Velawoods English is an immersive, self-study English course that, according to its website, “offers the next best thing to living in an English speaking country”. We spoke to the Managing Director of Velawoods Learning, Hani Malouf, and Cambridge University Press’s Publisher for Consumer, Keith Sands, to hear more about the vision behind the product and their experience of putting it together.
When I was four, going on five, a TV show called Knight Rider premiered in the UK. I loved it and remained a fan for most of my childhood (OK, I admit it; I’m still a fan). There was The Hoff, of course – all leather jackets, open shirt buttons and swagger – but the real star of the show was K.I.T.T – Knight Industries Two Thousand – the ‘advanced, artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car’. Over thirty years later Apple and Google are in a head-to-head race to bring K.I.T.T’s spiritual successor – the driverless car – to market. And, as a little-known and hard-to-spot side effect, the ramifications for the teaching of languages, especially English, could be huge.
Two years ago, ELTjam asked whether it was possible to produce an ELT course book using Agile workflows in the strictest definition of the term, creating lots of discussion. At emc design, we’re starting to see our clients use many different approaches to new courses, some using agile-inspired techniques. But can traditional ELT print publishers take ‘true’ Agile on board sustainably? Is it possible to approach a print product in exactly the same way as we approach digital products? Or are they just too different?
It’s always good to see a teacher blogging about tech they’ve found innovative uses for to help their teaching. We came across this gem on Facebook. This post is a shortened version of the original which appeared on Lana’s blog.
I’m not a huge tech freak. I write things down, couldn’t bear to part with my teacher’s binder and use chalk and a blackboard to the max. However, I’ve become obsessed with a tech thingie on my phone. In fact, I think I might be completely in love with Evernote.
I stumbled upon Evernote by sheer chance, looking for something else. The webpage said: ‘Your life’s work. For everything you’ll do, Evernote is the workspace to get it done.‘ I was like: ‘Great, another silicon valley slogan that claims to have made the world a better place and shall transform my life from scratch and make me a better person.’
Independent tutor and digital learning pioneer Lana Friesen explains how she is using the best programs and apps to help her students meet their learning objectives.
With such a new industry, online teachers are developing tools and combining programs and apps to facilitate the learning experience of students. In doing so, teachers are pre-empting apps yet to be created to meet the demands of this growing industry. Including all components of communication can be tricky in classrooms, especially online ones. This medley of tools demonstrates how, with a degree of ingenuity, teachers can plan a full-spectrum curriculum for their students, regardless of the setting. We are, in a sense, the MacGyvers of online teaching. We are pioneers and must embrace this reality with open arms and open minds.