Teaching students how to present

Apr 15, 2012

No one has ever taught me how to present. I learned it first by watching good and not so good speakers at virtual and IRL conferences, then by reading about it online and finally by doing it. And I'm still learning.

No one has ever taught me how to teach presenting. I have never been asked to teach my students how to acquire presentation skills. But I'm doing it because I strongly believe that presentation skills are as essential for 21st century students as are critical thinking or problem-solving skills.

My students learn how to present by doing it, not only in front of their classmates, but also in front of an international audience of their peers. Yes, I'm talking about StudentsMeet, an informal gathering of students, which we first organized in February and which gave the students from ten schools in seven countries a great opportunity to talk about their interests, to connect with their peers in real time, to speak English, to listen to many different accents, and to learn how to become a confident speaker.

We're doing it again, on April 24.This time our students will talk about their countries - we'll learn more about Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Romania. We'd love to learn about other countries as well. Your students are more than welcome. Just sign up here.


Apr 9, 2012

Richard Byrne from The Free Tech for Teachers first wrote about LyricsGaps in September 2011, but I introduced it to my students only recently. They loved it so much that they didn't want to leave the classroom.

LyricGaps is a fun way to learn languages with songs. At the moment there are song-based quizzes in18 different languages, submitted by users from all over the world.
For each song there are different modes for the user to choose from - Karaoke, Beginner (with a drop-down menu), Intermediate and Expert (fill in the gaps). The video clip is embedded on the page so that can  listen to the song and do the task at the same time. The quiz can also be printed out.

What I like most about this application is the built -in dictionary which allows students to double click the word they don't know and the dictionary entry pops out. What's more, they can listen to the pronunciation of the word.

The LyricsGaps authors invite teachers to create their own quizzes or customize the existing ones, but I also think that this tool can be great for student-made quizzes.

Twinning with eTwinners

Apr 4, 2012

I've been on eTwinning since May 2010 and have connected with many teachers from all over Europe. My students have collaborated with peers from Belgium, Germany, France, Romania and Turkey. I myself have launched several projects which have been more or less successful. But somehow I had always felt less  close to my fellow eTwinners than to my Twitter PLN - until last week when I attended the annual eTwinning conference in Berlin.

600 teachers from all over Europe gathered in Berlin to share ideas, to get inspired, to find new partners, to discover new worlds and above all to learn, learn, learn! Three days filled with passion and commitment, creativity and innovation passed in a flash. Such an event where you mingle with hundreds of enthusiastic life-long learners who are on the same wave length is bound to exceed all your expectations. When it comes to the incredible ease of connecting with teachers from all nationalities, the effortless flow of communication and a genuine willingness of all the participants to engage in a variety of projects, this conference is second to none.
Click here for more pics from Berlin

For me the Berlin conference was even more special because I was given a great opportunity to speak about StudentsMeet. I obviously haven't conquered my public speaking jitters yet (and let's face it, I probably never will), but I immensely enjoyed talking about my project that connects students from across Europe in a flipped... webinar.

To find out more about Studentsmeet and to get the feel of what it is like to attend a webinar without walls, watch the video clip below.

If you like it and if you teach 14-18 year olds, join us for the next session of Studentsmeet on April 24, 2012.

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