Thursday, December 8, 2011

BOMBAY TV

WHAT IS BOMBAY TV
Bombay Tv is a website where users can make their own dialogue from a film strip available in this website.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - fifteen to seventeen years old because some of the content are not really appropriate for young learners.
# Level of learners - Intermediate and advanced level. (Low level learners might not be able to produce the dialogue)


HOW TO USE BOMBAY TV
# Go to the Bombay Tv website. HERE is the link. Below is the screenshot if this website:

The Bombay Tv screen shot

# Choose any movie strip that you like and add the dialogue on it.
# When you are happy, put the title for your movie, your name, your e-mail and the e-mail of the person that you want to send your movie to (if you wish).


EXAMPLE OF DIALOGUE BUILDING USING BOMBAY TV
# Below is the example of Movie strip that I have done:

<a href="http://www.grapheine.com/europa-vox-f74.html" title="agence identite visuelle">creation affiche</a>


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
  1. Could be used to activate schemata and arouse the students' interest - For example, if the teacher wants to teach about grammar points, the teacher firstly prepare a dialogue which contain the grammar point that she wants to teach.
  2. As homework - once the teacher teach the grammar point, she can asks the students use the grammar point that she has taught in the movie. Students need to do it at home (as homework) and e-mail it to the teacher.
  3. Teacher give specific task or topic to the students. For this activity, the focus is not on the grammar but on the topic or sentence building. For example, the topic for the lesson is about smoking. Firstly, the teacher may discuss about smoking such as the bad things of smoking. Then, students sit in pairs and do the advertisement on smoking and e-mail it to the teacher. Teacher will play few videos in the class if the time permits. 

*This website offers personalisation for the students. In other words, they can choose any scene that they like and can freely create the dialogue.*
*This website also can accommodate different learning styles. It offers visual, audio which could attract the learners.*
*Can develop collaborative learning especially when they need to work in pairs and do some discussion.*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BOMBAY TV
  1. It's FREE
  2. Can create personalisation
  3. Good review of spelling - teacher can check the students' spelling
  4. Can develop and enhance the students' creativity
  5. Varying the teaching and learning approach - does not depends only on drilling and using whiteboard. 


WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT BOMBAY TV
  1. Some of the content might not really appropriate for the students.
  2. Some students might not really like using those film strips since it comes from old movies - outdated. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

MAILVU

WHAT IS MAILVU
This is another useful website for language teaching. MailVU is a website where users can record a video message and e-mail it to anyone. This tool could be used for 'connected classroom'. The 'connected classroom' refers to the idea that what the students do in the classroom should relates to their homework.


AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNER
# Age of learners - fifteen to seventeen years old
# Level of learners - All level of learners


HOW TO USE MAILVU
# It is very simple. Firstly, go to MailVU website. HERE is the link. Below is the caption of MailVU webpage:

MailVU webpage

# Then, click the record button to start. Click allow to use camera and microphone. (Reminder: your computer need to have webcam)
# Once you are happy with your recording, you can e-mail it to anyone.
# You can click HERE for the tutorial in suing MailVU.


EXAMPLE OF MAILVU
# Below is the link to a video recording that I have made using MailVU tool:
My Important Dates


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITES 
There are few example of activities:
  1. Teacher could use MailVU to teach about past tense. Firstly, teacher can draw a timeline with few dates on it. Then, students can freely asks teacher about what happen in each dates. After this activity has finished, students can draw their timeline and do the same activity with their partner. As the homework, teacher can asks students to use MailVU to record themselves speaking about their own timeline and send it to the teacher. In return, the teacher may use MailVU as well to give feedback to the students. This activity creates personalisation since students can freely talk about themselves. This could be a motivation for them to speak more and eventually would improve their speaking skill.
  2. Another possible activity is using MailVU to promote an item. For this activity, students need to promote a product (they are allowed to choose a product) for a food product. Then, using MailVU, they would record themselves speaking and promotes the items. After that, they may send it to their teacher and the teacher give feedback for them. As for this activity, the students can practise the persuasive form of language.
  3. This tool could also be used for debate activity - For example, the teacher give a topic to the student. The example of topic could be 'should students wear uniform to school'. Then, they would discuss and list all the points of for and against this topic in the classroom. As the homework, the students work in pairs, do a debate and record it using MailVU and e-mail it to their teacher. This activity could enhance the students' high order thinking skills such as evaluating and analysing since they need these skills to defend and rebut the points for the debate. In addition, it would also develop their communicative skills since it involves the participation of two people.


