Everything is great here, a bit hectic with the finals at the college and all the work and documentation we have to finish before graduation next week.
About my class at Post University, everything is going great and I’m starting to get very excited about my project. I am a bit frustrated with the software we have been using to launch our project because it is not very user friendly. I expected it to be easier to work with like PowerPoint or even Google slides in which once you publish your work, all the editing is updated as you go. It’s not like that with this software. I have to republish it weekly so the updates take place. I can’t even narrate my slides using the software. I have to record and save it first in MP3 and then upload it. In spite of all that, it has been a great experience, I’ve learned a lot, especially what I think it’s called “coding”. The end result is nice and I’m happy. I’m sure professionals would think it looks pretty primitive, but it’s just my first time.
Something exciting I learned two weeks ago was gaming. At first, video games came to my mind and I started to think how much I did not understand anything about video games and had no patience at all for them. Then, the more I read, researched and learned from my classmates posts and examples, I realized that I do use games in the classroom when I take my students to the lab. There are lots of simple games available for ESL (English as a Second Language) to help them improve their typing, listening, reading and speaking skills. There is also a variety of games to help them internalize vocabulary. You should check this Games to Learning English website. My students really enjoyed playing those games.
Maybe of of the reasons I don't much what is in the market is because adults, but I’m sure secondary and high school teachers use them a lot. I found this game called Crunchy Time that although it is for kids to tech them about science and the environment, I would use it with my intermediate and advanced level students to practice vocabulary and empower them to talk about everyday topics. Click on the picture to go to the link.
One of my classmates wrote a lot about “simulation” and how it can be used in different contexts and situations, especially when users need to master a skill like CPR, piloting a plane, etc. I really like that idea and it opened my eyes to how the word game carries a negative meaning if we don’t actually don’t learn how it can be used. I’ll teach this summer and I’ll definitely do some research on how I can incorporate games and simulation activities in my classes. I’ve noticed instructors who teach basic and beginners here at the college use a site named Learning Chocolate that seems to be very effective not only to help students learn and practice new vocabulary but also to improve pronunciation. It is very simple and, in my opinion, a thin line between game and just practice. Many of the exercises are timed, so I consider it a game. I love to compete with myself and check how faster I can perform a task, so these kinds of games engage me.
I'll leave you with this interesting TED Talk on Gamification that might change your way of thinking about how gamification can help students. Although is too long an a bit off the topic in my area, the first 10 minutes are very informative.
Hi. I'm Raquel Poteet, an ESL and Spanish teacher. My calling is definitely teaching. That's why I decided to further my education. I'm enrolled in my TESOL M. Ed. program at Post University and loving it!