Esl Blogs As Cognitive Tools


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This is a power point I developped for the AMTESOL conference held in Mississippi, USA, January 18-20. It outlines some basic principles of how to use blogs as cognitive tools in teaching ESL.

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Esl Blogs As Cognitive Tools

  1. 1. CREATE A BLOG – EMBRACE THE WORLD AMTESOL 2008 By Daniela Munca University of Mississippi
  2. 2. WHAT IS A BLOG? <ul><li>online journal where an individual, group, or corporation presents a record of activities, thoughts, or beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>“ To blog ” is the act of composing material for a blog. </li></ul><ul><li>The “ blog osphere” is the online universe of blog s. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to create and update </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger – Google platform: 3 easy steps!!! </li></ul>
  3. 3. HOW MANY PEOPLE USE BLOGS? <ul><li>USAToday : 37 million blogs in the world, </li></ul><ul><li>a new blog created every second , </li></ul><ul><li>The Pew Internet and American Life Project , &quot;The State of Blogging&quot; , 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>8 million American adults say they have created blogs; </li></ul><ul><li>27% of internet users read blogs </li></ul><ul><li>32 million American adults who read blogs </li></ul><ul><li>75,000 new weblogs are created every day </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Types of blogs used in language teaching </li></ul>
  5. 5. TEACHER BLOG <ul><li>Teachers use blogs: </li></ul><ul><li>- as self-reflection journals, reflecting their teaching experience and recording personal experiments and achievements </li></ul><ul><li>- for recording Web sites links and information they would further use in class </li></ul><ul><li>- as a professional development tool </li></ul>
  6. 6. THE LEARNER BLOG <ul><li>requires more time and effort from the teacher to both set up and moderate, </li></ul><ul><li>the most rewarding </li></ul><ul><li>each student creates an individual blog </li></ul><ul><li>the student's own personal online space. </li></ul><ul><li>Students write about what interests them, </li></ul><ul><li>and post comments on other students' blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Great tool to devedelop reading an writing skills </li></ul>
  7. 7. THE CLASS BLOG <ul><li>A shared space , with teacher and students being able to write to the main area. </li></ul><ul><li>a collaborative discussion space </li></ul><ul><li>an extra-curricular extension of the classroom for a deeper reflection on themes touched upon in class. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are given a greater sense of freedom and involvement than with the teacher blog. </li></ul><ul><li>A very good example is Barbara Dieu's 'Bee Online' ) </li></ul>
  8. 8. WHY BLOG? <ul><li>ESL Class Blogs -well structured guides to authentic online resources: </li></ul><ul><li>a positive effect on learner motivation. </li></ul><ul><li>provide authentic cultural information. </li></ul><ul><li>provide exposure to real language. </li></ul><ul><li>relate more closely to learners ' needs. </li></ul><ul><li>support a more creative approach to teaching. </li></ul>
  9. 9. JEAN PIAGET AND THE CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY <ul><li>Life long knowledge is created by each learner individually </li></ul><ul><li>- through processes of accommodation and assimilation , individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences </li></ul>
  10. 10. CLASS BLOGS – A SPACE FOR WELL-ORGANIZED, EASY ACCESSIBLE COGNITIVE TOOLS: <ul><li>Derry (1990) - mental devices that support, guide, and extend the thinking processes of their users. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning with technology (as opposed to learning through technology) </li></ul><ul><li>Computer-based tools that are intended to engage and facilitate cognitive processing </li></ul><ul><li>function as intellectual partners with the learner in order to engage and facilitate critical thinking and higher-order learning </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>- empower the learners to think more meaningfully and to assume ownership of their knowledge, rather than reproducing the teacher's. </li></ul><ul><li>- are learner controlled in the sense that they construct their knowledge themselves using the tools rather than memorizing knowledge </li></ul>
  12. 12. JONASSEN, D. H., & REEVES, T. C. (1996). LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY: USING COMPUTERS AS COGNITIVE TOOLS. <ul><li>Classes of &quot;mindtools“ or cognitive tools: </li></ul><ul><li>semantic organization tools (databases and concept mapping tools), </li></ul><ul><li>dynamic modeling tools (spreadsheets and microworlds ), </li></ul><ul><li>visualization tools (MathLab and Geometry Tutor), </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge construction tools ( wikis and blogs), </li></ul><ul><li>socially shared cognitive tools (computer conferencing ( forums ) and computer-supported collaborative projects, blogs, wikis ) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>How can ESL/EFT teachers incorporate Cognitive Tools to teach English? </li></ul>
  14. 14. ESL Blogs – Working Spaces for Students <ul><li>an effective learning tool for ESL students </li></ul><ul><li>develop learner’s autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>display links to valuable cognitive tools available online </li></ul>
  15. 16. Top 5 Free Must-Have Online Cognitive TOOLS <ul><li>1. Online Dictionaries </li></ul><ul><li>(with visual and audio/pronunciation features) </li></ul><ul><li>Merriam-Webster online dictionary, , VisuWords, </li></ul><ul><li>2. Grammar Girl: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>3. Online Essay Map : </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>4. Puzzlemaker , (a Web-based service, with a variety of puzzles to choose from (Letter Tiles, Crosswords, Fallen Phrases). </li></ul><ul><li>Kelly's Multiple Choice HTML Quiz Generator , (which may be used to generate interactive self-study quizzes, where the sample questions are replaced with one's own.). </li></ul>
  17. 18. Media Sharing Web 2.0 Tools: <ul><li>5 . Slideshare - the world's largest community for sharing power point presentations on the web </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>TeacherTube – an online community for sharing instructional videos </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  18. 19. Other Cognitive Tools <ul><li>Jeopardy Game Templates : </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>ESL Web Quests: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 20. FINAL NOTE : YOUR ESL CLASS BLOG SHOULD: <ul><li>- be designed as a working space for students </li></ul><ul><li>- provide links to all the cognitive tools you want them to use </li></ul><ul><li>- display students’ work </li></ul><ul><li>- encourage collaboration and feedback exchange </li></ul><ul><li>- integrate authentic resources </li></ul><ul><li>- encourage students to participate as co-authors </li></ul>
  20. 21. CONTACT INFORMATION : <ul><li>Daniela Munca </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>ESL Class Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>TeacherWeb page: </li></ul><ul><li>Webquest on how to create an ESL blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Teachertube link: </li></ul>