Friday, December 3, 2010

Podcasting in Teaching ESL

As more and more technological tools being introduced into classrooms, podcasting, a widely used tool podcasting has taken education by storm, and the technology cannot be ignored.has taken education by storm, and the technology cannot be ignored. According to Wikipedia, a podcast is “a web feed of audio files that is placed on the Internet for anyone to download.
Why do teachers use podcasts? First of all, podcasting is cheap. A microphone is the only piece of required hardware. Second of all, podcasting could pull teachers or anyone who uses computer from all over the world together, so people may exchange perspectives and share experiences. Also podcasting can be interactive. Take one podcast episode I watched and would love to use in my teaching in the future as an example --- “Can I take a message?” This episode is very interactive since students could answer questions in relation to the information provided from the episode, and at the same time they can have the flexibility to choose when to respond the questions. Just like mentioned above, I would love to use the example episode in my ESL teaching, so I could ask students to practice listening, speaking, writing etc. with the podcast. I wonder if the episode could be a video which has images in it, which would enhance student’s learning greatly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Say "Hi" to Epals!

     I think all the programs on Epals website are fairly useful to both students and teachers. As a future teacher I especially prefer Projects, Collaborate, and Teachers.
     Projects: Each project is used to classroom's needs and the topics are of global interest. New teachers benefit greatly by various perspectives and topics.
     Collaborate: Through Collaborate people can find classrooms simply by searching the country or project. It's a great way to collaborate and connect with classrooms at the other end of the world.
      Teachers: In Teachers section, Teacher Forums is my favourite. This a perfect stage provide for teachers from all over the world to share their resources and various perspectives.
      As far as my discipline is concerned, I could use all the functions from Epals to better my teaching skills especially from learning at Teachers Forum. For example, I could talk with other experienced TESOL teachers and learn how to engage my students well learning in classrooms. Understanding the importance of manipulating technology in classrooms, I will try to learn as much as possible so I could let my students benefit from my class.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mod 9: Post #2

     I used Bookr and created a "book". Here is the link to it: What I created is not a story, but  a very brief introduction of the western holiday---Christmas. I do feel Bookr is very useful in a language classroom. I could use it to teach my younger students  through this very vivid and visualized means. I'm sure it facilitates their language learning.

Mod 9: Post #1

      Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers free full copy right. Every creator from individual  to large companies is provided with a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.
     There are six main licenses offered when you choose to publish your work with a Creative Commons license. The Creative Commons licenses enable people to easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved” through the six. They are Attribution, Attribution Share Alike, Attribution No Derivatives, Attribution Non-Commercial, Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike, Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives. 
The object I created using Flickr:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wait, I can use Twitter to teach?!

     Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience. Microblogging is one of it.
     Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging, which differs from a traditional blog, for microblogging is much smaller. One of the microblogging softwares that we are familiar with is Twitter. Twitter is continuously being popular which has already 190 million users. Most people consider Twitter as a tool to relax and socialize with others. However, teachers can also use Twitter to teach! 
     From the two articles that I read, I conclude some ways to integrate the use of Twitter into English language teaching to help facilitate students' learning. ("Can we use Twitter for educational activities?" & "Nine great reasons why teachers should use Twitter")
     Firstly, since Twitter is a great medium for sharing ideas and getting instant feedback, teachers can create a group for their students on Twitter and encourage students to post their ideas in regard to learning English. Students can also raise questions on Twitter, and through this means, peer teaching is promoted as well. Teachers can also post interesting and thought provoking discussion questions every now and then to get students involved outside classroom. By using Twitter as a study means, students improve their skills in reading and writing and the ability to do academic research, and at the same time their knowledge is broadened.
     Besides, students get a lot of information using Twitter which they are usually not exposed to a lot in class. For example, teachers can share various English language learning links and edubloggers on Twitter, so that students get more opportunities to better their studies.
     All in all, yes, as a teacher,  you should try start teaching with Twitter ASAP!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's time to have a picture for your blog with the perfect resolution!

     Have you ever got frustrated with the picture you put on your blog for your students with terrible resolution and being embarrassed, you have no idea how to adjust it? Now you can say bye-bye to those situations!
    In one of the posts of Langwitches' blog--- Image Resolution and Resizing for Your Blog which helps you solve the problems you have with picture resolution, and you can also introduce it to your students who are also struggling with picture resolution.
    In this post, the author uses simple language to guide you one step after another in how to re-size an image. What I like a lot about this post is that the author gives information on digital image for computer learners with beginning level. For example, the post mentions how images like digital files are measured in bytes and then gives a chart of how many bytes equal to certain kilobytes, megabytes and so on. It is also included in the post that there is no need to upload an image with a pixel size larger than 600 pixels in width, which is a quite useful suggestion for learners to know as well.  Last but not least, the demonstration of using the software is very detailed and clearly done.
    In sum, as technology enriches our life, facilitates teaching and learning, and brings us more conveniences, it demands and challenges if our level of knowledge is up to date. Hence, never stop moving forward; never stop learning new technologies.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Social Networking---EFL Classroom 2.0

    As a future TESOL teacher, I found  EFL Classroom 2.0 quite useful as it not only has a lot of information on teaching and learning English, but provides a platform for learners to socialize and interact with others who are also interested in learning English.  One can find many valuable resources on this site: video, forum, Blog posts etc.. 
    What draws my attention the most is the different sections which provide a diversity of means for learners to learn English depending on personal reference. For example, in the Classrooms section, learners or teachers from different regions can form their own country's classroom. Through this means, learners and teachers can exchange information and ideas privately, and also it helps learners of different English levels communicate in their native language to better English studies and learning strategies from English as a foreign language perspective.