More infographics on the IWB

Here's an infographic from coolinfographics.com showing the world's Best and Worst Places To Be A Woman. In the image above, I've imported the chart into an interactive whiteboard (IWB) page and then blanked out in yellow the names of the countries and the criteria used for ranking.

As a starting point for class discussion with a group of adults, can they suggest what the criteria were/should be; what countries will come where (and why?) in the ranking; and, specifically, where will Spain come?

So that we can then compare with the original chart, I have it on a second page. Alternatively, it's very easy to remove the yellow with the eraser tool, revealing what was underneath.

See this previous post for the source of the original idea (OUP's ELT Global Blog), one of the things I've found to work best on the IWB.

The most beautiful buildings in the world

This one, Are these the world's most beautiful buildings?, came from my RSS feed for the Telegraph.

That's precisely the sort of thing I'm looking for when I take 10 minutes every morning to skim through the feeds on Google Reader: material (text or images, or both, but not too much), sometimes displayed on an interactive whiteboard, that will interest my learners and, above all, get them to talk, often through a brainstorming session.

With this one, everyone can come up with buildings that might be included, but the potential for disagreement (great!) on what should be included is huge. To avoid any project work or presentations being richly illustrated with images stolen from Google Images (a pet hate), and also to generate more discussion, I would insist on some of the buildings being in "our" city (easy if you live somewhere like Barcelona!).

The Telegraph also has a gallery of the world's ugliest buildings, which you could do a similar thing with.

How many slaves work for you?

How many slaves work for you?

This is one I got from the wonderful Larry Ferlazzo, and which worked great in class with a small group of  (7) intermediate adults.

Essentially what we did was, together ("whole class"), work through the questions on how many slaves work for you on the site Larry recommended, negotiating our collective answer in each case, rather than doing it individually or in pairs. Doing so, and having to agree on an answer for the group as a whole, gave rise to a lot of discussion and language use (which, in a language class, was after all the point of the exercise).

In comparison, we actually made very little use of technology (we were using an interactive whiteboard, which strictly speaking wasn't necessary).

In the image shown, my own result, not that we agreed on (which was embarrassingly high!).

Getting lots out of next to nothing

My son (thanks Toni!) just sent me the above video, which might be fun in class.

As a general rule, I like to see how much I can get out of how little material (in this case a 1'39" video clip) and how little technology I can use.

Even without playing the clip, I reckon you could get a lot out of asking what people would do in the situation: in a 150-seat movie theatre, there are 148 serious bikers and just two seats left, right in the middle, for you and your partner. Would you sit down?

You might want to download the clip in order to be able to partially hide the fact that it's an ad (keepvid.com is what I use for that).

If you had an interactive whiteboard, you could download the clip and embed it on a page, which would also conceal the fact that it's an ad (other cool ways it can be done, from Richard Byrne).

With an IWB, you could also use your camera tool to capture stills from the clip, which would be an easy way to set the context. Note that only the first 30 seconds of the video will also set the context nicely before you watch the rest, with a discussion stage before you do so.

After using YouTube clips in class, I always like to share the clips via an Edmodo group. With ads, either there or in class, the question of whether or not it's a good ad and why (not) is always fruitful for discussion, and Edmodo gives your learners somewhere they can share (and comment on) further ads, possibly ones they like more.

• Another clip (thanks Natxo!): Dylan Ratigan getting worked up about the US economy. Hard to understand but, with adults at quite a high level, how much of the gist can your learners get? Can they then explain it coherently themselves. They already know what the problem is!

Infographics on the IWB

I loved this idea on OUP's ELT Global Blog: using infographics in class, with coolinfographics.com being suggested as an excellent source.

Because they're so quick and easy to import using the "camera" tool, infographics work great on an interactive whiteboard (IWB).

What I'd then want my learners to do would be to produce their own infographics. Creating forms for questionnaires using Google Docs is one easy way they can collect their information. The results automatically come in charts… which can then be imported to displayed on the IWB as part an oral presentation.

• Just in case | Er, sorry: What are infographics?