One day, I was teaching my French 4 class and all of a sudden, students started laughing. We were discussing Le Petit Prince, which is a wonderful book, but not always a knee-slapper. I quickly saw that most of the students were looking at their phones. In my class, for the lower levels, they were not allowed to use cell phones most of the time, except for a cell phone-specific activity. Otherwise, they would be in trouble for specifically disobeying a rule. As this was an upper-level class, instead of getting frustrated with the students for not doing what they were told, I decided to lean in. I asked what was funny. One student hesitated, then told me about AirDrop. This blew my mind! If you have an iPhone, it is a way of sharing an image from your phone to anyone in your immediate surroundings that has an iPhone with their AirDrop turned on. Then, I started thinking: I doubt very much that many teachers know about it—maybe minus the newest of teachers. (I was 35! Perhaps a little sad that I didn’t know, but then again, teenagers are always the first to know or start any fad, in my experience.) At any rate, I found an image related to what we were talking about, sent it via AirDrop, and had students write about it. A technologically teachable moment!
That got me thinking. I contacted Julia Ullmann, who is one of the most technologically-savvy teachers that I knew. She jumped right on it and wrote a book not only on AirDrop, but also Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat.
We thought: Yes, have your boundaries. That said, it is effective to teach languages where your students are already. You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, right?
Here is an excerpt with one type of activity you can do with AirDrop.
If you like it, and want to see how to use AirDrop, along with other ideas, student examples, and pros and cons of this tool, and more, please check out Twitter Snapchat AirDrop Instagram at Teacher’s Discovery.
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