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Published by on November 13th, 2018

Materials / links to materials mentioned in Steve’s session 11 November 2018.

First of all I’d like to say a big thank you to everybody who took part in the workshop – the organisers for inviting me, all participants, and of course Dr Ardian! I was very impressed with the attentiveness and level of participation throughout the day, and the language centre team are clearly highly professional in what they do as well as being extremely hospitable hosts!

You can download my two most important presentation slides here, the workshop pictionary sentences here, the slides that go with the conjunction sentence video here, and the video itself can be found here. When you have time you can also browse GuruEAP.com for more videos, songs, and interactive tasks.

In my session I described some of the tools I’ve been using in my teaching. I use these to prepare classroom materials, self-study materials, and materials that can more flexibly be used in a blended learning mode. My workflow involves creating, sourcing and editing material in various forms – text, audio, video, etc. And then publishing it somehow.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at gurueap@gmail.com. You can also follow GuruEAP on twitter: @gurueap, and of course you can subscribe to GuruEAP by entering your email address in the right hand column of the GuruEAP blog.

Creating / Sourcing / Editing

Text

OK so the best material is probably going to be material that you make by yourself, and I’m assuming we all know how to edit text! To edit text, of course you need a computer and therefore some investment in hardware. But these days computers are reasonably affordable.

If you use authentic text, then I strongly recommend an RSS reader – an app, which may be web-based, and is hopefully available on all your devices – an app that enables you to follow certain topics on certain sites, without having to browse through those sites every time you need content. I highly recommend Feedly, which is available as a web-app and also as a stand-alone app (see playstore, appstore). On my iPhone I use an app called Reeder (Mac only), and on my laptop I used the web version of feedly. If you log into these services using the same Google account then any news feeds that you add will automatically appear in all RSS apps. Anyway, if you’re not familiar with RSS, do some googling / youtubing and find out about it – RSS is amazing.

Another option is to take photographs of text – using a smartphone – and convert this into editable text. This is a little bit tricky, and the subject of a separate workshop!

Video

If you make this yourself, then you will obviously need a camera, but these days the camera on your phone is good enough. When you come to edit, there are apps that let you edit video on your phone, and if you upload your videos to Youtube there is a certain amount of editing you can do there. There are also websites that offer video editing, either for free or subscription-based. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with these.

For more professional video, you will need to get and learn how to use an editing tool like Final Cut Pro (for Mac) or Premiere (PC). Mac OS also has a free video editor called iMovie which enables you to produce professional results.

To find video made by other people, obviously your main source will be Youtube. If your school has a good enough internet connection then you can stream video directly into your class from Youtube. Otherwise you can download using a service like keepvid.

Audio

Producing your own audio is easy now that we can all record high quality audio on our smartphones. There are also smartphone apps that enable you to edit audio on your phone and then share it in any number of ways.

For more professional quality audio you can now buy digital recording devices such as the Zoom. And there also digital microphones that attach to smartphones like the Rode iXY. These are not very expensive – talk to your institution about investing?

For audio editing on a computer, Audacity is an amazing free tool.

Publishing

You will be doing most of the publishing yourselves, but remember that student publication can be highly motivating for students, so where possible try to involve students as much as possible in this process! The song that I played during my presentation – The Impact Song –  features a video produced entirely by students and published to Youtube.

Basically there are two publishing options – print and digital. The latter is becoming the favourite, and instead of the word ‘publishing‘ we now use the word ‘sharing‘. Sharing can be achieved in many different ways, most commonly using platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox. Below I explain below how I do it.

Text

We’ve been doing this for many years now, so not much to say except that modern digital tools can help to create visually more attractive printed materials, including posters, newsletters, etc. and it’s easier than ever to combine text and image on the printed page. Printing has also become quite affordable, enabling us to produce large-size colour posters and hold classroom exhibitions.

As for sharing the options are unlimited (see web publishing below..).

Video

Obviously – Youtube! But it was great to hear during our seminar teachers creating video and sharing via Whatsapp. I think this is a brilliant idea and something that I will do more of in my own teaching in the future!

Audio

Once the audio is on your computer or smartphone then you can share to each other, to students, to the web, to many different platforms. There are also social networks for sharing audio – Soundcloud is popular. A lot of people also share audio using Youtube. As with video, of course you can also share to other phones via Whatsapp.

Publishing to the web

If you don’t already have one then I strongly recommend that you start a blog. You can quickly and easily set up a blog at WordPress – just follow their simple instructions – it’s ridiculously easy.

As you become familiar with WordPress as a blogging tool, you might think about making separate blogs for each class that you teach (micro-blogging).

Eventually you might have ideas that go beyond the scope of what is offered by the free version of WordPress. For a very small annual fee you can set up an independent blog that carries many more features that enable you to add your own code and forge your own identity. This is what I have done with GuruEAP.

Online, you and/or your students can publish..

  • text
  • images
  • audio
  • video

Online, you can..

  • share resources
  • manage assignments
  • discuss and debate
  • do more efficient ‘blended’ teaching

The possibilities are endless! If you want to learn how to code, there are hundreds of excellent tutorials online, but for free tuition I suggest you start here. There are also fee-paying tutorials at Udemy and Eduonix, and these are usually not expensive.

Google Drive and Google Classroom

I would suggest you invite me back to do a separate session on these. For now, just do some googling and youtubing and find out what you can. These tools have saved me a lot of time and made life so much easier!

Steve Bolton
November 2018