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Developing Interactive Teaching Styles using an IWB


Roy Huggins
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Roy writes:

Have you tried the foreign langauge versions of GameShow Presenter? Its available in both French and Spanish. You can make some pretty cool starters and plenaries. The only disadvantage of the software is that you can not convert it into a HTML like Andrew Fields Content Generators.

No, I am not familiar with this software, but there are several packages around of this type, e.g. TaskMagic, which includes a "Millionaire" type game. You can author it easily.

My first priority re IWBs for Modern Foreign Languages is to ensure that a decent pair of loudspeakers is available so that multimedia packages can be used - vital for presenting the children with authentic native voices. You don't need special software for IWBs either. Many standard packages such as the text-reconstruction package Fun with Texts and mystery games in foreign languages such as Oscar Lake (which can go on for weeks) lend themselves naturally to group work. Form more advanced learners off-the-shelf DVDs such as Amelie are a great source of inspiration. As Chris Jones said in the title of his seminal article in System in 1986: "It's not so much the program; more what you do with it". See The Ashcombe School Language College site for some bright ideas and loads of resources:

http://www.ashcombe.surrey.sch.uk/Curriculum/modlang/

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As Chris Jones said in the title of his seminal article in System in 1986: "It's not so much the program; more what you do with it

I totally agree on all the points that you gave raised Graham. I use my IWB/ data projector for making a high impact point with video clips or software with the kids.

Its all abou creating relevant memorable eduactional experiences for the kids that ten years later they stop on the street and say sir - you were a right good teacher I'll never forget the lesson .............

Have you ever experimented with getting kids to make their own pod casts using the target language?

If you use windows media player for your CD / DVDs there is a really nice feature called SRS which can help to boost your sound output.. If you select the comapct skin mode and click on the menu at the bottom you can click through several settings until you come up to a graphic equaliser mode. In the top right hand corner you will see SRS. Tirn it on. If that does not boost your sound settings push the graphic equalisesr to the top and you will notice a big difference when playing back sound files.

Kind Regards

Roy

Edited by Roy Huggins
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I found your seminary in Toulouse very interesting. Since I'm a beginner with basically everything so I am with IWB as well. The group needs to have a plain Swedish amateur as the symbolic incompetent in the group... :D (don't mention golf)

About half a year ago we started to install smartboards in a few classrooms at Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet in Gothenburg (after the Gothenburg meeting...). One of the effects with these smartboards is the amount of teachers that now show an interest in learning more about how to use them. Several of these people have never showed a great appreciation for ICT! In that respect I see another positive use of the smartboards - it has open a possibility to get more educators involved in the idea of using ICT as a tool.

Another part that has been good in the interaction with students is the fact that they are now able to show some of their work, comment on it, add reactions and comments from their audience (their classmates) and then produce a finished product during the end of a "mini seminar". This is just another tool - but it's an efficient one that engage student activity.

You have been concerned about the different ways of learning which I think is often forgotten. The visual and audativ parts we seem to manage pretty well but the "doing" is usually worse. ICT brings many opportunities in this field (as we are all aware off) and I think it was great that you showed us some of the ways it could be done with the help of IWB. I think that this tool is one out of many that we will have good use for in many classrooms (but it is a bit expensive...).

PS. Sorry for getting off the main topic but we have to have make some corrections here Russel - David was right. Jimi Hendrix played in Stockholm at the end of August 1970 (at Gröna Lund). The next day he played at Liseberg - Stora Scenen (in Gothenburg). The tickets were 15 kronor (less than a pound) and he played some of my absolute favorites Hey Joe, Purple Haze, Red House... Noel Redding wasen't with him but Mitch Mitchell was and anothe guy - I can't remember his name...

I was broke at the time so I have only heard a recording of this event (on a small casette) - how could I know that one of my absolute favorite artists would be dead a few weeks later :angry:

jimi_hendrix_biljett.jpg

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Hi Anders,

You've made some excellent points about IWBs. Our school is contantly being inundated with new initiatives and people become tired of yet another new idea. However, nearly everyone gets excited about the potential of IWBs. As has been thoroughly discussed above, this can lead to an overuse of the IWB and a lttle too much teacher direction, but if you can harness this enthusiam you can always train people who to use them correctly whilst at the same time introducing some new ideas.

For example, when we first started being equipped with IWBs I think that it is fair to say that there were a lot teachers at our school who were into chalk and talk or auditory teaching. By combining IWBs with the latest ideas on VAKing I was able to introduce people to other teaching and learning strategies. The one thing that I learnt from this experience is that if you combine ICT with other initiatives you can really bring about some big changes. Four years down the line we now have a lmahority of teachers VAKing their lessons, using graphic organisers, contend generators and being not just open minded about change but more willing to embrace it.

