30 Apr 2009

Top Ten for Education. Number 1 is for Wikis.

Today, surfing on the net I have found a very interesting article in the 'Transforming Education through Technology' journal, called Top Ten Web 2.0 Tools for Young Learners written by Chris Riedel. My aim with this post is not making a list of Web 2.0 tools but giving some ideas to use them in the classroom since we, teachers, need to share new pedagocial ways to introduce technology into the curriculum.
I would like you to contribute with your ideas as well.

1. How can we use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom?
2. What projects or activities have you developed with your students using them?
3. Have they enjoyed them?
4. What has been the impact on your students?
5. What problems have you found to adapt them to the curriculum?
Thanks for your help!!

What are Wikis?
A wiki is free software which allows you to create a website in a simple way for you and your students. You and your students can edit text, links, powerpoint presentations, multimedia content, videos, photos... since it is mainly a collaborative tool. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia where people from all over the world edit information about everything you can imagine (literature, science, biographies, history, cities...).

How can we use wikis in the classroom?
1. A wiki can be a great tool to collect all your students class works, similar to an electronic porfolio.
2. You can upload a video about the topic you have introduced in class and write some questions about the video. The students have to write their answers in the wiki. You can use the "To Do" feature in the wiki if you want they work in pairs.You can use the forum to communicate with your students. Interaction is an important part of the learning process, if you don't interact with your students they can feel themselves isolated.
3. If your students are adults you can set up an online discussion about culture (a film you have watched in the classroom, food, a book they have read...). After that, they can work in a webquest about the same topic and complete a task such as a short video with their vision about the topic the video deals with, a film summary with their point of view, a multi-cultural recipe book...
4. You can contact other ESL/EFL teachers in a different country and start a project to know cultural differences. Your students can learn to value other cultures or the culture of the language they are learning, English.
5. Students can collaborate in small groups (4-5) on reports, presentations, sharing links for a related topic, writing a story, etc.

Interesting: ESL/EFL Wikis on the net.
Movie Reviews (For students)
Connecting Across Continents. Implementing Collaborative Projects in Your Classroom.
ESL for primary. (For teachers).
Let's TIC English (In Spanish).
Miller's English. A wiki used for assignments.
Wikigogy. A wikispace for ESL/EFL teachers to share lesson plans, activities, ideas, etc.
TEFLpedia. A wiki for EFL teachers.
Article about using Wikis: How to use a Wiki? (In Spanish).

Video: 'Wikis in Plain English'

Tomorrow, next Top 10 Web 2.0 tool: Blogs.

2 Apr 2009

Youtube Edu - Open Culture and Education in Youtube

Last 26th March, Google launched a new sub-site called Youtube Edu which was released in Youtube Blog . According to Youtube Blog, "YouTube EDU is a volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities. We'll feature some of these videos on the home page on Friday and elaborate further in a separate post on that day. "

This project is very similar to
Academic Earth one. There are more than 20000 videos about lectures, full courses, etc, on Youtube Edu and growing each day! Now, you can go on learning anytime and anywhere browsing videos by college or university name in the Directory.

Youtube is a tool which many teachers like using in their classes, however, this sharing site is blocked in many schools around the world and in many countries. Therefore, has Youtube developed this new sub-site to avoid sutting the site out?

There is no doubt this has been a great idea, but when is Youtube going to launch a sub-site for ESL/EFL teachers full of teachers' classes, activities, projects, experiences,etc to know what other teachers are doing all around the world in just one website?

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