Friday, 2 March 2012

“How would I use blogs, wikis and delicious with my EFL students?”Don't answer in general. Specify activities.

Teaching and learning is not any longer a boring task. With the vast development of technology, It becomes something more creative and interesting. Nowadays, learning is beyond a four-walled classroom activities. It takes place even after the school. Teachers and students can engage in online activities at home using different online tools such as blogs, wikis and delicious. These online tools are very helpful for both teachers and students in many ways:


     As a teacher, I can use wikispaces with my students in various ways. One important way is sharing materials with my class through uploading them and making them available for online download. Moreover, making new announcements online on wikispaces can guarantee that the message will reach all the students. Another way is starting a discussion with my students or extend an existed discussion generated during the class hour. Also, Other pages than the original one can be created to introduce rules and grading system to my students. Learning will take a place in a small community where my students and I interact. Thus, using wikispaces can help me in motivating my students through various awesome tools found in wiki. To motivate my students, I can create a page and post their goals and ask them by the end of the semester to check whether they accomplished them all or just half of the way. Or asking them to post their own goals in their wikis and cross out the goals they have accomplished. You may wonder why I use this with my students! Well the answers are provided above but I want to add further point. Creating a community on wikispaces can teach my students how to cooperate with each other and interact under my supervision. This interaction and cooperation will help them in their future job.

     The use of blogs don’t provide interaction as the case with wikispaces. Because the only interaction through blogs can be seen in the comment area. But blogs have a very important role in shaping the students abstracts and communication skills. Having my own blog as a teacher will excite my students to create their own. Then, after everyone of them creates a blog, we can engage in a specific activity or communicate with other learners around the world. Also, they will have the chance to discover the other side of the worlds and make distance friendship. They will also learn how to discuss and share opinions and respect others. Blogs, also, can help me with teaching reading passages to my students where I can post the passage and comprehension questions. My students, then, can answer them in the comment area. It also saves time and effort when making small quizzes and exercises and posting them instead of preparing hard copies. Moreover, I can easily provide my students with reading materials I come across while surfing the net. Similarly, my students will do the same. They will start sharing and looking for materials that are related to the course.

     My students and I can use delicious to share and organize important links we come across when we are surfing the net. One good example is what we did in the class. Sharing links with specific tags which makes it easier for everyone to search easily. I, for example, can create a tag such as #ImprovingReadingSkills. Then, my students can add links to the tag as well as checking the links added by others. By doing this, we will be able to save time and effort. Using delicious makes me less worried about carrying my lap top everyday. I can simply add bookmarks from home ,and from the computer provided at my workplace, I can access them without any problems.