Highland CfE Showcase event

There were lots of great presentations from teachers in Highland including several with a Languages focus or something that could be used in the Languages classroom. Here are some of the presentations:

Highland CfE Showcase Thea Searle – a presentation on using a Rich Task approach to structure an interdisciplinary project on the Local environment in Langauges, Art, English and ICT.

Highland Learning Festival, Dingwall, 27/10/09

Using Mobile Phones in the Classroom

Alasdair Bauld, PT ML/ICT, Dornoch Academy


  • What for?
    • paired speaking
    • solo talks
    • trio discussions
    • speaking homework
    • audio versions of things to be learnt by rote
    • science experiment reports for those who have difficulty writing?
    • audio diary of things learnt?
  • How?
    • voice recorder
    • video camera
    • bluetooth
    • dictaphones for those without
    • time limit: rehearse, record, rename, remit
  • Why? – benefits
    • time saved in class
    • it’s free!
    • pupils engaged, keen to show their gadgets, often keen to show teacher how things work
    • ease of marking all on one device
    • ease of transfer to school network
      • peer ass possibilities (later on network or by bluetoothing files to each other and comparing on phones)
      • files open with Apple Quicktime
      • personal record of achievements
      • later use for revision
      • can be added to pupils’ blogs, never lost
  • Problems/limitations?
    • iPhone trouble
    • occasional compatibility issues
    • sound quality


  • Practical example – in any language you prefer!!
    • discuss in trios:
      • How did you travel here today?
      • Did you have trouble parking?
      • How long is it until the Christmas holidays?


Download powerpoint by clicking below.

Using mobile phones in the classroom

Moray Council Inset Day, Thursday 24th May, 2007

What a privilege to meet up with ML teachers from our neighbouring Authority at Elgin Academy!  There were two sessions organised for ML teachers, each aiming to increase the use of ICT in languages classrooms: one session was led by a couple of people from Promethean who showed some of the applications of interactive whiteboards for language learning; the other session was by myself on using digital content as a motivator, blogging and podcasting.

Thanks to the enthusiastic staff who welcomed me and got invloved in the sessions I did.  My only regret was the lack of time – we could have had a whole day on each of the three areas I was looking at!!

For a very minor taste of what we did, here is a wee podcast we created in no more than about 2 minutes!  Click on the icon below to listen.


Communicate 07, Stirling Management Centre, March 17th 2007

Another excellent event put on by LT Scotland and Scottish CILT.  Click here for a link to the official site, or see below for my own take on the seminars I attended.
10.00 – 10.30
Prof Johnson:
Traced development of technology in ML classroom from 50s to present. 
Also development of methodology, didactic to communicatiev approach during LFA period.
In past, esp 80s and 90s false situations based on unrealistic fictional families.
Current technology gives scope for contact with/exposure to real life context in foreign country.
Sometimes claims of technology ‘transforming’ achievement – beware! No great differences, but
the beginnings of some improvements.

10.30 – 11.30
Stuart Hay, Lerwick:
Need of isolated communities to look outward in order to survive.
Most young Scots, unlike us, are used to the idea of being part of a wider world.
Started connections with Sweden, Germany, Czech Rep, Japan.
Good educational advice has been gleaned from colleagues, eg Swedish exchange student shared
fact that she was used to discussing her learningg styles with her teachers – taking
ownership of her learning – came as a shock to local teachers!
These links have also made possible work experience for senior pupils.
FLAT project – shared learning and teaching via videoconference:
AH Maths with a Japanese class – 8 hour time difference, so pupils have to start at 7am.
This automatically produces commitment and interest as they have to travel far by taxi, ferry.
Uncommon language, but common language of Maths.  2 iBoards joined together…  Japanese record
lessons and place them on website.  Lessons can be revisited for family and parents to see. This
enhances home school partnership.
Higher German in Germany.  E.g. healthy issues in each place.  Students and staff have their own
session. Students decide on topics for discussion.  Teachers come up with texts, etc for exploitation.
Each dept in school has a virtual and an actual timetable.
From these links have come many exchange students in both directions, raising awareness of
global issues, tolerance, etc.
Czech exchange student then talked about his experiences of learning German in Lerwick via video-
conferencing.  Happy as it forces you to respond to native speakers.
AH history pupil spoke about trip to South Africa to interview former outlawed apartheid opponents.
This fed into his AH History investigation.
Anderson HS – School of Ambition project.  Attempt to make AHS the centre of a global campus.
e.g. sharing videos of SG biology experiments to South Africa where they didn’t have access to
the facilities.  This pushed motivation – peer assessment!! – SA pupils were asking AHS students
how and why they were doing things.  Often did not know answer – forced to think about their learning.
Every s1 and s2 pupil was to have an international experience – presenting the realities of life
on Shetland to schools across the world.  All using native English speakers. Understanding different
uses of English has helped raise awareness of language differences, thus helping ML department too.
Set up Global Classroom website.  Shared images courses – available for anyone in S1-6, e.g.
some language courses. www.schoolofambition.org

