Monday, May 14, 2012


This is a game called flyswatting. It's a way to revisit a reading or listening text in the classroom. It's fun, helps to work on collocations and gets the students moving about.
Hope you like it.

How to make Flyswatting on Smart boards

I am sorry but I can't find how to make it on Activinspire. I will ask my activinspire expert.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Backward words

This is just something I stumbled upon by accident.
As a warmer to review vocab we had done in the previous lesson I fliped the words around and got students to recognise them and say what they meant.
It's silly, but fun and can get quite competitive.

Simple word order activity.

This is a very simple word ordering activity for the IWB or for a data projector and mouse. 
I hope it shows that the IWB does not have to be teacher dominated. 
and this is how to make it on Smart notebook
and activinspire flipchart.

Hope you find it useful. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My handout from IATEFL 2009 IWB Best practice

Why should I use an IWB?
Interactive whiteboards offer you everything a whiteboard offers you but can add more to the classroom. Because you can move words around, make them bigger or smaller, spin them, cover them with shapes, you can make a range of impromptu games for your classes. You also never need to erase anything, which means you can revisit things you have already done in the lesson or even in previous lessons.
Recent research from the UK suggested that both students and teachers liked using IWBs.
On the one hand:
 Students feel more empowered
 Students feel more engaged
 Students feel there is more variety and interactivity
 Students feel there is more support.
 Students feel there is shared ownership in the lesson.
While teachers spoke of:
 the support for the range of learning styles
 the fact that lessons became more interactive
 learners having a role within the classroom as something other than passive recipients of knowledge.
However outside observers dispute that, they have found that IWBs encourage a direct approach to teaching, with students stuck to their desks, while classes without IWBs have more creativity and variety.
Therefore the introduction of IWB’s in the classroom alone does not transform the learning process. It is up to teachers, trainers and publishers to introduce better practices to ensure the benefits for both the teacher and the students.
Best Practices
 avoid chalk and talk – keep the lesson student centred, you don’t always need to be involved when the students are working with the board.
 involve the students – empower them – give them the chance to display their own things on the board or decide what to click on.
 limit IWB use – only use it when it adds something to the lesson.
 be willing to move back and forth through slides – the board allows us to move between slides, and do activities again, take advantage of this, it improves the learning experience.
 appeal to different learning styles – think of ways to appeal to visual, audio and kinaesthetic learners.
 avoid alienating students with a lack of discussion of answers – don’t rely on the computer to give the answer, discuss answers and encourage per correction.
The ability for learners to visualize a process through the sequence presented on an interactive whiteboard is an extremely powerful reason for using IWBs. The use of colours, movement, the ability to move backwards and forwards between stages of a process all provide learning reinforcement for students
Seeing the meaning. The impact of interactive whiteboards on teaching and learning Cuthell, J. P.
But in order to bring those benefits the teachers have to be willing to examine their teaching approach and adapt it to suit the IWB.

It's an electronic whiteboard not an interactive whiteboard

I often hear teachers saying that interactive whiteboards make lessons more interactive. But research actually suggests that IWBs make the lessons less interactive with students sat in their chairs and teachers stood at the board. Even when students do use the board only one can use it at a time.
The interactive in interactive whiteboard refers to the fact you can interact with the computer from the whiteboard not that there will somehow magically be a lot of class interaction.
Of course you can make it interactive if you want to but I prefer to think of mine as a display tool, something to help me to save time in the classroom and with preparation, and meaning that I can be monitoring my students and helping them rather than writing something on the board.

Computer Says no syndrome

One problem arising from using technology in the classroom is what I call the ‘computer says no’ syndrome. Those of you familiar with Little Britain will know Carol who sits at her computer and utters the words ‘computer says no’.
How frustrating must that be for her customers who have no idea why the computer says no or what the solution is? It can be a problem when we are using teaching programmes that have a ‘show answers’ type function. This can de-motivate the students who don’t know why the answer is wrong or why they made the mistake. Therefore we need to remember that learning still requires the personal touch and that wrong answer can be just as useful as a correct one if we are willing to learn from them. 

here's a clip from Youtube of Carol saying no

It doesn't have to be all whistles and bells. The IWB in in 140 words,

I love my interactive whiteboard but I don't believe in whistles and bells.  You don't have to make words spin and pictures dance to use the board effectively. I just use my IWB like I did my old board but I take advantage of the benefits; clear pictures and words, save-ability revisit-ability multiple screens, everything in one place etc. I love not having to rub out something because there is no room. I love being able to easily do something again.
I know they have their limitations, for example they make the class more frontal and possible less interactive. I know only one or two students can use it at one time.
In a perfect world I’d love both an IWB and a whiteboard in my class but this is reality and I’m glad I have my IWB.

3 minute guide to making timelines using IWB software

Here is my 3 minute guide to making timelines using IWB software.

I've used Smart software and promethean but if you use a different one I am sure the functionality will be similar.

Smart Software


this is the original blog on time lines with two videos on how to use them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Guide to Oxford's New Generation iTools

Please note these videos are made by ME! They are NOT official OUP publicity. They are an informal guide that I thought might be useful.

Did you come to my session on IWB at the Primary conference? Would you like a recap?

Are you interested in the New Generation of iTools from OUP? Would you like to see how they work?

Are you interested in how the IWB can benefit your classroom?

If the answers to any of these questions are yes then check out these videos.

Part 1 grammar
Part 2 feedback
Part 3 pictures
Part 4 games
Part 5 pronunciation

If you have any questions feel free to ask.