Interactive white board

A lot of us have already heard about interactive white boards but do we really know what it is and how it work? Most of us don’t. Here is some interesting information about it I mostly found it on this and this website which really contain a lot of information on the whiteboard.

First, the white board is a big white screen you can interact on. The computer screen which is connected to the white board is projected on it. The white board then becomes a giant computer screen and the teacher can control it by only touching it. Everything that is done with the computer can also be done on the white board. The teacher can write, read, use PowerPoint, use it to watch a movie, etc.  The students can also interact directly on the white board when asked.

My friend Laurence also wrote a blog about interactive white board and listed a lot of good advantages about the white board. The white board allows the teacher to use interactive activities with the students. They can come and write on the board just as they could do with a traditional board and a chalk. But you cannot only write on it, there are a lot more things to do with a white board than with a traditional board. You can do everything you can do on a computer, but it is more interesting. In fact, the students can participate and the teacher doesn’t stay seated behind his computer, talking and switching pages.  He can also write directly on his already prepared notes or PowerPoint, he can create new documents, add things, details, notes, examples to his prepared work, etc.  Because of all these fabulous advantages, I think it is a tool which should be integrated in every class. It encourages students’ participation a lot and I think that is best part of it.



Cell phones

I found a lot of interesting blogs about the use of smart phones in class. This one was my favorite one about it. Most people are frustrated about it because it is a distraction, it makes noise, it can be used for cheating, etc.  I was this kind of person who only thinks about the disadvantages until I read those blogs. Most of them were very interesting, they convinced me and I will try, by talking about it, to encourage other people to use smart phones in class as well.

Almost every student has a cell phone so why not use it in class? There are many things you can do with a smart phone in class and students will really appreciate using it. Of course there are some issues, smart phones can distract students, some students will use it to text during lessons, they can take pictures, etc. but there are also a lot of advantages. All through this blog, I will enumerate en describe different advantages of the use of smart phones in class. To use most of these tips properly, you have to make sure there is a Wi-Fi available so students can access the internet for free but it shouldn’t be a problem since almost every school now has a Wi-Fi.

First interesting point, you can use it as a student agenda. Students can write in their calendar what they have to do and when it is due. Also, it is possible to set an alarm to remind them they have to do something.  As they use their phones a lot, it will help them remember what they have to do and when.

Second, they can use their phones to contact team members. It is easy, quick and a lot more efficient than e-mails.

Third, dictionaries are expensive and heavy but students could now access a dictionary on their phones at anytime and without carrying one. It is easier and faster and students will probably be encouraged to use it more than they would use a traditional dictionary.

Fourth, students can use their smart phones as a research tool. There is even a Google search application.

Fifth, smart phones can be used for electronic books. It is easier to carry books and it is a good way to save money on book purchase. Students cannot lose their electronic versions of books and they cannot smash it.  Instead of sharing 30 copies of the same book between three different classes, students could have their own copy on their cell phones.

These are only a few ways to use smart phones in class. It is also accessible, it has a calculator, you can set alarms and there are a lot of cheap or free applications you can get these days which can be very useful in class. I found most of these advantages on this website which also suggests nice applications you can use for cellphones in class. I could enumerate advantages for hours but I think this is convincing enough. If you want more ideas of things to do with a cellphone in class I suggest you to visit this website. I really hope you will consider using smart phones in class after you’ve read my blog or, at least, be able to admit that there are not only disadvantages about these devices!


Video Camera

Making a video nowadays is very easy. Everyone knows how to do it, wether it is with their video cameras or cellphones. So why not take advantage of it and use this technology in class?

A good use of videos would be to replace traditional oral presentations with a video. It is not more complicated and students will like it.  First, you have to choose a theme for the oral presentations and explain it to the students, as you would do for a traditional oral presentation. After, students would write their drafts or stories, and then write the “scenario” which should include every replica, cue, the setting, etc. Then, instead of presenting in front of the whole class, students would only have to record their videos and present it to the class. Here is an interesting website on which you can find more elaborated instructions about the process!

That’s a very good way of doing an oral presentation. Students will like it because it includes technology and most of them are good with it. Also, it will help them reduce their stress a lot because they won’t have all the pressure that presenting in front of a whole class brings. Furthermore, it is original and they have access to a lot more material. They don’t have to bring cardboards and objects in class because they can record it at home or wherever they want to. It can also help students practice their pronunciation, they can watch it to hear their pronunciation and try to identify and correct their mistakes. Lastly, it is very helpful for the teacher when it comes to correction because he or she can watch the oral presentation as much as desired.

I have myself experienced it as a student and I loved it!  It is way more interesting than doing a traditional oral presentation in front of the class. You can use a lot more material and you are a lot more comfortable.

This is only one thing you can do with a video camera but there are a lot of ways you can use this tool in class. You can find other things to do with a video camera in class here and here.