Another great thing about using SmartNotes as Simon refered to baove is the ability to reload last lessons work or even share it will colleagues. I have a very annoying habit of saying: 'Hey guys just did a brilliant lesson on ....... you should try it' - I get very carried away and excited sometimes, but ICT as a tool can get people excited and sharing ideas in a way that passing around photocopies of worksheets and pink bander sheets in the 1970s never could!

I've suddenly realised how I can upload some graphic organisers after having looked at your last post! Now Watch this space! :angry:

The second graphic organiser called comparison alley. I have some blank copies that you can have if you e-mail me.

Any questions about how to use them?

Roy

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Edited by Roy Huggins
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Roy asks

Have you ever experimented with getting kids to make their own podcasts using the target language?

I don't actually teach these days. I retired in 1993, my last job being a director of a university language centre. Since then I have been involved in training language teachers to use ICT and in various types of consultancy work. But nowadays I spend more time gardening, walking my dog, playing golf, swimming and travelling to nice places abroad. I keep in touch with what's going on in Computer Assisted Language Learning by surfing the Web, via email with numerous contacts worldwide and through membership of the professional associations EUROCALL (Europe) and CALICO (USA).

A lot of work is being done is the area of podcasting in modern languages. Joe Dale, Ewan McIntosh (Scottish CILT) and Mark Pentleton (Partners in Excellence) are working in this area.

See Joe Dale's blog at the TES site:

"ICT & Modern Foreign Languages: Using podcasts in the classroom"

http://www.tes.co.uk/blogs/blog.aspx?path=/ICT/&post=2237887

which reports on his own efforts at getting the children to create podcasts

See also Joe's own site at:

http://www.joedale.typepad.com

Mark Pentleton is leader of Partners in Excellence (PiE), a Scottish initiative for the promotion of language learning and teaching using ICT. PiE are creating their own series of PodCasts for languages learners, which they refer to as PiECasts: http://www.pie.org.uk

See the Modern Foreign Languages Environment Blog, a weblog based at the Learning and Teaching Scotland website, maintained by Ewan McIntosh, providing the latest news on Modern Foreign Languages and a facility for readers to add their own comments: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/cs/blogs/mfle/

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Hi Graham,

Many thanks for the links, I shall investigate them further.

Please find attached another useful graphic organiser called the Pro & Con Organiser. It can be used a sa planary or starter or as the focus for an investagation that can then summarised on the IWB or simply using a data projector

You setup a key question in the middle and once the students have completed their investigation they can then feedback onto the board.

Whoops I've run out of space! I'll have to ask Russell for a greater allowance.

Kind Regards

Roy

E-mail me if you would like a blank copy that you can import or if you would like a smart template file that will install all of them to your PC.

Edited by Roy Huggins
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One interesting aspect to this is the way that publishing companies are now moving into interactive whiteboard lesson provision. Whole sets of lesson resources and materials are being provided. Some observations on much of it:

1) There is frequently an overuse of text and image 'information' slides;

2) There is an assumption that IWBs are more interesting than they are, thus everything that can possibly be put on the board is;

3) There is a strong emphasis on 1 hour, teacher led, highly packaged blobs of learning rather than some of the more longer term, independent learning opportunities highlighted by John;

4) And perhaps, teachers are again being reduced to transmitters, presenters who deliver centrally controlled lessons.

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Inspiration is a nice mind-mapping programme, which I suppose would work on IWBs. There are various versions, from a Kids version to a 'serious' businesspersons version. The company's home page is at:

http://www.inspiration.com

PS. The Gröna Lund Hendrix concert was shut down in the middle by the caretakers because the band were playing too loud - that's the story anyway.

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Simon writes:

One interesting aspect to this is the way that publishing companies are now moving into interactive whiteboard lesson provision. Whole sets of lesson resources and materials are being provided. Some observations on much of it:

1) There is frequently an overuse of text and image 'information' slides;

2) There is an assumption that IWBs are more interesting than they are, thus everything that can possibly be put on the board is;

3) There is a strong emphasis on 1 hour, teacher led, highly packaged blobs of learning rather than some of the more longer term, independent learning opportunities highlighted by John;

4) And perhaps, teachers are again being reduced to transmitters, presenters who deliver centrally controlled lessons.

I am inclined to agree. Most of what I have seen in my subject area, produced by companies such as Boardworks and the big publishers of modern foreign languages coursebooks, is all presentation and no interaction. It's a return to the teacher as a presenter/animator - creating more work for the teacher rather than less work. I always thought computers were designed to help reduce our work load.

