Using video clips to foster language, creativity and media skills

I attended a teacher training these days and one of the topics was using short films in language teaching. I have to admit the following genre was somehow new to me, but I like it a lot. I also like the idea of trying it in lessons to come with my 1:1-classes. If you would like to gain more insight into some great ideas on using short films, a book published by E. Thaler might be well worth a look (E. Thaler, Short films in Language Teaching, 2017).

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Ideas on assessing student’s digital work

Teaching English as a foreign language (unfortunately) has often been about assessing and testing students a lot. A majority of tests at many schools are written ones. I personally think students should have lots of learning time, not of being taught to the test. A few high stake tests could do. In addition it is often a bit challenging and time consuming to design a really good, valid, reliable and fair written test (it is for sure easier to mark it then ;-).

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A few thoughts on using (digital) mind maps effectively

A key element for effective learning is the student’s ability to structure their findings effectively and to their personal learning benefits. Identifying important pieces of information and putting them into a context for good re-use. It is often useful to understand a new idea, adding to an already familiar concept but also good at mastering workshops, meetings and projects. Often teachers like their students to use mind maps for this kind of work. Using paper is one way to cope with this but maybe you have seen ‘mind maps’ like this as well:

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Making trainees seamlessly using digital concepts and tools in their classrooms

As a teacher trainer one frequently discussed question among colleagues these days is ‘how to make them do it’? How can we, as teacher trainers in the initial training phase, make sure that the upcoming teachers of the future understand and implement digital concepts and ideas behind their teaching? Make them take ideas like SAMR, 4Cs, TPACK; Blooms new digital taxonomy, etc. for granted?

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Helping students to create quality videos

Motivation matters. Realistic scenarios are very important to get the best out of our students. Only if they see that it matters to their lives, they will respond with going the extra mile.

One aspect which is useful for almost every student is creating application videos. It can be helpful to join the school’s exchange trip to a foreign country. Needless to say to get a (new) job. Just two ideas …

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Add-on vs. Redesign – some thoughts on teacher training in the digital age

When it comes to reacting to the undeniable requirements of teaching in the 21st century, many of the common formats in teacher training and initial teacher education aim at an add-on approach. A statements that somehow reflects this idea could read like: ”Don‘t worry about your basic approach in the classroom, you don’t have to change that much. Just find some opportunities to work a few digital tools into your lesson plans here and then.”

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