lunedì 12 gennaio 2015

The power of free mobile apps - No 1 PicCollage

Dear followers,

Happy New Year! 

I am so glad to be back! I'd like to start this new year with a new series of posts. If you have been following my blog for a while you will certainly know I love teaching by using both tech and daily life objects, that's why I am going to share with you my classroom experiences and ideas about a free mobile apps every month. 

Free mobile app No 1

Description from Itunes

"PicCollage is THE coolest collage-maker in town! Join 80 million people who use PicCollage to combine photos, Youtube videos, funky fonts, sassy stickers and cute cutouts to create the prettiest collages you'll ever see on a mobile device. We have stickers from Maroon 5, Beats Music, Universal Pictures, and LA-based independent designer, Sara M. Lyons. Check out our Contests section and create a visual response instead of just a plain text response. Share with your friends and followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and iMessage. You can also PRINT your collages into greeting cards or postcards to send to your loved ones anywhere in the world!"
Activity 1
Warm-up/Ice-breaker activity - level beginner
Ask learners to take pictures of the things around the classroom or the school they already know and then label them.

Activity 2 
Free practice (homework) - level elementary
After teaching countable & uncountable food nouns I asked my learners to take pictures of food items they had in their house. I asked them to create two different collages: one for countable nouns and the other for uncountable nouns.
This activity gave me the chance to check whether my learners had really understood the difference between countable & uncountable nouns since in their native language the distinction is not the same.
In this example one of my learners took pictures of countable nouns but as you can see there are three items which have uncountable nouns. 
How to give my learner effective feedback?
I shared this picture with all the other students without saying who had taken it. I told them that the collage was about countable nouns but there were three odd ones and they had 3 minutes to find them out. They worked in pairs and then we had collective feedback.

Activity 3 
Exam-oriented activity - Cambridge First for Schools (B2 level) Speaking part 2
From the Cambridge website - "The examiner gives you two photographs and asks you to talk about them. You have to speak for 1 minute without interruption and the interlocutor then asks the other candidate to comment on your photographs for about 30 seconds. The other candidate receives a different set of photographs and you have to listen and comment when they have finished speaking. The question you have to answer about your photographs is written at the top of the page to remind you what you should talk about."

As homework I asked my learners to take two pictures of people who were learning and put them together with PicCollage. When they came to the lesson I printed the pictures out and they swop the photos they had taken and they answered the following question:

What are the advantages of learning in these different ways?

If you have other ideas I will be pleased to add them here!