Fceblog Towards Online Learning


Published on

Exploring the use of weblogs as classroom support.

Published in: Technology, Education
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Fceblog Towards Online Learning

  1. 1. fce blog towards online learning Exploring the use of weblogs as classroom support Claudia Ceraso 2007
  2. 2. Blogs and language learning <ul><li>This is an enlarged version of the original presentation made at the British Arts Centre </li></ul><ul><li>14 September 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Updated January 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Claudia Ceraso </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher of English </li></ul>
  3. 3. In this presentation <ul><li>Educational use of weblogs </li></ul><ul><li>A pilot experience: </li></ul><ul><li>The FCE Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Origin -Backstage </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes - Reflections </li></ul><ul><li>The ideas presented here are strictly personal and need not always reflect those of AACI – Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa </li></ul>
  4. 4. Before the blog was born <ul><li>My Internet use </li></ul><ul><li>Finding information fast </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing with colleagues and students via email </li></ul><ul><li>My Internet needs </li></ul><ul><li>Availability anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation for my favourites </li></ul><ul><li>Just one link to remember </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a blog? <ul><li>A weblog is a diary-style site, in which the author links to other web pages he or she finds interesting using entries posted in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Author’s subjective view on a topic </li></ul><ul><li>An invitation to make comments </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Simple to get started </li></ul><ul><li>Word document-like edition </li></ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Forever </li></ul>
  6. 6. A blog is born <ul><li>Internet – The way it is used today </li></ul><ul><li>A personal printing press </li></ul><ul><li>A personal broadcasting channel </li></ul><ul><li>A collaborative tool </li></ul><ul><li>Content creation power has been handed over to the user and there is no going back </li></ul>
  7. 7. EduBlogs <ul><li>Blogging in education is still in an experimental phase </li></ul><ul><li>Metablogs </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher’s journal </li></ul><ul><li>The teaching blog </li></ul><ul><li>The course blog </li></ul>
  8. 8. Blogging as classroom support <ul><li>Some Advantages </li></ul><ul><li>Reference : valuable information always accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering tool : students’ writings can be published </li></ul><ul><li>Afterclass companion : the blog creates a sense of belonging to the community of readers </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration : students suggest alternative learning paths </li></ul><ul><li>Informal learning : students make constant decisions about what to read </li></ul>
  9. 9. Disadvantages: the blogger’s time eaters <ul><li>Building an interesting and responsive website requires assigning time for… </li></ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Comment moderation </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul>
  10. 10. Blog and classroom: the teacher’s decisions <ul><li>Will students read the blog in class? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we include the blog among compulsory tasks? </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning homework through the blog, will it work? </li></ul><ul><li>Let me introduce you to Georgie, a five-year-old digital native… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Can a blog be homework?
  12. 12. Innovations: Learning Online <ul><li>Blogging is about making something new -not simply replicating classroom procedures </li></ul><ul><li>The web is a medium that can blend learning and playing </li></ul><ul><li>A user-centred environment: students control their reading choices and participation </li></ul><ul><li>Excitement and discovery reinforce motivation for online learning </li></ul>
  13. 13. Characteristics of a blog project in the foreign language classroom <ul><li>fce blog http://fceblog.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>Originally addressed to my First Certificate Exam preparation course at AACI – Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa. </li></ul><ul><li>A group of 15 students aged 16 and 45+ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Blog content management <ul><li>Variations on a theme: </li></ul><ul><li>What is your blog identity? </li></ul>Writing Style Link Policy Contents Purpose
  15. 15. A) Purpose <ul><li>Each student has access to further practice in areas he needs to consolidate, even though they are not included in the main content points of the current lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to use the language in a real communicative context with students learning in other countries </li></ul><ul><li>Via links, students read suggestions and comments from other teachers preparing them for FCE </li></ul><ul><li>The class chooses the best compositions to publish students’ work </li></ul>
  16. 16. B) Contents <ul><li>The blog functions as a guide to access further practice in English at an advanced level. </li></ul><ul><li>All links are annotated with suggested objectives for reading and reflection about informal, autonomous learning </li></ul>
