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Virtual learning spaces_elt_content_bc_india-secondpolicy-presentation-jasonwest

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Virtual learning spaces and creating English language teaching and learning materials for them. This presentation was given at the British Council's Policy 2 Dialogue in Kolkata in November 2008 by …

Virtual learning spaces and creating English language teaching and learning materials for them. This presentation was given at the British Council's Policy 2 Dialogue in Kolkata in November 2008 by Jason West, founder Languages Out There creators of the English Out There English course, the world's first social media

Published in: Education, Business, Technology

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  • 1. Virtual Learning Spaces British Council, Kolkata: English for progress dialogue - 2 Jason West November 2008
  • 2. Who am I? Jason West 'CV' 42 years old Co-founded and marketed ‘different’ English school in 1992 - British Council accredited within 2.5 years Consultant to British Council 1999 Created English Out There 2001 Likes: Beer Dislikes: Bigotry
  • 3. Introduction
    • Question
    • Definitions
    • Me and my experiences
    • The VLS ‘land grab’
    • Thinking ‘outside the box’ (literally)
    • Summary
  • 4.
    • Seminar
      • ‘ Future Direction in Language Teaching and Learning’
      • http://www.alistair-smith.co.uk/readings/leading_learning/leading_learning6.htm
    • Role of technology
    • Best approach
    • 20 delegates
    Keri Facer, Head of Learning Research, NESTA Futurelab
  • 5. Question… Summarise your best experiences as a language learner and think about the ideal form of technology that might support you as you learn? Write it down, fold it over, and give it to the person on your left. Now forget about it .
  • 6. Virtual
    • Internet and communication technology fostered de-coupling of space where events happen , and storage technologies facilitate de-coupling of time between a message being sent and received. These technologies build the environment for virtual work in teams, with members who may never meet each other in person . Communicating by telephone and e-mail, with work products shared electronically , virtual teams produce results without being co-located . - wikipedia
  • 7. Learning
    • Noun
    • S: (n) learning , acquisition (the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge) "the child's acquisition of language"
    • S: (n) eruditeness , erudition , learnedness , learning , scholarship , encyclopedism , encyclopaedism (profound scholarly knowledge)
    • – Princeton Wordnet
  • 8. Space
    • A space is just like a folder, but more: it can hold any type of content. wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Terminology_Guide
  • 9. In short
    • Virtual Learning Spaces…
    • Can contain or use any content
    • Events happen there
    • Remote teams who may never meet share things electronically there
    • Skill or knowledge is acquired
  • 10. VoIP
    • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enables broadband users to send voice calls via the Internet. There are now a number of these services in operation and calls can be made free of charge. www.broadband-expert.co.uk/broadband/broadband-glossary.php
  • 11. Why me?
      • English Out There
      • Different dynamic
        • Active use of alternative learning space
        • i.e. real world
        • Re-thought conventional methodology
        • Psycholinguistics and constructivism
        • – i.e. brain friendly
      • VoIP
      • Skype – www.skype.com
  • 12. My search for my own VoIP
    • Contacted Skype
    • Contacted large telecoms outsourcing companies
    • Googled for 10 months (Feb ’06 to Jan ’07)
    • Wrote four proposals
    • Signed 4 confidentiality agreements
  • 13. Bingo!
    • Whitephone
      • “ A white label voice enabled browser with feature rich communications functionalities -- including voice mail, video mail, free PC to PC calls, and low cost calls to telephones globally”
  • 14. It looks like this…
  • 15. Issues
    • Client side application
    • Video (One to One or Group)
    • Electronic whiteboard
    • File sharing
    • Session recording
  • 16. Gordon’s big announcement Jan ‘08
    • Teaching English to the world using VoIP
      • Scalability?
      • Type of teachers?
      • Technology?
      • Training?
      • Budget?
      • Other? (remember this)
  • 17. More things to think about
    • Bandwidth available
      • Dial-up 56kbps
      • Mobile datacard – 350 kbps (wireless broadband)
      • ADSL – 500 kbps (broadband)
      • Broadband – 2 Mbps to 24 Mbps
    • Client or Cloud side
      • Firewalls
    • Ease of use
    • Cost
      • User numbers
      • Proprietary or white label
      • Language
  • 18. What could he be talking about?
    • VoIP
      • Skype
      • Google Talk
      • Instant Messenger
      • Engage (Whitephone)
    • Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)
      • Moodle
      • Blackboard
    • Web conferencing programmes
      • WebEx
      • Gotomeeting
  • 19. So many to choose from
    • What about a combination of all of them?
  • 20. What does one look like?
  • 21. Wiziq.com
    • Free for individual users
    • Embeds in your website (in approx. 3 weeks time)
    • White label for $50 per annum
      • India
  • 22. What about this one?
  • 23.  
  • 24. Remaining issues
    • Turn-taking
    • Visual communication cues
    • Non-visual communication cues
    • Processing power/bandwidth
    • Other (remember?)
  • 25.  
  • 26. Space and experience management
    • ‘ Closed’ or finite spaces (why?)
      • Classroom + Virtual Learning Space
    • ‘ Open’ or infinite spaces (why not?)
      • Real world + Cyber Space
    • Direction of technology
      • to recreate life-like spaces and experiences
    • Experiences
      • Interpersonal, emotional, meaningful
      • memorable (hopefully in the case of planned learning)
    • Focus on managing learner experiences not spaces
  • 27. = Content
    • Investment
    • Technology
    • Publishers
    • Established educational systems
    • Conventional thought
    Other =
  • 28. Free online classroom
    • www.skype.com
    • docs.google.com
    • http://www.whiteboardmeeting.com/
    • Second Life
    • Or just go to
    • http://www.futureu.com/technology/index.html
  • 29. That question…
  • 30.
    • They ALL answered…a “virtual advisor, providing authentic interaction, as well as feedback, support and advice for learners. It would be a softly spoken, reliable and very attractive friend, providing support and advice whenever needed, and encouraging self-confidence and independence.”
      • E.g…
  • 31. An in-country personal robot… A Second Life avatar… Technology
  • 32. … a good English Out There teacher or… Real world A native speaking and very patient friend with lots of time to kill…
  • 33. Virtual classroom sessions that are:
    • Carefully structured
    • Based around real practice with fluent and
    • native speakers
    • ‘ Happenings’, ‘events’ or
    • ‘ tasks’ linked to the taught language
    • Designed to be brain friendly i.e. memorable
    • and therefore lead to ‘acquisition’ i.e. learning
  • 34. Technology Materials
  • 35.
    • We have the technology and it will only improve.
    • We need to examine how we use unlimited space to learn.
    • We need to create managed real processes involving comprehensible input and real, meaningful verbal interaction.
    • We need to combine 2. and 3. inside teaching and learning materials.
    Summary
  • 36.  
  • 37. www.languagesoutthere.com