Category Archives: Networking

Wikis-what are they? But…the simple way

Despite having been a Web 2.0 active participant for a long time I feel I hadn’t got the main idea of what wikis are until I found this lovely video which offers a clear description of how they can be used for the benefit of many:

Perhaps because I have never used wikis before I confess I find it hard to think of potential uses of Wikis with my students, but what I guess makes it even more difficult is the fact that, as far as I can see, the flow of a wiki depends a great deal on an active participation from everybody in the wiki community, and to participate you need to have a very good command of the language. Wikis allow images though, and you may use voice if you provide links to sound files, but my feeling that little could be accomplished with a low command of English , the language my students are learning.
Perhaps with more advanced students it turns out an invaluable tool for the group. One of the aspects I’ve noticed is that in wikis content is above everything (layout , format, etc) – I can figure out a writing lesson with great editing possibilities in a group (and me as the coach monitoring and checking if structures and appropriacy of vocab are ok). And just thinking while typing, I wonder if –in a more teacher centred way-students may be asked to write on a wiki what they understood from a given lesson. With this the teacher will be checking understanding and the excerpts will be available to everybody for future access – interesting for those students who were absent as they will be able to catch up easily (kind of lesson “recorded” if we may call it like that).

Wikis are for the Web 2.0 world class

what a frameless board is for an ordinary classroom.

 

:-0

For teachers working together, however, it is a wonderful tool for consulting /sharing / brainstorming ideas .

Sources:

*The WikiEducator

*Wide Open Spaces –Wikis, ready or not?

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Filed under Ideas for ELT -exploiting tools-, Networking

Conclusions so far…

Link to another SMiELT08 blog : “Getting students to blog”

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Filed under General posts, Networking

SMiELT participants needed in Flickr project

Please look at the pic below and speculate using modal verbs:

Trial 1

1. Is the girl alone?
2. Who do you think is she talking to?
3. Could she be talking to a flower / person /an animal?
4. Are there more kids / adults/ flowers / animals around?

Please leave your answers / speculations on the comment box from Flickr linked here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/englishstudio/2233441360/

If you have some comments related to the activity write your views on the comment box from this post.

The task needs interaction and, I will show the original pic in about 2 days. That will give plenty of time for some SMiELT participants to “play” and help me experiment a little bit to draw conclusions afterwards.

Many thanks in advance for your help. I will be looking forward to your writing bits.

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Updated on 2/2

This is the original pic ( Great guessing Nancy !;)

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Filed under Ideas for ELT -exploiting tools-, Networking

Exploiting Flickr in ELT and Del.icio.us in my SMiELT network

Uses of Flickr in ELT

How can Flickr be used in the ELT context?

My brand new Del.icio.us tags show some of the links about that -I found them yesterday and I’d like to share them with you. – Mind you- I learnt quite sth about del.icio.us at trying its various features, I used to “save bookmarks” on it before but everything was disorganised as I was completely unaware of categorising possibilities offered by the “bundle” feature, for example. Now I’m really proud to share my bookmarks

Another idea that came to my mind about the use of Flickr has to do with the sharing of experiences/feelings/anecdotes with members of your network.
One of the contacts I gained through SMiELT 2008 is Joaoa . I really enjoyed looking at his pics but what I lliked most was realizing that we might have lots of views to share about a city we’ve both been to and not together!!!! This could very well be a starting point for interesting conversation threads and this is how I wanted to begin:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joaoa/1297329362/

?addedcomment=1#comment72157603824642450

It would be great to read some more ideas on the different ways to use this content network with EFL students.

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“You are what you….do in your Network”

Based on the idea that we are nobody if we don’t belong to a community, something which is implied directly by Social Media, some experienced bloggers have already affirmed that your contexts are relevant in your work. If you are part of a Network you must show it. Visualization of your context is really practical because that also shows part of what you are, i.e when you share your Network you tell more about you.

There are some who are already saying that the Web 2.0 process is about to be taken over by Web 2.1. They explain that whereas the Web 2.0 was based on tools to produce content to share online , the Web 2.1 is based on people / users who will use those (or similar) tools not only to share knowledge but to produce content together, build up intelligence and enhance creativity. (*)
One of the great tools launched about a year ago was FEEVY , which allows you to create custom widgets out of the content of your favorite blogs, and gives you a simple tag you can use to embed the widget into your own blog. Unfortunately WordPress apparently doesn’t allow this widget but Blogger does. So I posted my current EVO 2008 Network onto my regular / institutional blog

The pic below shows how the feevy widget is shown onto your blogger sidebar, presenting the automatic updated posts of your favourite bloggers.

FEEVY

Up to the moment I only have the blogs of all those colleagues with whom I have already interacted (Nancy, Gabriela, Illya, Berta – all of them on the “Recent Comments List” on this worpress sidebar)

I will be very happy to add more blogs from people interacting in this EVO event so please , if you let me know , I will add your details on the list . I only need your blog address.

(*) Idea extracted from Argentinian experienced blogger Pablo Mancini (in Spanish)

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Social Networks starting point- Blog Comments

Blog comments are the key for interacting, therefore NETWORKING.

There are good reasons for supporting guest participation within blogs as the link on strategic commenting provided by the SMiELT program presented. However my personal feeling in favour of leaving comments on blog posts have to do with all the learning that takes place while interacting. On doing so, the most important Web 2.0 mechanism gets activated: reading – reaction – feedback – sharing -data transfer / flowing. This implies learning at different levels within a brand new educational environment.


“When one teaches, two learn “– a real and simple truth. Imagine the outcomes on a Social Network ! Awesome if done properly.

Blog comments need commitment. I still remember those times when trolls were constant blog visitors. It is not that they have disappeared. I guess they will always be around. However what has changed is the attitude of both blog authors and readers. They have become better citizens of online nations. One of our aims as educators should be to enhance good online participatory habits. There is nothing better than democracy. And this applies beyond Politics.

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NB coComment

Using coComment, you can now keep track of all the comments and discussions your are participating in or observing on the web. When someone adds something to the comment stream or discussion, you’ll be notified. And, if you’re a blogger, you can display the comments you make elsewhere back on your own blog.

Source : CoComment site

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