once, over 2 years ago, I was having a lesson in a major IT company, and as we were discussing technologies and changes (and probably Ipads), my student said that within 6 month all the other companies would also start producing tablet PCs and everyone would own one. I didn’t really believe him then and there, but now I can say this: in about 6 or 7 months we did buy our first tablet PC. We bought it together with my husband, as a wedding anniversary present for each other. But to tell you the truth, I laid my hands on it, and there have been very rare occasions when my husband had a chance to use it. But I am sure you will agree: I needed it much more that he did. Because I needed it for my work! I really did, and I don’t know how I had been teaching without it!
Well, here is a (not full) list of the ELT-uses for a tablet.
- You can note down new vocab arising at a lesson. It works great, especially at my one-to-one classes: I make a vocabulary list ( of all the worth-remembering “how do you say ‘…’ in English?”, “uh, I forgot how to say…”, “what does it mean?”), and then e-mail it to a student just after the lesson is over. This is his/her active vocabulary, and they know they should learn it and think of good examples with this vocabulary, and this is something we will revise next time(s). Such vocab lists make you look very student(or client-, for that matter-)-oriented, even though you don’t contribute any extra time at all! Moreover, both you and the students have all the active vocab reference sitting neatly in their e-mail!
- You can use online dictionaries. Or better still, you can let your students do it, if they don’t have a dictionary or any other device on them.
- You can google for something just at the right moment (like, to find a necessary picture just before a lesson). Or, again, let your students do it – to see which of 2 words gets more hits in Google, what the capital of this or that country is, etc…
- (this is something that had made my teaching life literally lighter) You can upload electronic copies of your textbooks onto the tablet! And this will make your big and heavy teacher’s bag much more elegant! I remember how heavy my bag used to be: all that books, copies, pictures… Now almost everything is in there – my PC is responsible for all the heavy stuff.
- You can use something you were not planning to turn to – as long as you have this something (a different textbook page, an audio to play, a picture to show) uploaded onto your tablet, or just on your memory card.
- You can use it for video&audio in class! No more looking for players and recorders…
- and surely, with your tablet PC you can plan your lessons or just read a book, or write an e-mail, over a coffee or a lunch…
What about you? How do modenr technologies generally, and especially tablets help you in your teaching life?