*All the activities promote autonomous learning since the students need to do them by themselves at home and without teacher guidance*
*Using this tool as a homework would also lower the students' affective filter. This is because most of the students usually feel shy to speak or present live in the classroom. However, using this tool, they can do it at home and slowly built their confidence to speak.*
*It accommodate the verbal learners since those activities mainly requires students to speak*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT MAILVU
  1. It is free!
  2. It could be used to support the connected classroom activities - it can get the students to practise the language at home 
  3. It is user friendly - Very easy to use, just in three steps. 
  4. Promote personalisation and autonomous learning 
  5. If the users sign up to this website, they can delete and save their recording 
  6. User can get the feedback or reply using MailVU as well


WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT MAILVU
  1. The free trial account is only for fourteen days. 
  2. Can't embed your videos unless you sign up
  3. The recording is limited to 10 minutes per recording for free users. 
  4. Need to have webcam to do the recording 

# Another alternative tool for MailVU is KEEK       



Friday, November 25, 2011

ELLLO ENGLISH

WHAT IS ELLLO ENGLISH
Elllo English is a great website for listening practice which contain more than 1000 listening activities.You can find interviews, mixer, video response, listening games, songs, vocabulary and many more.While you listen you have the option to show or hide the text. The text version also offers audio explanations of difficult words and phrases. Elllo’s mp3 recordings are unique in that they offer English accents of people from all over the world, including America, Canada, Britain, Australia, and countries where English is not a first language. Conversation topics, such as housing, relationships, and jobs are modern and practical in daily life. Besides, you can download all the audio on the site except the song on the music pages.


AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Thirteen and above (I assume that this is a listening website for secondary school learners since this website uses quite long audio recording/visual recording/text)
# Level of learners -  All level of learners 


HOW TO USE ELLLO ENGLISH
# Simply go to the Elllo English website. HERE is the link.

Elllo English webpage
# Then you can choose any activity that you want to do based on your preference.
#  For full tutorial in using Elllo English, you may refer to Russell Stannard video. Please click HERE


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITES
  1.  Listening activity - Teacher could use the audio or video recording in this website as a listening activity for the whole class. Teacher can print out the material (comprehension question or quizzes) and use the audio or video recording in this website as a listening activity.
  2. Teacher could suggest this website to the students so that they could do the activities  during their free time outside the classroom. This would promote independence and autonomous learning since the students do the exercise on their own. In addition, the students could use the activities for self-assessment/self-evaluation in which they can evaluate how good their speaking skill are.
  3.  Another thing which teacher could do is get students or a computer and internet and then asks students to go to Elllo English website and do any activity that they prefer. In this situation, teacher just monitor the students as to make sure that all of them do it. This would lead to personalisation since they can choose any activity which they prefer. 

*This website could accommodate the students' multiple ways of learning. This is due to the reasons that this website offers various activities which includes a lot visuals etc.*
*This website is also a good website to enhance the students listening skill as it provides a lot of audio listening that the students can choose.*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ELLLO ENGLISH
  1. Students can listen to a variety of lesson in English
  2. Authentic materials - this website provide the conversation/language that people use in their daily lives
  3. It can accommodate different learning style - It has audio, video, text as well visual in which students can choose which they prefer
  4. Can promote autonomous learning - students can do it outside the classroom without the teacher's guidance. 
  5. This website shows different culture or multicultural society. For example, African American and Japanese culture.
  6. The teacher can vary their lesson and use this website as a source to teach in the classroom - teacher can download the material such as mp3 files and text
  7. Personalisation - Students are given variety of choices (the topic) based on their interest/preferences
  8. This website could be the opportunity for the students to practise variety of skills such as speaking (including communication and pronunciation), listening and vocabulary.
  9. The activities (such as comprehension activities and games) provides the purpose for listening
  10. This website extract the language for context in which students can learn through context/situation
  11. Provide variety of level. Thus, all level of students can engage in the activity. 
  12. Students can gauge their level - they can use this website to evaluate their progress (self assessment) 
  13. Learners can learn other stuff as well such as history and Science. 

PROBLEMS WITH ELLLO ENGLISH
  1. Problem with control - when you want to go back to the main page, you need to click the back button
  2. Organisation of the website - this website does not shows any categories to distinguish all the topics
  3. This website has the link to twitter. This could be a distraction for the students as they may focus more on twitter rather than on this website. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PODCAST - AUDIOBOO

WHAT IS AUDIOBOO
Audioboo is a website in which allow users to make recording and podcast and post and share it with others. The recording will link to Audioboo website itself, facebook, twitter, youtube as well as itunes. Users can add image and location of where they record their 'boo'. Recently, users can download the Audioboo application for smartphone; Iphone, Android and Nokia. So, if students have smartphone, they can just record and send it using their phone! This is amazing!


AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - thirteen and above. It is not really suitable for primary school learners as this tool is more into speaking and it involves less visual. This would make younger learners not interested in using this tool
# Level of learners - All levels including beginner, intermediate or advanced.


HOW TO USE AUDIOBOO
# Go to the Audioboo Webpage

# Get yourself an account  - just need to fill in e-mail address, user name and password
# Check your email to verify your Audioboo account
# Click 'make a recording/upload file
# For full tutorial on how to use Audioboo, you may click HERE


EXAMPLE OF PODCAST MADE USING AUDIOBOO
This is an example of 'boo' that I've made. It is about 'How to find happiness'.



SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITES
In my opinion, this tool is suitable for 'connected classroom'. In other words, this tool connects what the students to in the classroom with the homework given by the teacher. Few examples of how this tool could be used for teaching are:

  1.  The teacher could teach about future tense. The teacher talks about her future plan such as she will get married, she will further her studies etc. Then, the teacher elicit the structure of future tense from the students. After that, the students work in pair and talk about their future plans with their partner. As the homework, the students need to record themselves speaking using Audioboo. They need to talk about their future plans.
  2.  Another possible activity is in pairs, the students prepare an interview. The interview could be about what the teacher had taught in the classroom, for example, about future plans. This activity could lead to collaboration between to students and it provides information gap. Thus, at the same time, it provides the reasons for the students to speak.
  3.  The teacher could also asks the students to record themselves telling a story. For example, the teacher can asks the students to write a story. They can choose to write any story that they like. Then, as the homework, they need to record themselves telling the story that they wrote in the class. This activity is like killing two birds with one stone - students can practise their writing and after that, they can practise their speaking.


