The afternoon session began with the usual ‘sharing’ session in which members review in small groups different tools and websites that they find useful. Some of the many tools discussed included –
- Plickers – an alternative to Kahoot which does not require learners to have mobile devices
- Spiral – a collection of tools for collaborative learning
- Actively Learn – a website that enables you to embed questions into reading texts
- Nearpod – a package you can use to build interactivities into slide presentations to create blended learning resources
Bob then prompted Liam Alderton who teaches Functional Skills on apprenticeships at Gt Yarmouth College to talk about the way he is exploring the use of Edpuzzle to create video resources for use on his Level 2 Functional English programme. The example below is the first in a sequence of four graded activities that he has created to initially engage learners in noticing how different persuasive techniques are used in TV adverts. Once they are confident with the terminology for the different techniques and Liam then moves learners on to more challenging activities that require learners to recognise and describe their use in written texts.
Bob also invited Dawn Cooke from Procat to talk about her use of a ‘green screen’ app to interest learners in recording some videos as part of their speaking and listening sessions. Members were very keen to learn more and Dawn was invited to give a demonstration at the next network meeting in June.
After the sharing session Kate Knight from Newham College gave an excellent review of the various digital tools and websites that she had learned to use in the last year since she had become a member of the Professional Exchange Network. Katie teaches GCSE and Functional English.
Katie demonstrated how she uses different tools and websites for four different purposes –
When supporting learners with planning writing tasks Katie often uses Popplet as a mind mapping tool. She said that it is a useful alternative to the mindmapping feature in GoConqr.
If you need to create a colourful and eye-catching hand out or revision resource Katie recommended that members might like to explore the different templates that are available on a website called Smore which she said is similar to Canva.
Katie ended her presentation with an example of a video she and learners had enjoyed creating using Dvolver –
Bob concluded the afternoon with two short presentations. He provided a quick review of different types of comprehension activities created in Google Forms and indicated that the next webinar session on Wednesday 22nd March would include a tutorial on how to create such resources –
The second presentation provided an overview of some regional and national CPD opportunities for English practitioners –
The next Network meeting will be held on Monday June 19th at the ACER offices.