The ideas that I write about below were generated with the help of a creative colleague - Fabio Ferreira - who presented a mini-course on digital literacies and task design for busy teachers at Casa Thomas Jefferson. We agreed on collecting our ideas and sharing our work with other teachers. The biggest lesson I learned during the planning and delivering the session is that we are not alone and that there are millions of generous people out there who are willing to collaborate and share online.
Making lists is part of our daily lives and can be very useful in the language classroom. When students bring their gadgets to class, teachers might decide to use them to promote opportunity for interaction and use of language that focus on meaning at first. We, teachers, might get creative and transform a simple brainstorming into a digital task.
Outcome - completed list or mind map
Starting points words, things, people, actions, clothing, places
Offline apps apps to make word webs, record videos or narrate images
Number of devices One per group of three or pairs (I-pads or phones)
- List supporting sentences and arguments for a given topic - campaigns, letter to the editors
- International words
- Customs in a place
- Quotes, mottos, proverbs
- Everyday things - what you carry with you in a given situation
- What to wear for specific occasions
- Qualities in a good friend, people in a city, best friends
- Features of a place, language school, school, park, city
- Ways of doing/remembering things
- Ways to publish ideas and get pieces of information
- Common questions a person asks in a given situation - at a hotel, in a foreign country, traveling
- Things you do to prevent crime, store food, cook a special meal, host people, learn well
- List of questions to ask about a place, trip, experience
- How to behave in a given situation - you are traveling and you lose your bag, breaking up, talking to people you do not know well, how to behave online
- Things a person can/should/might do in a particular place
- What to do to have fun somewhere/on the weekend
- List of things to take on a trip, to school, to the desert
Follow up tasks
- Memory challenge games - lists or sources can be hidden and students have to recall from memory what was said or done using an app.
Examples of digital tasks
List of questions to ask about a place, trip, experience
Show a video that shows you somewhere nice - fear not! students love when we tell them about us. Ask students to use a device to write questions to ask you later on. Have students record your answers and put everything together on a video or presentation.
Showa video or picture of a trip you have taken and ask students to come up with a list of 5 things you should take and get prepared to justify their choices
List supporting ideas and arguments for a campaign
Bring to class a yummy dessert, but tell students they can not have it because it`s No Sugar Day. Show your poster and expand on each supporting idea by adding at least two arguments. Have students get together and come up with a campaign and make a similar poster about it. Before students start, tell them that they might get away with the No Sugar Day and eat the cake if they convince you that their campaigns are better by telling you their supporting ideas and arguments during the debriefing phase.