We are now fully into the conference season, and there seems to be no shortage of talks and presentations about teaching English with technology. I’m not an anti-technology teacher by any stretch of the imagination, but I occasionally find myself longing for certain gadgets that teachers would REALLY find useful. I mean, Second Life and Interactive Whiteboards are great and all, but imagine how the following gadgets I’ve dreamed up would improve your teaching life!
1 Mute ™. Mute is a simple handheld device that looks like a remote control for your television. It has a big red button on it. Extremely simple to use, all you do is point Mute at a class and press the red button. It will silence the class immediately. Press the red button again to allow talking. Mute even has a single-user function, which means you can just “turn off” a particularly chatty student.
2. Exam-eeze™. Exam-eeze is a software programme that marks exams for you, including pieces of writing. Not only will it do the marking, but it will also add nice friendly bits of praise (e.g. “very nice bit of writing here! Is that true?” or suggestions for the student “you should review past tense forms”). All you do is scan in the exams and let Exam-eeze do the rest. It will even enter the marks into an Exam-eeze Mark Book for future reference.
3. Report-eeze™. Report-eeze is similar to its sister programme Exam-eeze. Report-eeze is equipped to write any boring reports you have to do for your school and can do these in any of the fifty languages available. Report cards for students, group reports, progress reports, class logs, letters to parents, incomprehensible reports for quality control purposes at your school… Report-eeze will do it all.
4. Teacher teleport™. Are you a business English teacher? Tired of spending your days on buses, metros, trams or in cars running from one end of the city to another to do your classes? Teacher teleport will instantly transport you from one location to another, along with all your gear (laptop, ipod, pack lunch, coursebooks…). Beam me up, Scotty!
5. Virtual Substitute Teacher™. Forget your avatar in Second Life, imagine you could have one in real life! With Virtual Substitute Teacher (VST) now you can. VST creates a three-dimensional hologram of you that will cover your classes when you can’t face going to work. It can be programmed with up to twenty standby lessons. Your students, colleagues and even your director of studies won’t even notice the difference.
6. Pure Genius™. If you’ve ever been under pressure for your students to succeed in an external exam, then Pure Genius is the product for you. Pure Genius is a small black box with a single on/off switch. Switch it on and it emits a series of radiowaves that increases students’ attention, reduces their stress and improves their performance on exams. With the use of this box, your classes will consistently do well both in internal and external exams. You will be the most sought-after teacher at the school, the darling of the director of studies and the envy of your colleagues. It’s just Pure Genius.
I have now patented the names of all these products and am just waiting for financial backing to begin development. In the current economic downturn this may take a little longer than originally expected, but I am confident. Technology will find a way!
Do you have a fantasy technological advance that would ease your workload, rather than increase it? Post a comment.