Disclaimer : most experienced trainers probably use all these resources anyway, but read on if you think there may be one gem in this blog.
From the outside not all my students realize how unorganized I am in general. This does come from not wanting to have a set plan w
hen I walk into most lessons, although it does not mean that I have not got something prepared or a vague idea.
However a generative approach works better in most cases with Business English, than say Academic English, especially new groups that are not used to this approach. Unfortunately even though we are in a modern world, and autonomous learners are our ideal. still want to be spoon fed or reluctant to give their own input into lesson content.
Being tech savvy does not automatically mean students know how to find resources or exploit Internet based platforms fully for their learning. There are oddles of them out there – english forum, english-test, , daves esl cafe, kantalk, leipzig englisch, and with the first there is a facebook mirror site and a twitter feed. Maybe my locale (East/Central Germany) and my main students (Informatics – Bachelors) are not such naturally resourceful students. However this technique is something I want to adapt and enhance in my training.
This is by the by, so lets get onto my top Create 5 techie resources I use to keep my lessons sourced or my life organized.
Google calendar – some guys in my profession still use old school diaries, which is admirable. But I do not have the discipline, and I use notebooks for recording lesson content and for notes for my writing. Goggle calender is accessible from anywhere for me, and I often have my teaching lappi on me.I have the plug in for German Holidays, as this is a cultural integration I still have not managed. I can remember reunification day, but public holidays I am still generally non-plussed about. And forget half terms or school holidays for Saxony, no clue. For guys in admin who have the inclination I can also open this calender up for them, though to this day few use it, and still ask me my availability.
Likewise I can also use it to see my business partners calender, and am now even marking it with appointments for social events, as with my aging memory I forget sometimes arrangements I made with friends or acquaintances. Sad fact of age, but also a being as a friend said a social butterfly.
Clouds – plural as I am a cheapskate. So Dropbox is used for general admin, Google Drive I use for my company files, and Ubuntu one for my audio for lessons, as well as the “office” resources for my lessons.
Linoit – a on line dashboard for post it note brainstorming. I have used this often in the past, but of late a lot of m students have been reluctant to sign up ;( I hope to find a way to use it in the future.
Wikispaces – a great platform for writing practice for my students. Allows me to assign written homework, give lesson preparation tasks. And to use as content for error correction in lessons. Although as yet not really has a forum feel, and would like it to become more wiki like, it still is an invaluable tool. Students can also be collaborative and increase their peer group awareness of errors and corrections.
Xmarks – maybe a little old school itself, but I have reams of links in a folder for resources and lesson content.
I am sure there are many tools out there I do not use or have not mentioned.
How do you organize your chaos?
Is organization your best weapon, and how do you wield it?
How are you more old school or tech savvy?