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  1. 1. Blogs How to get the best results with the least effort
  2. 2. A couple of assumptions <ul><li>Learning technologies are slowly and irrevocably changing the way students learn </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies are often unavailable for profitable use at school, whether for lack of equipment or for teacher reluctance </li></ul>
  3. 3. How to bridge the gap? <ul><li>Grabbing things by the horns </li></ul><ul><li>Starting soft </li></ul><ul><li>That is, trying the easiest tools first, in order to get the best results with the least effort. </li></ul><ul><li>BLOGS </li></ul>
  4. 7. Why blogs? <ul><li>Are extremely easy to implement </li></ul><ul><li>Even the least savvy person can create one in a few minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Plenty of free available blog service providers </li></ul><ul><li>Can be updated at home both by teachers and students </li></ul><ul><li>Are powerful tools to share original content or embed existing Internet resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers and students to interact on a different and more equal basis </li></ul>
  5. 8. Tools
  6. 9. My favourite tool
  7. 10. Blogs for students <ul><li>Also known as Tutor blogs, can be used to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide extra material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly link to Internet resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the most of multimedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share references </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sum up main ideas about topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assign tasks and activities </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. A few examples
  9. 12. Blogs by students <ul><li>What for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting students’ production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recording experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing …. (ideas documents, pictures etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 13. Sample blogs
  11. 14. Blogs for and by students <ul><li>Also called class blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared space to which both teacher and students can contribute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sort of classroom extension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher can provide prompts and/or instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students contribute with their own production </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. A few Samples
  13. 16. Blogs for projects <ul><li>Blogs are ideal spaces for developing </li></ul><ul><li>projects, especially projects carried out </li></ul><ul><li>between classes in different countries </li></ul>
  14. 17. Pros <ul><li>Advantages are numerous. In fact blogs can </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be used even in an extremely technologically poor environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide a basic approach to technology resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help widen scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enhance variety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be used as storage devices for reusable materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide audience for students’ production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offer visibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help improve language skills, particularly reading and writing (but alslo listening) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. Cons <ul><li>There might be a few drawbacks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating and updating blogs means extra work for the teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correction becomes an issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments – or the lack of – might create problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy IS an issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction might be difficult to get started and kept going so you might need a different kind of tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>facebook </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 19. A few tips <ul><li>Start soft: choose the type of blog which best suits your needs and experimente with one or a couple of classes </li></ul><ul><li>Find a special reason for starting a blog and try students’ reaction </li></ul><ul><li>Do not expect students to be over-enthusiast </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: it’s you who have to keep things going </li></ul>
  17. 20. Conclusions <ul><li>Though blogs are by no means the “cure it all” </li></ul><ul><li>tool they might prove useful to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get familiar with technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start using technology based resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try different teaching approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide scope for students’ activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get access to authentic material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>…… . (name your own) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 22. References <ul><li>A few useful resources if you wish to know more on the </li></ul><ul><li>matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Campbell AP 'Weblogs for use with ESL classes' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downes, S., Educational Blogging, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stanley, G., Blog-EFL, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stanley, G., blog for ELT, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ciaffaroni, M.T. Blogs, </li></ul></ul>