BY DONNA FIELDS We’re looking forward to sharing with you the most innovative practices - methods you can use immediately in your online or your face-to-face lessons. Unfortunately, most Ministers of Education today, are so concerned with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and having test scores, that they forget that, at the end of the day, if we don't have people with good character, people who do the right thing, intellect itself will destroy the world, it will not save it.  Dr. Howard Gardner Research Professor of Cognition and Education Harvard University Autumn, 2020 Student...

By Russell Stannard Flipping your online lessons:  a global view of your online lessons Over the last five months, I have done a whole array of consultancy jobs supporting schools to deliver online language courses. These have been private language schools right up to language departments in universities. It has been a very tough time for teachers and one thing that they are continually complaining about is just how much work is involved in preparing and delivering online lessons. It has been a theme I have addressed at several online...

An increased interest in online teaching has emerged in recent years. Such interest has become even more prominent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine, during which teachers worldwide had to take up online teaching overnight. Many of us had been teaching adults – or taken online lessons and courses ourselves – for a while, but teaching a group of teenagers through a screen was unimaginable. Given my considerable experience with online teaching, I was very confident about welcoming my teenage students to a video call. Little did...

Monday, 6 p.m., the sun peeking through the blinds in the brick and mortar language school building in Brazil. The teacher enters the room carrying a bag of props, flashcards, and her tape recorder. The recorder being to her as precious as a map to a Geography teacher: “Hi, John Peter! How are you today?” asked the teacher in a high-pitched voice. “I’m fine, thanks. And you?” replied the monotoned student. The automatic, “I’m fine, too,” followed. “So… Let’s begin! Open your books to page 50,” she continued while rewinding and...

Curiously, I have posted a variation of this article on a blog I used to update, almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately the question is still up to date. In recent years, one of the main discussions in the educational business has been about finding the proper ways to face the growing need to move from print materials, and traditional pure face-to-face learning to a situation with more digital online content and self-instruction, self-paced learning, flipped classroom, etc. We currently live in a world where students have instant access to content...

Have you ever considered the good side of waiting in line, being stuck in a traffic jam, waiting at the doctor's office?  Well, you might feel mad, impatient, or even cranky. But wait? Is there a way to change all these negative feelings into the opposite spectrum, like feeling energized, inspired and wanting to change the world?! A loud YES to it. It might seem crazy at first, but this is exactly what happened to me after I discovered Podcasts in my life, not only as a means for...

As metodologias ativas estão presentes em quase todos os debates contemporâneos de educação no Brasil. Nos últimos três anos, o termo tem ganhado força e aparecido em publicações, cursos e debates sobre educação. Tenho atuado na formação docente de professores com foco em metodologias ativas desde 2013, em especial, com o Ensino Híbrido. Desde então, foram centenas de formações em instituições de ensino públicas e privadas. No ano de 2018, tive a oportunidade de participar de uma série de encontros oferecidos pela Richmond em sete cidades do país: São Paulo,...

Recently the school where I work has implemented Google Classroom for most of the groups, in order to promote a broader and more consistent interaction with learners, as well as make communications between students and teacher faster and more effective. As a tech enthusiast myself, I celebrated the achievement along with my peers at the branch, specially because we knew the impact this would have on the students’ tangibilization of progress. Mind you, I have the utmost respect for students who are able to keep their studies organized...

Yes, I have just invented that word. Technology use in the classroom is debatable when it comes to usability and rationale of tasks. We (Active ELTers) have been discussing this topic for a long time now and one feature I believe is worth mentioning is that, if you use interactive boards, chromebooks, padlets, projectors, etc you are already using technology in your classroom. So, what’s new about that, you ask? I have been learning a lot from Alice Turibio, my partner at circular.club and as she is a...

If you have been teaching teens for the past years you have probably noticed how attached they are to their mobiles or tablets. To say that they love technology is an understatement. Playing video games, watching TV series and films or listening to music are some of the usual activities they perform in their free time and they all involve technology. But technology is not the only thing they are interested in. Take, for instance, teenagers who practise sports or even go to a dance school. Would it not...

As a child, I was a tech enthusiast. Born in 1980, I am an active member of a lucky generation which could see the evolution of computers from gigantic monsters which could occupy an entire building so as to produce what we know today as a very limited amount of data, to micro technology,which enables us to store virtually anything in a “cloud” of information. When I started teaching, back in the last century (phew, I AM getting old), rooms were constituted of a blackboard, chalk, chairs and books,...

