No matter how young (or old) your learners are

Also from my APABAL session

The above is just a doodle but I'd suggest that what it attempts to illustrate is important to anyone in a classroom where technology is going to get used.

The horizontal scale is age, from small children to teens and beyond; vertically we have the amount the technology gets used, from zero to "limited" and beyond. There are then two lines: "T", the amount of use the teacher makes of technology; and "S" the corresponding amount for the students.

If your learners are very small it may be that you need to use the technology yourself: if you're going to upload photos of them or their work to a blog (in which case, get permission first; and make it a private blog), you might need to do that (though it's amazing what even very small digital natives can do once they get their hands on technology!).

If your learners are teens, take your hands off the technology and put their hands on it — on keyboards, the digital pen for your interactive whiteboard, the "post" button on your class blog. The older they get, the more vital that is: you want them to do things with technology and, more importantly, they want to do things!

But no matter what age your learners are limit the amount that technology gets used: you don't want it to take over from the learning.

One rule of thumb that works quite well: any part of any activity that will involve merely clicking or typing is best done at home; any part that is likely to lead to a lot of talking and/or new language, that should be done in class.

With teens especially, type at home, talk in class: it's well worth bearing that in mind when planning activities.

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