International online learning projects for students
Online tools for resource creation
Animoto Create videos from images
Benettonplay Create stunning animations
Classtools.net Create educational games
Gliffy Create floor plans, flowcharts and 3D diagrams
Glogster EDU Create interactive multimedia posters
Kerpoof Create movies and stories
Mixbook Create a page turning e-book
Myebook Create an e-book
PoducateMe Exe files How to create a podcast
Power League Create an online debate
Prezi A zooming presentation tool
Scratch Join up and download programming software to create digital learning objects
Sketchcast Embed evolving sketches into your blog
SketchUp Create, modify and share 3D models
Storybird Collaborative storytelling
Storyjumper Create a page turning e-book
Timetoast Create a free online timeline
Voice Thread Hold an online conversation about an image
Voki Create a personalised speaking avatar
Wordle Create word clouds to summarise main concepts of a unit for students
Source/Courtesy – UNSW
1. Cognitive Behaviourism
I have been racking my brains over the past few weeks in vain. I am incapable of thinking of a proper topic myself and that prevents me from starting work on the assignment which reads as follows
This assignment consists of two interrelated parts:
A multimedia resource for language learning for classroom or self-access use.
An accompanying rationale.
A multimedia resource
You should create a working piece of courseware that reflects the aims, objectives and learning outcomes outlined in your rationale and reflects good practice in both TESOL and the use of multimedia in language learning. This may be produced using any web authoring tool (although the expectation is that you use the WordPress CMS), and will include links to other media (audio or video, for example) and applications such as Hot Potatoes.
The resource does not need to be long or complex. It should, however, be coherent and it must work. For example, you could exploit a piece of listening or reading material with a relevant task or sequence of tasks providing practice on a specific grammar point. It can also be a piece of teacher education material. It may represent part of a larger package, but it should not simply consist of a sequence of tasks produced using authoring software. This multimedia resource should clearly reflect the issues discussed in the rationale.
So far a number of ideas have been put forward by some of my friends and acquaintances, but I can’t make up my mind. I have contemplated
- creating a set of interactive grammar quizzes to practise a particular language point (I mean there are thousands of interactive quizzes out there already, I have to create something really unusual)
- designing a multimedia resource for very young learners, e.g. a picture dictionary with tasks (this one sounds OK-ish, I just need to get myself a proper digicam and learn photography – easier said than done. Plus where should I get the audio? I am not a professional anchor after all. )
- devising a few topic-based units of sequenced tasks for a certain level or exam purposes (well, that’s sort of stretching and there are copyright issues as usual. Just can’t think of a place to get all those texts, pics and audio for free. So thats’ all about becoming a digital coursebook writer at the end of the day and I find it daunting, because this is LOADS of unpaid work)
I wish I could paint and draw, sing and act. I wish I were a prolific writer and could write engrossing stories and articles exceptionally well.
It looks like more and more language teaching is being done on the web. Let me summarize what online language teachers have on offer, what they do or could do in theory. I will list several examples from Curtis J. Bonk & Ke Zhang’s (2008) Empowering Online Learning, pp. 62-63.
Types of resources & activities for online language learners
- online flashcards
- electronic dictionaries, glossaries & corpora
- presentations / slide shows
- grammar lessons
- vocabulary lessons
- voice games
- word games
- interactive speaking games
- news portals
- topic-specific websites
- reading exercises
- listening quizzes & exercises
- collaborative writing tasks
- digital storytelling
- text & voice chat sessions
- asynchronous discussions
- pronunciation labs
- progress reports
- interactive quizzes
- online conversation classes
- placement tests
- self-paced lessons
- peer-to-peer practice conversations
- expert mentoring, etc
What else is out there? Is there anything on the list you either have tried and liked or hated, or would like to try?
Heather McKay & Abigail Tom (1999, CUP, Teaching Adult Second Language Learners, pp. 21-22) suggest teachers differentiate among four types of mixed-ability activity. Unless the text is in quotation marks, it is my own interpretation.
same input, same task
What is different in this situation is the level of your students’ language proficiency. What makes it possible for the students to do the task is their collaborative effort. You have to divide your class of students into pairs or groups so that weaker students get to work with stronger ones. The tasks that are best suited in this case are those that require problem-solving skills, e.g. games, puzzles, mazes, quests, trivia quizzes and the like. In other words, the focus is not on English but on the task, which should require the students to draw on their knowledge of the world and life or work experience as opposed to their knowledge of grammar rules or lexis. You should design the activity so that it would not look, feel or sound like a language practice activity.
same input, modified task
A good example of such an activity would be a multilevel dictation. The more proficient students would have to write everything, the less able ones would have to fill in the gaps, and those you consider a pain in the neck could be asked to tick the options they hear. Once you have finished dictating, everyone should have the same text.
Another example is multilevel listening. Stronger students may be instructed to listen without reading the script while the audio is being played, and weaker ones could be permitted to consult the script as they listen.
By and large, weaker students are provided with more scaffolding.
different input, same task
This type of mixed-ability activity requires weaker students to use the input you provide “as is” and stronger students to do something with the initial input in order to do the main task. For instance, you can choose to give the more proficient students in your class cues and the less proficient ones ready-made questions when you do a mingling activity such as “Find Someone Who”.
same task, different performance level
This last type is very much like project work. What makes it special is that the teacher doesn’t give out any materials, but just sets the task. The students work alone or in small groups, and the language they produce will vary according to their level. I imagine all sorts of “create a poster” type of tasks will fit in this category.
Ian Forsyth (Teaching & Learning Materials & The Internet, 3rd edition, p. 135) defines interactivity as
emulating the traditional classroom
He lists the 5 Ts that cause interactivity to fail on the Internet (pp. 19 -23)
time technology timid territoriality on topics training truss – an infrastructure requirement