Sunday, May 1, 2011

Podcast in ESL Classroom

    I really like ESL Pod this website, which provides teachers or learners with a lot of English learning resources.
    In this website, I found a podcast about describing people's look. That is a dialogue, in which two people are looking at some family pictures and talking about the appearances of people in those pictures. The whole dialogue is not difficult and the speed of it is slow. So it is very suitable for intermediate learners. I think that is a good resource for my English classes. And before the class, I will ask students to bring a photo which includes one of their family members. Then, in the classroom, I would like to ask students try their best to describe their partners, and then teaching them some new words or phrases about appearances, which also include the words in dialogue. Next, I will let students listen to this dialogue twice, and find how these two people describe their family members. Last, I will ask students to introduce one of their family members based on their photos in the class. And audiences could judge whether they describe picture appropriately or not.
    I hope students can acquire some apparent words or phrases and know how to describe people in my class. And in my future classroom, I would like find more and more useful podcasts for my students and help them to improve their English.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Epals -- Making Your Classroom Unlimited

    Epals is a really useful website, which provides an excellent platform to connects teachers, students, parents and educators from around the world, enabling them to communicate and collaborate on academic and cultural projects and establish international friendships.
   When I entered Epals, what impressed me most was that it could help teachers to find a program all over the world. And what educators need to do is just clicking on one of the regions in a map of that area, and then finding on any country to see a list of potential ePals learning partners in that country. From this way, teachers could search the program which is suitable for their teaching in the world. So as far as I'm concerned, I would like to use use this function in my culture class. For example, if I teach Chinese students the custom of western Christmas, I would search some western countries to find the similar program, and let students use their English communicate with native speakers to know more information about Christmas. Through this kind of communication, not only students can improve their English, but also they would get the first-hand information to know how local people celebrate Christmas. 
    Besides searching for global classroom, I would like to find the projects which have the similar topic with me. For instance, if my topic is weather, I will search some related projects about weather. I want to know how other teachers teach students using this topic, and then improving my class. I believe I can benefit a lot from this kind of learning.
    In a word, Epals let me know what global village is.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Puzzles in Classrooms

My Creation

I like puzzles very much. So when I found Big Huge Labs this web, I was very excited, because I could make my puzzles by myself with my favorite pictures. 
Of course, puzzles could also be used in ESL classrooms. For me, I would like to use it for second language beginners or young children. And those puzzles could not be too complicated. 
First, I would show some parts of a puzzle in the class and ask students to guess what it is. And they can also ask me some Yes/No questions. If students cannot get it, I will give them more parts. If they still have no idea, I will add more until they know what the picture is. I think this kind of classes would have a lot of fun. Not only can the activity attract students' attention, but also they would practice their English during the whole process. 
In the future, I think I would create more objects and make use of them in my classrooms.

Butterflies and Flowers
Butterflies and Flowers By Dots Treats Cupcakes 

Types of Creative Commons Licensing Sky.
                    August Sky By Pat Dalton

In today's society, Creating Commons Licensing could be a very important tool, which give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.
Generally, there are 6 types creative commons licenses.

  1. Attribution: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
  2. Attribution-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. And this license is often compared to "copyleft" free and open source software licenses.
  3. Attribution-NoDerivs: This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  4. Attribution-NonCommercial: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
  5. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
  6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to down load your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can't change them in any way or use them commercially.
More information please look at About The Licenses

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Twitter, Another Way for Education

The Network is always with you. That's true. I found wherever I go, I could find the logos of Twitter or Facebook. This kind of Internet tools plays more and more important role in people's daily life. It seems that it's hard for people to get rid of this invisible net. 

I enjoyed A Twitter Love Song. It shows the influence of Twitter. Especially, what impressed me most was that it provides lots of tweets about the advantages of Twitter. Some people said Twitter can provide her with positive feedback and support, plus fun and variety. And some people think Twitter connects him to hundreds of people smarter who share, and it reduces the isolation of the classroom. I like these tweets. And these tweets, to some extent, could also express what learners' need is. They want positive feedback, suggestions and connection with other people besides their classmates. 

From those tweets, I get some ideas about how to make use of Twitter in my future classroom. First, I would like to use Twitter as a "question corner". That means students can tweet their questions, and anyone who knows the answer can reply it. Not only is it a good way to deal with students' question, but also intrigue their interests in learning. Second, I would build a "communication bridge" among parents, students and me. For example, after the class, I could comment the students' performance and give them some suggestions or feedbacks. And I can also leave messages for parents how their children make progresses in school. I think that makes students and their parents trust me, and then building up a good relationship among us. 

As the author of What About That Twitter Thing pointed out, Twitter seemed to be the “best Professional Development” tool ever  invented. Indeed, there are a great number of educators or professors who have Twitter accounts and tweets what they think or some education news. From those tweets, I could know some famous or experienced educators' thoughts, which can give me some inspiration about education, and then improving my teaching. 

Network is really a huge net which connect with us together. Therefore, under this circumstance, it is better for teacher to use these Internet tools in today's classrooms.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The New Social Learning -- Don't miss it

I found a post about a book review -- The New Social Learning. In this review, the author first mentioned the advantage and importance of social learning. And then, he pointed out one of challenge to social learning the book mentioned, which is e-learning with self-study. In his view, self-study is great for small chunks of learning or as preparation for or follow-up to a more social learning activity. In a word, The New Social Learning presents a highly credible review of the arguments for a new social learning, enhanced by technology with plenty of real-life cases. 

Although I have not read this book, I love it. On one hand, some points in this book strike a chord with me, such as the relationship between e-learning and self-study. That is really a challenge to social learning. What's more, these days, I read lots of articles or posts about social learning, which more or less about how excellent social learning is. However, this book provides readers with some arguments for a new social learning and a great source of practical ideas. As far as I'm concerned, I need some fresh views about social learning to build the "realm" of my future teaching. The New Social learning may bring me these new perspectives. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

EFL Classroom 2.0

    EFL Classroom 2.0

    EFL Classroom 2.0 is a social networking group that provide teachers with so many teaching forums and resources.
    First, what impressed me most in this networking group is its slogan "when one teaches, two learn". Learning is a continual process. Teachers also need to improve their knowledge to adapt our changing world. Or, they may be eliminated by students or societies. EFL Classroom 2.0 provides teachers with a media to communicate with other educators to know the updated knowledge or teaching information. For example, in the part of FORUM, there are lots of educators who share their teaching experience or materials. From their blogs, teachers can know what the best is for students, and then improving their own teaching methods. On the other hand, there are also many teaching resources in this social networking group. For instance, if a teacher wants to find some listening materials, he or she can click TEACH. It has different kinds of listening resources, such as listening quizzes, true stories and more.
    In a word, EFL Classroom 2.0 is an excellent assistance for teachers to keep pace with the development of teaching.