It seems all seminars and workshops being organised these days talk about the use of technology in the EFL classroom. Teachers seem to be eager to use new technologies and they demand more and more training on this topic.
There are many articles available that talk about how effective the use of technology is to enhance students' learning abilities and the motivating effect it has on them. Here is an article that reflects how hungry teachers and students are to apply technology to the learning process.
What I have noticed though is the different degrees of eagerness to use technology, sometimes related to age, but usually related to ability, on the part the teachers. The pencil metaphor you can see below summarizes it perfectly well:
Last Wednesday I attended a Pearson event with Brian Engquist, head of the teacher training department at Pearson Spain and he introduced, among others, an online platform called EDpuzzle.
This platform is designed for both teachers and students; it allows teachers to create classes and assign video assessments to the students. You can either search for videos made by other teachers or upload your own videos and create your own activities.
It took me no more than a couple of days to investigate how it works and the kind of activities you can do with it. One of the features that I liked was the fact that you could stop the video at any point to ask a question about what they have just seen; it can be either an open question, true or false or multiple choice question. Once the question has been answered the video continues playing itself.
If you have created a class, and you have assigned the activity to your students, it is possible to track your students progress like you would do on any other platforms. Below you'll see what my first hands-on experience with EDpuzzle looks like. This is Ellen DeGeneres interviewing Neil Patrick Harris before he was the host to the Oscar Academy Awards ceremony.
My conclusion is that video-based listening activities feel more natural than audio-based ones, plus there is no doubt that students find them more engaging. Having a bank of resources is now easier than ever thanks to tools like this, which explains the teachers' love for technology.