Friday, October 8, 2010

New Tools from the Web

Just to make the class more exciting, for the students and the lecturer alike, I crawled the internet to find some fun ideas for the seemingly technology savvy class this semester. However, I did have some critera to choose the different techno-toys for the class:

  1. The activity should be not complicated. When you want something fun, you definitely can't mix complicated with it. Chess is complicated, but I hardly ever seen anyone guffawed over the game.
  2. The activity should allow the learners to engage in a conversation, practice their English, cooperate (collaborate) to finish the activity.
  3. It should allow pressed-for-time teachers to immediately use it without the need for 30-minute preparation.
  4. The activity should be free. I don't mind spending a few dosh for the right for the game/activity. But all experienced teachers know that they need to do some kind of fine-tuning, with the students in mind, before actually using it in the class. So, I can't justify paying for the activity or the membership for the website when I don't know what I'm paying.

So far, I have used 2 activities for the class:

  1. This movie maker turns a novice into a director in just a few clicks. It's fun and totally easy to do. You could create a character, decide on the scene and the music background with just some clicks. Check out the movie I made and the one made by my students as their first assignment :

  2. Obviously I like as well and had given assignment for students to upload their 3 minute vid to youtube. This one is pretty groovy one to play with even if you don't have any video editing experience. The only drawbacks are learners need to own a good video camera or a cam corder which could produce average sound and they need to have a good internet plan because a 3-minute vid could take hours to upload when the connection is terrible.
  3. This is another new thing I just discovered through the internet This site create a tag cloud art for any piece of written texts you have. Check out the one I made using text from my first blog post. Pretty neat! You could make various changes, too, so it's quite appealing for all ages.

So the class was off to the good start, thanks to dvolver and youtube. One of these days, I'm going to bring in tagxedo to the class and watch them have fun!

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