I attended a useful webinar by James Styring the other week, entitled ‘Easy and motivating ways to use digital technology in the classroom. Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.
Overall, it was a very good presentation. There were lots of useful and straightforward tips for utilising the tech that students have at their disposal. I liked the fact that James made use of classic ELT activities (like ‘Find someone who’) and tweaked them to make use of tech in some way:
- Find someone who has 7 of the same apps on their phone’s homepage
- Find someone who has 2 of the same games as you
- Find someone who has taken a picture on their phone in the same location as you
This is just one example, but it highlighted that things don’t have to be complicated. You can use existing activities, just personalise them using a tech element that’s ‘Generation Z’ friendly.
On a side note, that’s what I liked about Text Chat Activities by Mark Oliver (which I reviewed here). Familiar activities give the teacher more confidence to make minor changes…
Anyway. James’ best tip was to use ‘Digital Breaks’. He said the tip was from a British Council teacher from another webinar so, whoever you are, good suggestion!
According to James, ‘Generation Z’ get the urge to check social media apps on their phone every 7 minutes. Don’t fight against it – you want their attention, so schedule some digital breaks. I’ve started doing it. I allow students a timed break (2 minutes) every half an hour or so. Honestly, I’ve noticed that my teen classes focus more during activities. I was surprised, but they really do! Give it a go, let me know what you think.
Feature image from marketcloud.com
I’m writing a series of short posts in response to Martin Sketchley’s blog challenge. You can view his new blog here.