British Council has long had an active interest in the use of learning technologies to support language learning. As such we have created teacher development courses to support exploration and learning in these areas and run courses such as Learning Technologies for the Classroom.
As an Apple Regional Training Centre, British Council Hong Kong offers workshops to practising teachers to support the introduction and integration of iPads into the language classroom. We work closely with schools to ensure that activities we do are relevant to their curriculum and needs.
As more and more schools are using English across the curriculum, an important strand in our work includes supporting teachers who are teaching their subject in English. Recently, we have worked with a number of schools offering Maths, Science and Humanities teachers language-driven practical activities that they could adapt for their classrooms. These have included apps for active student response, giving feedback and creating meaningful presentations based on a cycle of work. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive and includes comments such as, ‘it was engaging – you’ve really given us a lot to put to use in our teaching’.
A recent workshop we have run for a primary school whose staff were interested in integrating iPads into their curriculum through stories involved using apps for role play. Here, we used an online story and participants developed both characters and dialogue as a means to practise speaking, pronunciation and vocabulary.
We have also recently taken part in two exciting seminars for teachers on e-learning and tablet computers in local schools in Hong Kong. The first was hosted by Senco-Masslink, an educational technology re-seller which we have been working closely with over the past year to provide local teachers with training on using iPads in the classroom. In this event our Teacher Development team led a session on using iPads to help develop learners’ speaking skills at upper primary and junior secondary level. Participants created a short animation of a famous celebrity talking about their life.
The second seminar we participated in was hosted by Apple at the InnoCentre in Kowloon Tong. The whole-morning event, entitled Support on Mobile Device Implementation and Creative Solutions for Teaching and Learning, was aimed at Principals, Panel Heads and teachers from all subjects who are interested in mobile learning and teaching in their schools, especially in light of the new government e-learning support scheme. We ran three sessions offering information on how we can provide support and training for schools on using iPads in the classroom, as well as giving a short demonstration of the kind activities we do in our iPad training workshops.