11.30 – 12.30
Positively mobile
Most kids, even as young as 7, have their own mobile.  But many don’t use them to their full potential.
cf podcast on website.
e.g.s  use an mp3 player – listening exercises, singing parts in music, recording pronunciation a
and reinforcing vocab, videoing experiments in sc, moblogging – instant diary of pictures and video
clips, podcasts, on-location reports,  some kids struggle to type or write -what’s wrong with using their voice?
geo – orienteering skills – find things and take photo as proof of where they got to.
consider – there are lots of reduntant mobile phones sitting in people’s drawers with no contract left –
but they can still be used as video cameras, mp3 recorders, etc.  Ask your classes if there are
any old phones like this.
Verbcasts to ipod then tests sent as texts to mobile phones, used for voting (cf textfromanywhere.com)
After film making, films saved as mobile ready then bluetoothed to phone and passed around so that all
could see it.
Voice recording of class chanting irregular verbs, recording speaking tests for pupils to practise
Recorded set of directions in French sent to one phone per group.  pupils had to go out of school
following directions – sort of treasure hunt activity.
quick way of sharing video clips for listening – youtube, itube.
see video clip from you tube of ca plane pour moi.
Most schools have banned them – instead we should be showing kids HOW to use this technology for
Pros of mobiles – computers that most pupils have with them, kids teach us – motivation, no wires
or cables.  See lynnehorn.edublogs.org, lynne@pie.com
using advent bluetooth dongle, you can send to multiple phones at once, using  included software
Olympus ws310m, or sanyo equivalent is cheaper.
Moblogging: use flickr.com – set up, then tools, then upload via email, upload to blog.
Dance ej?? jingles on cd available for £1 from pounstretcher.
Diam song – French song on life in France

1.45 – 2.45
Try it and you will learn, or how I was inspired by Communicate 06
www.thegordonschools.typepad.com.co.uk/ratemymates  or…/tgsi  or…/asu
metro audio resources – mfle.typepad.com/tgs2 see links on rhs of page. also lots of work booklets for
each unit
rate my mates – aifl peer assessment, blog with egs of pupils’ work, allowing comments – trying to
encourage pupils to comment using 2*s and a wish.
jingles from flashkit.com (see http://www.flashkit.com/loops/)  ej  garageband (mac only)

Bains de Langue – Broadford, Skye (27/2), Dingwall (1/3), Millburn (6/3) and Dornoch (9/3)

The plan was to have a collection of photos from the last four Bains de Langue that took place this year, but a lack of organisation (ie forgetting the camera and being too tied up to use my camera phone!!) you’ll have to be content with words only!  Pupils from Portree High, Plockton High, Dingwall Academy, Millburn Academy, Tain Royal Academy and Dornoch Academy all got together over these days to prepare for their final speaking tests.  If you are well read, and the West Highland Free Press is one of your weeklies, you may even have seen our photo and a report in the issue published on 20th March!!

Thanks to John Muir for securing the funding for all these Bains de Langue.  Thanks also to the schools who released their assistants for these events – the assistants’ assistance was much appreciated by all the schools who have not had an FLA this year.

Bain de Langue, Golspie, Tuesday 13th Feb 2007

Thanks to the 12 pupils from Golspie and the 11 pupils from Thurso who came together on Tuesday for a great day of fun and games, all in French of course!  Thanks too to Eva, Thibault and Guillaume, our usual suspects, and to the three teachers from Thurso and Golspie who helped out.  But most of all, we need to thank Christine Mitchell from IRA who devised all the superb ideas and materials that we are using for these events.

Here are some of the goings on…  Click on the picture to enlarge.

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