Learning tiles

mon moi du futur With UX in mind I have just created a tiled approach to a topic which would run from an IWB. It’s a Powerpoint which you can download – mon moi du futur (my future me) – if you would like to. Phones, tablets and internet pages are currently often displayed as tiles so using that approach means students have a familiar interface and for me it means I have everything gathered in one place with hyperlinks and I can see quite clearly what I need to do and what I need to cover. I have videos, web site exercises, a blog, my key sentence to teach and an image to add interest and some extra practice. It is all authentic French. There is a song and grammar videos. Students could use the Powerpoint for flipped learning or going over the things they need to master. With technology it is a good idea to follow the layout patterns which are in use on devices and the internet. It does facilitate  learning  but having set a topic up this way I realise it makes teaching very easy too.

Keep calm and use technology

question mark

Use technology to problem solve

Image : ClipartPanda

It was the lesson after lunch last Thursday with the year 9s. We had been practising shopping and what to buy in different shops . I then put a conversation from their book up on the board and said I’d give them 15 minutes to look things up they didn’t understand. About 5 minutes into this it was clear they could not do it. First time for everything. This conversation has always come after the other things and been straightforward. Not last week. The students were simply baffled and unable to get a hook into it. It was the last lesson of the week. I did not want them going home for a weekend and thinking French was hard and horrible. We then spent the rest of the lesson learning numbers and shopping vocabulary on their language learning site. Perfect. I had the weekend to solve the problem. I could just leave it. Skip over the conversation and move onto something else. We have the whole French language to learn. Not hard finding something else. No, I decided I would use technology to present the material differently. I set the conversation up one line at a time on Powerpoint slides. Big writing. Dark text on a colourful background. Monday last lesson I started with this. We did the conversation one line at a time. We pronounced it. We worked it out. So far, so good. I had made a list of 40 words of the conversation and put it on their language learning site. They loved it. They spent 20 minutes getting to grips with the vocabulary and were learning it quite quickly. There was a lot for year 9s to learn. We stopped. I put the original conversation up on the board and I played the sound file of it. All eyes were on the board following the conversation. We then went back to our language learning site to do more vocab practice on it. No feeling of failure. No confusion. No disenchantment. I used technology to get them into learning something they had found incomprehensible. Now, next lesson, I can play the conversation, I can get a couple of students to read it out and then we can do our own version of the conversation. Familiarity does not breed contempt. It breeds success. If you are on familiar ground you will take the risks necessary to learn a bit more and push yourself a bit more. These students could have felt like failures but using technology allowed me to refresh and repeat in a way they could understand. I now have a PowerPoint I can dress up even more and make an even better learning tool. Students who were born in 2000 and after like interactive learning. I am learning I have to become part of that as a teacher.

Free Powerpoint templates

powerpoint templates Presentation Magazine has plenty of free powerpoint templates (which can also be used in Keynote or Open Office) for you to choose from. Go and have a look. I have got my goodies for my next presentations.

Powerpoint with pizzazz

Lenka is a famous Australian singer. Windows 8 is a much discussed operating system. DoinaK is a very talented and ingenious Powerpoint presenter. When you put these three  elements together you get an amazing Powerpoint presentation. The animation is saved as a Windows Media file (save as….select Windows Media file) and it can then be uploaded as a video to YouTube. You can do it with Keynote and iMovie too.

Change Keynote and Powerpoint presentations into movies

Insert flash files into presentations

Finally solved the flash problem thanks to this video. If I am stuck I always search for a solution or go on YouTube and then, when I am desperate, I launch a query on Twitter. One way or another I solve the problem. So now what you can do is go to the free animated Powerpoint templates at Microsoft and insert the flash files as shown in the video. Ignore the instructions which come on the downloaded Powerpoint templates. It’s a lot simpler now I know how to do it in newer versions of Powerpoint and it means I can put the flash files wherever I want in the presentation. When you download the Powerpoint templates they come with two flash files and you need to put it all in one folder and then insert the files as you wish by following the easy steps in the video. It really will make Powerpoint presentations that little bit more interesting because we live in a visual world.

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