The 5 best ways to use MIRO for online language training
At EnglishBusiness, we believe online language training can be just as collaborative and interactive as traditional lessons. MIRO is a digital whiteboard tool that helps our trainers create entertaining and effective language exercises for the virtual classroom.
Photo credit: Cookie the Pom
MIRO is an online collaboration tool with a wide range of features and functionalities. You’ll find all the technical information you need on their website. Here we focus on 5 ways we’ve leveraged the tool for interactive language training.
Brainstorming on a virtual whiteboard
At its most basic, MIRO provides a way to replicate the classic whiteboard or flipchart of a traditional classroom. This lends itself perfectly to brainstorming activities. Simply ask your question and allow participants to add virtual Post-its to their hearts’ content. You can choose to keep the contributions anonymous or assign colours to the participants for easy identification. As you’ll read below, this can be done individually or in groups.
Get (or keep) things going with warmers and energizers
We like to begin our training and facilitation sessions with a warmer activity and to throw one in when we feel the energy is dipping. This is more important than ever in online training, where we’re bound to our seats and screens for the duration. One classic warmer for the start of a session is to ask for expectations. Participants are first asked to add their wishes to the common board, and then as a group to rank them in order of importance. MIRO recently added emojis to their boards. Asking participants to find an emoji that reflects how they’re feeling at that moment is a quick way to bring in some fun and increase energy.
Effective grammar and vocabulary practice
Make vocabulary practice fun by creating word diagrams together with your students. Assign each group a base word and let them get creative by adding verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs themselves. This also works with word families or prefix/suffix groups for beginning learners or phrasal verbs for higher levels. Get competitive by embedding Quizlet into the board and testing the words.
Get creative with group work
The possibilities here are endless and not even limited by the size of your group. MIRO allows you to create an activity and then make copies of it. This way you can split your group into pairs or smaller groups and have them working on the same activity at the same time. After completion, you can all look at the groups in turn and give feedback. As stated above, this is great for brainstorming. Another option is to assign a web quest – each group must research a topic and collect their findings, then be ready to share them with the rest of the class. They can post pictures and videos, write text, link to external websites…even create a video themselves and upload it. Allow your students to “browse” their colleagues’ work like in a gallery and leave comments directly on the board.
Making feedback fun
We all know that giving feedback can be difficult, and getting students to evaluate each other is often even more challenging. As the trainer, you can easily add stars to the best ideas of the day or leave comments while groups are working. You can copy text blocks and highlight mistakes or you can collaboratively correct errors with your group in real time. For students, MIRO makes giving feedback fun. One option is to set up a feedback question; another might be to leave an emoji. Alternatively, you can ask them to give feedback through a GIF or picture.
Note: This article is a recommendation without consideration.