Alert! It's feeding time at the zoo - tech tip 8

feeding timeI won't ever forget the time I told my students at BEHR that their company was going to be supplying the air conditioning systems for TATA.

I whipped the article out of my bag and we proceeded through the press release extracting the useful vocabulary before discussing what it would mean for their department (IT).

This was a great activity but to be honest, the feeling that was the greatest was actually the respect they had in their eyes that I, their English teacher, knew this information before they did.

So, how'd I do it?

feeding timeSuper easy, super useful tip if you're teaching Business English. And there's nothing to it, simply enter in the company names and set the alert for as often as you like - weekly is fine.

All news will then turn up in your email inbox and it's just up to you to follow the links if something catches your eye.

Depending on your teaching philosophy/ mood you can either print the article and take it into class or you can send your students the link. The major point behind this objective is looking for words that will be a part of the company buzz at the water coolers.

Oh, and by the way, if you're a blogger too - set an alert for your name and your blog or website url - this morning from my own alert, I found out that I was chosen this month's:

Shucks! That made my day ;-).

rssAnyway, the other thing you want to do, to stay on top of your students' interests is to subscribe to blogs that are in their niche /areas of interest. It goes without saying that you should encourage your students to do this too!

Subscribing is via something called an RSS (really simple syndication) feed. You'll usually see one of these orange buttons on a blog/site whenever this option is available.

The web page is then automatically fed into your host for these, e.g.

If this still feels a bit confusing, watch this video explaining RSS by the CommonCraftShow:

Hope that was useful and if you have another top tech-tip for student-centered learning, do please share it us!

Useful links related to this posting:
Hit the Business Blogs
Best videos resources
Sharing, bookmarking and saving
More tech-tips:
Using wordle to teach vocabulary
Using slideshare in Business English classes


2 Responses to “Alert! It's feeding time at the zoo - tech tip 8”

  • Alex Case says:
    June 02, 2009

    Google alerts are indeed a godsend for both bloggers and Business English teachers. I also have Google Alerts on my old schools, just in case something interesting happens to them...

  • Kenny says:
    July 02, 2009

    I had never heard of Google Alerts either. Great tip! I think I need to read everyone of your posts!


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