A library without books

This is one I found on the BBC's home page, which I visit for perhaps 20 seconds every day hoping a brief glance will provide materials like this that I might be able to use in class.

I spotted the headline The end of the classroom?, which looked as if it might interest my university-age students. The headline took me to an article with in fact a different headline, Online education disrupting traditional academic models and the link to the video above.

The article describes how the engineering department at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA) has "opened the first completely bookless library on a university campus in the US".

What I'm essentially looking for are minimum materials that will provide a maximum amount reaction from the students and a maximum amount of interaction between them.

In a class I'm teaching Tuesday, we'll look at the video first, discuss; then go on to the article; discuss further and continue the discussion after class via an Edmodo group. Any language work we do (and we will), will be reactive rather than obeying an agenda set by me in advance.

I'd argue that it's "materials-light" and, despite using technology, a Dogme approach.

Ninging, FBing, Jamendoeing or disappearing… What?!

Here's an opinion expressed I-don't-actually-remember-when, or by who, on the Dogme discussion group:

The horseshoe makers have all but disappeared along with the typists, telegraph senders, row boat men and red wax makers.

Teachers who aren't downloading, podcasting, communicating, blogging, tweeting, buzzing, ninging, FBing, jamendoeing, waving, creativecommonscreating, linking, viewing, exchanging, building avatars with their students will all go the same way, and well, probably, really quite quietly.

Surely that can't be right…?

Dogme 1.0 to die? Dogme 2.0!

The Dogme ELT Discussion group is about to close — or at least that's the idea that has been put forward.

Dogme ELT proposes (or proposed?) that language teaching should "materials-light and conversation-driven" and should focus on emerging language [see also the original Dogme ELT "vows"].

There have been various proposals for a Dogme 2.0, including Scot Thornbury's proposals for Dogme and technology and the Dogme 2.0 for ELT wiki, which has further ideas on the subject.

It is possible, I have suggested, to have a dogme-approach in a technology-light language classroom.

Dogme will survive the possible demise of its Yahoo discussion group, but it would be a great shame to see it go…

Book Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in English Language Teaching. Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury (Delta Publishing, 2009).

Dictogloss: Interactive students, inactive whiteboard

Dogme ELT argues that the best approach to language teaching is "materials-light", which is not exactly what you are going to get if you use a digital coursebook on an interactive whiteboard.

Rather than doing that, a dictoglossed single text gives you a "materials-light" class, with the learners interactive and the IWB inactive (sic), which is surely exactly what we should be aiming for…

See also
How to make your Interactive Whiteboard interactive

Interactive whiteboard links

Some of the links that I provided on the handout in the workshop I gave today on using the interactive whiteboard (IWB)…

ELT publishers are starting to produce digital versions of their coursebooks (for use with or without an IWB). Two examples:

There are numerous sites where you download things for use on the IWB:

It could be that if you doing CLIL, such things might be ideal; but, as I suggested — believing as I do in a "materials-light" Dogme approach to language teaching — I really have my serious doubts about such sites.

You've heard of Death by PowerPoint…? Take a materials-heavy approach to using the IWB and I think you're risking something very similar. The more materials, the more passive and bored your students will become…

What you really want is active students and a fairly inactive whiteboard!