I’ve been teaching an intensive English course this term. It works out (online) at about 8 hours per week, would have been a lot more had we not been back in lockdown. Seven students, Japanese, between 12 and 14 years old. All were supposed to be ‘low level’ (like, A2 or below I guess), although I’m sure you’re aware of the nature of these things. Once they got a bit of speaking and listening confidence, well, there’s far more language there than they’d realised.
To be honest, it’s been an absolute pleasure so far. There was a public holiday last week, and by lunchtime I was missing them! I just haven’t had students like this for a while. Awesome.
Every week, I set them a presentation task. I thought it would be quite challenging for them at first, but they seem to love it.
Here’s a quick overview of Loom and why I like it.
Loom is a video recording / screencasting tool. It is available as a Google extension. I first came across this tool after reading this post last year. It includes a good video tutorial for how to make vids.
How can I get it?
Basically, Google ‘Loom for Chrome’, add the extension, then pin it to your browser. Whenever you want to record a vid of you/your screen/you and your screen you just click the Loom button and you get a drop down recorder appear:
When you start recording you choose if you want to record the entire screen, a window or a tab. When you finish recording the video automatically uploads to your Loom library.
In my post the other day I mentioned self-observation of online teaching. Paul Ashe commented that all these video recordings are great for peer observations too. Absolutely! The whole online teaching/learning experience is awesome for peer obs, especially for someone like me who has just taken on a new role.
I don’t have that rapport with new colleagues yet where I can say ‘hey, would you mind giving me access to recordings of your online lessons so I can scrutinise them?’. Then again, I don’t necessarily need lengthy examples of my peers in action in order to observe great practice. Teacher-student interaction is constantly on display with platforms like Seesaw, and it’s openly available to peers. Google Meets makes it easy for teachers to drop in and out of each other’s ‘classrooms’ when learners need support. From my perspective, that’s a chance to see how other, more experienced teachers go about supporting their learners. Peer observation isn’t only about sitting down and watching a lesson – all this new tech facilitates ‘little and often’ peer obs on the fly. Cool.
Here are some examples of great tips and techniques I’ve observed in recent weeks. (more…)