Talks

2016

This year I'll be giving/have given the following talks on using technology with language learners:

  • April 16th IATEFL 2016 | Hand over the tools: technology for learners, not teachers
    A recent informal research project suggested that technology is still being used largely by teachers for teaching, not by learners for learning. To catch up with the 21st century, we need to ‘flip’ that trend. Taking ideas from my Tech Tools for Teachers lessons plans on www.onestopenglish.com, this practical session looks at easy ways to hand technology over.
  • February 10th Macmillan Education Webinar | Using technology for student-centred learning
    In this session, we're going to look at a few of the ways in which your learners can use their phones and computers to create and share things and, most importantly, have them using English to do so. What you will get from the session are some simple, practical ideas that will get your learners playing not with technology, but with language. Because they are simple, the ideas come with few (if any) technological headaches. As far as possible, the ideas will be flexible and adaptable to just about any level above A1 and for students of just about any age and interests. Technologically-speaking, they are designed for teachers who might not know a lot about technology, but who probably teach students that do. 3pm UK time.
  • February 6th IH Barcelona ELT Conference | Yes we can! Not drawing, just representing
    As a teacher, you don't need to be able to "draw". But this practical workshop is designed to show those of you who think you can't draw how to "adequately represent", which is what you should aim for. Being able to "represent" is a creative and, above all, time-saving skill that it's well worth developing for classes and activities of all kinds — teaching vocabulary (or tenses), games, storytelling, business English or a conversation class (not to mention note-taking at conferences!) Included in the workshop, activities you (and your learners, of any age) could use basic "drawing" skills for, plus practical tips to get you started and to develop your skills further.

2015

  •  November 27 Workshop at IH Barcelona 10 ways in which your language learners could be using their smartphones
    They say (it may be an urban legend) that there's more computing power in smartphones than took Neil Armstrong to the moon in 1969. Shouldn't we be taking advantage of that in language classrooms, rather than have our learners turn their phones off and put them away? In this session, we're going to look at 10 simple things they could be doing, in the classroom, outside it, and independently, in order to improve their English in many different ways.
  • February 7th IH Barcelona ELT Conference | In ELT, are we getting technology totally wrong?
    We're now 15 years into the 21st century and technology has changed the world. But has it actually changed what we do in our language classrooms — and should it have done? In this session, we're going to examine what you're doing in your classroom with technology (there'll be a test!). Have you and your learners been reading the signposts right…? Are you on the right road…? Or are you, technologically speaking, lost…? If your learners, in and for your classes, are already doing the most amazing things with 21st century technology, then this probably isn't the session for you. If that's not the case and/or you're someone who isn't particularly proficient with technology, you should come away with some practical ideas for language learning tasks that will put you (and them!) on a shortcut to catching up.

2014

  • February 8th IH Barcelona ELT Conference | If a picture is not worth 1000 words
    There are two things that have ruined education: one is the stupid idea that "an image is worth 1000 words" and the second is Google Images. Nowadays, it seems, a teacher can't go to class without a wad of printed (and stolen!) pictures no matter how few words they are worth. But my contention is that if the image is not actually going to produce 1000 words of English from your learners, it should NOT be taken into the classroom at all! In this session we'll look at some creative, practical ideas for use with teens and/or adults at Intermediate levels and above, that require either a single picture (one worth way more than 1000 words) or else no image at all, at least to begin with, and which may involve the learners creating (not stealing!!!) photos and other images. We'll also look at some of the easy-to-use but powerful technology (NOT the photocopier!!!) that our learners could be using, including mobile phones.

