Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hot Potatoes Charity Month

A message from Martin Holmes, creator of Hot Potatoes (probably the best tool for creating online teaching exercises):
May is Charity Month for Half-Baked Software, which means that for the whole of this month, we're donating all the money we receive for Hot Potatoes and Quandary licences directly to charity; the University of Victoria has waived its percentage, Stew and I have waived ours, and the company will cover ongoing costs and taxes out of its pocket, so if you buy a licence we'll give the entire amount of the licence price to charity.
More details are here:
Also, please note that licence prices are very cheap right now: A single-user Hot Potatoes licence is only $20 US, and a Quandary licence is also only $20 US. Buy now, get it cheap, and let the money go to charity!

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

The debate on IWB's heats up again

From what I saw, this new wave of the debate started as an exchange between Gavin Dudeney and Scott Thornbury on Twitter. Scott quoted this research report, which says:
Overall, the statistical analysis failed to find evidence of any impact of the increase in IWB acquisition in London schools on attainment in the three core subjects in the academic year 2004/5.
Gavin has this excellent piece on the question of IWB's which pretty much sums up my position as well so I won't repeat it here (see my comments there). Now the goal of this post here is simple: I'd like to approach this in a constructive manner and find the good side. I'm looking for examples of IWB's used communicatively in language teaching. You don't need to quote surveys and papers which found that IWB's in fact do make kids learn; please write from personal experience, either as someone who has actually come up with a meaningful way of using this tool or as someone who has seen it in practice in a real classroom (or even a link will do). Examples that could be reproduced using a computer and a projector don't count. Please comment.