Category Archives: Social interaction (web 2.0.)

EFL WEB EXPLORER: VOICE TOOLS

Starting up voice forums and discussions for the Foreign Language Class is now possible with a couple of new tools which have been active for the last few months.

– One of them is Vaestro. This is “the first site on the internet to intiate voice discussions in a forum format”. You can talk to your friends, host interactive podcasts, or use it like an audio blog. You can even use it on your web site for free.

This software may be valuable in education as you can use it to start Asynchronous Voice Discussions, which will leave students some time to organize their ideas and prepare the points they will explain in advance. Everybody can listen to classmates voices and arguments in class or outside. In Foreign Language Learning it is a valuable tool to practise oral tasks and share them with the rest of the class group or level.

The only thing you need in order to start a FORUM is to registre, then you can use a microphone or upload an MP3 file.  You can even set up international FORUMS without having to rearrange your schedule based on timezones .

-Another good one is Voxopop, which has already been tried for language practice. The Education, Learning and Language Forum started in February 2009 and has already more than 2,000 members. There are some other language forums such as English I Talk, Talking about 6 minute English , or BBC MB members. I will start my own language practice forum with my students next year. I hope I can talk about the results then.

These two webs add to the suite of voice resources and software that many teachers have been using in their language classes so far.

I will do a quick revision to  the most popular ones:

Audacity is some recording and sound editing software to be used off line. It is free.

Podomatic is a  podcast site where you can record or upload your podcasts and show them in your “Podcast” (a pocast blog). It includes a new tool to create slidacasts.

Blip TV, Odeo, iTunes, the Internet Archive, Wikiworks are webs where you can host language podcasts online to be heard in class or by your students at home. They are also useful to create slidescasts, since they provide you with the necesary URL link required in sites like Podomatic.

– Voicethread is also a collaborative tool to create podcast, text and image presentations. A good tool for collaborative work.

If you want some more information about the tools you can use for your Language Class, you can have a look at Web 2.0. an English Course, my content based course on the use of Web 2.0. to express yourself and communicate in English.

Tech Explorer: WIZ iQ

This new free e-learning tool can be used to get in contact with your students.

“Wiz IQ is a place where you can teach and learn using an easy-to-use Virtual Classroom. You are welcome to give private and public live online classes, teach for free or earn money teaching. As a learner you can attend public classes on various topics from academics to anything under the sun.”

URL: http://www.wiziq.com/

You can see an English tech-tool in action about Ning at the following blog URL: http://learn-english-wiziq.blogspot.com/2008/11/introduction-to-ning-social-blogging.html

Tech explorer: Ning

Ning is a powerful tool to set up social networks and online communities. It is also a good tool for blended-learning. I would recommend you to go to the Online Classes space and visit the possibilities offered by the online courses. It is also worth checking the tools they have used to develop their learning projects (there is a list on the left side bar). URL: http://onlineclasses.ning.com/

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE IN ELE

A “community of practice”  is basically a group of teachers who meet on-line to exchange information and help each other with their technological problems. They experience new tools together and discuss their pedagogical advantages. It is for sure one of the most helpful fields where teachers wanting to apply CALL techniques should always get involved. Have a look at the slide-show  Dr. Esperanza Roman showed at Expo-ELE Comillas 2008 about the topic.

“CALL” IN THE CLASS: Writing blogs

This is the writing blog I have started for my students at BASICO2 at the EOI. They send me their tasks via the blog. We have a look at them in class. We suggest which points are worth considering in every letter. They check in groups for possible mistakes and correct them. We do a class correction and do some revision on writing rules (punctuation, spelling, for, etc.)

It’s good practice and they seem to get very responsible at sending their tasks on time.

BLOGS BY WEBHEADS

I asked at the Webheads in Action for some language exchange blogs that we could use as an example for Networked-based language practice. Here are a few answers I received.

Greetings from Japan.
There are some podcasts with student-generated content at
Japancasting, by Steve McCarty
http://stevemc.blogmatrix.com
Let me know if you have any difficulty,
Steve

Hello
I have been a Bawer sice 2006 but I have never participated in this
group, since I have been very busy preparing my doctoral dissertation
for the last two years.
I am preparing a course for adult students focused on the Web 2.0. and
another one for teachers at secondary school. Both groups will be
totally newbies and I would like to show them good examples of class
blogging and podcasting.
I know there will be a good assortment of all kind of blog and podcast
practice in the group.
Can I make a list? I will post it on my blog
http://angelesherna ndez.wordpress. com/
Thank-you
Ángeles

Hi Angeles,
Congratulations!
Here is my class blog in 2007:
Hope it will be of help!
Regards from Sudan
Hala

Hi Ángeles,

here are the blogs I have had with students:

I hope this helps!

Kindest regards from Brazil,

Ronaldo
http://ihopeitworks.blogspot.com