Classroom ideas and strategies

Publications and reports

Yes, the rambling notes from this page have been written up into a printable document: Get your copy of The Quick Overview (almost a case study):
Great for staff room coffee tables. Now with big list of learning activities for the classroom.

Communication activities

(draft / initial notes)
i_love_it_by_neagu_stefan_florin_at_flickr.jpgDuring a group discussion, teachers came up with these ideas for using audio technologies in class.
  • learners can get feedback on their own performance
  • teachers could get feedback from learners
  • teacher could record lessons, and give recordings to students
  • record a meeting
  • each person (learner) gives a talk or presentation
  • capture language, in native speaker situations (street surveys?)
  • interviews between learners ..
  • or learners could go out and interview people in the real world
  • document / record assessments
  • work in groups, and record each other's conversations
  • read / write instructions
  • use language to explain
  • pronunciation - activities to learn about stress and intonation
  • practise dialogue
  • record voice for digital stories
  • talk while photographing

Hm, these notes need some more detail explanation don't they!
They could be a starting point for more detailed lesson plans ..

Here's the original mind-map from the discussion:

More ideas, from the 2007 project

suggestions and ideas for learning activities

using a portable audio device

(external image untitled_by_yousoundhollow_at_flickr__%28edged%29_.jpgeg iPod, iRiver etc)

Vox Pop:

Students each present a short opinion comment on a controversial theme.
Simplest approach:
  • Teacher suggests topic, or asks question, sets up device, presses record and hands device around the room.
  • Each student expresses their opinion.
  • Finally, teacher stops recording, and plays audio back through speakers.
  • Group listens and comments, laughs etc.
  • (Talk about issues, do it again if they want to.)

Could use this in connection with a class excursion. (eg Lauren took her VCAL group to SynFM, and recorded their thoughts as they were leaving the building.)

More complicated options:
students suggest the topic; small groups operate devices themselves; teacher transfer and edit main mp3 file in front of group, or students put mp3 files onto computer/ network and edit themselves.

publish, or upload the audio files into some kind of web space, and invite comments from other groups.


Students decide from a range of relevant topics, and interview one other person.
Keep it simple:
  • Each pair prepares and practises privately, with access to support;
  • Then each pair presents to the whole group, and this is recorded;
  • (one recording at a time).

More complicated:
Each pair has access to eg an iRiver recorder, or a laptop with recording software. They record each other and listen back. Then they edit their audio files, and share with the group somehow.


Students, individually or in pairs, prepare a presentation on a topic.
Simplest approach:
When they present to the whole group, their session is recorded.

More complicated options:
This recording could be published in other venues, shared via web spaces or podcasts;

other ideas

  • students listen to instructions (eg for operating software) and write them down, next to screen grabs on paper;
  • listen to instructions .. use portable player to do a local treasure hunt in the area;
  • use sound effects to narrate a story ..
  • students write their own story, then narrate and create visual as well (slideshow);
  • record stories eg pageturners to audio, for 'audio book' style reading;
  • group session: class where everyone puts together a story, and records their own version;
  • group session: class where everyone records their opinion and someone edits down into a single track (either teacher or adv student)

Supporting initial writing, for very low level literacy learners

Some students just don't want to write, or they really can't yet. What about using audio technology to support their efforts, eg:
  1. Student records their thoughts to the mp3 player. Eg Journal-writing, film review, sports match report ..
  2. Then listens back, and transcribes their own words.
  3. Or, for very beginners, teacher transcribes the recorded words, and student listens back.
Could then combine with other text recycling activities such as cloze / scramble / sequence the text.
Complicated extras: teacher collects student recordings, and burns them to CD, along with printed versions of their story. Preferred option: student does this work themselves.

Sharing files via web presence ..

You could publish files, including
  • student presentations, eg powerpoint, video, audio or combination
  • files from class sessions, eg powerpoint, voice recordings
.. via a web page, for example

image and photo credits: licensed under creative commons at flickr:
Thanks very much: neagu stefan florin and yousoundhollow at flickr