I'm not a huge fan of using technology in my lessons, especially in China where there's never a guarantee that everything will work as intended. So I do tend to rely on flashcards and the blackboard (or whiteboard) perhaps more than I should. So it was with some trepidation that I embarked on my most technically challenging lesson ever today. In preparation I had hand-drawn a simple map, photographed it and loaded it into PaintShop Pro to add colour and symbols. From there it was imported into Powerpoint to add some functionality and it was thus projected onto the wall of the classroom. I then used a magnetic toy car on the whiteboard to move around the map according to the students' instructions. Somewhat to my surprise, it all went very smoothly and the students grasped the concept very quickly, before drawing their own maps and giving each other directions in pairs. Back to cardboard and marker pens next week, however. I don't want to push my luck!
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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