Applying the Horizon Report to an EFL Lesson Plan
For this lesson plan I wanted to apply what I read in the Horizon Report regarding mobile apps. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, finding ways for my students to engage in the use of English outside of class is one of the biggest hurdles I face. Part of the reason for basing my lesson plan on Facebook, is to connect my students socially to the largest digital network of people on the planet. Most of my students are technologically adept and learning to interface with Facebook will be quite easy. My lesson takes advantage of this by using skills they already poses to find a creative avenue for using English. In the past, I have done this exercise using paper and excluding the photos. By using their phones and their seemingly vast supply of stored photographs, students will find greater inspiration for their creations and I think they will produce more developed and more accurate (grammatically) stories. Also, by having the students include the teacher in the messaging process, a record is created that can be easily displayed on a projector screen or monitor. The public reading of the stories, complete with photos, will incentivize creativity and language accuracy. Consequently, students will get a deeper level of comprehension and hopefully show improvement using the target language all while enjoying the process.
When considering the Horizon Report for this lesson, I felt quite constrained by the lack of technology (apps) currently available for the ESL/EFL classroom. Mainly, there are not many quality apps available for the Android platform and this limited my ability to focus my lesson within the trends discussed in the report. In Korea, many students find Apple’s approach to suing Samsung as a personal affront seeing as Samsung makes many of the components used in the iPhone. Consequently they boycott Apple in favor of the Galaxy S series.
There were some amazing apps for the iPhone and iPad. The one I wanted to use (Apple only) is very similar to what I created, but instead of a collaborative process, the student could use their camera roll photos and create their own stories and share them with other classmates. No app like this exists for Android. In the end, I feel I have overcome this lack of Android support and achieved similar or even better results because this process is collaborative. And since Facebook is available for both platforms, no one is left out.
Direct Embed vs. Scribd
After looking at everyone’s blog posts this week, I have come to the conclusion that Scribd looks terrible in WordPress. Therefore, and knowing that 10 points are on the line, I have decided to simply embed my lesson plan directly from Google Docs. This is not because I do not know how to use Scribd, I just do not like its appearance.
AECT Standards supported in this lesson plan:
3.1 Media Utilization and 3.3 Implementation: This aligns with these two standards in that it makes use of a media tool to extend student learning. It also implements instructional materials though a real setting providing the students a better understanding of how to use networking technology in their everyday lives.