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« How can new technology support teaching and learning? | Main | iPod Touch training in MFL at Medina High »

19/07/2011

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Wow, that was a cool way to motivate her students. I know in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class a lot of our projects were done the same way. Giving students a project that allows them to use their creativity can be both fun and educational. It could definitely keep them engaged.

Interesting, but what language did they actually learn? Did the technology actually enhance the language learning or were the pupils more interested in improving their IT knowledge rather than their German? How did you set up the language before letting them loose on the gadgets? Or didn't you?

For the project that I talk about above, there was little new language learnt because of the nature of the task - it was the last 2 weeks of their language lessons (ever, for most of them) and the class, which were quite mixed in their ability and generally not fans of language lessons! So in that particular case, they were a bit more interested in their IT than the language. However, I didn't mind that. It was a cross-curricular project and the purpose of it was not to improve their German necessarily, but to help them to enjoy German and to use some new technology. Even if they were not learning new German each lesson, they were certainly still learning something! It is a shame that I cannot post more of the projects (some of them give away too much about themselves, where they live etc so i dont want to post them publicly) as some of them do show some great skills, not just in IT but in German too.

I have since tried similar projects 3 times. I learnt a lot from the first one (which was an experiment) and these last three projects took much less time (completed in less than 2 lessons), and I directed them much more in terms of language that they would use/practise. It worked much better and they still enjoyed the projects the same. I have also experimented using the iPods within normal lessons for 10 minute sessions for peer assessment tasks, speaking work for me to mark after the lesson etc etc, which has worked really nicely.

At the moment I see iPods, as with a lot of new technologies, more a way to engage and motivate pupils, and that in turn helps them to learn more language. Equally, exercises like those just mentioned help to build confidence for those pupils who aren't happy to speak out in lessons as they feel more comfortable working alone or with a friend speaking into an iPod.

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