"You talk as if a god had made the Machine.. Men made it, do not forget that. Great men, but men. The Machine is much, but it is not everything. I see something like you in this plate, but I do not see you. I hear something like you through this telephone, but I do not hear you. That is why I want you to come. Pay me a visit, so that we can meet face to face, and talk about the hopes that are in my mind."The machine stops - 1909 - Forster

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY: online syllabus for third year exam

These days third year students have been revising for their Middle School final exam. We've been flipping our lessons since September and our blended learning methodology has allowed us to work completely without a textbook. To tell the truth, even before setting up a flipped classroom , my students hardly ever opened their textbook during class time. I'm not against textbooks, of course, but I think that the best part of a teacher's job is preparing activities for students, to keep them busy during class time and to maximise their learning. Moreover, coursebooks tend to standardise ways of introducing content and what I need for my classes is differentiation and personalized learning. I know there are ways to "humanize" textbooks but still I prefer not to use them.
In the past months we worked on a lot of different resources and material, all published on an online platform and on the virtual classes on Edmodo and I thought having a visual reminder of all the covered topics might help students organize their revision. So I created a sort of Game of the Goose, a game board where each space has a topic on it, with links to downloadable paper handouts, videos and mindmaps. On the space "Keep calm and speak English" a link has been added to a recording with all possible questions students could be asked at the oral exam. To make it a little more interactive students have been invited to create speaking cards to be used for practice both in class and at home.
 My friend and colleague Daniela has kindly made a video to explain students how to create the cards. Hope this will be useful.
Click here to download the paper version. I have printed one for each student and laminated some to keep on the table when they are taking their oral exam. They might even "play" with the exam commissioners..!

Here is the online syllabus

And the video "How to create your own speaking cards"