2013

  • May 4th | Macmillan Teacher's Day, Barcelona | Technology makes writing better. Discuss
    With a view to the sort of writing tasks learners have to do on exams like Selectivitat, FCE and CAE, in this session we'll be looking what learners can do both in class and outside with tools such as Blogger, Edmodo and Google Docs, as well as an interactive whiteboard and mobile phones, to make writing first of all more collaborative and thus more communicative. If we do, writing becomes more fun and more motivating; and, hopefully as a result, better.
  • April 27th | Macmillan Teacher's Day, Seville | Graded Readers with Technology
    21st century tasks that will make your learners want to read. Do people read books nowadays? They should, especially if they're learning a foreign language – for the sake of their reading comprehension skills, vocabulary and confidence, and because reading can be fun! But they’d rather be on Facebook, wouldn't they? Yes, but there are easy ways graded readers can be made enjoyable with simple-to-use Web 2.0 tools (not to mention interactive whiteboards).
  • April 26th IH Barcelona Workshop | An Edmodo group and what you could do with it
    "Everyone" is on Facebook these days, aren't they? And there are undoubtedly lots of language learning activities that could be done in a Facebook group. However, in any given group of adults, there still tends to be at least one person who would rather not be on Facebook. Because it is much more private, Edmodo is a fabulous alternative and in this hands-on session we'll be looking at some of the things that we (or rather our learners) could use it for.
  • April 13th | Macmillan Teacher's Day, Zaragoza | What's the recipe for using technology successfully?
    Using technology is a bit like making a large cake: you need the ingredients, some preparation, some good tools (things like GoAnimate, Blogger and Edmodo…), some practice, a tablespoonful of confidence and 25 people to help you eat it. In this session we're going to look at some simple recipes for successful use of technology with young language learners: successful because they like it, because they learn some English while using it and because they'll say to you "Can we have another piece?"
  • February 9th IH Barcelona ELT Conference | Podcasting 101
    Although you can subscribe to and download the audio (and video) files commonly known as podcasts, as well as create your own, one of the most interesting ways they can be used in a language classroom is for the learners themselves to do the actual recording. If you've never tried podcasting before, this introductory session will show you some of the very simple tools that your learners can use (SoundCloud and Vocaroo, Blogger and Edmodo etc), as well as looking at easy tasks to get you started and your learners both excited and learning… Suitable for just about all ages of learners and intended for teachers unfamiliar with podcasting… no matter how technologically-challenged!

2012


Presentation of my TESOL-Spain talk, March 2012

  • September 10th I APABAL Convention, Palma Mallorca| Energizing teaching with technology
    In this session I'm going to describe some of the things that I take to class with me (and one I don't!), as well as some of the tools (Blogger, Edmodo, GoAnimate, Soundcloud…) we use and the activities we do (digital storytelling, podcasting…) that help to energize classrooms and the people in them. If you can "connect" your learners to English through technology, there is so much potential to engage them. If you can connect the "wires" up the right way… POW!!!
  • May 5th Macmillan Teachers' Day Bilbao | Digital Storytelling
    How many of your students like writing in English? How many of them groan when you ask them to write you a "composition"? But if you use a creative, collaborative approach to writing and never, ever again use the word "composition", they might start to like it more – especially if you replace the C-word with the phrase "create a Word document" or "produce a PowerPoint (or a Prezi!) presentation" or "post your work on our blog", or on Edmodo…
  • May 3rd Macmillan Teachers' Day Córdoba | Graded Readers with Technology
  • April 26th Macmillan Teachers' Day Ponferrada | Graded Readers with Technology
  • April 25th Macmillan Teachers' Day Leon | Graded Readers with Technology
  • March 31st Macmillan Teachers' Day Valencia | Graded Readers with Technology
  • March 24th Macmillan Teachers' Day Alicante | Graded Readers with Technology
    21st century tasks that will make your learners want to read. Do people read books nowadays? They should, especially if they're learning a foreign language – for the sake of their reading comprehension skills, vocabulary and confidence, and because reading can be fun! But they’d rather be on Facebook, wouldn't they? Yes, but there are easy ways graded readers can be made enjoyable with simple-to-use Web 2.0 tools (not to mention interactive whiteboards).
  • March 11th TESOL Spain 35th Annual National Convention | How to design good 21st century language learning tasks
    Do the tasks we set our language learners really take advantage of what 21st century technology offers and do they actually lead to lots of language learning? In this session, we'll be looking at examples of tasks designed by ordinary teachers, who had only basic knowledge of technology, and how they could be (and were) improved.
  • February 4th IH Barcelona ELT Conference | Technology in 10 quotations
    It's impossible to learn all there is to know about technology. Fortunately, as a language teacher, you in fact really don't need to know very much, provided you can find ways that your learners could use it that will lead to lots of language practice and learning. In this session, technology is going to get reduced to 10 quotations, which will be used to illustrate 10 simple, practical ideas which require very little technological know-how and which will work in a wide variety of language classrooms, from teens to adults.

I also give a session on technology on each of the CELTA courses at IH Barcelona and a similar session on the equivalent course for Spanish teachers.

See also the technology courses I tutor on.

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