HOW DOES IT RELATES WITH LANGUAGE LEARNING
  1. Audioboo provides real audience for the learners. This is because this as the students record themselves speaking using this tool, their recording could be viewed by the people all around the world. 
  2. Audioboo also reflect Krashen's idea about comprehensible input ( i+1 theory) where students need to be taught with input which is slightly higher than their current knowledge. In this situation, the teacher already give some input in the classroom and the students need to some extra activity as their homework. The extra activity is considered as the input which is higher that their current knowledge.
  3. Using this tool could also motivate the students to speak. Some of the students might feel shy to speak in front the classroom. However, with this tool, they can practise their speaking even at home and the teacher still can access and give feedback about their speaking.


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT AUDIOBOO
  1. It is FREE - you just need to register.
  2. It has few good features such as 'follow people' and 'link to other platform'
  3. Students get the chance to communicate with the real world - they can receive feedback/comments from others as well as comments on others' podcast
  4. Can embed it to your blog or website
  5. The website is clearly organised. Thus, it is user friendly

PROBLEMS WITH AUDIOBOO
  1. Only 3 minutes recording for free plan -  if you want it longer, you have to pay
  2. The link to Twitter and Facebook could be a distraction for the students
  3. Need internet connection and microphone in order to do the recording. 
  4. The recording is viewed globally (through twitter, itunes and youtube). Therefore, there is no privacy for the users. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CLICK n LEARN

WHAT IS CLICK N LEARN
This is an interactive website in which the students can practise grammar exercises, vocabulary exercises and play educational games. The exercises and games are devised based on different age of students and different level of difficulty.


AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Twelve and above (the units are arranged based on different age)
# Level of learners  - All level of difficulties (students may choose based on their level - easy, medium and difficult)


HOW TO USE CLICK N LEARN
Go to Click n Learn Website and you will be directed to this page:

Then, click 'enter site' and you need to choose language ---> click menu ----> and you may choose the exercises based on your level.

*For full tutorial in using this website, you may refer here: Click n Learn Tutorial

EXAMPLE OF CLICK N LEARN
The topic that I have chosen is about 'Travel' which is taken from Eso 2 easy level. There are around twelve activities available. Few example of activities are:
# Activity 1 - Reading a text and answering question (filling the blanks)
# Activity 2 - filling the blanks for correct preposition (have visual aid - a picture of map)
#Activity 3 - Learning the name of transportation - students click on the picture and they can listen to an audio, saying the transport name)
# Activity 4 - complete the sentences by filling the blanks verb and noun (the transport name). This activity relates to activity 3
# Activity 5 - Choosing correct option for parts in transportation.

Good things about this exercise
# Can skip the activity if you don't like it (but only on certain activity)
# Students can check their mark every time they do the exercise
# Good balance between visual and language
# Certain activity has 'help' button

Downside of this exercise
# more like memorising a fact
# No example is given on how to do the exercises
# Can't go back to the previous activity - if there is activity which require to memorise the previous fact, this would be a problem.
# the control is not consistent - sometimes you need to click to go to the next activity, sometimes, it is automatically done
# Too much of exercises which could lead to boredom for the users

*Users need to remember that other activities are differ from this activity. Thus, the good points and its downside could be different. 


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES 

  1. This website could be used to teach grammar points to the students. If the school does not have internet connection, the teacher may just print out the exercises
  2.  The teacher could also teach vocabulary items to the students.
  3. The teacher could also simply suggest this website to the students so that they can do some extra exercises outside the classroom.


*This website could accommodate the students multiple ways of learning. Some students prefer to learn using visual, oral or even with words. However, I think this website is not really suitable for those who prefer aural type of learning since this website does not offer oral recording in the activity.*
*This website also a good website for autonomous learning. This is because there are a lot activities that students can do at home. They can choose any activities based on their level and preferences. As the students can check the marks for each activity, therefore, they could use it for their self-assessment on how good they are.*  

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT CLICK N LEARN
  1. It is FREE
  2. It is interactive and fun for the students 
  3. A lot of visual
  4. There is printable version for the exercises 
  5. Students can check their marks
  6. There is guide for both teacher and students
  7. This tool offers 'index of unit and contents' in which the topic, content and cultural references are being listed for each unit. 

PROBLEMS WITH CLICK N LEARN
  1.  Too many funky sounds but there is not audio
  2. The site is in Spanish, so, there is problem in terms of understanding some words. 
  3. Some of the exercises have too many written text. Thus, there is no balance between visual and written language. 
  4. Too many exercises under each unit -  this could lead to boredom for the students. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

ZIMMER TWINS

WHAT IS ZIMMER TWINS
It is a tool in which users can create cartoon animation through the animation clip provided. The students could start their movies from scratch or use the movie starters provided and just create the ending for it.  There are three characters available; the twins (Edgar and Eva) and a black cat named 13. In the making the animation, the users could choose from different talk bubble, close up and star.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Thirteen to seventeen (older students might find this boring since this tool is just making a short and simple animation)
# Level of learners - All level of students ( I assume that even low level learner can use this since it requires the students to include just a simple and short sentences in making the movie)


HOW TO USE ZIMMER TWINS
# Go to Zimmer Twins website, click HERE and then click 'make a movie'. 


