It’s my pleasure as a brain-friendly coinnoisseur of fun teaching ideas to introduce a ground-breaking new teaching site that scores exponentially high on all counts of creativity and practicality.
I feel a bit like Lois Lane, as Superman’s reporter, hitching a ride in the sky and getting to view the teaching world from above. As I see all of the struggling learners and frustrated teachers down there, I know that it is my duty as a reporter to get this out. My Fair Languages editors will be proud this scoop indeed.
I was just thinking that this could be the scoop of the cyber century when I realised that no one has yet figured out how to define time online – we need a 21st century Einstein for that. But as long as you have fun on Tripppin,’ time will cease to be of significance. Accelerated learning will occur, whether you are operating from a traditional classroom or an online school.
As with my own twins in real life, I have been keeping an eye on the Tripppin’ twins for quite a while now. In fact I featured Mau Buchler in a previous article about creativity, which you can find here. There is also an audio interview in that article. When I wrote it Tripppin’ was not yet ready to be launched, but now, at last, we have the Tripppin’ experience online, in it’s Beta stage. The whole Tripppin’ educational methodology is based on real life experiences, and is therefore growing with its creator, Mau Buchler.
Tripppin’ is an interactive learning experience where you follow teaching twins, Pin and Trippp’ around the world. You see videos of the places ‘they’ have visited, learn English from from the videos, and then delve deeper into the world of games, creative expression, social activity and much, much more.
Here is a video that gives the big picture of Tripppin’ around the world.
What does this mean for teachers everywhere?
1) Classroom teachers can supplement their courses with Tripppin’. Even if you are forced to use old-fashioned course books you will find grammar and vocabulary on Tripppin’ to cover all the basics and more from elementary level upwards.
Nobody would argue with two main premises here. In fact they are the holy grail of ELT.
A) Students need to learn ‘real’ English.
The Tripppin’ twins present us with natural English in two styles. One is the informal style of Trippp’ and the other is a more formal, polite way of speaking employed by Pin. Both styles are necessary if one is to understand real English around the world.
B) Students need to be motivated.
Whether classroom teachers get students to work online during lessons in a language lab, whether they want to use a flipped class model and set Tripppin’ tasks as preparation for something that might be coming up in the course book, or whether they want to motivate student with fun Tripppin’ homework, it will definitely add spice and productivity to any learning and teaching experience.
2) Online teachers.
If you are an online teacher you’ve got to check out Tripppin’. It has everything to make your teaching life easier and more inspiring. Mau Buchler has organized the site so that teachers and students can register for free and interact there. He is also planning to train some teachers in how to teach using Trippin’ in future.
If you are a new online teacher who doesn’t know where to start with content creation, Tripppin’ can provide you with all of its self- created and original multi-media content.
You can work directly with the website from your virtual classroom via screensharing. Some of you work directly from skype, so the same thing applies with screen-sharing. You may already have some specific courses and contents already at hand, but would like to give your students an exciting experience beyond the virtual walls. So you can just share your screen and enter the magical world of Trippin’, where you can find tasks which expand upon what you are teaching. For those of you who also want to have your whiteboard handy, you can keep in touch with the base camp (classroom) at the same time, so your experience is enhanced but not transformed beyond recognition.
A very powerful way to use it, as I mentioned above, is to let students lead by giving them tasks and missions to do on Tripppin’ before your live online session. You then expand upon that in class. I believe that this method of flipping will actually make you more creative as a teacher because your classroom activities will be naturally inspired by the methodology of Trippin’ and will be more dynamic because of that.
What about exams???
It often seems that exams training and edutainment do not go hand. Exam pressure forces teachers everywhere to teach to the test. This produces nice academic results (if you’re lucky) and certificates which are a passport to EVERYWHERE. The only problem is that the ‘successful’ learners carrying these certificates may not be able to communicate naturally ANYWHERE. My own teaching experience has come from the smelly innards of the exam beast and the only way out is to tickle the beast.
Beyond text books
Funny bones are brain-friendly, enjoyment is engaging, and real life scenarios and challenges create deep learning situations. Think ‘reality shows’. In survivor you’ve got to do something to survive and thrive. Tripppin’ has language missions for each level and you can’t proceed to the next level until you accomplish your mission.
This makes sure that students get enough practice, it helps learners to fill in gaps in their knowledge, and it’s challenging too.
The bottom line is that we’ve got to make academia and edutainment complement each other and work together for whole-brain excellence in life, as well as in exams.
This is what Tripppin’ does.
Features of Trippin’.
a) English video lessons
b) Gamified online and offline activities
c) Lounge area playing fun, interactive shows that people can watch together
d) Facebook features
e) Stories that you can create and share
f) Music videos that you can watch and get more information about
h) Grammar videos, tutorials and support.
You can join for free and play with this amazing environment NOW.
In Tripppin’ part two, I will describe the experience from learner perspectives.
Stay tuned for ‘How to LEARN English while Tripppin’ with a mission’