Classroom technology: pre-sessional 2016

 EAP, ESP&EdTech, Technology  Comments Off on Classroom technology: pre-sessional 2016
Jul 012016
 

This is my main classroom this year. The seating arrangement has changed into a horse shoe at the front for whole class activities. The seats at the back are used for break-out sessions / group work. On the teacher’s desk, there is a computer and screen with camera, a visualiser, a podcast recording device (the round microphone behind the keyboard, and the small screen with which everything is controlled. In the room, there are 6(!) whiteboards, a projector and large screen. There’s also wifi (throughout the campus) so that students (and teachers) can use their own devices.

All students in my classes have smartphones and laptops, only one or two have a tablet. This hasn’t changed over the six years that I’ve been teaching on these pre-sessional courses.

IMG_2681 IMG_2680 IMG_2679 IMG_2678 IMG_2677

ELTons award for Excellence in Course Innovation: Keynote by Cengage Learning

 Materials Writing  Comments Off on ELTons award for Excellence in Course Innovation: Keynote by Cengage Learning
Jun 062016
 

Every year around this time the ELTons Innovation Awards are presented. There are always some very good nominations and I’m glad I don’t have to make a decision as it must be really difficult to choose the best in each category.

This year, I’m particularly happy about two of the awards:

Keynote by Cengage Learning (National Geographic Learning) won the ELTons for Excellence in Course Innovation.

I was involved in the authoring of some of the digital IWBs, online workbooks and ebook versions and it was a  real pleasure to read through and work with the material that is created around selected TED talks.

I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to some of the authors and editors of the series at IATEFL in Birmingham.

As a teacher, I have used TED talk and other videos and material I created around them in my classes and they are usually popular with students. The authors of Keynote have written engaging course materials using TEDtalks as a basis for all skills and they help students gradually understand, learn and use the authentic language from the talks and language that is related to and expands on that used in the talks. The material is also personalized and learners get to critically engage with the topics of the talks and either write (an essay, letter, email, etc.) or prepare and give a presentation at the end of each unit.

Digital Video: A Manual for Language Teachers by Nik Peachey won the ELTons for best Innovation in Teacher Resources

Nik crowd-sourced the budget for this multimedia ebook and I contributed because I thought it was a fantastic idea, I was curious about the book and wanted a copy and it allowed me to follow the process of creating this ebook.

What is particularly great about Nik winning this award is that he self-published the ebook. This is very encouraging for those who have self-published or have been thinking of  doing it.

 

Two well-deserved winners of the ELTons!

 

Here you can read who else won in the other categories and there’s also a blog post with more details on the winners on the British Council website.

 

Good or bad, valuable or worthless?

 ESP&EdTech  Comments Off on Good or bad, valuable or worthless?
May 292016
 

Huseyin Can March 2106Last week, I had to take care of my nephew, Hüseyin Can, for a couple of hours. Hüseyin Can is special. He’s got cerebral palsy. You can watch some videos of him on YouTube.
I wanted to keep him occupied but also get some stuff done that I wanted to do, which was to sort through the latest batch of photographs I had taken. I had never done this while my nephew was present. So, while I was flicking through my photographs and deciding which to keep and which to delete and talking aloud to keep him engaged, he was watching what I was doing. He’s good with computers and also learns quickly by observing. After a while, he motioned that he wanted to take control of moving forward to the next picture and the delete button. I was still talking about the images: ‘This is nice, I’ll keep it. Move to the next one. This one is blurry, let’s delete it…’ But then, Hüseyin Can started to decide himself and was proceeding to delete some images I wanted to keep. I had to stop him and explain that I liked them, but he disagreed and showed that he didn’t like them. Then came pictures he liked and he nodded with his head and made sounds of approval meaning Yes,! This is pretty! This we’ll keep! Sometimes, we agreed, but sometimes, I didn’t like an image that he liked a lot.