# Click pick your starter OR if you don't want to choose starter, simply click on 'make movie from scratch'

# Then you can start choosing your movie strip based on your preference.
# You can make some editing and changing in you animation (the changes and editor button could be found in the pink hilighted below)

# You need to sign up in order to save/publish your movie. You also can send your movie to others
# Full tutorial on how to use Zimmer Twins, click HERE

EXAMPLE OF ZIMMER TWINS
# This is a link of a movie that I have made: Edgar and his cat


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
  1. Teacher can use it to teach grammar points. For example, teacher teach about present tense in the classroom. Teacher would few example of present tense sentences. Then, as for the practise for the students, in pairs, they need to use Zimmer Twins to make a movie and at the same time, they need to include sentences which contain form of present tense.
  2. Another example of activity could be used for making comparison between present tense and past tense. For example, the teacher taught both about past tense and present tense. Then the teacher divide the students in two groups; one group need to use Zimmer Twin and make a movie in which the sentence contain present tense form and the other group need to make a movie with the sentence contain past tense form. They need to do it in pairs. Then, once they finish with their movie, they need to work in groups of four. The pairs who make movie using present tense form will combine with the pairs whom make movie using past tense form. In the groups of four, each pairs will explain about their movie and the use of tense form in the movie. This type of activity will involves information gap and collaboration among the students.

*This tool is very powerful for the students who likes to learn using visual because the cartoon animation in Zimmer Twin could be an attraction for the students.* 
*I would prefer the students to work in pairs when they do the activity because I believe that this would lead to collaborative learning and scaffolding. To ensure that it works, I will pair up the weak students with the strong students. When they work in pairs, the strong students can help the weak students.* 
*Using Zimmer Twins can help the students improve their speaking and writing skills. This is because, when they use this tool, they need to write sentences and as it involves working in pairs and group, they would need to speak in order to express their ideas, combine their ideas or even give some comments*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ZIMMER TWIN
  1. It is FREE
  2. Students build their English input while doing their video
  3. Can send your movies to others
  4. Allow personalisation - students can choose how they want to make their movie by choosing any scene that they want
  5. Enhance the students' creativity

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
  1. No audio speech. Simply bubbles with words.
  2. Can't embed your movie
  3. Once students have published their animation, they can't edit it anymore. 
  4. There is possibility for some students to use inappropriate language in their animation (Teacher and parents need to monitor it) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

PIM PAM PUM PHRASR

WHAT IS PHRASR
It is a tool which allows people to illustrates phrases with images. The images comes from Flickr. In other words, users can choose any images which they think suitable for each of words in a phrase.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - thirteen to fifteen years old (older learners might not interested as it requires only simple sentences)
# Level of learners - low and intermediate (advanced students might find this tool a bit boring)

HOW TO USE PHRASR
# The website link is: Phrasr Website
# Type your sentence(s) in the box provided and click 'Start'

# The image and your sentence(s) will appear on the screen

# If you are not happy with the images, you may change it - there are a lot of option available


# Once you finish choosing the images and satisfied with it, you may type the title and your name and click 'Publish' .. Finish!
# You may play it again, view it in the archive, recyle it or sent it to your friend
# For video tutorial on how to create a picture using Phrasr, you may click on this link: Phrasr Tutorial


EXAMPLE OF PHRASR
This a a link of my presentation using Phrasr: My Bag [Phrasr Presentation]


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
Few suggestion of activities are:

  1. Students can use this tool to introduce themselves. This activity is valid during the first or second lesson in the class. The teacher may asks the students to use 'Pharasr' and make up a story about themselves. They may include about their name, their family, their favourite food and drink, their favourite colour etc. Then, they need to e-mail their work to their teacher. If there is enough time in the class, teacher may ask volunteers for the students to present their work in front of others.
  2. This tool could also be used by the teacher to introduce idioms or grammatical structure. For example, in advance, the teacher herself make a presentation using 'Pharasr' and show it to the students in the class. Then, the teacher may elicit the grammatical structure/idioms from the students - I assume that this activity is for pre-teaching activity.
  3. This tool is also useful for the students to get some ideas about their writing. For example, the teacher may asks the students to one of the most important items in their life. It could be a bag, a ring or a dress. Then, using this tool, the students need to make up few sentences with some pictures, explaining the items that they have chosen. Then, they need to present their work to their friends (in pairs). Then, as the homework, they need to write an essay about the most important items in their life.


*This tool combine the use of images with sentences. Therefore, this tool is highly recommended for visual and linguistic learners since they can maximise their visual and linguistic and learning styles.*
*Using this tool also allows for personalisation. This is because students can choose any images that they like and prefer. This personalisation could be a motivation for students to learn. In addition the personalisation would also allow the students to create something which relates to them. By doing this, they can collaborate their schemata in their first language with their second language.*
*This tool also suitable to encourage students to speak. This point is applicable when the students need to work in pairs and explain about their work that they have done.*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT PHRASR
  1. It is FREE
  2. You do not break the copyright of taking images from internet
  3. May e-mail your presentation to you friends, teachers etc
  4. Allow for personalisation for the students - students can freely choose images. 

