Listening and mediation-online harms white paper

Listen to this BBC news report about a recently published white paper on online harms. Take notes of the main points made in the report.

Then, relay this information to someone who hasn’t heard the report. Make sure you cover all the essential information they need to know.

Alternatively, if you’re training for  ISE III (C1), listen and take notes to answer this question: What are the potential downsides of this paper? Refer them orally in no more than one minute. You can record yourself and then listen to yourself.

Once you have finished, you can check your answers against the transcript here.

Speaking point:

  • What’s your take on the paper? Do you feel this kind of regulation is needed?
  • Can you think of further advantages or disadvantages? Do the advantages of such a regulation outweigh the drawbacks?
  • Should similar regulations be in place in the EU/in Spain? Why / why not?

fake social media generators- ideas for the classroom

In a world where social media prevail (or can it be ‘prevails’?), it might be interesting to bring them into the classroom. Basically, because the language to be used in social media is sometimes different to the language of other media, or may require some adaptation; therefore should be dealt with in class. On top of that, because this kind of communicative activity may prove motivating for students, regardless of their ages.

You can find below a list of online tools and apps I have been using lately. For all of the tools described below, my advice to students (and teachers) is for the tweets/texts to be typed on a word document/pages document first, then copy and paste them onto the website or app. That way, if something happens (if the connection gets lost, for example), you will still keep a copy of your work.

Fake Twitter generators: 

Twister– very quick. Just type the (invented) username of the tweeter, their real name, and the tweet. It will create a ‘twister’ post in seconds, with a picture of the person/ character.

Fake Twitter generator: create really true-to-life fake tweets.

*Tip: if you’re creating the tweets on a laptop/desktop, when you finish your tweet you can click on the button “save image”. However, if you’re using a tablet, iPad, or any mobile device,  the button is likely not to work. Try taking a screenshot instead.

Fake Fakebook generators:

  • Simitator: creates fake Facebook posts and walls.
  • Fakebook: ‘Fakebook’ page, can include character bio, posts, interactions with other users… Different students can access the page if the teacher shares the code.

example- Fakebook page for Nicola Thorp– a British actress who started a petition against dress code in the office. (Started by me as a teacher, comments by students).

Fake text messages / WhatsApp:

  • Fake WhatsApp texts: up to two characters / people can take part in the conversation. Plenty of options: delivered, read; time; emojis…

text created by teachers in a CPD course

  • Fake iPhone messages: the conversation can include up to three characters. You can customise the operator, battery, signal, time…

  • Texting Story: This Android and iOs free app allows you to showcase dialogues between several characters as if they were texting. The product you get is not an image, but a video of their conversation.

WhatsPrank (iOs app)- to create fake WhatsApp texts, including the icon for audio messages.

What kinds of activities can you do with these websites and apps?

  • Turn any ‘write a dialogue between’ activity into an ‘imagine the texts that X sent to Y, and their reply’ activity.
  • Create profiles for (and write comments about) historical characters
  • Rewrite well-known plots (literature, film, TV shows), or imagine how they could be retold in tweets, or the conversations the characters could have at a certain point in the plot.
  • Create custom conversations/social media posts as input for a mediation activity in the classroom (Not recommended for exams-whatever input you provide should be real-life material).

Can you think of other activities? Would you like to share your thoughts on this? Leave a comment.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web

Last week (12th March) it was the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, invented by (now Sir) Tim Berners-Lee. If you would like to know more about him and his groundbreaking invention, you can listen to any of these shows/podcasts:

You can also read this article that Stephen Fry wrote some years ago about him and his invention.

Finally, Stephen Fry also narrates what this video about what the world would be like now (at least for some people) if the world wide web hadn’t been invented 30 years ago (a good exercise to practise mixed conditionals):


Bulbs ad

Would you like to watch the ad again? How many gadgets, inventions and scientific discoveries can you spot?

H/T to The English Blog

Poll 1E- What was the best app?

For the past few days you’ve been designing your apps, and presenting them to the rest of classmates. Now it’s turn for you to vote for the best app / the most useful one / the best presented…use any sensible criteria you like.

Robot dogs vs real dogs

You can watch the ad for the robot dog below:

Make notes in your notebook: What can it do? What can you do with it?

Driverless cars in the UK

Desde Enero de 2015, en cuatro ciudades de Reino Unido se van a llevar a cabo “experimentos” con coches sin conductor. Esta podría ser una buena excusa para hablar de la la seguridad vial, tecnología, de hasta qué punto la ciencia ficción imita a la realidad (o viceversa)…

How would you feel about driverless cars in Spain?

driverless cars (subtitulado en inglés)

(BBC, 30/07/14)

Más información sobre el tema:

Teaching tip: Are the texts too difficult? You may simplify them somehow using