2.0 Web or not 2.0 Web – the teaching kids with technology question

Neil McMahon – neil@ih-buenosaires.com

Part One – A little bit of theory and a practical example…

Friday May 13th 2011 I presented a workshop with this title at the ABS Young Learners Conference in Buenos Aires. Below are the slides and links I used in the presentation for those of you that were there and for those of you that weren’t too.

During the session we thought about further ways of exploiting these links – if you have any please share them with us here by commenting at the end of the blog post. We’d love to hear what you thought of the talk too!

2.0 web or not 2.0 web addresses the question of whether it’s worth all the hassle, extra work and learning that jumping on the technology bandwagon inevitably entails. Will our kids learners really be motivated and challenged by using the gadgets they’re obsessed with outside class inside the classroom as well (not to mention for homework)? During the session we’ll be looking at an array of applications and activities that provide this motivation and challenge for the students, while keeping the extra work for the teacher to a minimum. Come and join us for a practical, fun session full of ideas to get your kids weaving their English learning webs.

First of all we discussed the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 – what can we do now that we couldn’t do before?
Well now it’s a two-way process – so let’s get our kids involved in that process – let’s get them communicating!


We can use Wordle for:

Lesson reviews,  Vocab lists,  Personal profiles,  Story summaries,   Unit revision posters,  Find the English words,  Word soups,  Graphic organisers,  Make your own
We used Wordle as an intro to the session to show the power of simple ideas that can be used time and time again. It’s also a good example of how to combat the issues that teachers face when dealing with technology that sometimes discourage us from using it with our young learners.

Issues? What issues…

To overcome these issues we need a change of attitude – let’s go on a PICNIC – Problem In Chair, Not In Computer!

  • Don’t be afraid, you’ve been to this session or read this blog now so you have the confidence to begin
  • You want your students to be risk takers, so you should be too!
  • Train yourself and ask for help. Coming to this session is a good start. Use Twitter to find out more. Read some blogs to get you going. Try, try and try again.
  • Ideas will come once you start using. Trial and error. Share and share alike (check out the comments section below and add your own)
  • Short term pain, long term gain. Share and share alike. Repeat to fade.
  • Be safe, keep in control. Ask parents to help. Communicate. Use safe sites…
  • Grade the task not the text. Control the surf. Use the suggestions below…

So in Part Two of this blog post (coming soon) we’ll look at more ideas like Wordle that will help you to start using technology with your kids to learn and enjoy English.

Looking forward to your comments and suggestions for favourite websites to use with young learners!

Neil McMahon, Buenos Aires, 16/5/11


About International House Buenos Aires Teacher Training

At International House Buenos Aires Teacher Training we teach languages and train teachers. As part of the International House World Organisation (IHWO), one of the leading language providers worldwide, our goal is to promote excellence in language education. We provide high quality English & Spanish language instruction and internationally recognised teacher training courses, which aim to increase standards in teaching and learning in wider contexts.
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2 Responses to 2.0 Web or not 2.0 Web – the teaching kids with technology question

  1. Susana Berutti says:

    I was wandering if you could send me the hand out of your workshop. I wrote some of the websites but I can’t remember what are the different uses.

    Thank you.

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