Why am I writing about this on my professional blog? Well. to me, besides having had a great time with my nephew, it was a special moment because he was expressing his feelings about what he found beautiful and what not. He always says what he likes or dislikes, whether it’s a new toy, a new t-shirt, a TV programme, etc., but this was different, it was about photography, about colours, shapes, light!But there was something else why I found his reactions interesting: Although we agreed on some photographs, we mostly disagreed on which were beautiful, or good, or worth keeping and which weren’t. It took me a day or two to make the connection between this and teaching and learning. How often do we choose material and prepare a lesson that we like, but it falls flat on our students. However, it’s also happened to me that I didn’t like a lesson, but at the end, a student walked up to me and thanked me and said it was great and they learned a great deal.
We know this can happen, but it was good that my nephew reminded me of how different opinions can be. In the case of the photographs it didn’t matter so much, I got to keep the ones I liked, but am aware that not everybody will like them. Fine with me. In a teaching context, however, it can mean the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful lesson, so, worth finding out why students liked or disliked a particular lesson.

Workflow tip: How to change default save location for screenshots on MAC

 Materials Writing, Technology  Comments Off on Workflow tip: How to change default save location for screenshots on MAC
May 122016
 

One of the most-used functions on my Mac for work is taking a screenshot (using the shortcut Shift-Command+4). Particularly when I do editorial or writing work and have to communicate to others what part of a webpage I have a question about or what needs to be changed on a website or an activity, etc., usually the most efficient way is to take a screenshot, annotate it and send it to together with the question or feedback.

What’s been bugging me though is that on Mac OSX, the default location where screenshots are saved is the desktop. With the number of screenshots I take, my desktop always looked cluttered. I understand there is a good reason behind having the desktop as the save location: the screenshots can be located very quickly, for example if I want to send them as email attachment.

So, I was looking for a solution that allowed me to keep my desktop clutter-free but also allowed quick access to the screenshots. I thought easy enough, I’ll create a screenshot folder on my desktop and there surely must be a system setting where I can change the default save location… … … No? No! I actually had to search on the Internet how to do this and it turned out I needed to do it with a Terminal command, nicely explained here.

Eh voilà!

Screenshot of screenshot folder

IATEFL Birmingham 2016: Post-talk reflections

 Conference, Teacher Development  Comments Off on IATEFL Birmingham 2016: Post-talk reflections
Apr 212016
 

‘Why write?’ was one of the questions I asked in my talk. This blog post could be titled ‘Why present?’ ‘It’s a very rewarding experience,’ I could say. But maybe we always say this when things have gone well… It’s not a very concrete or useful answer either, is it? So, here a bit more about what I think (or have heard) that went well, and what would make it (in my view) a more useful talk.

Nergiz Kern presenting

by Karen White, MaWSIG

But still, first: Why present?

It’s another way of sharing knowledge, sharing experience, it’s for teacher and career development, and all the other reasons which I listed when talking about ‘Why write’ (see the slides here). If you teach presentation skills, it also helps you appreciate what your students go through when they have to present (often in a language they are not proficient in yet).

So, it’s a good thing, which is probably why we (at least I) spent so much time preparing for it, and why we put ourselves in a situation that makes us feel nervous if we could simply be enjoying the conference…

The nerves

My talk was part of the MaWSIG Day (Materials Writing Special Interest Group) on the Friday of the conference. In fact, mine was the first talk. Fortunately, I had had the change to meet many of the attendees before, which helped immensely with being less nervous. Generally, all the attendees, when I looked at them, looked interested and nodded along, which again helped me to be relaxed throughout my talk.

The technology

There was also a person responsible for the technology, Richard, who connected my laptop to the projector and set my Keynote slides to presenter mode, who helped me with the microphone and the clicker they provided. He said he’d be ‘up there’ in the technical room (or whatever it is called) overseeing everything and I could call him if needed. I told Richard that his presence was very important to me (and the success of many other talks I’m sure) – one less thing to worry about!

The timing!

Last year at IATEFL, I attended many talks. In none of them, except maybe one, was there any or enough time for questions, which I believe are a very crucial part of a successful and rewarding presentation experience for both the presenter and the audience. Those presenters who had an exhibition stand could say – and they did – ‘If you have any (more) questions, I’ll be at the stand.’ But how about those that didn’t have this possibility?!

So, I said to myself, should I give a talk, I’ll make sure I’ll leave ten minutes for questions and comments. Twenty minutes should be long enough to get your point across. A successful talk was, in my view, not just one person who speaks to many, but should have space for interaction between the attendees and between them and the presenter.

Well, it didn’t quite work out as originally thought, and I knew it. I simply had too much to say and I agonised over where to cut the talk but couldn’t get myself doing it, except for one or two slides and minutes. I did finish exactly within the 30 minutes allocated to me and I did give the audience time to interact with each other, but there was no time for feedback and questions. And I did have to say in the end ‘You are welcome to come to the stand to ask questions or talk to me.’