PROBLEMS WITH PHRASR
  1. The images is from flickr. If the owner delete the image, you won't be able to see it in your presentation.
  2. Some pictures are not appropriate to be viewed by the young learners
  3. Time consuming in looking for appropriate and suitable pictures. Based on my experience, sometimes, there is no suitable picture at all.
  4. Basically you can't pause the slide while doing presentation. 

PERSONAL THOUGHT ON PHRASR
# Personally, I would not recommend teachers or students to use this website because I found that this website is not very useful and helpful. Most of the images are not appropriate and does not match with the sentence at all. So, it is such as waste of time looking for suitable images. It could de-motivate the students since they could not find suitable images for their sentence. 

WORDLE

WHAT IS WORDLE
It is a tool to generate 'words clouds' from a text. This tool could be used for analysing and visualising a text. The clouds will show the most frequent words in larger font size and the less frequent words in smaller size. 



AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Eleven years old and above (at this age, students are expected to be able to analyse a text)
# Level of learners - All levels be it lower, intermediate or advanced


HOW TO USE WORDLE
# Go to the Wordle Website 



# Paste your text in the box provided and click 'Go' (You need to install Java Player to view your Wordle)
# Then, your paste text will appear in which the most common words will be in the biggest font size
# You may change its language, font, layout and colour
# You also can randomise the words based on your preference (a lot of choice are available)
# You can save your Wordle in the public gallery and in the future, if you wish to delete it, you may do so (but remember to save the URL provided!)
EXAMPLE OF WORDLE
Below is an example of the text cloud that I have made using Wordle. The text is a short story entitled 'Hansel and Gretel'.

Example 1: 

Example 2: 



SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
Few suggestion of activities in using Wordle for language teaching:

  1. Pre-reading activity to activate prior knowledge - Teacher can paste the reading text in Wordle and show it to the students. Then, teacher asks the students to guess what the text is about.
  2. Elicit speaking - Teacher shows a word cloud and asks the students to give their own opinion about the text. Students may talk about: what the text is about, key points in the text etc. Another option could be that the students work in group and use Wordle for a basis of discussion. 
  3. In writing essay - students write a draft of an essay then, they can paste their draft and analyse their writing. They can see what are the most words or phrases that they tend to use and it can also help to spot cliche.
  4.  Could also be used to summarise big ideas of a chapter or passage of a text. For this activity, the teacher could ask the students to work in pairs and use Wordle to summarise the text. Then, some students need to present their summary.  

*Some of the activities provided would develop collaborative learning since they need to work in group and discuss some of the ideas. In addition, this would enhance the students' speaking skill*
*Using Wordle is parallel with constructivism approach in which learners learn knowledge by constructing their own understanding of what they have learnt. This refers to Activity 1, 2 and 4.*



WHY USE WORDLE
  1. It is FREE!
  2. Print version is available - so, you can print it
  3. Could be used for both colour lovers or colour blinders (the Wordle available in black and white as well as coulourful)
  4. Suitable for visual learners especially
  5. It can enhance students to speak 
  6. Creative way to present ideas or key points
  7. Develop critical thinking skills - use Wordle to analyse main ideas, make predictions and to critique and revise essays. 

PROBLEM(S) WITH WORDLE
  1. Wordle has a very short memory of the image that it creates - If you forgot to save your Wordle and you open a new image, the image of the old one will lose. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

VISUWORDS

WHAT IS VISUWORDS
VisuWords is an online web-based visual dictionary and thesaurus tool. This tool is used to look up for a word meaning and its associations with other words in visual interface. Different nodes colour and circle colours represents different meaning and there are guidelines presented.




AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - thirteen and above since at this age, learners will use more dictionary and thesaurus
# Level of learners - All levels (low, intermediate and advanced) since this tool is very easy and comprehensible to use. 




HOW TO USE VISUWORDS
Go to this website: VisuWords WebsiteYou will be directed to this page:




Then, enter your chosen word or combination of words (common expression) in the search box and and the words with nodes and circle will appear. You may use the key at the left edge of the screen to interpret what different colours stand for. You can also view the definition for any of the terms on the web by moving the mouse over the word. In addition, you can drag the nodes and rearrange the image to concentrate on the parts that you are interested with.




EXAMPLE OF VISUWORDS
Below is a caption of VisuWords that I use when I search for the word 'play'




SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
Few examples of activities for using this tool for teaching:
  1. In pre-reading activity - Teacher provide few vocabulary items taken from the reading text. In pairs, teacher asks the students to guess the meaning. Then, using VisuWords, they need to check whether their guessing are correct or not. At the same time, they need to provide an example of sentence for each of the vocabulary item. 
  2. A very simple way of using VisuWords in pre-reading activity is by the teacher herself shows to the students the meaning of vocabulary using this tool. 
  3. Students can use this tool when they are writing an essay. For example, teacher asks the students to write and essay in the class. Then, when they want to search for a word meaning or synonym, they could use VisuWords instead of dictionary. They can also use this tool even outside the classroom. 
  4. Studants can also use VisuWords in learning vocabulary. For example, for each lesson, teacher provides newspaper for the students and they can choose any article that they like. Then, they can spend around 15 minutes to read the article. When they come across any unfamiliar words, they can use VisuWords to search the meaning/synonym. 