Have you ever used Jing for anything in your language teaching experience? Have you ever heard of it? I am asking you these questions because I have been suggesting the use of this nice tool in my educational technology workshops for over 7 years now. But it's still interesting to notice that a lot of teachers all over the country have actually never heard of it, let alone use it. But don't worry, this is not an ad. Jing is actually a free tool by Techsmith, which makes it even nicer, isn't...

  Though the maker movement has been around for a long time now, and if we consider Dewey, Papert, among other educators, we'd say it's been around for decades! If we go event further and look at makerspace as those garages where kids used to work with their parents on projects, fix things and solve a problem, it's been really there for a long time.  However, the so-called maker movement in Brazil is really getting traction right now. Schools are making budgets, considering options to innovate, to change learning...

 Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore’s article Welcome to the Experience of Economy has on its opening page the following statement: “As goods and services become commoditized, the customer experiences that companies create will matter most.” (Pine and Gilmore, 199:97) and much in  the same way, it is a positive experience  that learners also seek in our classrooms. This ‘economy experience’ concept (Pine and Gilmore, 1998) is not limited to a specific area but it ranges from going to an amusement park at the weekend and having fun, to classes...

I will begin this post with a confession: although I have been involved in EFL and digital education projects for quite some time, I am not a heavy user of technology; I don’t really own a myriad of smart devices and, most of the time, I tend to prefer taking notes on a good, old notepad. While not resistant to change, I believe I am fairly skeptical that one device or app, or digital service, will single-handedly change my classroom practice. This skepticism might come from my observation of...

It's been some years already that we've been talking about m-learning and its promises, but with not much consistent use of mobile devices as a learning tool with extremely high computational capabilities, sometimes even bigger than our own desktops (certainly this is my case!). There are simply countless ways to deepen the experiences and learning opportunities in class by using the power of touch, the power of hands. It's not from banning cellphones, for example, because of our own fears and feeling of powerlessness due to our vulnerable...

There´s nothing new on the use of Youtube for learning, but how often do you use its features beyond watching the videos? I´d like to suggest three ways to enhance the use of Youtube videos in the classroom. First, encourage your group to create a collaborative playlist about the topic they are studying. By doing that, the students are watching, analyzing and making decisions about the best option to add to the grupo playlist. How do you do it? Start a Playlist on Youtube by choosing a video and clickin on...

There's no need to remind you that technology is pervasive in our lives. It's everywhere. However, my main paradox is that I see my kids going to school and having very little use of it as a tool for development, personal growth and inquiry. It is a huge paradox because for the past decade I've been working with educators and educational leaders to meaningfully incorporate edtech in their practices. Yet, in my own home reality is far from ideal. What I feel is that my kids are more...

Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who can integrate technology effectively in their pedagogical practices will replace teachers who can't. The quote above has been repeated time and again (with different wording each time) in education conferences where the focus is technology in education - so much so that it's hard to find the correct attribution to the original quote. But let's face the facts, shall we? It's now 2017 and there are two very distinct realities in the world today - those who are connected to the world wide...

I have always been fascinated by technology. And when I met Ana Maria Menezes[1], my mentor  in this area, I realised that I would never teach or train teachers the same way. So my beliefs about teaching and training have changed completely. Having been a member of the LT SIG[2] in the IATEFL [3]  and have recently joined the LT SIG subcommittee , I decided to reflect a little on how technology has impacted the way we teach and learn, taking into consideration what I have observed in the Brazilian...

Our humanity is expressed through our stories. More than ever before educators are in the look for different ways to engage their students by telling their own pieces of stories each class they meet their students, but they are also aiming to help their learners to tell their own stories. By doing that, a transformative type of teaching tend to come on the scene.  A deeper connection among everyone in the classroom starts to emerge with learning in the intersection of emotions, people, content and context. Magic happens then. Just this week, I came...

The other day a very interesting discussion took place at the BrELT Facebook group about English teachers on Youtube. The discussion prompted me to write this article mainly for two reasons. First, I use Youtube a lot. I have subscribed to countless channels and follow many Youtubers from all kinds: my interests go from education to vlogs in foreign countries.  The second reason that made me write this article is the fact that I have produced content myself and shared it on Youtube. I know how terrifying it...