I had planned four questions when I wanted the attendees to discuss them first before I presented my ideas, but I would have loved to give them more time to do this and also have time to get feedback, which I only managed ones. I know from being a participant myself that one minute for a discussion is not enough and one is asked to stop just when it gets interesting. Also, I would have loved to hear what they had to say and add to my own ideas. The one person whose feedback to the question ‘Why write?’ we managed to hear was ‘One important reason for writing is missing on your slide: for the LOVE of it!’ This to me was such a great addition to my ideas. And I’m sure, had we had time, we’d have heard more great contributions, particularly as my audience was about half experienced authors (some of whom had already published books) and half ‘inexperienced’, who were there because they wanted to start writing. There were also editors of magazines, as I would later find out.

Anticipating that there wouldn’t be sufficient time for interaction, feedback, and questions, I had prepared a Google document with the questions and shared it with the audience at the beginning, but nobody added anything to it. This could be because they couldn’t access it this quickly, they didn’t want to contribute in writing, there was simply no time to write anything there and follow the talk.

What’s the solution then? To cut the talk? Maybe often it is. With my talk, I think the solution would have been to have submitted it as a workshop rather than talk, which would have given us 15 more minutes for discussions, questions, and comments and would have made it a real learning experience for all sides.

The rewarding bits

I actually enjoyed standing there and presenting to my audience and felt much less nervous than I thought I might be.

After the talk, some people told  me they liked the talk and it motivated them, some did asked questions. Some even came to the stand to talk about my presentation.

Very unexpectedly, two editors, who were in the audience, said it was a lovely talk and whether I’d like to write it up for their publication! So, one suggestion I could add to my slide on ‘How to start writing’ is: give a presentation and then write it up for a blog post or an article!

Apr 152016
 

The details, abstract and slides for my talk

Hall 9

1025-1055

Writing for publication can help teachers develop in their profession and further their career. However, many teachers might think they don’t have what it takes to write for publication. Others want to do it, but don’t know how to get started. This talk is a personal account of my writing journey hoping it will inspire other teachers.

The talk is for the ‘less experienced’. It’s about both Teacher Development and Materials Writing

(The slides can be downloaded at this link.)

The idea to talk about this topic came to me last year when I had blogged about why to write and how to start writing and it seemed to inspire colleagues.

I like to write or talk about my own experience, about how I did things, rather than talk about abstract concepts. This way, I hope that other teachers will say: “If she can do it, I can to!”

At the same time, because the talk is about my own writing journey, there are many others with their own stories. For this reason, and for allowing participants (and non-participants) to add their questions and comments, for which there might not be sufficient time during the talk, I have created this Google document for my IAEFL Birmingham talk.

One problem with starting to write (or any other new things we want to finally do) is that the inspiration or motivation doesn’t often last long enough to actually do it. This is why I will ask the participants

What’s your next step?

… and invite them to talk with each other about their next concrete step and leave a comment in the Google document or below what this will be.
If you do leave a comment, I’d be very happy if you came back and left another comment after you’ve taken that step, no matter how small or big.

Thanks

I’d also like to thank Cleve Miller at English360 for making it possible for me to attend the conference and for Valentina Dodge for all her support and encouragement.

Update

In the meantime, I have given the talk and written up my reflections on how it went here.

IATEFL 2016: Cycling from Manchester-Birmingham for IATEFL projects

 Conference  Comments Off on IATEFL 2016: Cycling from Manchester-Birmingham for IATEFL projects
Apr 102016
 

IATEFL Birmingham 2016: Planning

 Conference, Teacher Development  Comments Off on IATEFL Birmingham 2016: Planning
Apr 012016
 

Soon it’s IATEFL Conference time again. This year will be my second time there, after following it online or a couple of years. It’s going to be a special one as it is the 50th anniversary of the IATEFL Conference.

Last year, I attended the conference in Manchester, where they ‘caught’ me and my colleague when saying hi to other attendees who we’d worked with previously.

Like last year, I’ll be there again in different roles: as a teacher, as a freelance editor and materials developer/writer, and as a team member of English360.

