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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blogging using audio (Podcasts) or video (videocasts)

What has been your experience of listening to Podcasts? Have you listened to a podcast of an audio conference session held in this course?
I have only recently got into podcasts, thanks to this course. My husband is trying hard to improve his English and subscribes to a few EFL podcasts. I have also become recently aware of the many quality podcasts devoted to teaching Indonesian. There is one at http://learningindonesian.com That has new episodes each week and there is also a forum. I will recommend this site for new teachers coming to my school. I am very excited to learn about podcasting. Thank you Peter, but honestly this course has been rather expensive for me as each time I learn about these new technologies I find myself buying more and more gadgets. Am I AGD - addicted to gadgets disorder? I love my new iPod classic with its’ extra microphone which allows me to ‘podcast on the run’. I also listen to many podcasts for EFL which work great with my Grade 5 class. I found one recently all about Go Karts from English Bites.
What potential do you believe podcasts have as an educational tool?
Huge potential. My parents can listen to their child and can compare their child’s
speaking skills to the others in the class. I love the fact that you can multimedia podcast. My son is experimenting with that as a way to present his project about the water cycle. I totally recommend GCast.com for podcasting. It is free and easy to use. I also like the way that Podcasts are free to download! Did I mention FREE!
If you have a blog or have used blogs with your students can you please share some of your positive and negative experiences.
Positive - My students LOVE blogging. I have been using it for 6 months now with my current Grade 5 class. We are connected in a way that just wouldn’t be possible in a traditional classroom. The widgets for blogs are so cool. Each student is able to ‘personalize’ their blog. The visitor trackers teach about geography and have made my students realize just how many people are reading our Grade 5 blogs. We use our blogs to post homework and reflection writing. Actually you can use them to post all kinds of things but I do insist that postings must connect to our learning. At present the counter on our class mother blog is at 5,400! I just added a new visitor tracker and after one week we had about 300 visitors from all over the world. Just amazing! They learn to learn from one another. They learn to share with the wider community. Their writing improves as they think more carefully about their writing that will be read by more than just the teacher. Their reading levels improve. Bottom line, my students ‘get’ why we should use technology. The weekly computer lessons were just not getting the message across.
Negative - Some parents just don’t understand it and can be hard to persuade. They can’t handle ICT and think that it is too much for their children. Actually the kids discover new ways to use the blogs faster than me. Plagiarism is rife. I am always battling that, but I think that it is a problem regardless of blogging. You need to allow sufficient time for the students to post their work. This allows for the dodgy Internet connections and for other issues such as when sites just won’t work. I usually give about 2 tasks per week at the very most. Blogger.com is the most reliable but it sometimes does strange things when used with Safari 3. When the students move onto another teacher the blogging is usually dropped. This can be very disappointing for the students who have become used to ‘blog life’.
Essential Elements: An AUP is a must. Ongoing Internet safety lessons too when you are blogging with younger kids. All students must have access to a computer and the Internet at home. Blogging at school only, doesn’t allow sufficient time to browse other blogs which is a most important factor. I couldn’t get my class blog to be so active if we had to rely on in school access only.

1 comments:

Learn said...

Hi
Thank you ,I'd like to share something:
you may download English bites video series from the following link
http://top2learn.blogspot.com/2008/02/learn-english-with-english-bites.html
along with other great video serieses Such as TDES ,StudyEnglish,IELTS preperation Videos,Living English Videos,Real English Videos and much more,the most interesting thing is the One-Click downloading feature

Enjoy...

Best Wishes