Amy Lightfoot

In this practical technology-focused seminar, Amy Lightfoot explores opportunities for learning English by using mobile phones both in and out of the classroom.
 

 

Downloadable resources and further information

  • Download the print version of these training materials. (Coming soon)
  • Recommended apps: Posterous.com (no longer available), Audioboo.com.

About this training session / session notes

Session summary and objectives

Amy Lightfoot offers us an interesting insight into how mobile phones and handheld devices can be used easily in the English language classroom. She focuses on how teachers can utilise the key functions of mobile phones, such as the camera, voice recorder and maps for educational purposes. She looks at some of the pros and cons and emphasises the importance of preparation and experimentation.
 
Amy Lightfoot also debates the pros and cons of using mobile devices for learning and looks at a variety of ELT content that is currently available. She shares her experiences of creating some of this content, and discusses the early outcomes of the projects she has been working on. Amy also considers the educational implications of widespread mobile phone availability, particularly in developing countries.
 

Who is this seminar for?

  • Teachers new to using mobile technology for learning and teaching. 
  • Suitable for teachers of all levels of experiences with an interest in technology for educational purposes, and personalised learning.
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About this training session / session notes

About the speaker

Amy Lightfoot is a freelance ELT materials writer, teacher and teacher trainer, based in the UK. Her regular clients include the British Council and the BBC. She has recently been involved in several large-scale multi-platform materials writing projects, including writing content for mobile learning.

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About the speaker

Before you watch

  1. How do you think a mobile phone can be used in the classroom?
  2. What is your opinion of using mobile phones in the classroom?
  3. What do you think students feel about using mobile phones in class? Do you think it depends on the age of the students?
  4. What do you think the future looks like with the use of technology in English language learning?
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Before you watch

Real life practice

Task

  1. Choose one of the activities that Amy talks about in the seminar to try out with your students.
  2. Consider how you need to prepare for this to ensure your activity is successful. It will be important to plan carefully, including thinking about problems that might arise and how you would deal with them if they do.
  3. It would be a good idea to carry out this experiment with another teacher so that you can discuss how to do it together and then share your ideas and feedback together. It will be even better if you can ask your co-teacher to observe the lesson.
  4. Remember to ask the students for their feedback as well. Did they like using their mobile phone to aid their learning in class?
  5. Share your findings and conclusions with the wider teaching community.
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Real life practice

Top tips

  1. Do a thorough audit at the beginning of the course to find out what phones the students have with which features, which apps, how many minutes they have, which language they use, etc.
  2. Start by doing a simple task. You can progress towards more challenging tasks as your confidence, and your students' confidence grows.
  3. Ask students for ideas! Involve them in the discovery of how to use mobile phones for learning – they will have lots of ideas.
  4. Experiment, try out new ideas and don’t worry if things don’t always work the first time you try them.
  5. Planning your lessons carefully is really important, especially when you are using technology. Check your tools before your lesson starts – and have back up plans for when the technology doesn’t work.
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Top tips

Join the discussion

Join the discussion!

With your colleagues, discuss Amy Lightfoot’s seminar. Consider how, as a team of teachers, you can improve on the use of technology for learning in your school.
 
Remember to log in and share your ideas with us by using the comments section below.
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