2015 in review and 2016 in view

Blue Firework

Happy New Year!

This year has flown by and it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was reflecting on 2014.

Tekhnologic had only been around for a few months so it felt quite easy. This time around, I have a whole year to look back on.

Let’s bring 2015 to a close by looking at some of the popular posts, some of my favorite posts, and mention the people who have helped me throughout the year.

Top 3 Posts of 2015

Number 1: The Real Trick: Turning a test into a game was a guest post written by Svetlana Kandybovich from ELT-CATION.  It was such a fantastic and well-written post that it quickly became a favorite and it wasn’t long until it was the most popular post from my blog.

Svetlana introduced some great activity suggestions that could be used as an alternative to a test. My personal favorite is the ladder game.

Number 2: Tic-Tac-Toe – Setting Discussion Goals was a post I wrote about a common ESL activity. My contribution to this idea was to create an Excel template that could generate different tic-tac-toe grids that reviewed questions or used discussion topics. I was quite surprised by the popularity of the post as it was something I put together quite quickly on a Sunday afternoon.

Imagine my further surprise when it won the TeachingEnglish blog of the month award for April. I never really felt I deserved it because it really was just a last minute idea and a quick post on a Sunday afternoon. None-the-less, I am grateful and I consider it one of the highlights for tekhnologic in 2015.

Number 3: Seven ideas for using mobile phones in the classroom was a post I wrote in response to a discussion about devices in the classroom.

I deliberately stayed away from apps and I tried to come up with some practical and easy suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom.

This has been one of the most shared posts of 2015 and also one of the most controversial. I often see comments from teachers who like, as well as from teachers who dislike, using mobile phones in the classroom.

It’s a nice top 3 to have. Thank you to everyone who read these posts.


Top 3 Favourites of 2015

So, I wrote about the top 3 most popular posts. The posts that people liked to read. Now, I am going to be a little selfish and write about 3 posts I enjoyed writing.

Number 1: It’s cheating a little, but Number 1 is actually about two posts. The first was called Video Diagrams – Help your students visualize your instructions and the other was called Video Diagrams: Part 2 – Five activities to get your students moving.

They are probably my favorite posts because they actually opened me up to a new way of teaching and a new way of activity instruction. One that I think has been incredibly successful. One that provides the students with the opportunity to recall activities and to begin giving themselves instruction.

Hopefully, I will be putting together Part 3 in 2016.

Number 2: I read this post about Hobby Circles written by Sandy Millin and I loved the idea of the activity so much that I created some video diagrams for it. I tried it in a couple of classes as well as trying a couple of variations of it. I wrote about my take on Sandy’s idea in a post called Three Circles: A ‘getting to know you’ activity.

The reason it is one of my favorite posts is that it got me thinking about different types of graphical organizers and how I could use them in classes.

Number 3: The Football Game was another collaboration between ELT-CATION and tekhnologic. And it’s a great review activity.

I like it because it was the first time I had made this type of PowerPoint game and I pushed myself to design my own graphics. I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment when it was finished.

I tried it in class and it went down a storm and it was also a very easy game to hand over to the students.

This was definitely one of those posts that I wish had been more popular, but I got a tremendous amount of satisfaction producing the materials and it was great to work with Svetlana again.

Okay. Moving on.

Top 3 Downloads of 2015

Number 1: The Tic-Tac-Toe template was the most popular download of 2015, which isn’t surprising as Tic-Tc-Toe was one of the top 3 posts of 2015.

This template made it easy to create tic-tac-toe grids with a random layout of questions, so that no two boards were the same.

Number 2: Board Game 1.0 was a new project for me. The idea was to create a PowerPoint version of a board game that the whole class could play. This was actually as request and I designed it as part of the materials that accompany the post – The Real Trick: Turning a test into a game.

I haven’t used this version yet, but I have used the techniques involved to make templates for other board games. It was an interesting project to undertake.

Number 3: The Christmas Quiz was only a few weeks ago, but it was very popular. Each year I design a quiz template with a Christmas theme. I designed one in 2014 and I wanted to make some improvements, so I challenged myself to produce better graphics and images for it.

I was quite pleased with the result this year.

Onto friends of tekhnologic.

Top 3 Friends of 2015

I feel quite bad limiting myself to a top 3, but I wanted to thank the people who have helped my blog in 2015.

The number one spot should really go to Facebook and the TeachingEnglish – British Council page, but I have limited the top 3 spots to web pages. I do have to thank the TeachingEnglish – British Council team though for the posts they shared this year.

Number 1: The number one spot goes to freeenglishlessonplans.com. Tim wrote a great phrase list for the CAE speaking exam and used my Recall template as a way to introduce, chorus and recall the phrases.

I have always been appreciative of Tim’s support and I would like to thank him for all his help throughout 2015.

Number 2: teachingenglish.org.uk has shown a lot of support to tekhnologic by nominating the site for their blog of the month award, and on one occasion, we won. Once again I would like to thank them for all the posts they have shared this year.

Number 3: The third spot goes to larryferlazzo.edublogs.org. Larry has mentioned tekhnologic a few times, particularly the Word Jumble Template, which he listed on his Best Sites for Creating Sentence Scrambles.

I am not sure if Larry is reading this, but I would like to thank him for all his support and help in 2015.

Finally, to the countries.

Top 3 Countries

Number 1: The United States of America took the top spot for the most number of views. I think this is in part down to the support from Larry Ferlazzo. Thanks again Larry!

Number 2: Spain was next, and this is largely down to the support from the British Council.

Number 3: Third place went to the United Kingdom. This pleased me as it is nice to know that my blog has been fairly successful in my home country.

So, that’s it! That was my year. It was a good year and as always I enjoyed writing this blog. 

I wish you all the best for 2016 and as always leave a comment if you have any questions about any of the posts over the course of 2015.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

6 thoughts on “2015 in review and 2016 in view

  1. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. I have used some of them on my lessons and English Project Days in my school. The kids really liked trick-or-treat questions, the blockbusters and their favourite is the football game. I haven’t used the Christmas one this year because it arrived tome a little bit late, but I have already got the questions ready, so I will surely use it next year.
    I wish you a wonderful new year from a small Hungarian village: Gyöngyi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gyöngyi,

      Happy new year!

      I’m really glad that your students enjoyed the football game as well as the trick or treat game. I’m pleased to hear that I occasionally make useful things 🙂

      Thanks for all your efforts writing your blog this year. I really enjoy reading it. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2016.

      Thanks again for your kind words and best wishes for 2016 🙂



  2. Thanks for including the post inspired by ‘Hobby Circles’ on here – it was a similar ‘Sunday-afternoon’ idea to the won which won you your award, so it’s great to see how much further it was taken!
    Have a great 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandy,

      I should be thanking you for the original idea.
      I really wanted to mention it because I love activities that give students the chance to collect and organize their thoughts.

      I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences in your new job (a fascinating insight), and any other ideas you are king enough to share in 2016.

      Thanks for all your hard work. I really enjoy reading your blog.

      Take care and all the best for 2016 🙂



  3. Happy New Year!

    Thanks a lot for the mention! You’re very welcome, thanks to you for the support and the great resources!

    Isn’t it weird how the posts that you knock-up in 20 minutes on a Sunday afternoon sometimes turn into the most popular? I wrote my CAE Speaking Phrase sheet for a one-to-one private student who was about to take the exam in about 15 minutes then filled in your recall template with the phrases and it went on to become one of my most popular posts!

    All the best for 2016 and keep up the good work!



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