I have been busy preparing some training material over my summer break to share with my colleagues at work, should it be needed. Below you will find a link that will allow you to download a Notebook tutorial on how to make three basic activities for your SmartBoard interactive whiteboard (you will need to have the Notebook software installed in your computer). Please feel free to download it and to share it about if you found it useful.
The tutorial will show you how to:
- make a Magic Box
- make a Quiz
- make a Fill in the Gaps exercise
Although anyone could benefit from it, the techniques used in this tutorial are very simple and it is aimed at IWB beginners, perhaps those of you who are about to go on a course or those who might want to refresh what they learnt on a course they attended recently.
If you are interested in learning some more basic skills for your IWB, I recommend you also watch this short video: Top Five Tips for creating resources for the IWB
If you are using a Mac then you might have problems downloading this file because Safari will mistake it for a .zip file. It works fine in FireFox though. In any case, just drop me a line and I’ll email it to you.
I have recently been looking into motivating pupils, boys in particular, to speak in the target language and I have been studying the use of Voki and my subject blog as the means to achieve this objective. Having laid out the rationale for the use of Web 2.0 for this purpose in a previous post, I would like to explain exactly what I did in these three lessons and how I planned them.
I was very careful to introduce the idea of using Voki to my pupils so that they would be immediately engaged and enthused by the prospect of using it. I therefore decided to plan for serendipity and cheat slightly by making them think it was their idea to use Voki all along: I purposefully showed them a Voki during a lesson which had been recorded by my three year old son speaking in Spanish. I then waited until one of my pupils suggested that they could use Voki in their Spanish lesson, what a brilliant idea!
From this moment on, I deliberately tried to become a facilitator or a collaborator: a senior partner who would mentor them through the process of acquainting themselves with the new application and with the creation of their own Spanish-speaking avatar. After a quick demonstration in which I explained how to register on the website and how to obtain the necessary code to embed their finished Voki in our subject blog, we decided that it was really easy and that we should use Voki to practise the latest topic that we had been revising: My Town (Home and Local Environment).
I had, however, a main concern regarding using this method to achieve my purpose, which is encapsulated in this question: what evidence is there that using ICT would be a more effective way to achieve my aims and objectives than standard teaching practice?
Given that my objective was to increase my pupils’ confidence in speaking Spanish, in answer to the above question I surmise the following: since it is generally agreed that ICT both motivates and enthuses learners and it has been firmly established that pupils’ motivation bears tremendous influence in the process of language learning and acquisition, it follows, in my opinion, that motivation and encouragement should, per se, be an objective to be sought as a language teacher.
Introducing the use Web 2.0 tools in the form of blogs and Voki into my schemes of work is therefore justified on the grounds that it will engage my pupils to a greater extent than traditional teaching methods and it will bestow in them a wish to participate.
If you are an experienced user of interactive whiteboards, then you probably know about using layers in your interactive whiteboard flipcharts. However if you are reading this and you are still thinking what on Earth are layers? then read on and watch the video: