8 of the many ways to “Tweet” like a bird in Class.

imagestwitter

“Twitter” is a kind of an online social networking and microblogging that lets the user read and send “tweets”, which is a 140-character long. I must say that “Twitter” is such a powerful social networking tool. We can definitely use its advantages to the fullest especially in conducting classes. Students will be engaged in using social networking such as “Twitter” in learning because education evolves as technology improves from time to time.

However, there are debates on how we can implement “Twitter” in class since it only offers a 140-character microblog. Well, whichever side you take, whether you (as teacher) agree or disagree, I must say “Twitter” offers you numerous ways to incorporate this powerful social networking into significant and lasting lessons in class.

1. Ask students to follow issues.

Teachers can incorporate a bit of technology in class by asking students to follow issues they are most interested in. Students can subscribe to different accounts from all perspective such as news, cultures, foods, health, and so on. This is also true to English classes wherein teachers can ask students to simply follow hash tags that are related to learning English. In this regard, students will have the opportunity to maximize the use of English especially in reading comprehension.

How to incorporate Twitter in an English classroom? Click.

2. Upcoming important dates.

Teachers can simply use “Twitter” to set up a feed only dedicated exclusively to important due dates, change of schedules, tests, quizzes, school events, and assignments.

 3. Important questions.

Students can simply tweet their questions on unclear readings, lessons in class, and clarifications. This is also a good way to practice students especially in English classes wherein they can maximize the use of the target language in conveying inquiries to their teacher. For teachers, they can simply use “Twitter” to post up sample questions for upcoming exams or quizzes. Also, teachers can post important resources related to topics in class.

 4. Update syllabus or course plan.

Emails sometimes filter important messages as junks or spams resulting to students’ failure to know the important changes and announcements regarding any updates on the course plan. However, with the use of “Twitter”, it keeps a permanent record of any information so students won’t have any excuse for missing out such important information or changes.

 5. Play Vocabulary.

Language teachers, such as English teachers, can post day-to-day challenges asking students to give antonyms or synonyms and definitions for any words posted. To add, teachers can ask students to unscramble scrambled words or anagrams.

How to use Twitter to learn English?  Click.

 6. Write poems, dialogues or short stories.

In your writing classes, such as English writing class, you can ask students to write their own poems, dialogues, and poems in small chunks, as they have to update their writing daily. Students can also follow their classmates’ mini stories or poems.

7. Take and share important notes.

Students can tweet and share their own notes or any review materials to their peers in case some of them miss the class or the lecture. In this case, students are able to help each other achieve a successful goal in class.

 8. Easier means of research.

By typing key words into Twitter’s search box, twitter provides wide range of microblog and related hash tags to their research topics allowing students access research ideas, opinions, and related readings. This would enable and facilitate students do their research on certain topics or studies.

In conclusion, teachers can ask their students to write a 140-character or less outline of the things they have understood or learned in class or even tweet questions that can be answered in the proceeding class.

Here’s a videos on how you can incorporate “Twitter” in class.

Want to save your literature class using Twitter? Click.

Do you want to know more uses of Twitter in class? Click or here!

Be Smart with a SMART Board!

SMARTBoard

Today’s class was about an interactive SMART Board. After listening to our professor’s discussion, I am officially convinced that SMART Board is oozing with great advantages to an English class especially to both teachers and students.

To further understand the SMART Board, it is a line of interactive whiteboards produced by the company Smart Technologies. It is a presentation device (or tool) that interfaces a computer. The images (from a computer) are displayed or projected on the board by a projector where they can be visible or manipulated. Cut to the chase, SMART Board is a powerful tool that helps a teacher to deliver dynamic and interactive lessons with a simple touch of a finger, pen or other solid object.

How is the SMART Board beneficial to an ESL/EFL class? Well, I only have a couple of experiences using the SMART Board in my classes, but let me tell you, it’s really interesting. Here’s why…

  1. It enables an English teacher to have students participate actively in class. For example, when a teacher gives an error recognition activity, the students can go in front of their class and edit or correct the sentences. At this point, everyone in class can review errors.
  2. In a word study activity, the SMART notebook software helps an English teacher sort English words under correct category. This is beneficial especially when the lesson is about “the Different Parts of Speech.” The teacher will be able to have students categorize the words easily.
  3. With the use of highlighter tool, teacher can highlight or emphasize important text, grammar rules, parts of speech and so on. Wide varieties of colours are available for colour-coding.
  4. When correcting activities (such as correct sentence constructions, reading comprehension, etc.), teacher can hide answers from students. This would make students think about the answers hidden on the interactive white board.
  5. With the help of SMART Board, teacher can show students how to make PowerPoint presentation. This is useful in an oral activity wherein students have to present something in front of their class. (Example: Students have to present about themselves in English where they have to use adjectives to describe their favourite pet, food, TV show, etc.)
  6. Through SMART Board, it will be easier for a teacher to show students English videos and stories.  Through showing videos or stories with pictures, it can make the class livelier because students can see real-life examples. (Example: In a grammar class, teacher can present a video demonstrating how to construct simple present sentences, simple past tense sentences, etc.)

Want to read more of the benefits of SMARTBoard? click or here!

These are just few of the many beneficial uses of SMART Board in an ESL/EFL class. With proper training, this tool can be a powerful instructional tool that makes learning interesting and fun.

Here’s a video on how SMARTBoard is Beneficial to English Classes.

 

Facebook as an educational tool despite its negative impacts?

Cyber-bullying, hate speech, addiction to social media and personal vs professional presentation are just few of the many overwhelming negative impacts of Facebook, one of the many examples of Social Media, on our lives.

Related reading on ICT or Social Media.

However, this blog is here,  to educate teachers, on how Facebook is vital to teaching despite its negative impacts.

By setting up a Facebook group, it will be easier for you (as a teacher) to inform the students of the new information essential in the class. Also, it will be easier to infiltrate the world where students feel comfortable, but be cautious on the things you are posting about. To avoid uncontrollable instances of exposing your private life, you should have a professional account exclusively for your class.

Don’t have a Facebook account yet? It’s not too late, here’s how: Video tutorial

Don’t know how to create Facebook group? here’s how Click here.

Going back to the positive impacts or uses of Facebook, Here are some of the benefits you can get from an effective use of Facebook with your students in the class:

First, you can share important files with your entire class. Through Facebook, it will be easier for a teacher to give the students their course notes or important documents such as course syllabus, review materials, summary of the lessons, etc.

 Second, you can use Facebook to inform students of upcoming due dates, reminders, announcements or any sorts of classroom news. It will be easier for a teacher to remind the students of important dates such as exams, project deadlines, etc. In case of changes in the schedule, it will be practical to put an announcement on Facebook, especially if it’s not announced in class.

Third, you can encourage students to share interesting and educational websites, on-line articles, blogs and more with their fellow students.

Fourth, Students can also share their work with their peers.

Fifth, Facebook is also essential to your fellow teachers because you can share ideas and resources for the classroom.

Sixth, through Facebook, we can also support advocacy of other people (such as promoting anti-bullying in school) by clicking “LIKE” or even by reposting pertinent pages or articles on important matters related to education.

Whether you are a computer savvy or not, Facebook is overflowing with advantages as an educational tool.

Related reading: click here 

Want to read more about Facebook as an educational tool? Click  or here!