Sunday, 20 October 2013

Children and digital technology

ICT in English Teaching Group 1
The Blog Post
Children and digital technology
Information or knowledge?

An increasing number of schools are investing in so-called "one-to- one " projects of various kinds where every student has a computer, Tablet or smart phone as a personal tool. Lisa Adamson, a teacher of languages ​​and social studies ( grades 4-9 )  and researcher at the Department of Applied Information Technology at the IT Faculty , University of Gothenburg , which is linked to the Center for School Improvement in Gothenburg. Her research focuses on studying the literate activities that take place when 13 to 16 year olds use their mobile digital tools in schools and the reading processes that then takes shape.
 Lisa Adamson is interested in how this constant accessibility to texts of various kinds affects the reading that takes place. During a lecture in Malmö Lisa Adamson says that she has noticed that the development of technology has contributed to a new approach to learning. All impression we get from the media lies as an area of information, rather than processed into new knowledge. In the new media landscape it is more important to be able to construct sentences than the ability to just remember, which was highly regarded in the old days. When the construction of sentences is central the need for and willingness to participate also increases.
The new media and media tools have developed a convergence culture. While different media are mixed with each other, various forms of 'text' converges and the consumers and producers opportunities for interaction lead to the border between the transmitter and receiver being erased. User Culture mixes with mass culture and everyone becomes involved in a digital stream that flows between web magazines, blogs, and social media.
 Questions like: ”What do we do with the media? ” and ”What do the media do with us?” becomes highly relevant.

(Att skriva sig till läsning, ASL), can be translated as (Write to read). Using computers is a method that spreads rapidly in the Nordic countries. Researchers Arne Trageton from Norway was the first to present a model for this method. ”Writing is easier than reading”, claims Arne Trageton (2005). With the computer as a writing tool, reading and writing can be converted into writing and reading skills with the student as a producer instead of a consumer. Children learn to read through their own writing. Role of the teacher goes from pure teaching to stimulate processing and learning.

 In the traditional system the students' create texts exclusively with pen and paper as an individual work.  The change and improvement of handwritten text, is a more laborious process, especially for those students who have difficulty with writing. With the computer as a writing tool however, improving and correcting text becomes a less arduous matter. The digital text moves nicely when you make changes and gives way to more and longer words, according to Erica Lövgren (2009). Write to read means that by using the computer the students are required to create text everyday together with a writing buddy. When the student writes both hands are active on the keyboard. The Right Hand handles the right side of the keyboard and the left hand handles the left side. The thumbs manage the space bar. A line is drawn in the center of the keyboard to mark the border between the two sides. The text forms the basis for further language and reading development. Students do not start using the pen until the second grade.

Charlotta Anell-Lundkvist

Little Bridge

When given this task I immediately came to think of the computer-program Little Bridge that we use throughout the whole school where I work.

This program works well with Lgr 11 as it uses the same progression as intended in the syllabus. In the commentary material to the syllabus in English it is clearly stated that the teachings should be based on receptive skills before you focus on speaking and finally writing. All according to the European framework for languages, GERS. To start off you´re supposed to simply listen before you start doing things and finally you can do some talking yourself.

 The program takes us to a little town, Little Bridge, where we meet some of its residents och different places around town. There are eight units consisting of eight different activities. The program is animated and the menu consists of a room with a chest of drawers in the middle. Each drawer contains one unit and you´re supposed to open one at a time. When you have completed at least 50 % of the eight activities in a drawer you get access to a game. The units´ activities deals with such areas as numbers, colours, the names of the days of the week, bodyparts, pets and more.

I teach both first- and third-graders in English but I only use this program for the older pupils. They are all given their own protocol where they can mark what they have done. Knowing that especially the boys are eager to get to the games and tend to ignore the reason for being on the computer in the first place, it´s important for me to be able to keep track on what they have been working on. I think it´s important to talk about the activities they´ve worked on. Not only in order to keep an eye on them but also because I use the conversation to speak English with each individual pupil.

I find this program both educational and fun for the pupils. It is easy to use and if you want to you can do some of the activities as a group in front of a smartboard. This will increase the possibility to talk and not just sit by yourself in fron of a computor.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Smart Board

At the school I work we have a Smart Boards in every classroom. That a fantastic working toll that is extremely useful in so many ways. To use a Smart Board you need to have a computer connected to it.

I have used the Smart Board in class to show movies like “Muzzy in Gondoland”, which the students love, and “Little Red Riding Hood”. We have been singing songs like “Old Mac Donald hade a farm” from Youtube were you can find the music with pictures and lyrics so it gets easy for students to learn the song. You can also write your own texts and put them up on the Smart Board so all the student can see them very easily.

