Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blogs and Wikis in Education

Dear Students,

On Monday you will start working with your blogs.

Take a look at these videos on Blogs and Wikis.

Let´s listen to what people say about Blogs.

There many different Blog providers. Last class we worked with VOX. Today we will create a Blog using Blogger as our provider.

How can we create a Blog? It´s easy and simple only in three steps you are able to create you blog.
Please follow these instructions:

Examples of Wikis in Education.

What do you think about their use in education?


Maite said...

Hi everyone,

This is Maite from Spain, I also work in primary education however I am in maternity leave. In September I shall start working with 11 to 12 year old students and have a project already. What I most like from blogs in primary education is that it fosters autonomy and provides amazing oportunities for individualizations. Everyone can go at its own pace and still be present just the same in the class community. There is chance for audio through podcasts and chance for written input and output. Blogs are a way to train in safety and thereby digital competence. So I can only encourage you to make the most of it!

Kind regards, Maite

Dennis said...

Hi, Jennifer--and students.

I found the YouTube videos on blogs and wikis to be very interesting and stimulating. I hope you will feel the same way about them, and I also hope that you will create your own blogs and participate in your class wiki--and/or create your own!

When weblogs (blogs) began a number of years ago, I was interested and created a number of blogs myself. At that time, however, blogs weren't very popular and were more like an online diary or journal than anything else. I didn't really enjoy blogs then because they usually didn't have a lot of interaction. I remember thinking, "If I want to write in a personal diary or journal, I don't need to do it online," and I removed my blogs from the WWW. Now, however, blogs have changed. They've become social tools, and they generally feature interaction with the author of the blog and a wide variety of readers--readers who are often located far, far away from the author. Blogs have become an active and highly participative form of communication, and I'm now involved in them again.

Wikis are also participative, and they're a dramatic example of how the Internet has changed.

When the Internet started to become widely used, it was more or less like e-mail today, but eventually it also made it possible to access a lot of information online. The amount of information available online changed dramatically with the introduction of the World-Wide Web. At first, the WWW was almost entirely text--but it quickly began to be multi-media: graphics and even photos also appeared online, and then later, sound and video. I was introduced to the Internet in the late 1980s (during the pre-WWW period) through a former employer's Compuserve account: he used it as a reference source. I didn't become active online, however, until the WWW began to be widely available. When that happened, I began to produce online teaching and learning materials. You can see some of the original ones (some phrasal verb and idioms materials created in the mid-1990s) at Dave's ESL Cafe:

Those early materials of mine were not participative, but wikis are. I urge you to get involved in your class wiki. In English, there's a saying: "Two heads are better than one" (ideas from more than one person are better than ideas from only one person). If there is active participation in a group wiki, learning can be much richer and deeper because you'll have the possibility of not only two heads but many!

Good luck in your use of blogs and wikis in your class!

Dennis in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
(an online colleague of your teacher)

Hala Fawzi said...

Hi Jennfier's students,
I am Hala from Khartoum,Sudan.Do you know where in the world is it?
Blogs make learning a language an exciting, fun and great learning experience.Get your fingers over your keyboards and start blogging.You are lucky to have a good teacher like teacher Jennifer.Good luck and happy blogging.

pab said...

Hello from Japan,

The school year here starts in April, so there's still a bit of time to find ways to blend blogs and wikis with face-to-face learning opportunities. It is interesting to observe developments of the Open ESL Classroom blog. I'm curious how it will fit in with the wiki.

I teach at university, and prepare wikis for all of my courses. The wikis are mainly collections of information and materials that students can retrieve any time they have access to the WWW.

Blogs will be central venues for interaction only for two writing classes that start meeting in a computer lab. next month. I'm really excited about all the possibilities that I learned about with Ms. Verschoor during a recent workshop called Blogging for Beginners.

I hope that you all make the most of the potential of both blogs and wikis.

Sincerely, Paul

Illya said...

Hi everyone
Your teacher has set up a great blog. I also blog with a couple of private pupils (2 boys ages 12 and 13). We just started but they have already discovered a lot just by reading messages from many different people all over the world, in fact, some of them already wrote on yours. If you are interested in getting in reading what they are doing or making contact, you can go to:

Now have fun blogging :-)
Illya from Switzerland

Jose Antonio said...

Hi Jeniffer and students,

This is Jose Antonio from Brazil. I work in a language institute in Brasília. I teach groups from beginning to advanced levels. I am a great fan of blogs. One thing I like about them is the opportunity they create for combining skills suc as reading and writing in one single midia (also listening and speaking at times). Besides that, blogging makes tasks more athentic and promotes real interaction between teachers and students. It also takes the classroom beyond the school and classroom walls and creates opportunity for interaction with people from othre countries, classes, and cities. It expands classroom boundaries and takes communication to another level.
By the way, I just loved your blog and the activities you have been working on.Congratulations
Greetings from Brazil.
Jose Antonio

Nina Liakos said...

Greetings, Jennifer and students! I am an ESL teacher in Maryland, USA, just outside of Washington, DC. I use blogs and wikis with my university ESL classes. I am just beginning to explore their potential uses!