Social networking with nings for language and culture

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Presentation given by Sharon Scinicariello and Pilar Munday at ACTFL 2010.

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Social networking with nings for language and culture

  1. 1. Social Networking with Nings for Language and Culture Pilar Munday Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT Sharon Scinicariello University of Richmond, VA
  2. 2. What are the elements that make nings unique/different? How do nings help us meet our learning objectives? Examples of activities Students’ Comments about NING Other social networking platforms Brainstorming
  3. 3. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE NINGS UNIQUE/DIFFERENT?
  4. 4. Personal space and public space Personal space for e-portfolio Public space for collaboration Platform for other tools RSS feeds Tabs for external resources ‘Real world’ tool Ads as spur for discussion Easy to use and support
  5. 5. This is an example from NING for an Advanced Spanish and Composition Course Building blocks that you can customize and move around
  6. 6. “Blocks” (on main page or sometimes in personal pages) can be filled with any existing “widget,” HTML objects, or even your own text or pictures
  7. 7. Menu: You can add any elements Users can be divided into groups.
  8. 8. HOW DO NINGS HELP US MEET OUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES?
  9. 9. Language proficiency Intercultural effectiveness Autonomous life-long learning Community-building
  10. 10. Personal Page Students create their personal spaces, with custom templates, with their own images and narratives.
  11. 11. It permits easy communication among students Students from the US ask a student from Spain if they can talk to her through Skype and write messages on her “wall’’ in her personal page
  12. 12. Photos Page In this case, students were reviewing vocabulary related to furniture and home items.
  13. 13. Students can personalize their learning
  14. 14. Discussion boards In an easy way, students in the same class help each other pick a topic for a composition
  15. 15. In another one of my NING, (exchange program with Spain) the discussion boards were divided into two groups: “Serious” boards, where only teachers were allowed to post topics and “not so serious” discussion boards, open to the students:
  16. 16. Here are some examples of the “serious” boards. They dealt with topics seen in class, such as the ones seen here: What is your country for you? The movie, “The Official Story” The Dirty War and the Disappeared Stereotypes Pre-Columbian civilizations
  17. 17. But they can also choose the discussion topics themselves, by creating their own fora, in the “not so serious” boards. In this case, some were only in Spanish, some were only in English, so students could have the chance to read “correct” versions of the language they were learning.
  18. 18. Multimedia is easily embeddable in the discussion board (or blog) posts. In this case, students were asked to look for an image about Cuba that showed what the text they had read in class said about that country.
  19. 19. Ning supports most languages.
  20. 20. Blogs Through their blog posts, students can develop creative writing skills. In this example, students are free to chose the topics they want to write about. They then send the draft to me and they post the corrected version.
  21. 21. Students have to comment on other students' posts. Although the grammar in the comments is not corrected, students have a chance to express their views.
  22. 22. Here we have an example of a YouTube video embedded in a blog post. For this activity, students had to describe in their blogs ways they practiced Spanish outside of class (informal learning)
  23. 23. Other Pages You can add up to 2 more pages in NING Mini, more in other platforms. Here’s is something new that NING has, a Quiz Page, where students can review any grammar/vocabulary and check their results against other students
  24. 24. Here, we have an example of a MUSIC/PLAYLIST page. Each student had to select two songs to explain to their classmates. The songs were then uploaded into the website playlist.com and later embedded into our class platform. Other Pages In most platforms (including NINGs) you can add “blank” pages that you can also fill with any content from the web.
  25. 25. Although this is not part of the platform itself, we can see that you can use many websites and still integrate them into your class platform through embedding. In this case: 1. Create a playlist 2. Add songs (or ask students to add them) 3. Configure your player 4. Embed in your ning!!
  26. 26. Other Pages Ning also has some Apps that can be added as pages (you can add 2 in NING mini)
  27. 27. Here are some more Apps that can be useful in the language class Calendar Docs Mail Planner
  28. 28. Here is the App NewsShare that allows students to collect web links used in my class.
  29. 29. Another App is BlogTalk Radio: You or your students can have their own radio programs, where listeners can call in to ask questions. The “episodes” can be downloaded or heard at a later time.
  30. 30. Language proficiency Learner autonomy Collaboration Lifelong learning Competence in using technology to accomplish these goals
  31. 31. Blog as Learning Journal
  32. 32. The Electronic Portfolio
  33. 33. Document Learning
  34. 34. Embed Cultural Artifacts
  35. 35. Students can ‘showcase” their work in their pages
  36. 36. Foster Collaboration
  37. 37. STUDENTS’ COMMENTS ABOUT NING
  38. 38. 41 students in three different courses participated in this survey about NING
  39. 39. The ability to post multimedia elements was what they liked the most. The Forums were the most disliked assignment
  40. 40. Here are their specific comments about NING
  41. 41. Or , in other “wordles”:
  42. 42. Like having everything in one place First year: Blackboard + Ning Second year: Ning + linked wikis Confusion between blogs, discussions, and Diigo comments Cultural differences among students reflect use and perception Testimonial from spring 2009 student I’ve continued to use what I learned SDLAP Student Reaction
  43. 43. Technical Support Privacy Copyright Pedagogical support Other instructors, language partners Model reflective learning Issues
  44. 44. WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO NINGS?
  45. 45. Ning mini GROU.PS Grouply SocialGo Wall.fm / Oxwall Elgg Mahara WordPress/BuddyPress
  46. 46. Menu: You can add any elements Building blocks that you can customize and move around This an example from GROU.PS
  47. 47. Portal created with Mixxt for a high school English class in Spain
  48. 48. Which platform to use? Social Networks Compared. (Chart created by Juan José de Haro, educator from Spain) Free Ning Mini information
  49. 49. BRAINSTORMING AND WRAP-UP
  50. 50. Brainstorming activities What kind of activities would you like to include in YOUR platform? Remember the following: Simple works best (e.g. photo activity) Make it relevant to their lives Make it entertaining

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