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Technology in the ELT class
The distance education may be the biggest change in our life after Covid-19. Online learning systems have been around for a while but many of us have just been aware of them. And this situtaion causes us to find interactive ways of lesson planning for teachers. Oh, thankfully we have web 2.0!
I love using web 2.0 tools in my lesson planning. Actually, every teacher needs them to make their lessons interactive, to make their students engaged and keep motivated even for themselves. I assume that we need to be teachers 2.0. We need to improve not only our students' skills, but also our skills. We are digital immigrants who teach digital natives.
Below I would like introduce you to my five favourite web 2.0 tools that I love to use in my ELT classes. You can find sample lesson activities at the end of this article, as well.
I hope they will be received well.
1. Aurasma is an app that allows the user to create a visual that has interactive properties. We can use ready materials or create our own materials. I have used this tool in one activity of my STEM ‘E’ For English Project. The students prepared some flashcards on which there are some target vocabulary about Astronomy like the sun, planets, black hole and so on. They have uploaded some videos on the topic of the flashcards. When they show the pictures of the flashcards to their cameras of their phones, they could watch an informative video about the topic. It was a very enjoyable experience for them.
2. Plotagon This is a free (for some features) / paid-service (for all features) software that allows users to make cartoons or animated videos in a funny and easy way. It has its own characters but we can add new ones. It has scenes, music, sound effects and visual effects. The animated videos can be downloaded and embedded to other websites. We can easily add subtitles to the videos as well. I used this tool in EBA materials and also in one of my lessons. Even though they are teenagers they had much fun and then I assigned them a video preparing homework. Everybody did this homework. And this was the first time they did my assignment.
3. Nearpod This is a virtual classroom application. We can include notes, videos, questions, tests and homework such as interactive presentations. We can share the pin code of the activities, which Nearpod gives, with the students and the students can easily reach the activities by using these codes. We can use contents such as PDFs, slideshows, videos, podcasts; web contents and activities like quizzes, surveys or open-ended questions. Actually I have not used this tool in my classes yet. I am so new with this and I need to learn more about how to use it technically.
4. Genially is a great tool to create interactive presentations. You can include links, photos, videos or even animations you create. You can create games, infographics and dossiers. When I first used it, I thought that that was what I wanted till then. To be honest, I was tired of using classical Powerpoint presentations. This one will change your views. My students liked it as well, as it has both the introduction of the topic, a video about it and a game, all in one place.
5. Learningapps This is a great tool to make interactive activities. It is very easy to use, free and has many options to create. We can easily create some matching pairs, group assignments, ordering activities, freetext input, matching pairs on images, multiple choice quizes, cloze tests, audio/visual worksheets, some games like who wants to be a millionniare, puzzles, crosswords, word grids, guess the word games, memory games and so on. I have created many activities there and what I like most is Millionaire game as lots of my sudents do.
Sample Activity :
Language Level: A1 ( 5th grade)
Age of Learners: 10
Aim: To deduce the core vocabulary from the pronunciation of the words in which they hear in a puzzle solving activity.
Function: Animals Vocabulary
In this activity the students will hear the pronunciation of the core vocabulary and try to match them with their pictures.
Sample Genially presentation: