21st century English Teaching: Embracing the Digital Age in your Classroom

This past week I had the pleasure of holding a workshop aimed at helping English teachers to integrate digital tools and learning technology in their language teaching. At the 10th annual English Teachers‘ Day at the University College of Teacher Education in Vienna, Austria, several hundred educators gathered to further their professional development and deepen their knowledge on how to use different methods, strategies and activities in their teaching practice. I was eager to exchange experiences with my fellow educators. What would this trip outside my personal „bubble“ reveal?  „21st century English Teaching: Embracing the Digital Age in your Classroom“ weiterlesen

Focus on The Situation of Newly Arrived Migrants

As previously posted, I have the privilege of being part of the moderating team in a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) on Teacher Academy – School Education Gateway.

The series of courses is designed to equip educators around Europe with strategies and tools on teaching competency with intercultural diversity and the newly arrived migrants students:

The second course focuses on the situation of Newly Arrived Migrants, their journey and their new life as well as support strategies.

Although much has already been written about the plight of people who have been recently forced to abandon their homes in search of safety and security in other countries, there still remains a pressing need to inform, communicate and be supportive of families and communities across the regions that have been affected. Still, it remains a human story, and a story about humanity.
The most touching stories have been the ones detailing the arduous journeys that refugees have undertaken to escape the situation in their home country. I was personally most touched by the story of Hashem, recorded here: The Journey (on theguardian.com) from 9 June 2015. His story across Europe, in trains, is compelling for many reasons. It reveals many truths about the human aspect to the refugee crisis of 2015. It is a story well worth reading.
It is quite simply hard to imagine the psychological stress that these migrants have been subject to, as they braved seas, refugee camps, smugglers’ vehicles or detention areas, in search of a place to survive. We must continue to talk about their stories and highlight ways to contribute as educators to the national debate.
In preparation for the twitterchat, you may find it useful to review the following websites that document stories or publish relevant aspects of the situation of Newly Arrived Migrants:
During the twitterchat, we’d like to come together to learn from each other and with one another, especially focussing on:
  • what the history and tradition of migration in your country can teach us today
  • what local organisations exist that accompany newly arrived migrants
  • what living conditions do newly arrived migrants have and under which legal guidelines must they live (personal stories)
In preparation for the twitterchat, please think about what answers you can give to the questions posted.
Here is the timeline for the hour:
18:30 Welcome to our Twitterchat on The Situation of Newly Arrived Migrants: Facts and Impact #DiversityMOOCs
18:31 We will be using the format Q1-Q9/A1-A9 for all questions and answers. In all your tweets please use the twitter hashtag #DiversityMOOCs
18:32 Your moderator today is Alicia Bankhofer, Teacher of English and ICT, Middle School Vienna, Austria #flipclass #elearning #DiversityMOOCs
18:32 In the beginning each should introduce him/herself. Country? Subject? Type of school, learners? #DiversityMOOCs
18:33 You will find all the questions here #DiversityMOOCs
18:34 Get ready for the 1st question for our chat today on The Situation of Newly Arrived Migrants: Facts and Impact #DiversityMOOCs
18:35 Q1 What role have migrants played in your country’s history? Any famous migrants to/from your country? #DiversityMOOCs
18:40 Q2 Can you share any personal migration stories either in your family or any ones that have inspired you? #DiversityMOOCs
18:45 Q3 What support organisations for migrants, state-sponsored or NGO, exist in your area? Tell us about their work #DiversityMOOCs
18:50 Q4 Describe the living conditions of Newly Arrived Migrants in your region. May kids go to school? May adults work? #DiversityMOOCs
19:00 Q5 In your experience/view, what problem with the situation with Newly Arrived Migrants must be solved most urgently? #DiversityMOOCs
19:05 Q6 What can teachers do to contribute to informed debate about the situation of new arrivals? #DiversityMOOCs
19:15 Q7 What examples or best practices, either private or state initiatives, have you heard about to help newly arrived persons? #DiversityMOOCs
19:20 Q8 Do the legal guidelines for Newly Arrived Migrants help their situation or make it worse? #DiversityMOOCs
19:25 Q9 Time is almost up. Any closing comments/questions on The Situation of Newly Arrived Migrants: Facts and Impact #DiversityMOOCs
19:30 Thanks for participating in our chat on The Situation of Newly Arrived Migrants: Facts and Impact #DiversityMOOCs
If you are just getting started on twitter, please have a look at my videos:
Getting started on twitter: https://youtu.be/y-3oYPNOkeA
Setting up a twitter profile: https://youtu.be/YOr9K8bM7XQ

Kahoot kreativ und kollaborativ im Klassenzimmer nutzen

Unzählige Millionen von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Klassen rund um den Globus kennen es: das Kahoot-Fieber! Was ist Kahoot? Es ist eine web-basierte Plattform, wo mithilfe von Smartphones oder Tablets spielerisch Quizzes oder Umfragen durchgeführt werden können. Wer das schon ausprobiert hat, weiß kennt den Ablauf gut. Wenn es heißt “Kahoot!”, kommen die ersten Rufe: “Was ist der Game-Pin?” Darauf folgen oft nervöse Minuten für die Lehrperson während sich die Teenager Zeit lassen einen coolen Spielnamen auszusuchen.

„Kahoot kreativ und kollaborativ im Klassenzimmer nutzen“ weiterlesen

Twitterchat: Tools and Strategies for the Culturally Diverse Classroom

What a whirlwind start to the teaching year! September has been a month of many firsts for me. My first solo Webinar in German, my first blogpost for the Connected Kids blog and now my first solo twitter chat, organised as part of the eLearning course on the School Education Gateway Teacher academy. And that in addition to the actual teaching I am doing :).

I’m posting the questions here for those joining the chat tonight September 28 at 6h30 CET.

„Twitterchat: Tools and Strategies for the Culturally Diverse Classroom“ weiterlesen

Raum zum Lernen und Lehren

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Mitten im „Sommerferienstress“ wurde ich von Elke Lackner eingeladen, bei einer Blogparade (initiiert von Timo can Treeck) zum Thema Lernräume und -orte mitzumachen. Das „Ja“ dazu kam schnell, es dauerte allerdings länger bis ich einen Moment Ruhe hatte, um meine Gedanken zu ordnen. Das Problem? Ich könnte echt SEHR VIEL darüber schreiben. Was ist mir wichtig? Wie kann ich das Thema auf den Punkt bringen? Wo soll ich beginnen?

„Raum zum Lernen und Lehren“ weiterlesen

„It was a boring week.“

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In diesen hektischen letzten Schultagen des Jahres gibt es vieles worüber ich gerne bloggen möchte. Die lebhaften Reaktionen der Kinder während sie über Fußball sprechen und Fußballfelder in Word erstellten, die kreativen Portfolios die die 4. Klasse für Englisch produziert haben, oder die schönen Erzählungen der Kolleginnen und Kollegen im Konferenzzimmer. Als ich allerdings gebeten wurde einen Aufsatz für ein Mädchen in einer benachbarten Schule zu korrigieren und die Zeilen gelesen habe, wusste ich, dass ich darüber bloggen sollte. „„It was a boring week.““ weiterlesen

Let’s talk about football!

Vergangenen Dienstag beim #EDchatDE (Bloglink) haben wir uns über Unterrichtsideen für die Zeit vor Ferienbeginn ausgetauscht. Da ich das Thema Fußball-EM in Englisch machen möchte, habe ich in die Runde gefragt, und prompt hat eine Kollegin gepostet:

Es handelt sich um eine tolles Fußballvokabelheft das bereits 2014 veröffentlicht wurde, aber jetzt natürlich durch die Fußball-EM aktuell, für Deutsch/English, Französisch, Spanisch, Italienisch und Portugiesisch:

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Ich habe es gleich am nächsten Tag ausprobiert. So schnell geht es manchmal im Schulalltag!

„Let’s talk about football!“ weiterlesen

Was passiert, wenn jemand Flipped Classroom bei einer Lehrprobe verwendet

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Wenn man darüber nachdenkt, es ist wirklich verrückt, wie sehr unser digitales Leben von Impulsen von Außen bereichert wird. In meinem Fall, erhalte ich – oft mehrmals in der Woche – zahlreiche Ideen von Kolleginnen und Kollegen über Twitter, Facebook und Blogs usw. Absolut verrückt, dass eine Wortmeldung, Gedanke, oder Frage mich auf die Idee bringt, etwas in meiner Unterrichtspraxis einzubauen und auszuprobieren, um auf diese Weise das Lernen für meine Schülerinnen und Schüler zu unterstützen.
Als ich vor zwei Wochen mir eine Aufnahme eines Interviews mit Sebastian Schmidt (flippedmathe.de) auf youtube zuschaute, fiel der Gedanke, oder besser gesagt die Frage: Was passiert, wenn jemand Flipped Classroom bei einer Lehrprobe verwendet. Möglich? Machbar? Gerne gesehen?

„Was passiert, wenn jemand Flipped Classroom bei einer Lehrprobe verwendet“ weiterlesen

What happened when I let my class prep questions for their English test

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Like many other educators, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to best help my students prepare for tests. While I do not teach to the test, I try to make sure we cover all ground possible. I post videos to my youtube channel, I post links to learning apps and online exercises on Quizlet and I  connect with them outside of the classroom via whatsapp, email, sms, fb etc. I’ve explained how to prepare for tests, I’ve coached and urged them to practice writing and learn vocabulary and I’ve given them practice sheets. For their last test of the year, I decided to take a novel approach 2 weeks ago. Here’s what happened when I challenged my students to prepare questions their own test.  „What happened when I let my class prep questions for their English test“ weiterlesen

Using twitter in the classroom: Brave New World!

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I have been an avid twitter user personally and professionally for a very long time and since becoming a full-time educator I have benefitted from the platform ENORMOUSLY as a source of inspiration and way to connect with MYRIADS of fellow educating professionals worldwide. It truly is my preferred social platform. But not until now have I had the idea to use it for English class, thinking it might be too complex for 14-year olds to wrap their heads around. Still, I was intrigued by the idea and decided to try. After researching a bit on how others use twitter in class, I prepped a lesson around my favourite communication network. Here’s how it went … „Using twitter in the classroom: Brave New World!“ weiterlesen