*Using VisuWords could be a platform towards autonomous learning. This is because in some of the activities which I have provided, the students themselves need to need to search for the meaning of the vocabulary instead of asking teacher and the teacher provide the answer*
*VisuWords also beneficial for communicative learning. For example, in activity 1, learners work in pairs and they need to discuss the meaning of the words. This shows that they need to engage in communication.*


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT VISUWORDS
  1. Its Free - no membership required
  2. Attractive because it is colourful
  3. Two in one - could be used as both dictionary and thesaurus
  4. Save time - do not have to look up in the dictionary/thesaurus book

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 
  1. Has link to twitter - could be distraction for users. 
  2. The colour code is complicated to understand
  3. The colour blinders might have problem in identifying the colour code

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WORDSIFT

WHAT IS WORDSIFT
WordSift is a website which allows user to insert text and play with the result. WordSift take the most used 50 words of the text and present them in which the bigger the words, the most common the word appear in the text. Users could also search for Google images which relate to the words. In addition, there is also visual thesaurus where the students can look up for the synonym of the word. Besides that, the example of sentences which relate to the word also available. The example is taken from the text inserted.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Thirteen and above
# Level of students - All level of students (low, intermediate and advanced)

HOW TO USE WORDSIFT
Firstly, go to the Wordsift Webpage and it will appear like this:

Then you enter your text in the box provided on the WordSift homepage and click the 'Sift' button On the next page, you will get a tag cloud (maximum 50 words) which has important words from the text. You can click on any of the words and it displays related Google image, visual thesaurus and example of sentences taken from the text. For full training on how to use WordSift, you may click this link:
# WordSift Tutorial

EXAMPLE OF WORDSIFT
This is an example of how the most frequent words looks like when it is put in the WordSift:

From the text, we can guess that the article might be about an old witch woman.


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
There are a lot of activities which could be done in the classroom using WordSift. Some examples are:

  1. It could be used for pre-reading activities where teacher can use WordSift to preview the text. As all the most used words occur, the teacher can asks the students to guess what the text is about. Besides guessing what the text is about, the teacher can use WordSift and asks the students to identify the key words of the text. Then, the teacher can proceed with while-reading activity. 
  2. Another activity that this tool could be used to discuss different meaning of words using Google images and thesaurus provided in this website. Students can also use this tool to check the synonyms of the most important vocabulary in the text. 
  3. WordSift could also be used to preview the most frequent words using by students in their writing. For example, the teacher asks the students to write an argumentative essay on 'Should English be the official language in Malaysia?' Then, when they finish write the essay, they need to paste their writing on the Worsift to see the frequent words that they have used. After that, in pairs, they would compare their finding and try to share the points that they have made in their essay. 

*This tool could be used to create a collaborative learning among the students (refer to example 3). The students need to engage in communication and try to get information from each other.*
*  This tool is suitable for various ways of learning styles be it linguistics and visual . The students can work with sentences and words and can look at the images.* 


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT WORDSIFT
  1. It is free. 
  2. Very easy to use - just need to copy and paste the text in the column provided
  3. The Google image provided could be an attraction for the students. 
  4. Can copy and paste the images, words and sentences identified by WordSift into a separate file (eg: Microsoft word) and then print it out.  
  5. The meaning of the word is also provided (put the mouse on the word in the visual thesaurus and you can see the meaning) 
  6. Could be used in other languages as well, not only in English

PROBLEMS WITH WORDSIFT
  1. The image provided sometimes inappropriate for young learners
  2. Students might not understand the meaning of all the synonyms provided - this would create a problem if they asks they teacher to explains to them. 
  3. Not all the synonym provided is useful for them - students might have difficulties in choosing the right synonym
  4. Some of the images are not related to the words at all.
  5. Too many images provided - time consuming to choose appropriate and suitable image
#Other similar application for visualising text and words are: Lexipedia, Visuwords and Wordle

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MY BRAINSHARK

WHAT IS MY BRAINSHARK
It is a free web tool that enable users to create, store and share multimedia presentation (including powerpoints, videos and photo albums). Then, users can add audio in their presentation.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Fifteen and above because this tools is quite complicated (need to prepare presentation, record your audio)
# Level of learners - suitable for intermediate and advanced students


HOW TO USE MY BRAINSHARK 
Go to this webpage: My Brainshark Website

Then, you need to sign up - need to include few information such as username and e-mail address.You can start to upload content - there are five choices available; add voice to powerpoint, narrate a    document, upload a video, make a photo album and produce a podcast


Add voice to your content (if you wish to). Finally,you can embed your presentation in your blog or sent it to others. 

