For when the technology breaks

This post started as an activity on our last staff training day when I asked my colleagues to come up with uses for regular classroom objects but not the normal use, and the first option below came up. Which got me thinking, what could you do if you’ve got all this bits of plastic and metal in the room, but they’re not working (for whatever reason). And I still haven’t come up with a name for the “box” bit of the computer that I am happy with.

For some of these there’s a definite 52 feel to them, so thanks to the writers of that book, Lindsay Clandfield and Luke Meddings for the mindset.

Interactive whiteboard or just a monitor
The monitor/board is a window. Ss describe what they can see through it. (credit to colleague Mike M for that one)
The board is a door: what could be on the other side?
Pretend it’s a TV. Describe your perfect TV programme. Or make your perfect TV programme.
The monitor/board is a mirror. Describe yourself.
The monitor/board is a screen which can let you see inside the homes of anyone in the world. Who would you look at?

Computer “box” bit
Unplug it, put on a table in the middle of the room and cover in a cloth before class starts. Ss work in groups to discuss what it could be. Encourage creativity…
Prepositions: put stuff on it, around it, next to it, etc.
Use a paper clip to pop out the CD/DVD drawer: Cup holder (kidding)

Keyboard and monitor
Role play any computer based service situation (bank, ticket office, etc.) stick info to monitor to add realism. “computer says no.”

Mouse
Prepositions, obviously. (same for any small bit of tech)
Prompt for a discussion about rodents
If you have more than one then a jumping off point for a lesson on irregular plurals. “I have 4 m—– in my house, one for each computer.”
(I want to say “mouses” here. Something about new lexis mostly being treated as regular, perhaps?)

Keyboard
Random letter generator: close eyes and stab keyboard. What letter is it? How many words begin with that letter? Write a sentence using only (or mostly) words with that letter.

iPad
Tea tray?
Frisbee?

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