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Blogs How to get the best results  with the least effort
A couple of assumptions Learning technologies are slowly and irrevocably changing the way students learn  Technologies are often unavailable for profitable use at school, whether for lack of equipment or for teacher reluctance
How to bridge the gap?  Grabbing things by the horns   Starting soft  That is, trying the easiest  tools first, in order to get the best results with the least effort.  BLOGS
 
 
 
Why blogs? Are extremely easy to implement Even the least savvy person can create one in a few minutes Plenty of free available blog service providers  Can be updated at home both by teachers and students Are powerful tools to share original content or embed existing Internet resources. Allow teachers and students to interact on a different and more equal basis
Tools
My favourite tool
Blogs for students Also known as Tutor blogs, can be used to Provide extra material Quickly link to Internet resources Make the most of multimedia Share references Sum up main ideas about topics Explore themes Offer suggestions Assign tasks and activities
A few examples
Blogs by students What for Collecting students’ production Recording experiences Sharing …. (ideas documents, pictures etc.)
Sample blogs
Blogs for and by students Also called class blogs Shared space to which both teacher and students can contribute Sort of classroom  extension Teacher can provide prompts and/or instructions Students contribute with their own production
A few Samples
Blogs for projects Blogs are ideal spaces for developing projects, especially projects carried out between classes in different countries
Pros  Advantages are numerous. In fact blogs can be used even in an extremely technologically poor environment provide a basic approach to technology resources help widen scope  enhance variety  be used as storage devices for reusable materials provide audience for students’ production offer visibility help improve language skills, particularly reading and writing (but alslo listening)
Cons There might be a few drawbacks Creating and updating blogs means extra work for the teacher Correction becomes an issue Comments – or the lack of – might create problems Privacy  IS  an issue Interaction might be difficult to get started and kept going so you might need a different kind of tool facebook
A few tips  Start soft: choose the type of blog which best suits your needs and experimente with one or a couple of classes Find a special reason for starting a blog and try students’ reaction Do not expect students to be over-enthusiast Remember: it’s you who have to keep things going
Conclusions Though blogs are by no means the “cure it all” tool they might prove useful to Get familiar with technology  Start using technology based resources Try different teaching approaches Provide scope for students’ activities Get access to authentic material …… . (name your own)
 
References  A few useful resources if you wish to know more on the  matter Campbell AP 'Weblogs for use with ESL classes'  http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html Downes, S., Educational Blogging,  http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/EducationalBlogging/40493 Stanley, G., Blog-EFL,  http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/ Stanley, G., blog for ELT,  http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/blogging-elt Ciaffaroni, M.T.  Blogs,  http://www.slideshare.net/ciaffaroni

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Blogs

  • 1. Blogs How to get the best results with the least effort
  • 2. A couple of assumptions Learning technologies are slowly and irrevocably changing the way students learn Technologies are often unavailable for profitable use at school, whether for lack of equipment or for teacher reluctance
  • 3. How to bridge the gap? Grabbing things by the horns Starting soft That is, trying the easiest tools first, in order to get the best results with the least effort. BLOGS
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  • 7. Why blogs? Are extremely easy to implement Even the least savvy person can create one in a few minutes Plenty of free available blog service providers Can be updated at home both by teachers and students Are powerful tools to share original content or embed existing Internet resources. Allow teachers and students to interact on a different and more equal basis
  • 10. Blogs for students Also known as Tutor blogs, can be used to Provide extra material Quickly link to Internet resources Make the most of multimedia Share references Sum up main ideas about topics Explore themes Offer suggestions Assign tasks and activities
  • 12. Blogs by students What for Collecting students’ production Recording experiences Sharing …. (ideas documents, pictures etc.)
  • 14. Blogs for and by students Also called class blogs Shared space to which both teacher and students can contribute Sort of classroom extension Teacher can provide prompts and/or instructions Students contribute with their own production
  • 16. Blogs for projects Blogs are ideal spaces for developing projects, especially projects carried out between classes in different countries
  • 17. Pros Advantages are numerous. In fact blogs can be used even in an extremely technologically poor environment provide a basic approach to technology resources help widen scope enhance variety be used as storage devices for reusable materials provide audience for students’ production offer visibility help improve language skills, particularly reading and writing (but alslo listening)
  • 18. Cons There might be a few drawbacks Creating and updating blogs means extra work for the teacher Correction becomes an issue Comments – or the lack of – might create problems Privacy IS an issue Interaction might be difficult to get started and kept going so you might need a different kind of tool facebook
  • 19. A few tips Start soft: choose the type of blog which best suits your needs and experimente with one or a couple of classes Find a special reason for starting a blog and try students’ reaction Do not expect students to be over-enthusiast Remember: it’s you who have to keep things going
  • 20. Conclusions Though blogs are by no means the “cure it all” tool they might prove useful to Get familiar with technology Start using technology based resources Try different teaching approaches Provide scope for students’ activities Get access to authentic material …… . (name your own)
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  • 22. References A few useful resources if you wish to know more on the matter Campbell AP 'Weblogs for use with ESL classes' http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html Downes, S., Educational Blogging, http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/EducationalBlogging/40493 Stanley, G., Blog-EFL, http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/ Stanley, G., blog for ELT, http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/blogging-elt Ciaffaroni, M.T. Blogs, http://www.slideshare.net/ciaffaroni