When you have a Smart Board you can also have a program in your computer called “Notbook” and in that program you can create your own lessons and activities. You can create an activity for the students to practise on in pairs or by them self on the Smart Board. For example if they are learning fruits you can find pictures of fruits and put them on the “paper” in Notbook. Then you write the names of the fruits and after that student can pull them together combining pictures and names of the fruits. To do this you can either use the mouse on the computer or use your hand directly on the Smart Board.

The Smart Board can also be uses as a writing board instead of the regular whiteboard that is found in most classrooms. When you use the Smart Board to write on you get the opportunity to save the text if you want to use it again. Another way to use the Smart Board is to connect a special camera to it that allows you to look at books or items that you put under it and then it is displayed on the Smart Board.

It is also possible to take pictures of the things you put under the camera. Smart Board is a very good investment in schools because it is useful in so many ways in your everyday teaching.

Erika Klasson, 1EN06U

Tuesday, 15 October 2013



I teach grade 2 in primary school. This autumn we have begun with English at a basic level. In my class I have a student who is a native English speaker. Therefore, I must give him completely different tasks.  I have great help from a website called Länkskafferiet. From here, I download tasks and games etc. With this tasks and games my student can work independently and he really values to work with these. My student is 9 years old and he likes Go Yoyoy, Listen to CBeebies  (radio programs and games), Sportmixer (sport words), Childrens’s Storybooks (texts which are easy to read) and WizQuiz (crosswords and games).

Länkskafferiet (the Swedish Link Library) is a referatory for educational use and is meant to be a pedagogical aid for Swedish pupils, between 5 and 18 years of age, in their search for useful information on the Internet. Teachers can use the service to guide the pupils in their search and find good resources for lesson planning.

Länkskafferiet consists of subject structured and quality-assessed Internet information resources. All the web sites are classified and arranged in 12 main themes and 20 curriculum subjects.

Pupils under the age of 13 have their own subject tree.

Every Internet web site has its own record which contains information about the title, a short description, keyword(s) and language. From each title there is a link, with point-and-click access, direct to the cited web site. The latest 50 records are available in a special list of new links. A form provides users with a means to interact with the system.

Länkskafferiet is a service in the field of ICT in School and has continuing support from Umeå University.
Ulrika Malmqvist

Monday, 14 October 2013


In our school we have projectors in every classroom to use during our lessons.
I am using the projector to look at some movies both in English and Swedish. We have visit YouTube and listened to some songs in English and sing together. This is a very good way to teach the children songs in English and verbal communication.
You can also use the projector to Skype with people in another country. We have used it to talk to one of the students that have moved to Miami. When you use Skype you have to connect the computer to the projector and to use Skype you have to download the program. The program is free and can be downloaded on The children can see the person we are talking to on the big screen when we Skype and they can also hear the person talk. This is a very good tool to use to be able to keep in touch with people that lives far away and even in another country. It doesn’t matter where you live we can always keep in touch with each other.
We also use the computer to look for English words that we are unsure of the spelling. We visit Google and look for translations from Swedish to English. In this way you, as a teacher, show the children that you can’t spell to every word in English and they will learn how to find ways to search for spellings. We also use the computer connected to the projector when we are writing together. The children see the spelling on the big screen and can spell the words right. The computer is a very good tool to use in many ways.

Annelie Tholander

Sunday, 13 October 2013


For some years now, we have had cleverboards in every classroom at my school. The idea is that the teachers should be able to produce simple but fun documents on the cleverboard, which they can use when they teach their pupils in various subjects at school. Once the teachers have made such document or a simple program, they can easily save them to a shared server so that other teachers can take advantage of the programs. Even though the technology has been in the classroom for several years, the programs and documents created in our school are still quite limited. This is due to the fact that other more traditional tasks have had higher priority. Therefore the teachers haven´t had enough time to create new documents and programs. Instead, our great cleverboards have become rather expensive film projectors. But I think it is time for a change.

I recently made ​​two fairly simple programs /documents that I have used when I was teaching my nine year old pupils in English. The first program is some sort of a quiz, containing 10 pictures of various fruits, in which the pupils have to choose the correct answer (1X2) that answers the question of what the fruit is called in English. For every answer I have attached a sound loop that reveal whether the pupils have answered right or wrong on the questions. You can use this program several times and it is easy to change themes. You just have to swap the pictures, the questions and the answers so they fit another theme. The pupils can for example practice the English words for various animals, furniture, cartoon characters and more.

The other program that I have made includes different cards where I have written Swedish words on one side and their English counterparts on the other side. The pupils then have to read words such as "bil" in Swedish and then they have to say what that word is called in English before they turn the card over. The pupils have to check themselves if they were right or wrong. Even this program can be used multiple times in the classroom and it is easy to replace the words if the teacher wants the pupils to practice other words.

The disadvantage with this kind of program is that it only provides summative assessments of the pupils. And that is a pity because I am trying real hard to increase all the situations where I do formative assessments in the classroom. But it is probably not entirely wrong to mix these two methods of assessment in teaching either. Moderation is often best.

