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...

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...