The Flipped Classroom in ELT

Flipped learning – or the flipped classroom – is one of the hot topics in education at the moment. It’s a core part of the ‘EdTech agenda’ and often espoused as one of the things that will fix a broken education system. So, what exactly is the flipped classroom and what could it mean for … Read more

Digital Literacy: Going Native in ELT?

“Digital native” and “digital immigrant” are labels that have graced training seminar powerpoint presentations the world over for more than a decade, but what are the implications of these terms for publishers (and all other participants in the learning biz)? Are there any implications at all, even, or are these simply sassy strap lines that ricochet between blogs (like ours) but are inherently void of substance?

Take It Personally: Adaptive Learning

It’s definitely a term that is being bandied around the ELT-osphere like a banned elastic band at a Band Aid concert. The Impatient Optimists site (of the Gates Foundation) declared that: “If 2012 was the MOOCs’ year for capturing venture capital and unrelenting media coverage, 2013 looks to be a big year for the adaptive learning … Read more

Eric Ries

Lean ELT Publishing (or, How to publish an ELT course in three months, Part 2)

In the first post in this series, Nick set out a challenge to see if – and how – it might be possible to radically speed up the process of ELT course creation. The simple fact is that established ELT content providers don’t have much of a choice – radical change is needed because the … Read more

Lost in the crowd? Crowdfunding in ELT

Now that web 2.0 is passé, and we’ve all got used to the concept of crowd-sourcing and the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, one of the hot crowd-related trends of the last couple of years has been crowdfunding. You may have heard tales of people raising huge sums of money in weeks on sites like Kickstarter. So, could crowdfunding have an impact on ELT? Well, why not.

MOOC shmooc?

Image by Flickr user nkcphoto. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Image by Flickr user nkcphoto. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A few weeks ago, Laurie wrote the first of five posts on the Edtech trends of ELT, covering online learning. In his post, he wrote:

it’s only a matter of time before someone is teaching English via a MOOC – either delivering courses through the existing platforms or creating an ELT MOOC (honestly, why has no-one actually done that already?).

Here’s why: there’s a good chance it won’t work.

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It’s In The Game: Gamification and Language Learning Pt. 2

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Following on from our part 1 post I’m taking up the question that was left hanging in the air: what does gamification really mean for language learning?

The answer, as unsatisfactory and contradictory as it may sound, is: it means what it’s always meant. ‘Good’ language teachers will always instinctively apply such concepts to engage and help their learners. The technology utilised in this approach could range from a piece of paper to a room full of iPads. The tech is the vehicle for delivering the solution, not the solution itself.

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It’s In The Game: ‘Gamification’ and Language Learning Pt. 1 of 2

Interested observers of developments in the field of Edtech will undoubtedly be aware of the snowballing sexiness of the term ‘gamification’ as its advocates look at ways of transferring it from the world of business into the world of education.

What is emerging as the term gets shared and amplified is the fact that it is being interpreted differently and in increasingly erroneous ways. If the concepts and opportunities that the gamification proposition offer are to get effective traction within the education community it’s vital that teachers and learners are clear on what it actually entails (as well as what it doesn’t).

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GlobalEnglish makes its play

Image by Flickr user pennstatenews. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic
Image by Flickr user pennstatenews. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

The next time you’re sat opposite that businessperson on the train engrossed in their BlackBerry or iPhone, don’t assume they’re frantically trying to get to Inbox Zero. It’s just as likely they’re trying to get to the next level of Angry Birds.

Or so GlobalEnglish might have us believe.

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The 5 EdTech trends of ELT part 1: Online Learning

Online learning - ELT

Edudemic recently identified The 5 Biggest Education Technology Trends To Know About.

The 5 trends are:

  1. Online learning
  2. Alternative credentialling platforms
  3. Tablets and smartphones
  4. e-textbooks
  5. Learning Management Systems

That’s great, but the angle is very much focussed on US higher education and K-12. So, in this mini-series, let’s have a look at what they mean in the world of ELT.

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The Grading Game: birth of the “first person tutor”

The Grading Game is an addictive action word game centered around the pursuit and eradication of grammar and spelling errors. The game’s levels take the form of students’ papers, with a fresh set of errors generated for each play. Meanwhile, the papers themselves cover the most interesting and unusual topics, from the history of ramen to … Read more

Online language learning start-up Busuu reaches 30m users

imagesIn the week that Livemocha was swallowed up, Busuu has announced that it has now reached 30m users, with a growth rate of 40,000 a day. It’s not clear how of those are active users, though. Their main growth is coming from countries like Brazil, Turkey and Russia – the same group of countries that most ELT publishers see as the source of their own growth.

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