The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

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This might actually be a very useful book for all ICT teachers. It is divided into five sections, each specific to a different age category. The first one is for all ages, the second one is for primary school, the third one for secondary (and high) school, the forth one is for everyone above that age, and the last one is for adults.

I’ve started browsing through the book and I have to admit that I would prefer a better arrangement, it sort of all blends in. But that has no impact on the content of the book.

The first contribution that caught my eye was CSI Twitter (because I like both crime scene investigations AND Twitter). It shows that Twitter really is a powerful tool and your followers, hashtags and other users should not be underestimated.

And I was really glad to read about this brainstorming tool for creating mind maps! It’s called bubbl.us and it can be used for pupils and students of all ages – as an exercise or your preparation. You don’t have to do the “bubbles” manually (using MS Word for example), so it saves you time.

Conclusion: I’m definitely gonna come back to this book to finish reading it because it contains so many great tips and useful information.

LINK: The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

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What to Do with Wikis – an ELT Perspective

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This is a very detailed and informative article, full of information about wikis and the background of wikis. I found it maybe a little too informative, there were many bits that I didn’t consider THAT important (e.g. the case study).

On the other hand, I found it quite interesting to read about all the options a wiki can be used by teachers. Once again, as I mentioned in one of my previous contributions, speaking is a very important part of the language that is not being practised enough since there are so many pupils in one class. So creating podcasts and uploading them on wikis is something that could help the pupils improve their language skills.

Also, the article mentions administrative use of wikis which could be for example publishing pupils’ grades there. That is something I would not do as a teacher, since most of the pupils would probably not like the idea of their grades being seen by their classmates.

Conclusion: This article has definitely helped be to better understand wikis, their purpose and it introduced several possibilities on how to use wikis.

LINK: What to Do With Wikis – an ELT Perspective

Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

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netiquette

Love this! This article (or a list of notional rules) about netiquette (Internet etiquette) is something everyone should read. It shouldn’t be strictly limited to just newbies but also regular Internet users because some of them still don’t have a clue about it and make mistakes.

The whole netiquette chapter in this article speaks basically just about emailing. It discusses emailing (its rules and tips) from the POV of the sender AND also the receiver who then must compose an answer to the email that they’ve received. It’s a very useful description with great tips (such as proofreading which is very important).

In the article they encourage you to be patient with newbies because we all were newbies once.

They also advise you to use emotions when appropriate, just like this 🙂 :-P.

Conclusion: I’m <probably> not going to read it again, however, if someone had some gaps when it comes to emailing, I would definitely recommend them reading this article.

LINK: Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

Google+ Social Network

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I used to have a Google+ account over a year ago. Then I decided to cancel it because I was not using it at all and I didn’t like the fact that many of the activities I did on the Internet would show up on my Google+ account (such as my favorite YouTube videos) and that other people could see it. And even after reading this introduction to Google+ I have to say that I haven’t changed my mind.

In my country, not many people are familiar with Google+ (sure, they’re getting there but it’s still nowhere near to being as popular as Facebook). So to communicate with people that I know personally, I use Facebook. To communicate with people from all over the world that have the same interests with but (unfortunately) we don’t know each other personally, I use Twitter. Why would I need a Google+account then?

Google+ offers so-called hangouts which is a great feature but you can do basically the same thing via Skype.

Conclusion: Not even this article made me change my mind about Google+. However, if I ever reconsider setting up an account, this is definitely something I will read again to brush up on this topic.

LINK: Google+ Social Network

Skype in the EFL Class

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At first, the article introduces Skype in general. We all know it and use it, but what is it really? That’s one of the questions that are answered in the article. But the most interesting thing I’ve learnt about Skype is that The Skype Group with its headquarters in Luxembourg has six offices and one of them is based in Prague! How cool is that?

Then there’s a list of links which show the readers how Skype works and how it can be used. This one in particular got me really interested. It shows pupils from one country communicating with pupils in another country via Skype. That can be VERY useful in EFL classes. All the advantages are also mentioned in the article.

Conclusion: Skype can be so much more than just a software used for communicating with your friends. It has so much potential in EFL classes, especially for practicing speaking with other students (even native speakers). There’s currently not enough of that practice and it would definitely improve students’ language skills.

LINK: Skype in the EFL Class

Campbell – Weblogs for Use with ESL Classes

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This article is basically another take on blogging for ESL (or ELT) as a tool for teachers. I have already posted my reaction to this subject, so I don’t think it’s necessary to write a new one because I’d be just repeating myself. Even the structure of both articles is quite similar, so it is not possible to say which one is better. They are both very useful and worth reading.

Conclusion: More info viz. Blogging for ELT

LINK: Weblogs for Use with ESL Classes

Learning Theories Every Teacher Should Know About ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

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This is a VERY interesting article, not only because of the content but also the style. It’s a graphical and very detailed demonstration of learning techniques/theories. Being aware of these techniques should help the teachers to better understand their students and students’ learning approaches.

It’s a lot to take in, one is probably not able to memorize all the techniques at once but it’s certainly quite interesting to imagine yourself while going through them and realize how accurate the article is.

Conclusion: As mentioned in the article, every teacher should be aware of the learning theories, so it’s definitely an article I will come back to when I need it.

LINK: Learning Theories Every Teacher Should Know About