This year, I have a 50-minute class with my 4th graders which we call an “AppClass.” They bring their own mobile devices and we use different apps to create videos, slideshows, e-books, speaking avatars and many more online stuff ….
We are doing BYOD, where children bring their own devices to school. We are working in our library where we have the wifi as well. I have created an Edmodo for them to follow what we will be doing in our AppClass every week. I ask them to check Edmodo before they come and make sure that they download the app. We have just finished the second week and it is really interesting to see hands-on, how mobile devices can be used in English classes. Here are my first impressions from the previous weeks:
- My students are very motivated and I can say that they are dying to bring their devices to school.
- They like trying new apps and showing off with what they have done.
- They are surprised with the outcomes most of the time. They keep on asking where I have found all these apps.
- They are super talented and compatible with using mobile devices. You don’t need to teach how to use the devices or the apps that they have downloaded. They like trying and finding out how to play with the app by themselves.
- Although some students’ level of English is low; when I compare them with the rest of the class, they are doing their best!
Things to consider:
- There is a limit with the number of devices that can use the wifi so this’s one of the biggest issues at the moment. When they finish, they want to share what they have done but they have to wait until they get the wifi. This affects the classroom management.
- At the first lessons, they ask a lot of questions about what to do but they are much better now.
- Sometimes, even you check, the apps don’t work!! This is demotivating for them and for me as well.
- There are many apps around, but unfortunately, many of them are not free anymore.
- They should have an email set -up on their devices. Some apps share the end product via mail, sometimes Facebook or YouTube. I think, all apps that are created in educational goals in mind should let the end-products shared via emails. Some of my kids don’t have Facebook!
In my next post on my AppClass blog series, I will be talking about what to have, what to do at the beginning if you want to do BYOD in your class!
cross-posted at ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org
Özge Karaoğlu is an English teacher and educational consultant in teaching young learners and teaching with web-based technologies. She is the author of Minigon ELT book series, which aims to teach English to young learners through stories. Read more of her ideas about teaching English through technology and Web-based tools at ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org.