Sunday, 12 February 2012

Wallwisher


What is it about?

Wallwisher is an amazing online noticeboard maker tool. Everyone can use this tool to leave a message, to write down his/her notes or to collect the useful information posted by others. You can "stick" as many messages or notes as you like and you can also invite your classmates or friends to post their notes on this Wallwisher. Users can even insert images, videos or audios on it. Users can embed this wall/ noticeboard in their blogs and then share it with others.
Why is the content good for language learning?

1.     Wallwisher is excellent for collaborative learning or group discussion because students may post their notes on it and collect others’ information from it.

2.     Students are provided a chance to share their ideas or experiences on Wallwisher. 

3.     Students may learn how to summarize the information they want to share with others.

4.     Students are encouraged to read the messages or notes post by other people.

5.     Students are encouraged to upload the pictures or their photos on the wall and it may develop their motivation of interacting with others.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?
 

Activity1:Information-sharing

1. I would ask my students to work in group of six, and they have to build a Wallwisher together.

2. I would give them a topic and let them find related pictures, videos or articles. Then, they need to write a summary about the information or materials they find.

3. It is a good way to let students practice their writing skills. They can paste their notes on their Wallwisher as many as they want.

4. After finishing their group’s Wallwisher, I will let my students to make a brief presentation in class and share each group's Wallwisher to the whole class. 

5. Everyone would have a chance to see other groups’ online noticeboards and give some feedback to others.

Activity2: Story-telling

1. I would ask my students to work in group of 3, and they have to build a Wallwisher together.

2. I would provide each group a sentence and let them use the sentence as the beginning of their story.

3. Students need to make sentences for their story by using vocabulary or phrases they learn in class.

4. They can post their ideas in turns on their Wallwisher and make a special story.  

5.  After finishing their stories, I will let them to make a brief presentation in class and share each group's Wallwisher and have them tell their stories to the whole class.  


Limitations

1. There is a limitation of character numbers for each note (160 characters in maximum).  

2. It is not easy to find the information you want if there are too many notes posted on the wall.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Wordle





What is it about?

Wordle is a very interesting and artificial tool for creating ‘word clouds’ from text that you type in the system. Words that appear more frequently may be provided greater prominence on it by the system. Wordle provides various kinds of fonts, layouts, and color schemes for you in order to develop your special ‘word clouds’. The images you create can be printed out, or you can save them to its gallery to share with your family and friends.

Why is the content good for language learning?

1. Teachers may use Wordle to make their teaching more interesting in class.

2. The creative and colorful image may develop students' motivation toward language learning. 

3. Wordle is a great tool for collecting and sharing ideas to others.

4. It is an excellent for teaching vocabulary in language teaching.

5. The points of a text can be clearly found.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?  

1. I will collect my students’ writing assignment and choose some of them to use ‘Wordle’ to create a ‘word cloud.’

2.     Show the ‘word cloud’ to my students in class, and let them to figure out what words appear most frequently in the texts.

3.     Ask students to write down these prominent words on ‘word cloud’ and discuss with each other why these words are used frequently in their writing.

4.     I would summarize their ideas and help them to categorize words which they should use in the writing and make a word list for them.

5.     I would let my students use the words (on the list) to write a brief article as their homework.

Limitations

Before using Wordle, users need to download the Java system first.



Friday, 10 February 2012

Dvolver Moviemaker

                               
                          
           



What is it about?

Dvolver Moviemaker is an interesting website which provides users with an easy and fast way to make a funny cartoon or create their own movie. Though there is a limitation of the function in the free version, it is good enough for users to make a simple animation and to leave comments on it. After finishing making your own movie or cartoon, you can save it in your own account. If you want to share it with others, all you need to do is to send the link of it to your friends by e-mails and they can enjoy it immediately.

Why is the content good for language teaching?

1. It is very easy and interesting to make one’s own animation.

2. Dvolver Moviemaker engages students with careful planning and the ability of telling a story.


3. Learners can apply what they learn in the classroom according to the main ideas teachers set.

4. Dvolver Moviemaker lets students learn how to seek information related to their task and improve their ability of language learning.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

1. I will list many topics related to the ideas we are learning presently. Students can choose one and start to plan their own story.

2. Ask students use the vocabulary and grammar we learn in the unit.  

3. Then, learners show and share what they make with others. Teachers encourage other students to give feedback to each other in English.

