Bulgaria - IT Seminar

ICT in the classroom

Friday, Nov 21st, 2008

We're grateful once again to our host school, Sv Patriarh Evtimii, Sofia 

There was a lot of interest among colleagues at previous workshops for something dealing with ICT in the classroom, especially in the light of the generous gift from the Ministry of Ed to teachers of a free laptop!
I put together the workshop thinking that teachers need quick practical skills and techniques for using the computer to aid their teaching, both in and out of the classroom.

You can download the handout of notes here from the bottom of this page.

You can take a look at the Macmillan catalogue on their site.

With this in mind, we looked first at a number of resources from Macmillan which I'd been given to review. These included:

Busy Board - Interactive whiteboard software (nice and simple story animation, audio, text)
Macmillan English - Primary course integrating content and language (I like the approach to language development through content topics in this course)
CD Dictionaries - The Macmillan Advanced Learners Dictionary (Information on word frequency is useful)
The Business - Sample of this ESP course (Great quality video and exploitation)
Macmillan VPS - Science and Geography (First time we'd presented this stuff in workshop, I always show the total cloze with dictionary, still like that bit very much)
onestopCLIL website - Resources for download, forum, magazine (now in it's fourth month, and growing all the time)

Working with your computer:
In terms of practical tips, we looked at quick ways of making handouts and worksheets. 

You can do simple things like this in 'Paint'


There is a lot of technology around today for grabbing audio and video, and we looked at how this works, as well as how to place supertext or subtitles over film for use in class.  I gave an example with this clip from Burger King available on YouTube.
The task the colleagues had to do was to watch the clip, keeping an eye on the sequence in which things happen.  You can see the edited clip on this site by following this video link.

You can download the text strips here below.

Then, they were given the sequence of events in strips of text which they had to try and rearrange in the order they remember them and using their knowledge of connectors and, of course, the coherence of the events.
I use a piece of software called Sony Vegas, but you can add text to film from within Windows Moviemaker as well, and there is a clip explaining how to do this here. 
You can see the clip by clicking the image above.

One of the great things about being able to make material like this is that you can create it exactly at the level of your learners, more text, more visuals, more happening, more talking.
Thanks again to Macmillan for donating a free book to give away, I know from reactions from colleagues that it is very welcome.  That's all the more true in Bulgaria where resources are not easy to get hold of.    

Oh and I almost forgot!  We did this too!
How to type: Put your fingers on the middle row of letter keys with your forefingers either side of the G and H keys (on F and J) and your thumbs resting on the space bar.  Only move those fingers which are closest to the keys you want to type.  If you do a google about typing speed, you'll find that an average speed for a two-finger typing non-professional is below 20 and anyone with a bit of practice can get up to between 20 to 40 words per minute.  Secretaries can work at around 65 to 75 wpm, and advanced skilled typists can perform at 120 or more wpm.  The point, though, is not to make too many mistakes!