Using mobile devices for warmers, fillers and coolers

An essential part of what I do is finding ways to incorporate e-learning and m-learning into the main syllabus, but Peter Pun’s (ELT Planning) post on breaktime games using an interactive whiteboard has got me thinking about how mobile devices can also play a role in the warmer, filler and cooler stages of a lesson.

These “breaktime” stages are helpful not only for re-energising students or revivifying a flagging lesson, or as simple punctuation points between lessons; they also link back to previous input (e.g. by recycling vocabulary) or forward to out-of-class study. Online ELT games can be a useful vehicle for self-directed study, and you could help familiarise students with this by having them try out these games in class on their mobile devices. I like Macmillan Dictionaries’ suite of language games; see Pun’s post and comments for more games to try out.

Irregular Verb Wheel Game

Macmillan Dictionaries’ Irregular Verb Wheel Game

A note of caution: you’d want to make sure you choose games that function just as well on mobile platforms as on desktop. (I found this out the hard way when I tried using a game I’d created in Classtools.)

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