This is a site that teachers can use with students, or a place where motivated students can access language resources for autonomous learning. Short texts with vocabulary lists and podcasts. In some cases there is also a video. Activities can either be short or extended. Wonderful resources for all the literacy skills. As the texts are short I feel students will be more inclined to dip into this site themselves. Certainly worth exploring.
Great wiki here. 60 web tools being explained in 60 seconds or less, which is still in progress. This is a list of tools which you'll need to explore for yourself and there are also webinars and presentations to view.
The tools cover a broad range of categories i.e. annotation, document sharing, canvases, digital storytelling, cloud storage, QR codes, voice recording tools etc, so ICTs that can be used for numerous purposes and a range of language levels. They are not specifically designed for language students but can be repurposed to suit depending on what you require.
Some sensible strategies here for using videos as a resource for language learning. I feel it's important to ensure that students know how to work effectively with video when learning autonomously. Encouraging active engagement and not passive viewing will enhance the learning process but these are strategies that need to be clarified during lesson time, whether that be in a classroom or online.
I find audio tools very useful for language learning whether they're for pronunciation practice, exam speech training, as a form of asynchronous communication etc.There are 6 tools to explore here.
Primarily, I use Voxopop with my students for asynchronous group discussions, digital storytelling and to supply them with a digital space for speech practice in general. I analyse these recordings and refer back to them as a means of checking the student's progress. We also use Vocaroo for shorter tasks and the AudioNote App for speech-text activities.
45 webtools here to explore in the form of an e-book The tools have been categorized under four literacy skills i.e. reading writing, speaking listening for ease of reference. It's a matter of filtering through and selecting what suits the personal needs of your students in a specific teaching / learning context.
A couple weeks ago, I was sitting in an English Department distance learning committee meeting, where my chair, Rick Reagan, said something that really caught my attention: "Many students just have to realize that online learning is not an immersive experience like face-to-face learning is. It's mostly asynchronous and on your own."
What caught my attention was the idea that f2f is immersive; although subconsciously I recognized such, I never thought of it in those terms. What makes the f2f classroom immersive? It seems to me there are at least three things: real time interaction, spatial proximity and manipulation of objects with others in that space.
However--and you know where I'm going with this, don't you!--we shouldn't settle with a lack of immersion for online students.
Some interesting points here about immersive learning and how it compares to distance learning. As a distance learner and an educator who teaches English via Skype and Second Life, I feel it's important to make tools accessible to students that enable some form of synchronous communciation . This could be from their own personal learning environment e.g. Google Hangout or Facetime. I also encourage tools such as Google Drive where realtime collaborative work can be engaged in so that my one-to-one students still have a sense of belonging to a community of practice, even when the ties are artificially formed as opposed to joining up with special interest groups of their choice.
I have found from personal experience, that distance learning groups tend to develop stronger links if both synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication and interaction are accessible and are put to use effectively.
Teachers what about using audio tools with your students for speaking and listening practice? This is just one example here i.e. Voxopop. I find it useful for archiving my students' progress; for pronunciation practice; oral exam practice and digital storytelling etc. As it's an asynchronous tool, students can dip into it at any time and I can analyse their recordings before the next lesson.
Designer Lessons is an EFL blog created by two English teachers, George Chilton and Neil McMillan, who share different lesson plans. With topics like ideal housemates, mobile technology, social media, freedom, happiness, among others, there are plenty of original lesson ideas you can adapt to suit your students' needs.
I am conducting a series of workshops in Florida and was asked to share a rubric to help teachers evaluate educational apps as part of the workshop.
Patricia Daniels's insight:
Sensible rubric and checklist here to implement when you are searching for educational apps for yourself and your students. Unfortunately when we buy apps the evaluation takes place after we've already parted with our cash but at least we can save students or their parents from paying for a product that may not be suitable for their purposes.
Approaches to Learner Autonomy in Language Learning Erin Lowry Senior English Language Fellow Centro Colombo Americano Armenia November 25, 2008
Patricia Daniels's insight:
Some very useful strategies for consideration here and certainly transferrable to other contexts. Definitely worth browsing through and reflecting on.
As a private language teacher encouraging autonomy is a priority for me. If students are not willing to take responsibility for their own learning then at some stage their learning stagnates, motivation drops and the objectives they originally set for themselves become unrealistic. An unsatisfactory situation for both the teacher and student but one that is avoidable if certain strategies are put into place at the beginning and constantly reviewed and adjusted as required.
A detailed guide here concerning video creation tools. In language teaching audio visual material is an effective means of practicing literacy skills within both a formal and informal learning context.
I encourage my students to use these kinds of resources daily (if only for a few minutes), with the emphasis being on a particular skill e.g. listening for specific information; reusing parts of the dialogue to practice speaking skills; taking new vocabulary and using it in another register e.g. fiction to academic or magazine style etc.
Why not have them create their own either as individuals or as a group as a means of demonstrating specific skills? The production doesn't have to involve high-tech equipment or hours of editing. It's about the content and use of language.
As a teacher who instructs via Skpye, I'm interested in tools and digital spaces that enable collaborative work. This is a list of 27 tools pertaining to document sharing, whiteboards, digital spaces for synchronous collaboration, note taking, file sharing, discussion platforms for teachers, backchannelling. slideshare etc.
I prefer tools that are multifunctional as it means not overloading my students with too many ICTs, so perhaps that's a point worth considering when you're exploring what is suitable for your teacing context.
Some interesting points and useful tips here for teachers regarding recycling language and revisiting texts. Thornbury makes the observation that often in texts books each unit covers a different topic which means that new language is being introduced and language from previous units is not being repeated or reviewed. This is where we as teachers can introduce other resouces that help bind all the topics and also use five minute activites to recapitulate on language that has already been introduced in order to revive it.
Look up words in the Visuwords online graphical dictionary and thesaurus to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.
PicLits is useful as a resource for writing and speaking prompts. Explore the gallery or create your own. There are images with and without captions. Also helpful for those doing exams. Select a pair of images and practice using comparative adjectives to compare and contrast similarities and differences.
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