I am the Digital Publisher for Richmond and it is part of my job to keep abreast of the hot topics and technology trends that are affecting our industry. Right now there is nothing hotter than adaptive learning. Adaptive learning is part of a wider trending topic: big data. The theory seems to be that as we are able to collect and analyse vast amounts of data taken from all the interactions that we have with technology, we will be able to transform the way we approach all sorts...

This post was inspired by a question sent to me by a friend, who is a very talented teacher and would like to start an online course. In her message, she mentions not being able to find a good video tutorial which could help her get started and asks my opinion about the best platform.  As I read my friend's message, I thought of a way to answer it. In my opinion, a video tutorial showing us how to create an online course in simple steps would be a...

Olá, pessoal! Lá, no agora distante, primeiro post que fiz para este blog, prometi que iria falar de alguns aplicativos para dispositivos móveis, os famosos apps.  Pois bem, como sou bem pragmático, vamos direto ao assunto: seguem, abaixo, algumas dicas de programas que podem ser baixados, gratuitamente, para qualquer dispositivo que suporte iOS, o sistema operacional da Apple (iPod, iPad, iPhone). Peço desculpas aos usuários de Android: como não sou um usuário desse sistema, nem todas as dicas são para vocês. Mas prometo que vou trazer mais coisas para este...

When you hear the word “wiki”, what do you think of? Wikipedia probably. Wikipedia is indeed the best known example of a wiki, it is so well known in fact that it has pretty much taken over the meaning of the word “wiki”. What makes Wikipedia a wiki is that it is editable. Anyone can register to be an editor and they can add, modify and delete content. Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced venture, which relies on the belief that with enough people collaborating on the project, you will get...

Why do we make lists? Jillian Steinhauer  in a 2012 blog post  says "We are a society of listers." In other words, we could all be called "glazomaniacs" according to Dictionary.com which defines "glazomania" as a passion for list-making. We seem to enjoy lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, best-sellers lists, new year resolution lists and blog posts such as "10 BYOD apps for ELT". But why? Umberto Eco in a very interesting interview to Der Spiegel talks about the place of lists in society. He says: "The list is...

Everyone at Richmond was deliriously excited about getting an ELTon nomination for our Big Picture app. The ELTons are the very prestigious British Council awards that recognise innovation in ELT. Deborah Tricker, our Global Publishing Director, Laura Orchard who works in our Oxford marketing department and is the queen of all things social media and I were the lucky three to get the opportunity to go to the awards ceremony. We prepared our acceptance speech as we had been instructed by the organisers. Deborah and Laura fretted about what to...

English language learners in the 21st century are in the center of a technological revolution. Prensky (2001a) referred to today’s children as “digital natives” and acknowledged the fact that today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. Moreover, research has indicated that today’s average young adult has spent fewer than 5,000 hours reading as opposed to over 10,000 hours playing video games, over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones, and over 20,000 hours watching TV. In addition, they have sent in...

The discussion revolving around the use of mobile devices in the classroom is still strong. Some teachers have embraced the gadgets, feeling that they are powerful learning tools. Others, due to insecurity or strong beliefs argue that cell phones and tablets are a poor replacement for traditional teaching, just substituting what is already done well without them. For those teachers, the place of mobile devices in the classroom is in silent mode in the backpacks. There are others who say that students will be browsing through their social...

In a previous post, I discussed about the importance of technology invisibility in the classroom. According to Lehman (2010), technology should be : Ubiquitous = available all the time. Necessary = used when necessary. Invisible = a natural procedure. Another author who thinks likewise is Bax (2011). The author coined the term "normalisation" to address the issue of technology in language education. He states that technology should be normalised to serve its real purpose in education. But, what is normalisation? I'll give an example: have you ever heard technophobes saying "No,...

Hello again! In the past few months I’ve talked about ways to make what we do in the classroom more relevant to our learners’ lives, particularly with regard to the inclusion of digital media.  This month I’d like to give an idea for how to change a typical English language writing task into a task that relates more to real life writing. Let’s take this task as our starting point. Write a paragraph describing your home.  If we look at a model that we could ask students to read to begin, it...