Summary of the presentation on blogging and ELT

Dear teachers, as agreed, I'm publishing here the summary of the presentation I did on using the internet as a languange learning tool.

The idea of the workshop was, although we had very limited time, to move on from simply using the internet as a motivator (which is also important) to using it as a real instructional tool. But I dare go even further. Web Content-Producing activities are the main goal of this talk.

We all know it's hard to manage this kind of activities with our young kids in front of the computer, because they probably know a lot more about blogging, You Tube, Podcasts, Flickr, etc. than we do. Don't worry, use that in favor of your computer classes. What you can't forget is that you're in command and you're the one who masters the language they'll need for blogging and so on.

A good first step towards producing content for the internet is using the dfilm movie maker, where students can create personalized short animated cartoons. Although it is a very controlled activity students can start producing fun ELT material for the web. It's seems to me a very good substitute for a traditional writing activity.

The main aim of the workshop was, though, the use of blogs and other hypermedia as a productive instructional tool for ELT.

The steps I suggested for practising and getting familiarized are, as follows:

1) Create your own accounts on applications like You Tube (videos), Flickr (images), Podcast1 (audio files) and Wordpress (blogging). Or other websites/platforms with the same purposes. Those mentioned are, though, the ones that are well known because of its features. For example, as I showed you, Wordpress allows you to put a video INTO the blog, whereas Blogger just allows you to use links for videos.

2) After having created those accounts, you should start producing material with your students (small videos, pictures, audio files) so that you'd have the required material for an internet content-producing activity to become successfull. Cel phones and digital cameras are very useful for surveys, small movies, interviews, etc.

3) Now it's time to upload those files in the cyberspace, meaning the platforms mentioned on step one. In case you have doubts on how you can do that, all those web 2.0 applications offer help links that will give you the necessary instructions to follow.

4) Then you're ready to move on to use all of those into your blog. Rememer, I believe Wordpress has more features than other usual bloggers nowadays, but that's only my opinion. Again, here things will be very similar to a wordprocessor where all the main functions are as clear as a simple button. Hyperlinks, pictures, font design, layout, etc.

For those who didn't do the activity about grammar proposed in the previous post, it's a good moment to try it out. Don't forget that hyperlinks can be as misterious as possible. They could be compared to the footnotes in a book, for example.

Now it's time to set your imagination free. As Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Wise words from a wise man.

Enjoy your teaching!!!

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