Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Digital Divide - The 'HAVEs' don't perform as well as the 'HAVE NOTs'

I've recently been perplexed by the fact that despite having access to a world of information at their fingertips via smart phones, many students today that I observe do not seem to be making any better progress than the students I had ten years ago.   In fact, the average performance seems to be getting worse and not better.   Is it just me?  Am I just romanticizing the past...the 'good old days' when students actually talked to each at the break, had eye-contact and used body language to communicate?

It seems that there is evidence that this trend is reflected in general in schools in the 'developed' countries that have invested heavily into technology.  In a recent report by the OECD on Students, Computers and Learning:  Making the Connection, students in schools that actually have less technology appear to outperform students whose schools provide more access to technology in the classroom.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Concentric Circles (Ice breaker/speaking activity)

Concentric Circles is a powerful bonding exercise because it gives individuals the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with others in one-on-one conversations. Because learners are given an ordered situation in which they have these conversations, they are able to build relationships with others without the pressure or awkwardness that is often part of social interactions, especially in L2. 

Instructions:
  • Have the group arrange their chairs so that they are facing each other in two circles, one inside the other as in the diagram below: (You can have the group count off by 2s [1, 2, 1, 2…]).

Continue reading at Tech-savvy English and download a PPT with sample questions/topics for the activity.