I don’t like big gatherings and find it very exhausting, but at the same time, I really enjoyed meeting some people face-to-face who I had known online for many years. It also is a very intensive week of professional development. I particular found the MaWSIG (Materials Writing Special Interest Group) PCE (Pre Conference Event) very useful and it’s the one I look most forward to this year.

This year, I’m also going to give a talk myself on ‘How to start writing for publication: a teacher’s personal journey’, which will take place on Friday, 15 April at 10.25 in Hall 9.

To make the most of the conference, I’ve been reading through the programme and trying to choose the talks and workshops on topics that I’m most interested in, but I’m finding this very difficult, because in my different roles, I’m interested in many different things from EAP/ESP to technology, to writing materials. And there is hardly a talk that I want to attend that doesn’t collide with another one that I’d also like to hear, as there are so many presentations that take place in parallel.

What helps a bit is that some sessions are recorded, so I can watch these at home after the conference. IATEFL Online is a fantastic resource for during the conference, particularly for those who cannot be at the conference, and after the conference to catch up on what one has missed. Online participants can also participate in online discussions and can even blog about the sessions they ‘attended’.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 17.14.20

 

 

 

Grammar in EAP pre-sessional courses: What to teach?

 EAP, Teacher Development  Comments Off on Grammar in EAP pre-sessional courses: What to teach?
Jun 152015
 

Introduction

EAP pre-sessional courses focus mostly on academic skills and culture. Their is no grammar-based syllabus. Grammar is taught where and when it is needed. But what is this grammar? What do students who will be studying at a UK university need to know? If you asked the students, they wouldn’t mind reviewing ALL “the grammar”. That is what many are familiar with and what is somehow “tangible”. But it’s neither possible nor useful to do that. It’s not possible because there is no time. And it’s not very useful, because grammar practice or knowledge in isolation is not going to get them very far when they have to write academic essays, participate in seminar discussions, or present research findings. And often it is not that students don’t “know” grammar (such as the modal verbs), but they need to learn to use these in an academic context (e.g. modals for hedging). So, how do we decide which grammar points to teach or review in the limited time we have in a pre-sessional course?
Alison Ramage, an online colleague and friend of mine, who also teaches pre-sessional EAP courses, did some research on this for her MA dissertation. She has kindly accepted my invitation to write a blog post about this, which follows:


Teaching on a university pre-sessional can be both challenging and fun, that´s why we´re all here, doing it!  However with so much demanded in such little time, it can also be massively frustrating. With so many students coming from cultures that have completely different academic styles to us in the West, more time has to be spent on skills other than just being able to write clear, precise academic English. Thus, what we think of as traditional English language skills, such as grammar, are often given very scant attention. In the first pre-sessional I taught on, only two hours a week were allocated for grammar instruction and the topic was at the teachers´ discretion. Given such little time, who was I, or even how was I, to decide what grammar would be the most useful for my students in their university careers? It was this question that lead me, a couple of years later, to my MA question and a final dissertation entitled “A Taxonomy of Grammar Items to Support the Academic Writing of Arabic and Chinese L1 Students”

It´s not a title we´re ever going to see on the bestseller lists, but my intention was to create a list of the most useful grammar items that we can teach our Chinese and Arabic students. Items which have a high surrender value and which the students can see are immediately useful for their writing. Something that I hoped would be practically useful rather than theoretically interesting. My decision to focus on Chinese and Arabic students was not difficult; these two language groups not only form a considerable number of our students, if not the majority, but also they have similarities which make academic writing in English difficult for them. Obviously there are the issues of orthography and grammar, but there are also differences in academic rhetorical style which impact on the way these L1 groups use the English language.

To reach the answers to my research question I had to find the answers to several other questions first:

Firstly, through the literature:

  1. What grammatical items are typical of, and identify, written academic English?
  2. Which of these identified grammatical features of written academic English are likely to be especially problematic for Arabic and Chinese L1 learners of English to assimilate?Once this group of grammar items had been identified I undertook discourse analysis on texts from each language group to answer the third research question:
  3. How well, if at all, do students from these language groups show competence in using these grammar items?

By working through this process in a scholarly and rigorous way I hoped to provide information that is both theoretically sound and practically useful.