[caption id="attachment_5024" align="alignleft" width="640"] https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurgenappelo/5201275209[/caption] It´s been a while that educational communities talk about digital literacies. This has been a topic of my interest for a decade now. Still, what we see is a group of educators who follow exactly the curve of innovation in which we have the early adopters way ahead, investing in the development of their digital skills, but most who are still lagging behind. Reasons are many. Some feel overwhelmed, others don´t have any idea what is out there, most lack time to even plan...

I have recently been asked whether I believed technology could replace the teachers in the future. This text is an attempt to summarise my reply and my thoughts on the matter. Teaching (in general) is an activity that dates back a long while ago. Books haven't replaced us, neither will technology. At least not unless we stop growing and keeping ourselves essential. Technology has changed the world, the way people connect, the way people learn...

I have recently read an article talking about the teacher of the future and that got me thinking whether I was either connected to past, present or future. Some years ago I and Lidia Vanessa (a fellow teacher and friend of mine) did a presentation at an ABCI conference which started with a provocative question: ‘’Will computers replace teachers?’’ It was amazing to see how much debate there was then and how much this is being debated today. But, before we get to the answer, it is vitally important...

I still remember when I considered productive having a big room full of teachers for a training session on computer skills. It is still vivid in my mind the beginning of Google in which I'd have trainings with teachers on "How to effectively use Google Search". Were you there when Geocities was around? That was the time when I used to help teachers build their own sites. It was such a huge task. Some were brave enough to endure the technical details. Others gave up quite easily. I...

When we, English teachers, think of the internet, we often tend to think about what it has to offer: unlimited information at our fingertips, ready-made materials for download, songs with their lyrics, clipart and other graphic resources, teaching ideas, podcasts, videos, tutorials, educational online games and many other resources that were unavailable when most of us were students of English a few years (well, in my case decades) ago.  The World Wide Web has become some sort of an Oracle expected to provide answers to all our questions...

In my daily job in education, I find the most talented and vibrant community of educators. Their very specific skills range from making, sometimes with hardcore engineering skills, to arts, with those amazing strokes of light and hope. Many, though, lack self-confidence. They perceive themselves as just one more in the crowd. Their talent is seen as ordinary, something that has been with them for so long that they don't even notice the distinguishing features of their own character and practice. I've seen many of them go unnoticed...

Hi! This month I want to finish sharing with you the remaining three teaching techniques I recently got to know as I searched the Internet for innovation. The idea is to create affordances in class so that students feel compelled to learn. Below I briefly refer to remaining three teaching techniques. The previous three were the topic of last month’s post. 4. Gamification: ‘Gamification’ is another way of saying learning through play - a class procedure effective at any age since it keeps students motivated. The use of games is usually considered appropriate...

Olá a todos e todas! Vamos a mais uma postagem sobre dicas de como usar o celular na sala de aula! Embora já tenha falado anteriormente sobre alguns apps que podem auxiliar nas suas práticas de sala de aula (aqui, aqui e aqui), desta vez pensei em focar em apps e no próprio smartphone, por assim dizer. Hoje em dia, é muito comum nossos alunos virem para a sala de aula munidos não apenas de seus livros e cadernos, mas também desse pequeno aparelho multiuso. Em alguns estados...

Dear all, From now on, I'll write about my journey to becoming an e-moderator in order to reflect upon it. I realized the way online courses have evolved and my online teaching experiences intertwine. Thus, you'll be able to accompany me in this journey to the past and to understanding what has been going on in this field for a while now. ...

Instagram is part of my daily life, and I know it is also very popular among our teen students and some adults. Though the focus is social, the imagery and, depending on the user you follow,  Instagram can be a very powerful teaching/learning tool. You can explore with students from grammar aspects of the language to an in-depth take on cultural issues. The news is also there. Here, I've selected some of my favorite Insta IDs with some activities you might want to try in your next class: Natgeo Besides being...

My Portuguese grandfather was a globetrotter and, when he died, we inherited dozens of postcards from every city he had visited. I was the only one in the family who took some interest in the postcards and the beautiful places that I never thought I would have a chance to go to. However, I decided to turn those travels into my own experiences and I started writing on them to my imaginary English speaking readers. I reminisce about these things every time I come across old pictures and...

I was about to start this post, and had a totally different idea in mind. But then I couldn't miss sharing with you such interesting, simple and effective idea for the classroom with all resources already there, a click away. I've just come across this post "Interactive Learning Menus (Choice Boards) Using Google Docs" , which gives a practical idea of how to prepare a learning menu based on a Tic-Tac-Toe using Google Docs. The idea behind it, giving choice, control and autonomy to the learner is such a simple...

