Tag Archives: web tools

The Game Show: notes for Iatefl Poland workshop

At the upcoming IATEFL Poland conference, I’m giving a workshop on games that can be used in class to introduce students to online materials. In this case I’m using telc’s (free) English Practice Material online, as I was part of the team behind it. This post is primarily created for the workshop attendees.

workshop objectives

Occasionally, when talking with EFL teachers about using technology with adult students, I’ve heard things like ‘well, I told them about a great website and suggested that they do the tasks there, but I don’t think they’re interested’, or ‘There’s a CD-rom with the coursebook, but they don’t seem to want to use it.’ In fact, I’m probably guilty of saying the same thing myself at some point.

When it comes to online materials, there’s a huge amount of stuff out there. We know what’s available, we may even be enthusiastic about the resource, but just directing the student to it usually isn’t enough. If we decide to use these online materials or tools, we should ensure that we treat them not simply as some add-on, but as part of the course. This means devoting some time to properly introduce and demonstrate the material before setting it as homework, and then expanding or referencing the content in the next lesson to show that we take the work seriously, value the time our students put into it and believe it to be really useful. Online tools for grammar and vocab practice or tasks on the cd-rom generally give automatic feedback, so it’s easy to think that once we’ve assigned the task, students do it and we all move on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that, and students pick up the message that this is optional, you can get by without it. Which is a pity. If you’ve got this great material, why not get the most out of it!

Participant notes Poland iatefl

I’m adding a pdf with some of the activities and modules discussed in the workshop. Get in touch if you have any comments  or questions.

Video ‘How to use telc English Practice Material online’

This video explains where to go to sign up for access to the online materials and can also be used to help your students get logged on.

applause Have fun!

Gather online content with Bundlr

Bundlr.com is a web tool that has revolutionised my email inbox.  I was sending myself emails on a daily basis containing links to articles I’d found and thought might be good to use in class! The result was a crammed inbox and little thought put into a filing system to help me locate that great article when I actually needed it.

Bundlr has changed all that. It’s a web curation tool that allow you to gather online content into bundles which can be viewed and shared online.

To start creating bundles,  sign up via your Twitter, Facebook or Google account. Name your bundle and start adding any online content, such as links to websites, youtube videos, tweets and more. Add the content by pasting the link once you’re in the bundle or clip it by using the fantastic Bundle This! browser button, which also allows you to add a title, description and other notes to the clipped content. You can even clip sections of text from a site or article, such as a key quote.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 23.33.56

I’ve created a bundle for each business class, and add content I think the students would be interested in as I find it. Sometimes it can be something I intend to use in class, but often it is something I find online that reminds me of a discussion we had, or is somehow related to their industry.

I’ve also created bundles to accompany my course books or in one case, a bundle for each unit, where I save articles, youtube videos and links to sites with additional information. Things I can use as homework or in class, or material I can direct the stronger students to, if they need something more challenging.

All bundles are public, and you can share the links with students via email and a range of social media with the click of a button. And of course, the most important thing… it’s free to use.

All in all, Bundlr’s a quick and easy means of collecting potentially useful information in one place and a very handy tool for any teacher to have.