Tomorrow's teaching is today
I was presenting a keynote this morning in a Slovenian school to about 100 eTwinning teachers, ambassadors and European Commission-y people, a Slovenian school where Skype is on and available, where the connection speed is rapid and the welcome one of the warmest you can hope to get. The audio from my talk to Primary Leaders of the Future, given on Thursday, provides most of my main points (minus the visuals, of course):
The talk was based on the one I delivered to Modern Languages teachers in Oxford a few weeks ago and the notes over there are perfect for those wanting to get stuck into some new technologies for language teaching and collaboration. The notes from Congres Frans should be fairly comprehensive for those wishing to read more about les nouvelles technologies pour l'apprentissage des langues instead of the English version. The MFLE ICT links should help a lot, too.
I'll be doing three workshops next taking what I did en francais about tools back in Holland and turning it into a workshop in the fullest sense of the word. Instead of presenting more stuff and potentially blanking them I want them to discover something new and think about how they could apply it in a collaborative project - and maybe even start a new international project there and then.
The bouquet of technologies and pedagogical starting points will probably include:
- Collaborating for planning:
- GoogleDocs: Sign up for a free account here (or use your existing GoogleMail login) and several people can edit a document 'live', in real time. Great for planning timelines (using the Spreadsheet) or sketching out ideas (using the Word-like docs). All participants need to have been invited by the person who set up the original document so it's very safe and secure.
- PBWiki: For longer term more public working, or for creating a very simple website quickly, use a wiki such as PBWiki or Wikispaces. My preference is PBWiki because it looks nicer ;-) and does not carry any advertising if you're a teacher. The education region East Lothian Council uses a wiki for both designing safety policy with all the teachers and students affected as well as for providing a support community - everyone with some expertise can share what they know. Your ideas are invited here if you have time. There are some videos showing how others have used it: Link to http://educators.pbwiki.com/PBwiki-educator-videos
- Digital Storytelling:
- Audio stories: use Audacity and the LAME MP3 converter (tools and how tos here) to create MP3 episodes of a story you can share via iPod, mobile phone or the web. Donald talks a bit more about this kind of Keitei and how it's become so popular in Japan.
- Photo stories: The Flickr groups Six Word Story and Five Frame Story are nice starting points for some creative and collaborative writing. You might also think about making simple comics.
- Improving on a computer game: Using PowerPoint your kids can start redesigning and rewriting their favourite narrative games.
- Keeping safe and sensible:
- East Lothian's documents and, coming soon on this blog, how we go about bringing students, teachers and parents on board. I'll be doing it later on so that we can compare with some of the issues already raised in more 'restrictive' European states.
More to come very soon with those interesting comparisons hopefully and some solutions for teachers in these different and sometimes difficult situations.