When I first got interested in computing in 1976 the emphasis was predominantly on interaction. The interactive programs that were developed subsequently in the 1980s placed a lot of emphasis on feedback, branching and help routines and, finally (which teachers of modern foreign languages were looking forward to for years), we got sound and video when the first multimedia computers appeared - although there was a period in the 1980s when Heath-Robinson interactive videodisc setups enabled us to enjoy interactive programs incorporating sound and video. Nowadays, feedback appears to be a lost art. What has happened to all the research that was done on the pros and cons of intrinsic vis-à-vis extrinsic feedback? All we appear to have now is flashy presentations (v. the new BBC Jam materials) and multiple-choice point-and-click-let's-move-on quick stuff - which does very little to help embed the learning materials in the student's mind.

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Simon writes:

One interesting aspect to this is the way that publishing companies are now moving into interactive whiteboard lesson provision. Whole sets of lesson resources and materials are being provided. Some observations on much of it:

1) There is frequently an overuse of text and image 'information' slides;

2) There is an assumption that IWBs are more interesting than they are, thus everything that can possibly be put on the board is;

3) There is a strong emphasis on 1 hour, teacher led, highly packaged blobs of learning rather than some of the more longer term, independent learning opportunities highlighted by John;

4) And perhaps, teachers are again being reduced to transmitters, presenters who deliver centrally controlled lessons.

I am inclined to agree. Most of what I have seen in my subject area, produced by companies such as Boardworks and the big publishers of modern foreign languages coursebooks, is all presentation and no interaction. It's a return to the teacher as a presenter/animator - creating more work for the teacher rather than less work. I always thought computers were designed to help reduce our work load.

Hi Guys,

I would broadly agree with you both, but to be fair to boardworks they have tried to incorporate more flash style drag and drop activities in an attempt to create more interactivity into their presentations.

The problem with any downloaded or purchased resources is not their content, but how they are used. They were never designed to be used as off the peg PP presentations, but resources that were supposed to be customised to suit the individual needs of the class being taught. Its a case of the bad artist or craftsman blaming his tools!

Along with several other members of this forum I have produced a lot of history resources for boardworks. They were designed so that other professionals could change and adapt them for their own purposes.

To be honest I would be horrified if someone used my PP on the Long Term Causes of the English Civil War in a lesson long presentation, even with the interactivity. It would be a case for the war crimes tribunal for death by PowerPoint!

The problem comes down to the key issue raised above and is related to poor CPD which leads to some hard pressed teachers viewing ICT or IWBs as a form of visual chewing gum to keep the class occupied.

If you use any of my downloadable resources from www.schoolhistory.co.uk or from boardworks or Heinemann, then you should customise it, rip bits out of it and use your artistry as a teacher to make it relevant to your own students.

The only possible exception with the boardworks or Ben Walsh stuff, is if you are going to use the ICT resources as a virtual text book that is then tied into other text book or classroom activities.

ICT is a tool, a meduim for the two way communication of ideas, facts and skills that need to be adapted to suit the individual needs of the students / classes that we teach - within the practical time constraints that real teachers face at the chalk face!

Kind Regards

Roy

Edited by Roy Huggins
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If you use any of my downloadable resources from www.schoolhistory.co.uk or from boardworks or Heinemann, then you should customise it, rip bits out of it and use your artistry as a teacher to make it relevant to your own students.

I agree that this is how they can be used, but as you suggest, this might not actually be how they are used. Clearly there is that need for good CPD.

Nevertheless, big educational publishers have slightly different priorities. In this way, the latest Heinemann stuff comes with easiteach which is either a) a way of providing cross platform resources :hotorwot a way of protecting the publisher's work from easy adaptation, and sharing or maybe c) a bit of both.

I suppose its the electronic equivalent of those textbooks which go out of their way to use patterns and shades which make photocopying impossible!

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Hi Simon,

The Ben Walsh CD resources are great as they will allow you to transfer the information to Word or Powerpoint so that you can create your own resources.

I had an amighty argumeny with Heinemann over whether they should use SmartNotes or EasyTeach. My central argument was that EasyTeach is neither easy or ultimately useful to a classroom teacher - baring in mind that I believe that folks should be given the opportunity to customise!

I believe very passionately that all the VLEs and wonderful websites on the World Wide Web, that you can never replace the artistry of a good teacher who can adapt resources to suit the needs of their students and weave a good olde fashioned yarn about blood, gore, death and destruction, with a little hint of sex!

Kind Regards

Roy

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