4. By pasting the links of students' work on students’ or class blog, their friends or family would have a chance to see their works.

Limitations

1. The lines in the animation in this website can only be read. The actor or actress in the animation cannot talk.  

2. After saving the movie, you cannot edit it again. You have to start over a new one if you aren’t happy with your own work.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Jing


What is it about?

Jing is very cool screencasting tool and it let users can record videos of our computer screen when they demonstrate and explain the tasks on the screen to other viewers. We can record our screen up to 5 minutes in a free version. After signing up, users will immediately get 2GB of storage for free. Users may easily catch images and write down notes on them. Moreover, users can also choose the area of the screen they want to show before they record.

Why is the content good for language learning?

1. It is an easy and convenient way to use Jing for teachers to give their students feedback according to different kinds of assignments students nee to do in class or at home.  

2. Students may follow teacher’s instructions and feedback clearly and easily because of both visual and audio characteristics. 

3. Students may improve their English listening ability because the authentic English feedback from their teachers.

4. Learners can use Jing to do presentation. For example, they can tell a story, introduce their special photos or make a comment on a video by Jing.

5. Videos can be embedded in one’s website or blog and it can be shared by the link easily.

6. Students can repeat the video and listen to their teachers’ feedback comments again and again.

7. Teachers may record the errors of grammar or pronunciation that students might make commonly and send the video to students in order to improve their English ability.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?  

1. Jing is a very useful tool for both teachers and students. Teachers can use Jing to correct students' writing and explain the common errors students make when they write their assignments.

2. Jing can be taken as a visual notebook and can also be a good way for teachers to give their students direction and feedback.

3. The main characteristics of Jing are visual and audio, so students can use this special tool to do picture describing, short videos or story-telling and then share their works with their friends or their family. 

4. The teacher still has to provide some instructions to the students before they present their works on the screen.

Limitations

1. It might take the instructor a lot of time to make Jing for every student at a time and provide them with individual feedback.

2. Users need to prepare sufficient computers facility such as headphones.  Internet is also needed.

3. Users have to install Jing on their computer first.


4. There is time limit of recording. Users can only record up to 5 minutes, so the teachers cannot provide too much feedback at a time.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

QuestGarden





This WebQuest was made by Suzanne and Pannie. By using this WebQuest, we hope our students can learn more about London and have a chance to visit the exciting places and enjoy the traditional British food.


What is this?

WebQuest is an unique lesson format in which most the information that learners work with comes from the web. A webquest has six parts, including “introduction, task, process, resources, evaluation, and conclusion.” Teachers can develop their own webquests or employ webquests by others. Learners may be required to do project or presentation based on the plan of the webquests.

Why is the content good for language learning?

1. There are various kinds of tasks that can interest students.
2. It provides many plans for instructors and learners. 
3. It covers a variety of kinds of issue topics.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

1. Teachers may design their own webquest for their students.
2. Teachers have a chance to bring in more self-driven learning.
3. Teachers can adapt from the webquests and use it in the classroom.

Limitations

1. Designing a webquest may take a lot of time.
2. Not all the webquests can meet the need of the instructors and the learners.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Learning Chocolate



What is it about?
This is a useful website which may help the learners remember vocabulary in a convenient and efficient way. There are lots of pictures and sounds coming with the vocabulary. What’s more, a variety of games are provided to make learning vocabulary fun. You just need to select the category and press the button of each vocabulary below the picture and you can listen to the pronunciation of each word clearly. After being familiar with the sounds and vocabulary, you can try to games.
Why is the content good for language learning?

1. Sound and pictures help linking the words to the meaning


2. Learners can use this website to practice again and again and it helps them enhance their listening and pronunciation abilities.


3. Learning vocabulary is lot of fun because of its interactive function.


4. Games are attractive and motivating. 

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

1.
Have the learners work individually and select a category of vocabulary the teacher would like them to learn.


2. Encourage the learners to listen carefully and try to remember the vocabulary.

3.
Encourage the learners to speak out the words and imitate the pronunciation of these words.  


4. Ask the learners to look up the words they are unfamiliar on the dictionary, and later they can discuss them with each other.


5. After they are familiar with the vocabulary, the instructor may let the learners play the game on the website.
Limitations

1. Some levels of vocabulary in each category are too difficult.


2. Vocabulary should be learned in sentences to show how they are used.