Ideas for Applying the Edulinc Courseware (from Stage 2)
Ideas for using the courseware from Stage 2 participants. (Refer to the original "Ideas for Applying" glossary In Stage 2 to see who the contributor was.)
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Blogging can be used by learners to make their entries on a given topic, comment upon appropriately and add to the existing entries.
Blog about weekend activities
Blogging can be a good way for lower students to practice keyboarding, spelling, and sentence structure. I would like to have students blog about weekend activities, then have their classmates read the blogs and respond to them. This would create more interaction between students as well.
Having learnt to write different types of paragraphs, learners are asked to write a paragraph to describe a process. A class cookery book could be created by compiling their favourite recipes. Some of the learners in the class (CLB 6-7) that I teach have professional backgrounds for e.g. a software specialist wrote a paragraph giving instructions on how to set up skype, a dental hygienist –instructions on oral hygiene, an event planner on how to plan an event and a parent of a teenager who had done a lot of research on parenting wrote a paragraph on parenting teenagers and another learner –how to send a text message. Learners e-mailed their paragraphs to me, I compiled them titled “How To…..” and shared them with the learners. In future, a blog would be set up and learners would make their entries, classmates could comment on them and add their entries as well.
Blogs reflect students’ opinions and might be used as on-line journals. It will be easy for the instructor to see learners’ progress and the development of their writing skills if the blog posts are organised chronologically.
Students may also work together as a team on a project. The project will be changing and growing continuously. Blogs help to create supportive environment and to build a team. Students get a chance to see the problem from different perspectives, to exchange and clarify their ideas. Discussing various topics and expressing own opinions leads to deeper learning and understanding of the covered material.
I can see potential in using the blogs to help students track their progress with regards to learning to type or in applying grammar points studied in the week in weekly writing tasks, or if they already have typing skills, a daily or bi-weekly journal. These could be used as reflection tasks or writing tasks for PBLA. Teachers can also view this practice much more easily than if each student emails their work to the teacher and feedback can be provided directly for each task. If privacy became an issue, I supposes students could be shown how to hide posts after each task has received feedback, but I would encourage students not to do this as then there is the potential for students to learn from each others' mistakes as well making it a more collaborative class learning experience.
Blogs and Entrepreneurs
I'm teaching a group of newcomers who are planning on opening a business. I can see using Blogs as a way to share information and resources as my participants research and learn about the culture of doing business in Canada.
Blogs as a "brainstorming" tool
Where a group of students need to come up with ideas for group projects, a blog could be used so that even absent/sick students could review and comment on the ideas of others and/or add their own suggestions for consideration.
Blogs as Learning Journals
A Blog is an excellent tool for practicing critical thinking skills, e.g. reflecting on learning. Regular reflection on learning leads to increased independence and awareness of one's progress and needs.
Blogs to Compare Facts and Make Choices
Blogs could be used to give preferences and compare factual information to make choices in the context of the particular theme. Simple advertisements, schedules and tables can be attached and read. Learners would write, in their blog, preferences based on the information and support their decisions. For example:
Banking-Compare two or three types of bank accounts to choose which would suit their needs.
Shopping-Compare food items for best value.
Leisure Activities- Read information on a fitness schedule and express preferences based on time, location and cost.
Weather- Read basic information from a weather table or listen to a short forecast. Decide which clothing is appropriate for certain conditions, traveling, etc.
Breaking New English lesson plans
I have found the website: www.breakingnewsEnglish.com very useful as it provides learners with tons of amazing thematic lessons, along with the respective worksheets, questions and answer keys. Learners may want to practice by their own and can easily have access to this free website