One of the books that made the biggest impression on me last year was Evgeny Morozov's To Save Everything, Click Here: Technology, Solutionism and the Urge to Fix Problems that Don't Exist. In it, he describes the rise of tech companies into all-pervasive areas of life, their inherent solutionism, and the threats this process poses to society as a whole. So what exactly is solutionism? Well, in its simplest terms, it's the belief that pretty much everything we face in live can be cast as a simple problem + solution. The...

We all deserve rest, relaxation and some time off. Educators are working during class time, before and always in late hours, correcting, planning, preparing, researching. So, yes, school recess is certainly a time of a certain relief and a bit of goofing off. However, after reenergizing a bit, meeting friends and family, taking care of our more mundane daily lives, celebrating the end of the year, you might feel ready and eager to learn something new, to connect, network with other like-minded professionals. Numerous free professional development opportunities...

Have you noticed how much our desktop and browsers can say about our internet surfing habits? Whenever someone shares their screen with me, I love paying attention to websites people save to their browser bar and the little extensions they use the most. Today, I'd like to share a few of the Google Chrome extensions which save a lot of my time. But before describing them, I bring a definition found at https://howtogeek.com. WHAT ARE EXTENSIONS? "Browser extensions extend your web browser with additional features, modify web pages, and integrate your...

Robin MacClure starts her article “Unnecessary Parents” by saying that “the ultimate job of parents is to raise kids in a way so that they are not needed. In other words, parents should work themselves out of a job.” Well, I think that also applies to teachers, and especially to language teachers. Our goal should be to do our jobs so that, at some point, we are not needed. The point where, even before reaching full proficiency, students are able to learn on their own. In other words,...

For the past year I've been interested and have intensely studied, researched and explored the Maker Movement. First, just out of curiosity as I was being fed through my Twitter stream (remember I mentioned in other posts how Twitter is still my number one source of inspiration and daily doses of professional development?). The feeling that the Maker movement just made total sense to any classroom got even stronger after attending Giselle Santos's presentation on the topic at the BRAZTESOL International Conference in João Pessoa. Fate or destiny, the...

I was recently asked about the most innovative educational resource I have found online. After giving it some thought, I could only think of one website, GOOGLE DRIVE. More and more, Google Drive has become part of my daily life; when I organize my thoughts, when I write alone or collaboratively, when I create activities for students, when I correct writings turned in by students, when I save documents and so forth. And again, I ask myself, how can a website change so many procedures in some people's lives and...

Olá a todos! Com certeza não são apenas os meus alunos que adoram ficar no Youtube assistindo  a vídeos de bichinhos, piadas, cantores de chuveiro, pegadinhas e desafios do ice bucket. Parece que essa meninada está trocando a TV pela internet mesmo, passando altas horas em serviços de vídeo por streaming, procurando e assistindo a dezenas deles, todos os dias. Então, é possível  aproveitar esses serviços de alguma forma para o aprendizado de língua inglesa? Sem dúvida que sim! Vou aproveitar a solicitação de um aluno interessado, que me...

In my book Teacher Tools, I open the chapter “Movie Time” with an email I received from a teacher who said that not only him, but “thousands of workmates don’t have time to prepare materials or to follow the recipes that many authors of books and/or presenters of workshops give us.”  I go on to say that if the reader sympathizes 100% with Darcy, the teacher who wrote the message above, using movies in class may not be such a good idea after all:  selecting video material, designing...

In these last years, while writing my M.A. thesis, I've come to recognize the power of learning through stories. As a narrative researcher, now I understand that by telling our stories we educate not only ourselves, but give others the chance to make meaning of their own stories through ours (Connely and Clandinin, 2000). The little story I wish to share here is the story of a teacher who enrolled for an online course wishing to learn more about educational design and at the same time, to observe how...

by @KUUNSTKUULTUR , at Flickr, Creative Commons After an exciting and reinvigorating presentation of my co-workers in our 10th CTJ TEFL Seminar in which they inspired teachers to use art in different ways to foster communication and critical thinking, as well as to develop visual literacy, I felt inspired to start my semester using a simple, but effective icebreaker with my adult group. I showed my students some images  of famous painters (feel free to use the slideshow and remix it) and asked them to answer the following question,...

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...

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...

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,...

