have a backup plan if there is no access to internet.

Working with Socrative

Last week I learned about Socrative at my internship. My mentor used it in her class on Monday. The students first made a test. When they were finished there was a past paper ready for them on Socrative to work on. The students were allowed to plug in their headphones and listen to music while they were making the exam.
At first I didn’t get why she used Socrative and not just an exam on paper. So I asked her what the reason was and she explained the advantages of Socrative.

First of al you can see the results per question immediately, when you login on your teachers account. You get a view of all the questions that the pupils answer and can give the student immediate feedback. My mentor went over to the pupils and said to them that they should take a second look at a question. In this way students are able to self-correct. A second advantage for my class is that they have to do a digital exam in May. By using Socrative they can practice how they can tackle a text online. There is a huge difference between reading from an IPAD or reading from paper. Moreover, the students like it when they are allowed to listen to music whilst they are doing an exercise. By using the IPADs they can’t be distracted by an incoming text on their phone. That is what they usually use for listening to music. The class was really quite, concentered  and focused on their task. The pupils liked the fact that they got immediate feedback and they were constantly asking if they had the questions right.
On the other hand the pupils have to fill in their names when they want to enter Socrative, some pupils filled in a different name for fun. So you can imagine what names came up on the screen. Be prepared for this and ask the students to take this seriously.

I really liked Socrative and used it in my class the next day. Although the students didn’t like to practice a reading test, they enjoyed the way it was presented to them.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor socrative

 

 

 

IX-Ray

So here we go, my first blog. This blog is going to be about my IT skills.
Unfortunately they are not as good as I had hoped. My results of IX-Ray scan were in my opninion disappointing. The only technology I use during class is a PowerPoint or a Kahoot to help the students with their vocabulary. I only use technology to present my lesson to the students. I hope to learn a lot of new technology skills by actively participating in and outside class. Continue reading “IX-Ray”