sábado, 16 de abril de 2011

Social Networking for Educational Use

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Hi5, etc. are some of the most important social networks around the world. No matter the age, almost everybody has an account in at least one of these networks. So why not to use them for educational aims? Why not to take advantage of them if the students already know how to use them and they like them?

These are just some points to consider when trying to make teaching more real and updated. The use of social networking sites for teaching-learning is so useful that you can be surprise about it.

By using Facebook, students can be in touch all the time and comment on a topic, share information or even answer to your questions while you keep closer to them. On twitter the activities can be also fun and the level of complexity can vary. For example, make your students summarize or reflect is a 140 character space, or analyzing texts with a short and specific participation. That could be perfect for you, since they have to synthesize their opinions and you don’t have to spend all your time reading only 1 post.

The following videos will show you some of the advantages of using social networks for educational purposes. Try them and make you teaching real!

Social Networking in Plain English

Twiter in Plain English

Social Networking Sites Have Educational Benefits

Using Twitter in Education

sábado, 9 de abril de 2011

Blogs and Wikis

Online Colaborative Writing Tools

The WWW, as has been mentioned in the previous posts, is an excellent tool for EFL teachers. This is so because the wide rang of possibilities the web offers to us for improving the learning-teaching process. The tools I want to mention today are the BLOGS and WIKIS.

The benefits they offer are many like the practice of the four language skills, although the prevalence of writing upon the others, the use of language through activities that can be done in groups and even as a whole class, etc.

Almost everything you imagine can be done by using a wiki or a blog. But I’m not going to say more, I offer you some videos that will show the importance and the pros and cons you may find by using wikis or blogs. Hope they help you.

Blogs in Plain English

How to Make a Blog

Wikis in Plain English

How to Create a Website (wiki)

sábado, 2 de abril de 2011

Using the Interactive Web in the Classroom

Web 2.0 offers a wide range of opportunities to the language teacher, especially because it accomplishes the first purpose of language: COMMUNICATION. That is possible because Web 2.0 has million of sites that are updated very frequently, if not daily, and provides interaction between WWW users. That’s the key point when thinking about using Web 2.0 in the classroom.

This interactive web makes our students not only learn and practice with thousand activities, but learning from other people in the classroom or around the world by chatting/writing or talking. Another important aspect is that with the Web 2.0 the learners can improve the four language skills while using language in a pragmatic way.

Another advantage Web 2.0 offers is that learners could be in touch with others students from other schools by School Links Projects. That is a perfect activity for our students to put into practice what they learn in class and to see that what they learn is completely useful in real life. So that would make them feel more interested and most probably they will participate in a more active way.

However, it is important to take into account the topics I have published in the previous reflections. You have to make your students to think SMART and teach them how to be secure, you may also be sure all of them have ICT skills, as well as the technological conditions you have in your school.

Having this in mind, it should be great if you use the interactive web to engage your students in the language learning. That would also achieve the purpose of language teaching: make students learn to use what they’ve learnt in a real context.

These links could help you find more info about school links projects and the use of Web 2.0. Hope you like them.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 in Education

Viral Education 2.0

School Links Project