Monday, September 18, 2017

I'm on Instagram !

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

That's a saying the seniors and I have been having a lot of fun with lately.

We are discovering that you can, indeed.

We are just in the midst of our needs assessment for the new term, which means we have to choose which themes and topics are of greatest interest to us. We'll be setting goals and plotting courses for reaching those goals.

Friday is the day when some seniors peter out, so to speak. A five-day school week is quite a load for an octogenarian, you have to admit. And yet, I have to get them through that door somehow. So Fridays have traditionally been the day on which I offer something extra, something special. At times that has been an hour in the computer lab after break, at other times it has been a pronunciation lesson or short, easy (and amazing) true story that we read and digest together.

Now it seems that nothing I do is quite enticing enough. I have to get out the big guns. The seniors have asked me if I would please take them on more field trips. So the first two I have scheduled on Fridays. Is that wrong of me?

Oh, but I digress. This isn't even what I wanted to blog about this week.

Over the weekend I managed to open and begin using an Instagram account. You can follow me; I'm JOYofESL. I think I'm going to enjoy Instagram even more than Twitter. I really love snapping pictures in the moment and sharing them quickly with just a word or hashtag or two.

I was keen to share my discovery with the seniors. I turned this Friday into a bit of a tech tasting party. We watched this video about a Korean grandfather who now has an Instagram account with a huge following. Seeing this prompted one student to get out her phone, open Instagram, which she already had installed, and follow "drawings_for_my_grandchildren."

We also played with the Google Cardboard units I ordered over the summer. Don't tell anyone that I got knock-offs from China for $3 each, okay? The students loved them. One was keen to order her own for her family. My student who has macular degeneration can play ping pong but cannot read worksheets even when I use a 24 pt font. But he WAS able to visit the Eiffel Tower using the virtual reality viewer. Cool! I wonder what might happen if I turned a team loose on an assignment to teach the rest of the class about Google Cardboard? Hmmmm. Project-based learning, anyone?

How about you? What were your first weeks like back at work / school? I would love to hear!


  1. Tell me more about the google cardboard. So great for planning and goal setting and dreaming. How can I PBLA this?

    1. I don't know a lot about the expeditions and museums you can visit with Google Cardboard, but the app is free and the viewers not that expensive if you get, say, one per team of 3-4 students. They can pass one around. As for PBLA, I think the viewers would be great for listening to directions ("Turn right, what do you see?") and following directions: ("Click the puffin, what happens?") One student could give directions to another while both viewed the same expedition. If the listening student ends up in the correct place, they have both succeeded in the communication task. It's probably not 'real world-y' enough for frequent use, but would be a blast to jazz up a Friday.


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