With the UK’s widest range of education courses for language teachers, NILE offers both face-to-face and online courses. Offering training and development at a world-leading centre of excellence, Tigtag CLIL has been chosen as the exemplar product to best demonstrate “Teaching CLIL with Digital Media”.
We know the demands on teachers are huge, so this online course offers interactive, tutor-led teacher training and teacher development that can fit around a busy working life.
All trainees will get free access to the award-winning Tigtag CLIL during their course, plus a three-month subscription to use in the classroom! Needless to say, the team here at Twig Education are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this world-class organisation and honoured to be chosen as the exemplar product in this field.
Today’s students are bombarded with information and distractions everywhere, so getting their attention in the classroom can be a challenge. The key is to adapt to what they need, offering engaging and exciting content tailored to Generation Z.
The traditional format of long lessons where the teacher is doing most of the talking is actually not the best way for humans to take in information – our brains prefer bite-sized nuggets of information. Having something visual to contextualise abstract concepts is also beneficial. This makes short, highly visual videos perfect for keeping students engaged while allowing them to easily digest new concepts and facts!
Research shows that incorporating video content improves student engagement. For example, in a Kaltura study from 2016, 93% of teachers said that videos had a positive effect on student satisfaction and 88% said video usage improved student achievement levels.
Other researchers like Willmot et al (2012) and Galbraith (2004) have also found pedagogical benefits in incorporating videos in teaching, such as increased student motivation, enhanced learning experiences and higher achievement in exams.
Why use Twig?
Twig Education’s award-winning videos are made using high-quality content from the likes of BBC and NASA, and they are aligned to international curricula. This means you never have to worry about finding videos that are age-appropriate and aligned to your curriculum while still being fun and engaging – we’ve already done the work for you!
A University of Glasgow study showed that Twig videos support teachers to effectively teach their science curriculum. Teachers reported an increased interest in and understanding of lesson content among students. Our videos were also shown to overcome literacy barriers and support differing ability levels.
Another study on the effectiveness of Twig content, carried out by Lancaster University, found that video supported long-term memory better than text content and that video content was particularly good for supporting understanding of concept-based topics. In addition, students who were less interested in science retained more facts and understanding from video content than from text alone.
Videos can be used in a variety of ways – to introduce a new topic, to illustrate a topic as you teach it or for reinforcement and revision. They are perfect for effectively kickstarting student discussion, both in real life and online.
Twig videos allow students to learn at their own pace. You can ask students to notice different aspects of a film and then come together and discuss it. If students struggle, they can come back to a film and watch it again – and those who find things easy can go off and explore related topics.
Interested in finding out more? Head over to Twig (ages 11–16), Tigtag (ages 7–11), Tigtag CLIL (ages 7–11, with additional language support), or Tigtag Junior (ages 4–7).
It can feel like a challenge to make distance learning lessons interesting. Distance learning doesn’t lend itself to practical activities, and group discussions and activities can also be challenges. But by using the right tools and the right content, you can keep challenging your students with engaging distance learning lessons.
We’ve put together some tips to help you out…
Use video content to encourage engagement
Videos are perfect for introducing some variety into distance learning lessons. They can be used to kickstart discussion, to connect concepts to the real world and to tie up a topic at the end of a lesson.
Twig and Tigtag’s curriculum films are best used for explaining key ideas and concepts. Incorporate these in the first half of your lesson, ideally after an introductory discussion where you assess what students already know.
Twig’s glossary films are perfect for older students to learn scientific terms with the help of visual cues. They are ideally used in correlation with curriculum films to cement students’ knowledge of scientific terms.
TIP: Remember to ask questions that are open ended, as this will allow you to more fully understand how much your students are learning.
Use videos to check understanding
Certain types of videos can also be used effectively to check learning. Twig and Tigtag’s context films help to anchor concepts in the real world. Once you have watched and discussed the curriculum film (and perhaps done some other activities), move on to the context film. This will open up further discussion and allow you to check if students really understand how concepts apply in real life.
Tigtag’s Tidbit films are ideally used toward the end of a topic, with interactive games and activities that help you assess what students have understood, such as “True or False” and “Odd one out”.
TIP: To make sure that all students get the chance to talk, use a system such as a digital “raise your hand”. If some students never raise their hands, make sure to address them directly so they are not left out – just like you would in a normal classroom!
Share your screen to present content with your students
Instead of trying to time 30 students watching the same video at the same time, a good way to bring your whole class together is to share your screen. This can be easily done through programs such as Zoom and Google Teams.
Both Twig and Tigtag have a “Present this lesson” function which allows you to easily share the contents of a lesson with your class, allowing you to watch videos or other content together.
Set practical activities as homework
While practical activities are difficult to do together in a distance learning classroom, they can be used effectively as homework. Many of the practical activities available through Twig and Tigtag are already suitable for doing at home, or can be adapted.
Ask your students to try these activities at home and come back to the next lesson ready to share their results. This is a great way to engage your students and make them feel more involved in what they’re learning, while also giving you a chance to assess their understanding.
Make use of quizzes and review questions
Tigtag and Twig content comes with ready-made quizzes and review questions that are designed to assess and extend learning. Either use these with the whole class, using the “raise your hand” system as above, or you can ask students to split up into groups to discuss and come back to report their answers.
Use key learning points for self-assessment
At the end of a lesson or session, ask your students to assess their own learning. This can be done efficiently with a traffic light system. Give your students the key learning points available for each Twig or Tigtag topic, and let your students rate their understanding using green, yellow or red. This allows you to easily see what areas your students are struggling in.
We hope these tips will help you during this time. If you’re not already using Twig or Tigtag, why not sign up for a free trial today?