  17. 17. C) User’s Policy <ul><li>The blog has a theme as well as a defined audience </li></ul><ul><li>Participation and comments have rules which everybody knows (published in a Manifesto) </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ privacy (identity, email and image) is protected </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution and links to all sources </li></ul>
  18. 18. D) Writing Style <ul><li>The teacher’s language : neutral to informal. Direct questions to the reader </li></ul><ul><li>Entry design : dialogues, emails, letters, articles </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets : integrated to the blog objective. (e.g. online clock to time yourself in exam practice) </li></ul>
  19. 19. The students’ response: some stats <ul><li>Visits Jun- Dec 2006: 5400 </li></ul><ul><li>Origin : Europe, USA, South America </li></ul><ul><li>Most revisited pages : Grammar and Phonetics </li></ul><ul><li>Most commented on pages : Guest map </li></ul>
  20. 20. First steps <ul><li>The blog was presented as a complement to the class and an invitation to practice. It is not compulsory to visit or comment. </li></ul><ul><li>Since March 2006 untill July, the site –still invisible to Google- was visited almost exclusively by my students </li></ul><ul><li>During the two-week winter break, students visited the blog every day </li></ul>The FCE Blog Stats Source: Statcounter.com
  21. 21. Outcomes (1): Motivation cycle <ul><li>Students ask in class what a blog is and how to get started </li></ul><ul><li>Top commenters receive more attention in class by their classmates </li></ul><ul><li>Students value the teacher for editing a tailor-made blog for their students </li></ul>Discussing the blog Commitment Classroom Interaction
  22. 22. Outcomes (2): Informal learning <ul><li>Change of habits: students started reading foreign newspapers and consulting online dictionaries </li></ul><ul><li>Critical attitude towards information sources: students commented about the best sites found and how they used them </li></ul><ul><li>Students “teach” in class what they learn on the web </li></ul>
  23. 23. Challenges (1): The teacher as the expert learner <ul><li>Integrating technology implies a change in the teaching and learning model </li></ul><ul><li>Students can teach how they use technology. The teacher must find value and meanning in those tools </li></ul><ul><li>The new teacher learns constantly and accepts that students can know more </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is an expert in something </li></ul>
  24. 24. Challenges (2): Inside the Blogosphere - Web literacy <ul><li>New student roles </li></ul><ul><li>Self-directed </li></ul><ul><li>Content creator </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomous </li></ul><ul><li>New teacher roles </li></ul><ul><li>Informal learning guide </li></ul><ul><li>Moderator </li></ul><ul><li>Model of online conduct </li></ul>
  25. 25. Challenges (3): The future of the blog <ul><li>fce blog </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>The blog outlives the course </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility to establish a global collaborative network with teachers and students </li></ul><ul><li>FCE exam results impact: Will the grades improve? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conclusions: Is blogging worth it? <ul><li>Blurs the distinction between spontaneous discovery and formal teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Students and teachers exploring web literacy skills together </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomous learning fosters life-long learning </li></ul>Discovery Formal Learning Informal Learning Learning with Technology
  27. 27. Epilogue: End of the course, but not the blog… <ul><li>After exploring technology integration, will the students… </li></ul><ul><li>… make steps towards online learning ? </li></ul><ul><li>… understand that learning is a process and not a product ? </li></ul><ul><li>… visit the class blog again once the course is over? </li></ul>
  28. 28. An encouraging comment in the blog <ul><li>-Hello! I’m Marta from Poland :) This summer I wrote FCE and passed it with 'B' result. Do you think it is a good mark?? </li></ul><ul><li>-Good mark indeed, Marta. Congratulations! Hope the fceblog helps you enjoy learning English. </li></ul><ul><li>- Thank you, Claudia. I will enter this site in order to get to know more knowledge about English language. </li></ul><ul><li>(See source in GUEST MAP, first comment) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Reflections: Blogs allow us to have classrooms without frontiers but… <ul><li>To have a blog is to assume the responsibility of asking these questions frequently: </li></ul><ul><li>Why are we doing this? </li></ul><ul><li>Who for? </li></ul><ul><li>How long? </li></ul><ul><li>The blog is simply a tool. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the teacher’s task to make sense out of the use we make of it. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Thank you
  31. 31. <ul><li>fce blog </li></ul><ul><li>http://fceblog.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Original presentation </li></ul><ul><li>http://fceblog.blogspot.com/2006/09/are-you-teacher.html </li></ul><ul><li>Notes and sources </li></ul><ul><li>http://eltnotes.blogspot.com/2006/08/blogging-for-teachers.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://claudiaceraso.pbwiki.com/The+FCE+Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Illustration from George Sfarnas at </li></ul><ul><li>http://beingfive.blogspot.com </li></ul>