For step by step instruction in using My Brainshark, you may refer to this website: 
My Brainshark Tutorial


EXAMPLE OF MY BRAINSHARK
This is an example a presentation made by me using My Brainshark:



SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
  1. Could be used for students to practice their speaking skill - Teacher asks students to make a power point presentation and add audio using My Brainshark and then show it in the classroom and teacher can also asks other classmates to comments on the presentation
  2. Story telling activity - Students create a story and being as the narrator and present it in the classroom
  3. Could also be used for a listening activities in which students listen to the presentation and at the same time, teacher can provide an activity during the while-listening and post-listening stage.
  4. Ask students to upload the pictures by making it as a photo album and narrate it. The topic could be about 'My vacation' or 'My family'.
*Using this tool could help to reduce the students' affective filter. This is because, some of the students are very shy to speak in front of others. But, this tool would help the students to practise their speaking confidently because they do not have to speak in front of the class.*

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT MY BRAINSHARK
  1. Helps the students to practice their speaking skill
  2. It is FREE
  3. Can embed it to a blog or share it with friends or teachers
  4. Useful for students who are afraid to speak in front of the class
  5. Users can edit their presentation - in case they want to change their presentation 
  6. Students can view others' presentation - available in the My Brainshark 
  7. Can foster the learning development for communities - ideas can be exchanged freely. 
  8. Autonomous learning - students can upload their own presentation at home and can get the feedback/comments from real audience
  9. Students have real audience whom will view their presentation - this could be a motivation for them. 

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 
  1. Limited space to upload files -It is only up to 200MB
  2. Needs internet connection whenever you want to view your presentation 
  3. For the speaking activity, it might not suitable for the beginner whom has limited vocabulary and unable to speak using second language. 
  4. Students does not engage in real presentation - real presentation usually requires students to speaks lively in front of others
  5. Students might get inappropriate comments from viewers as their presentation could be seen by other from all over the world. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

WALLWISHER

WHAT IS WALLWISHER 
Wallwisher is an online noticeboard which allow people to stick post about their ideas, thought and resources. Interestingly, users can put link of pictures, Youtube video, PowerPoints, PDF document, Excel spreasheets and werbsite links.

~ if you wish something, write it on a wall~

AGE AND LEVELS OF LEANERS
# Age of students  - Twelve and above years old (if they know how to use computer)
# Level of students  - All levels be it low, intermediate and advanced since this tool is simply built for students to write their ideas or opinion. So, I think that all level of students can do it.

HOW TO USE WALLWISHER 
Firstly, go to the Wallwisher Webpage.
Wallwisher Webpage
Click on the login/register, then fills the username and password details. After that, click at 'build a wall' and you need to fill in:
# The title and subtitle of your wall
# Add an image
# Set the privacy restriction
# Choose a template

Once you finished filling all the details, click the 'done' button. For full tutorial on how to get started with Wallwisher, you may click on this link: Wallwisher Tutorial


EXAMPLE OF WALLWISHER THAT I'VE MADE



This is my Wallwisher link: Miss Sue Wallwisher


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES

  1. It could be used at the end of the lesson where the teacher can ask the students to stick their opinions or feedback (what they like/dislike, what they enjoy/not enjoy the most) regarding the lesson.This tool could help the shy students to express their opinion. This relates to Krashen's Affective Filter Hypothesis. In his hypothesis, he claims that the higher the motivation, the lower the affective filter. Some of the students might feel shy and afraid to speak and give opinion Thus, by using Wallwisher, the students can confidently express their opinion without having to speak. 
  2. The teacher could use Wallwisher to teach imperative form of language. The teacher can firstly teach the imperative form of language. Then, in the exercise stage, the teacher could use Wallwisher and asks  the students to write as many sentences as possible. The sentences should be in imperative form. The example would be: Do not touch the book! 
  3. Advertisment - In pairs, the students could be asked to promote an item. The item could be a book, a shampoo or a phone. The advertisement need to be short and simple (less than 160 words). They may include images, website link or video to make their advertisement interesting. They need to ensure that their advertisement could attract users to buy the item. Then, once all the students have finished they need to see all the writing on the Wallwisher and try to recognise any pattern of language form available. They are expected to see the persuasive form of language. This activity is an example of constructivism way of learning because the students need to use their own knowledge and understanding to guess the form of language that they have used. 

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT
  1. It is free!
  2. Quick and easy to use
  3. Fun way to teach and share ideas among the students
  4. Can let students practice their writing
  5. You can embed your Wallwisher into blog or website
  6. Students can create their own walls and share it with their friends
  7. Great way to create online learning task
  8. Could be used collaboratively among teacher and students as well as among students themselves. 
  9. Can share video, link site and image on the wall - will make the learning even more interesting
  10. It is intuitive - works like a real notice board.
  11. Easy way to communicate with students and wider community

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 
  1. Students might post inappropriate message by using anonymous account
  2. You can delete the posts/message on your wall if you do not like it
  3. The posts/stick notes overlap and it looks messy
  4. Every time you click the refresh button (to update the comments list), the posts will overlap againa nd you need to arrange them again -waste of time. 
  5. Wallwisher post is limited to a small number of characters (160 words)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BUBBLR AND BOOKR

WHAT IS BUBBLR AND BOOKR
Bubblr and Bookr are creative tool from PimPamPum. These tools allow people to create their own images strips generated from pictures that they can find in flickr. In Bubblr, people can drag images onto their strips and in each of the images, they can add speech or thought bubble. As for Bookr, it is more like a picture story books. It works the same ass Bubblr in which people can search the images from flickr and drag the picture on the book screen.