[caption id="attachment_1010" align="aligncenter" width="640"] https://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com[/caption] I still haven´t convinced you to try out Twitter even with Twitter for Professional Development and Try Twitter Before Ignoring It? Here are two additional reasons for you to join the educational crowd on Twitter. This week, the international education conference, Transformar, A Educação Está em Evolução, is happening in São Paulo, and you can follow along where?! You know where. TWITTER. Many of the participants are backchanneling, which means they are broadcasting via Twitter the interesting things they hear and pointing to resources, as...

Should we adopt a BYOD model where students bring their own devices to class or a 1:1 program where the school provides each student with one tablet? Before making the investment in technology, I believe there are some important points to consider. I start our reflection with a quote by Chris Lehman (2010), where he says: "Technology should be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary and invisible." And what does he mean by that? We can't see oxygen, but it's everywhere. We breathe in and out and don't even notice it....

  In my last post, I focused on giving Twitter a chance. Before saying No, try a resounding YES! And if I haven´t convinced you last time, how about considering Twitter as your daily professional development hub? For most ELT conferences, there are great tweets coming from the backchannel. Educators who share the resources of the presentations they are attending, ideas, thoughts, quotes. If nothing appeals to you, PD in microdoses might convince you. Here´s a list of the conference hashtags I´ve been following lately and also sharing. If you couldn´t be...

This month I’ll be continuing the theme of technology in education and thinking about the impact of technology on young people – our learners and future learners! In 2010 there was an article in the New York Times Magazine called Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction.  The title of the article gives you a clue as to the content – in it the writer contends (with the help of a teacher called Ms Blondel and a young student called Vishal) that “… computers and cellphones, and the constant stream...

I have been running my own website (www.linguaestrangeira.com.br) for several years, which has been both incredibly rewarding and very time-consuming. So many people have asked me what is in it for those who go through the trouble of building and maintaining a website, that I decided to do my Master`s research on this topic.  In order to write my dissertation paper Dot com teachers: what they seek and what they find on the Web, I interviewed ten outstanding teachers who are webmasters of educational websites, including Dave Sperling,...

Já ouvi muitas pessoas torcerem a cara para jogos de video game: são violentos, viciantes… Nada de bom parece vir desses brinquedos “malditos”. Entretanto, há mais benefícios do que se pode perceber e que eu, como um gamer de longa data (e estudioso dos efeitos do lúdico na aprendizagem), poderia elencar aqui. Mas como este é um blog para professores de inglês, acho que cabe alguns comentários acerca de como o jogos de video game podem ser uma ferramenta a mais para nossos alunos aperfeiçoarem seus conhecimentos linguísticos. Os...

Besides being an English teacher, I’ve been an e-moderator for a while now. And one of the first things I learned when I started studying to become one were the concepts of weaving and summarizing. As an e-moderator, I have to populate forums – I have to create several different forum threads where the course participants will have a discussion about a specific topic. Also, I have to moderate the discussion – I have to make sure all course participants are able to learn together and make the most...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] @rosaurochoa in Flickr[/caption]   So many times I´ve heard teachers saying that Twitter is not for them,  they don´t get it,  it is a waste of time. Before you make up your mind, just give it a try. Start using it in very simple ways. My first suggestion is searching for resources educators are already sharing in their timelines. In my case, for example, I´m interested in the use of mobile devices in the classroom, so I´ll look up "mlearning", using the Twitter search feature. Give it a try....

It all starts when you are organizing the room where you teach. And there are many questions we should ask ourselves when doing that… Am I going to have a big table or many small tables? A board? Chairs? Desks? Posters? Pictures? Books? Games? A stereo? A projector? A computer? A cell phone? What about seating arrangements? Students have to feel their room is a unique place which will also help them in their learning process and will nurture their creativity. Creativity strikes again when you are planning your...

The end of January always means one thing for me as Digital Publisher at Richmond: BETT! As three weeks have passed since New Year's Eve, I will probably have had a glass of wine, a cream cake and a sneaky cigarette but I do stick to my resolution of getting to this amazing conference and finding out about what's new in educational technology. I have been going to BETT for about five years now and the thing that never fails to impress me is its sheer size, it really...

  Recently I watched an inspiring interview with  entrepreneur Pam Slim at The Good Life Project site. In fact, if you want to pick incredible people´s brains about topics ranging from design to entrepreneurship, that´s exactly where you should land. At the end of her interview, Pam Slim mentioned that, for her, to live a good life was to live it full color and full contact. If we consider the beginning of the year for many educators around the globe at this time of the year, that´s maybe the wisest...