Marcus Sandberg, 1EN06U

Friday, 11 October 2013


Storybird is a free, web-based application that can be used by students, teachers and parents.
Here you can create, read and share visual stories!

Here you can let yourself be inspired by imaginative pictures to write your story or narrative. You can do it alone or with others, and you choose whether you want to share your virtual book. As a teacher you can create a class account that students can use to vent their typing bliss or get the chance to be inspired. Your students can share their stories with their parents, by e - mail if they want to do that.

For to start typing and selecting pictures, click on the "Create" menu and then puts you started!
 If you want to write directly you can do so, or if you want to get ideas, you can take help of various images.

When you use Storybird you can also read what other people have written and been isnpired of .Click on "Read" in the menu, and you get many different suggested topics and books you can read.

Elisabet Gustafsson 1EN06U

Thursday, 10 October 2013


I am one of 12 teachers in Linköping municipality which partnered in an Ipad project. This means that we have received ipads (1 to 2 students) to the class and that we should use these in the teaching as much as possible. This has been a lift for both me and my students, especially in English.

There are plenty of apps, good and less good, that is exercising English in different ways. Most apps are focused in training  english words, for example, colors, food, body, things, etc. It has been good to use for increasing the pupils vocabulary. But I have noticed that my students have difficulties when it comes to speaking English loud, they do not really dare. They have a good vocabulary but do not really dare use their knowledge, particularly not in a large group. It is better in smaller groups.

I found an app that you can use in both English and Swedish. This app has helped them in speaking English. It is called "Sock puppets". In Sock puppets you set up a scene with different characters and environments. Then you can record audio and also move characters. The result is a little film. The good thing is that all the characters have their own distinctive voice, so you can`t say which one of the pupils who played what. Now, when we have worked with the app a number of times I have noticed that students dare to use their English also "outside" the app, fun!

/Sara Skagerström

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Polar Fish Interactive fiction in English

I have students who need some extra challenges that they can work with individual. I got tips on this stuff and have been tested on lektion,se. I think it seems fun and challenging.  It is great that you can choose the difficulty and number of exercises that you want to do.
I will give a description.
Polar Fish interactive is beautifylly illustrated books from the best selling youth author. It contains a lot of exercises, quizzes and games. There are books and exercises from grade 5 to 9. Books and exercises to suit everyone regardless of skill level. The approach and contents match Lgr 11.
 How to get started. The first thing to do is to purchase a subscription. You will receive a license key so you can register yourself and a group of students. Students are invited through a link and registers. Now students can start working a book. Select the book you want to start reading. They recommend to start with "before you read exercises" to prepare you for the questions that come during the reading and to get pre-understanding. This may be discussion questions about the story´s theme or to practice words.
Linked to each chapter is also "when reading exercises". It is simple reading comprehension questions, exercises that increase vocabulary and playful exercises that get students to look deeper at the story. There is also an execise with an illustrated story, to show the story in a different way.
At the end of each book there are "after reading exercises". They explores the characters more depth.
There are suggestions for role play and screenplay for film shoots. You can also interact with others who read the books. It does so by Polar Fish´s forum world connect.
You can do all or none of that, it is part of the flexibility Polar Fish teachers have worked hard to get to work in the classroom, according to Polar Fish.
As a teacher you can follow the students through the LMS system, Learning Managment System.
Study groups are private areas where teachers can follow students´ individual performance, their results and how far they have come, by visiting their profile page.
Regular price is 48 SEK/student for a year. Subscriptions expires in a year.
Try out material on or visit
Monica Andersson, on 6 october

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Learning Station.

The Learning Station. 

I teach English in grade 2 and 3. Children at that age are very motivated to learn English and need a lot of different challanges to come along.

My experience is that songs are very good tools to engage all the children in the classroom. The level of knowledge in English is very varying in a group. There are  pupils with just a little experience of English and they therefore might be shy and do not want to speak English. There are also pupils with a decent vocabulary and they need opportunities to progress. Songs are for everyone.

The Learning Station is a fantastic gold mine where you can find material for almost any lesson in English. They have published over 250 children's songs that are part of educational curriculums world-wideThe Swedish curriculm emphasizing the importans of songs and ryhms in the syllabus in English.

If you have access to a Smartboard  you can choose from hundreds of different films and songs, all about things you work with in the lower level of compulsory school. There are songs about the alphabet, clothes, colours, food, figures, animals, months and days among many other subjects. If you do not have access to a Smartboard you can download the music.

The Learning Station has also created a series of free, printable activity handouts. You can find many educational lesson plans and lots of other fun things. The only problem is that there are so much material and you need time to go through it, time that you mostly do not have as a teacher.

One of my and my pupils favourite songs is “Boom Chicka Boom”. You imitate the moves and the song, bit by bit. The pupils love it and they want to do it every lesson. Usually we end the lesson by this song and after 4-5 times they are so good at it. Try it and enjoy!