AGE AND LEVEL OF LEARNERS
# Age of learners - Twelve to fifteen years old (depending on stduents' language competency)
# Level of learners - Low and intermediate level of students - advanced students might feel bored using this tool since they can't use much language in it (they can just write one or two short sentences for each images)


HOW TO CREATE A STRIP USING BUBBLR AND BOOKR 
For Bubblr
Go to Bubblr Website and you will be directed to this page:


Then, go to the search box and type the topic/type of image that you want to search. Then, you can start drag the picture into the column provided and you can add bubble in the picture to describe the picture. The example is:

Finally, you can publish the image strip.

For Bookr: 
Go to Bookr Website and you will be directed to this webpage:


Then, type in the search box the picture that you are looking for. Drag down the picture into the book editor and you can write a description below the picture. Example is:


Finally, you can publish your book!


EXAMPLE OF STRIP MADE USING BUBBLR AND BOOKR
This one is the example of strip made using Bubblr:


This is the example of picture story book made using Bookr:


SUGGESTION OF ACTIVITIES
  1.  Writing and speaking activity - The teacher can asks the students to use Bubblr or Bookr to write any story of their interest. It could be about their personal experience, their favourite holiday, food etc.They need to choose interesting pictures and put some description on it. The teacher may fix the number of pictures that they want them to put as well as the word length for their story. Then, if possible, they need to present their work in front of the class. 
  2. This tool also suitable for teaching grammar form such as conditional form of 'if'. The teacher can use constructivism approach of learning for this activity. This means that the students need to construct the meaning of the knowledge on their own. In this activity, the teacher provides few example of sentences which includes conditional form and the teacher also includes attractive image which relate to the sentence. Then, the students need to try guess the form that teacher wants to teach and they also need to try to elicit the rules for this grammar form. I the students unable to guess, the teacher might need to give some guidance for them. 
  3. Pre-teaching vocabulary items - The teacher can prepare the strip in advanced using Bubblr/Bookr to introduce a set of vocabulary. Then, the teacher can proceed with while-reading or while-listening activity. This would arouse the students interest as they can see the image which relates to the vocabulary presented. In addition, the teacher also put example of sentence which contain the vocabulary. 
*This website is highly recommended for those who prefer visual and linguistics learning styles. This is because this website provides a lot of images that the students choose and at the same time they can insert few sentences to describe the image* 
*This website also allows personalisation for the students. This is because in certain activities, the students are allowed to choose any topic on their preference and interest.*
*This website also provide a room for learning multiple skills such as writing, speaking and learning vocabulary* 


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BUBBLR AND BOOKR
  1. It is FREE, public and does not require any account to be created. 
  2. Easy to use 
  3. Promote and develop creativity among students
  4. A lot of choices for presentation and images
  5. Fun way to present a variety of topic 
  6. Could improve students' speaking skill - if they need to present their product
  7. Fun and interesting for those who like visual
  8. We do not break the copyright 
  9. Suitable for language learning opportunity - they can enhance their writing skill as well as speaking skill if they need to present their work. 

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 
  1. The aim of the lesson might be diverted as students might search for inappropriate pictures. 
  2. Distraction - too much images and sometimes, the picture can't fit in the page 
  3. Can't resize the bubble in Bubblr and thus, it is not suitable for writing long sentences.
  4. Time consuming in choosing the images since there are too many choices 
  5. We can't edit our work 
  6. Sometimes, the picture of our choice is not there. 
  7. We don't really use the language - more likely to use chunks of words
  8. Might not suitable to be used for advanced students because they might find this tool boring

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CONCORDANCE

WHAT IS CONCORDANCE
Concordance is a tool that can examine a text for pattern and occurrences of particular words or phrases. The database of occurrences are analysed and taken from a variety of sources including written and spoken collection such as from newspapers, journals, radio and television. It could also be from people's conversation on the street. The suggested website which could be used as resources are:
British National Corpus
# BYU Interface  
# Academic Word Lists


FACTORS TO CONSIDER
# Age of learners - Thirteen and above
# Level of learners - All level of students (lower, intermediate and advanced) because I believe that all level of students would need to write an essay.

HOW TO USE CONCORDANCE 
Simply type the word that you want to search in the box provided. For example, you search the word 'cheeky'. Then, the lists of words that can go together with 'cheeky' will appear with the examples as well. Below is the example of searching the word 'cheeky' by using 'BYU Interface':

By looking at the example of the sentences, you would be able to understand the context in which the word is suitable to use.


HOW TO USE IN THE CLASSROOM
Few examples are:

  1. Writing - students could use this tool to edit and check their grammar, collocation and and meaning of the words in the essay.
  2. Could be used for pre-listening or pre-reading activity. The teacher could use this tool to introduce the set of vocabulary which might be difficult for the students to understand.
  3.  Learning grammar - when students learn a new part of speech (e.g. adjective), students can have a look the example of sentences in this tool and from the examples, they can try to workout the rules.


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS TOOL
  1. It is free!
  2. Could motivate the students to learn English
  3. Provides better preparation for the students to face the written or spoken English language 
  4. Authenticity in the learning context - students are given the example from the real conversation/sentence.
  5. Learning become more effective - learners are introduced to the words in context. 
  6. Save time - You do not have to look it up in the dictionary

POSSIBLE PROBLEMS 
  1. There are a lot of examples provided. Students might not understand some of the examples provided since it is taken from British context. 
  2. Students might get distracted from the unfamiliar words that they find in the example of sentences.