So, briefly, the answers:

1. The grammatical items which are typical of, and identify, written academic can be considered as follows:

  • Articles:  In particular the zero article for generalizations, uncountable nouns and plural countable nouns.
  • Verb tenses:  Although there is no clear conclusion about which particular verb tenses are the most important, research suggests that clear use of past and present simple, together with the present perfect are the most useful
  • Passive voice:  While still not as prevalent as the active voice in academic writing, its use is significantly greater than in other genres. Being a competent user of the passive voice will enable students greater flexibility and thus precision in their writing.
  • Nouns (nominalization):  A higher proportion of nouns in relation to verbs is a clear identifier of academic writing, and again, being able to use nouns and create compound nouns flexibly will enable students to deal with the high density of information that is often required in written academic English.
  • Modals:  “Hedging” which is a common feature of written academic English genres of writing is created by appropriate use of the modals of certainty.
  • Subordinate clauses:  In particular ‘wh’ clauses are common in English academic writing, both in subject and object positions as their complexity allows for the handling of greater quantities of information which is often required in written academic English.
  • be+copula”:  While this verb form has been identified as being over-used in higher levels of academic writing, creating a too simplistic text,  it is a basic structure for giving information in English.  Thus, it needs to be considered as something to be learned and used appropriately.

2. Those of the above which are likely to be especially problematic for Chinese and Arabic speakers:

  • Articles:  Of all the identified features of written academic English, these appeared most frequently in the literature and seemed to produce the most problems, even for students at a higher level.  Particular difficulty was noted with the zero article for general use which is that aspect of article use most closely identified with written academic English.
  • Subordinate clauses: Because of the totally differing ways of constructing this type of clause in both Arabic and Chinese, combined with its importance in academic writing, subordinate clauses do need to feature on the list for analysis.
  • Passives: Although there is some debate about how useful these are in written academic English, there is general agreement that being able to use the passive when required is a valuable linguistic skill for academic prose.  Both Chinese and Arabic deal with this type of construction in a different way from English, so this voice should also feature on the list for analysis.
  • Verb tenses.  While there is no doubt that verb tenses generally cause a great many  problems for all learners of English as well as for Chinese and Arabic L1 users, accurate use of the present and past simple are the most useful for written academic English
  • Modals for hedging. Although there is very little mention of this structure as being difficult for either language group because it features strongly as typical of written academic English, it will feature on the list for analysis.
  • Be+copula:  At lower language levels for both Chinese and Arabic L1s, this grammar feature was seen as being particularly problematic.  While evidence suggests an overuse among higher level users, it is still a grammar feature that needs to be mastered in order to communicate clearly in written academic English.
  • Nouns:  While a higher frequency of nouns and the use of compound nouns does form one of the major features of written academic English it has not been given as being a grammar feature of particular difficulty to Chinese and Arabic L1s.  That said, compound nouns are considered to be one of the most difficult aspects of English grammar.  For these reasons, noun use was not analyzed.

3. The question which drove this research project was ‘what are the most useful grammar items that can be taught to Arabic and Chinese learners of English to support them in their written academic English?’. Through an extensive review of the literature and practical quantitative discourse analysis a taxonomy of these items has now been identified and is given below in order of interest. The first may surprise you, it certainly surprised me when it came out in the discourse analysis.

  • Modals for hedging were used very rarely by the students yet this language form is a key feature in English academic writing. The lack of precision in expressing degree of certainty can “affect the impact of the argument, and how the academic competence of the writer is evaluated.”
  • A limited variety of verbs were used by many students; this came out of looking at the use of nouns by the students. Being dependent on a narrow range of items, in this case, verbs, indicates a lack of flexibility and precision with the language which can also affect how the academic competence of the writer is evaluated.
  • Subordinate clauses and passive structures were used but only by students who felt confident about producing them and then only infrequently.
  • The use of the zero article for generalizations, uncountable and plural countable nouns was, overall, not very accurate.  While this may not impact too much on the overall communicative competence, a higher accuracy rate would undoubtedly improve the quality of the texts.
  • Verb tenses and be+copula structures were generally produced at an adequate level of accuracy although there was room for improvement in the student texts.

