Dead Time Learning

The phrase Dead Time Learning has been used to refer "to time that you have where you're not really doing anything else and you could be learning. Commuting is probably the #1 opportunity for Dead Time Learning that most of us have. Exercising is another great time. You can even be a Dead Time Learner when you're doing chores around your house, brushing your teeth, making dinner, etc."

Of course, podcasting is one of the best ways of making use of this time for learning, and this is one of the reasons why it has attracted so much attention. Of course, this is great for me, and I have been taking advantage of the growing variety of podcasts about all manner of subjects to learn in time that previously I would have just not taken advantage of.

But, what about my students? And here comes the irony.If they were adults, I'm sure I'd be able to interest them in podcasts, but then few of them would actually have mp3 players to really take advantage of 'learning in dead time'.

The majority of my students are either young learners or university students and a high percentage of them own mp3 players, but I doubt that many of them will be interested in using their mp3 players to listen to podcasts in English. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see them taking advantage of this way of mobile learning.

I am going to introduce podcasting to the, however. I've seen just how useful and interesting it can be, and I hope I'll be able to share this enthusiasm. And I hope to be able to convince at least some of them to try this idea of 'dead time learning'

Although I'm doubtful that many will take to it (especially at first), I think it is something that will appeal to a minority of students, and maybe others will come back to it when they start work and realise just how precious time is, and how lucky it is to be able to spend some of that dead time learning.


  1. Nice idea, but I doubt that students will get engaged in dead time learning, as what they want to do with the dead time is nothing. They already complain they've got a lot of work to do. I work with 12 to 18 years old and this year we have introduced the moodle classroom. They like it but they prefer to do it at school instead of at home. However 3 or 4 are very interested and contact me on the messenger when they don't know what to do. It is a difficult age and if things don't count for their marks their interest is normally not very great.


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