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Is Technology Really Helping Us Teach Better?

Children on computers, using technology in the classroomWe know that there are lots of opportunities from technology in ELT – but we also see examples of technology doing what we know isn’t good from a teaching point of view. How can we make sure technology is working for teachers, and that teachers are really benefitting from new developments? Continue reading


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Teaching Digital Literacy – Whose Job Is It?

Blog - Teaching digital literacy - who's job is itLast December I took part in an online discussion about digital literacy. Amongst the many interesting questions posed by teachers, one question came up that I had never been asked before – Whose job is it to teach digital literacy?

As someone who teaches it as a subject, and also as part of my ELT lessons, I just assumed it was something any and all teachers should do. Which is pretty much the answer I gave at the time. However, the question came up several times. I feel my assumption is not held by everyone, so I’d like to use this opportunity to qualify my answer. Continue reading


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5 Fun Ways To Increase Student Engagement Online

Engagement Online: student enjoying an online lessonOver the last year, as many teachers have moved either partly or fully to remote teaching, one question has arisen many times: How do I keep my students engaged online? Whilst many teachers have their go-to folder of ready-to-use adaptable activities, comprised of the likes of board races, role-plays, flashcard games, and many more steadfast materials, the idea of digitising these activities has seemed somewhat impossible. Teachers feel like they have lost their time-savers.  

Whilst I can’t offer a solution on how to do a board-race activity through a Zoom lesson (that is impossible), what I can suggest are some alternative tools and platforms that teachers can add to their pre-existing arsenal of hit-the-ground-running classroom activities and exercises. So, in no particular order, here are my top 5 platforms for improving student engagement online. Continue reading


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Digital Divide: What Is It And How Can You Bridge The Gap?

woman sitting on the ground and working on her laptopWe can safely say that, through the difficulties of 2020, English language teachers have grown accustomed to delivering online classes and learning to use new digital tools. Some teachers may face many weeks ahead of continuing such classes if high Covid-19 cases see a resurgence, their new academic year does not start until 2021, or they have become ‘online teachers’ on a semi-permanent basis.

As a result, some teachers have found themselves dependent on the help of parents to ensure their children are online at designated times and able to access class materials. Parent support is especially important for younger students who perhaps did not originally have the necessary computing skills to act independently.

But what about our students who cannot access the internet from home, or do not have reliable electricity supplies? Continue reading


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Top 10 Tips To Help Your Online Lessons Run Smoothly!

Teacher frustrated at online lessonsFor many of us, it’s been a while since our teaching world got turned upside down and we found ourselves moving from a physical classroom to online lessons in a matter of hours. It feels like a lifetime ago since we were left wondering what the best practice for online teaching was. In this initial online period, often referred to as the period of emergency remote teaching (ERT), the best advice for running a smooth lesson included such sage things as to ensure you have a good microphone and lighting. Continue reading