The aim of my research was to provide something of pedagogical value to pre-sessional courses at universities where there are often considerable time pressures. Thus the taxonomy needs to have a high surrender value for the students and be manageable for the course planners. Thus, my recommendations are as follows:

  • Introduce the concept of hedging very early on in the course.  Students at this level should have a basic familiarity of the uses of ‘may’ and ‘might’ but may not be familiar with the convention of hedging in academic written English.
  • Include regular vocabulary input sessions to expand the students’ range of verbs.  These verbs can either be taken from an ‘academic word list’ appropriate to the course or from disciplines that the students will be studying in their faculties.
  • Passive structures and subordinate clauses should both have special input sessions focusing on their use in an academic context.  These should also be timetabled for early in the course so that the forms can be practiced and acquired by the end of the course.
  • Verb tenses and be+copula structures do not merit specific input sessions unless there is either time available on the course or the teacher notices these as particular weaknesses in the students’ first written assignments.

I very much hope that these few simple ideas will help you with planning your pre-sessional, if you would like to read, or skim through, the full dissertation please feel free to send me an email.


The Author

After careers in Publishing, Politics and the City, Alison Ramage Patterson started her TEFL career rather late in life in 2001 with a CELTA at IH London. After working in countries as diverse as Russia, Spain, Malaysia and Kazakhstan she completed her DELTA in 2009 followed by some years working in Saudi Arabia. During her time in Saudi Arabia she developed a specialism in EAP, with particular emphasis on writing. She has designed and facilitated EAP courses for the British Council in Jeddah. During this time she also taught on pre-sessionals in the UK. Now based in Menorca, Spain, she divides her time between materials writing, online teaching and language support, and face to face lessons.

 

How to NOT set up a role-play if your students have smartphones

 EAP, ESP&EdTech, Teacher Development, Technology  Comments Off on How to NOT set up a role-play if your students have smartphones
May 082015
 

There’s is a very nice role-play activity which our coordinator shared with me in my first year teaching a pre-sessional summer EAP course and which I like to use with my students in the last speaking lesson of the course (unfortunately, I don’t remember the book it comes from).  It’s fun, but also very useful as the role-play situations are authentic: student and librarian, student and accommodation officer, student and head of department, etc. There are no scripts. For each role, there is a role description, which they have to read carefully. Then, the pairs can sit together and prepare their role-play deciding who says what.

However, I didn’t like how students wrote down the complete dialog and tried to memorise and act it out. The dialogues were hilarious and we all had a great time, students did use the language well and it was speaking practise. But it didn’t feel authentic and it didn’t really show how good students where when they had to reply spontaneously. So, I changed the preparation part a bit the following year: I didn’t tell the students who their partners would be! This way, they could prepare for their role, but they would have to listen carefully to what the other person was saying and they would have to react spontaneously. Ingenious! Or so I thought.

When I had given each student their role-play card making sure pairs were not sitting next to each other, I started monitoring and helping where necessary. But I noticed that something was going on; the students had all started using their smartphones. First, I thought they were looking up words in their dictionaries, but that wasn’t it. When I asked them what they were doing, they said they had found their partners and where preparing their role-plays! I felt like a fool! We all laughed about my failed attempt to set up the role-play with surprise partners 🙂 I asked them to switch off their phones, so a bit of the surprise element was there in the role-plays. It was a lot of fun, as usual, but they could also show their real speaking skills. So, I had saved the situation, but learned a lesson too.

This happened a couple of years ago. Although, I was aware of social media apps and was using some tools myself, and although I knew that students were sometimes messaging during class, it didn’t occur to me that they would use it as they did for this role-play task. For them, it was the most natural thing to do, though.

Why I wanted to share this story

– We often discuss which tools we use in class and which we don’t, or even whether we use technology in class at all or not, but there is also the students and the technology THEY use. We need to be at least aware of how they use their tools they bring to class, whether it’s their electronic dictionaries, or their smartphones and tablets.

– Even teachers who like to use technology and who train other teachers in using technology can make mistakes. But it’s hardly ever a disaster as long as one has good rapport with the students and talks about these things in class.

What I learned from this

Since then, I’ve always shown more interest in what kind of apps my students have on their phones and we talk about this at the beginning of the course. Since then, I also try to manage the use of smartphones in class better by, for example, telling them at different stages to put away their smartphones (even if they insists they need the dictionary!). Am I always successful? No! But I’ve come to terms with this. If I see how teachers or other professionals “multitask” or chat with others during conferences webinars, or meetings (including myself) and “claim” this helps them focus, I don’t think I need to manage my students’ use of technology one hundred percent.

 

Do you have a story to share about a “failed” attempt to manage your class due to technology? What happened? How did you react? How did your students react? What did you get out of it?