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Annette Anastopoulos EMT501_201160_A_D Thu 08-Sep-11 10:05 pm Technology and ESL

Making a Case for Technology Integration in the ESL classroom ➢ I’ve used the following questions on page 308 of the text to reflect on issues in technology integration and the ESL classroom Are virtual trips to foreign countries and virtual conversations with citizens of those countries as good as actually going there or speaking directly to people? If not, what are the differences, and what could teachers do (or not do) to make up for them? Virtual trips to foreign countries on sites such as Tramline Field trips are effective and do have a place in the classroom but there are problems associated with their implementation. The associated problems are that the students require an intermediate level of English to be able to follow instructions. Guided teaching practices are necessary for the students to be able to navigate within the framework of the Tramline Field trips. Scaffolds of the grammatical structures and vocabulary lists that are required to navigate the Tramline activities are essential also for effective navigation on the site. Students may become frustrated by the format of this virtual trip. Time differences between countries make it extremely difficult to organize when planning an interactive questionnaire with people in other countries. A more effective method of communication is ‘Skyping’ as it can be pre-scheduled with the person in the other country for a specific time. This is often outside of ‘school time’ due to the time differences between countries. There are passive field trips on sites such as Virtual Australia, http://www.virtualoceania.net/australia/ which are very effective ways to teach ESL students about Australia. This passive activity may also be enhanced by follow up with a cultural excursion to Sydney or another selected location with a TRAVEL BLOG activity attached to the excursion. Students may then interact with each other on the BLOG to gain maximum benefit from the cultural excursion to a specific site. Active field trips are much more effective in terms of learning. Students interact with each and use specific vocabulary to describe the sites and to discuss their experiences on the excursion. Grammatical structures and vocabulary may also be activated with certain people on the excursion such as the bus driver, railway officials, ferry officials, restaurant staff. Speaking directly to people rather than ‘Skying’ and virtual conversations is much more effective. The absence of effective body language and facial expressions which exemplify a reaction to a question which elicits a specific response cannot be gauged in a


virtual setting. Delayed responses allow the responder to deliberate over a question and in a conversation. Spontaneous responses are much more conducive to effective learning. Scenario based learning where structures are taught in a controlled learning environment and then activated in a scenario situation such as a visit to the local grocer or to a restaurant or on an excursion is much more effective so that body language, facial expression and interactivity allows for more effective comprehension practices. Online projects can link students of different backgrounds and allow them to learn more about people of other cultures without meeting them in person. Learning about people in this way presents unique benefits and problems. Can you think of some of each? What are some ways to implement online strategies that maximize the benefits and minimize the problems? Online projects such as those found on sites such as Global SchoolHouse are very effective tools for developing virtual collaborations between students allowing them to discuss and interact with each other about their worlds. Personal , subjective points of view may be shared through virtual collaboration. This may be operative through ‘Youtube’ activities where students develop specific presentations that relate to the project. ‘Wiki’ and ‘Blog’ activities allow for virtual collaboration between students and promotes the development of specific ‘points of view’ and a certain level of ‘bias’ associated with the information shared. This may be controlled by developing tasks that are ‘guided .,where the teacher provides a scaffold of questions that could be presented to the participant student. However, writing can be less intimidating and promote a more personal level of communication between each of the participants. This may be conducive to a more productive learning environment. Blogs allow for effective discussion and collaboration between students. Reading and responding and writing skills can be further enhanced by collaborative writing between students from different countries. The unique opportunities that are presented in this virtual collaboration are that the students become personally connected to each other as they share both personal experiences and objective experiences about their cultures. Classroom specific vocabulary can be taught and activated through this collaboration. Writing, reading and responding skills can be strengthened and integrated through the provision of a ‘controlled’ activity in the classroom and then ‘ independently’ pursued in the Global SchoolHouse. Do you agree with my above thoughts on virtual tours and online projects for the ESL classroom?


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Annette Anastopoulos EMT501_201160_A_D Thu 08-Sep-11 10:07 pm Technology and P.E

I’ve been pondering and reading about the links between physical activity and technology as discussed in the textbook on page 391 and believe that technology can be a double edged sword when referring to it’s influence on physical activity. Technology has helped to create a society that enjoys sedentary leisure time. Television, computer games, video games, iPads etc. have influenced people to take an inactive approach to entertainment but on the other hand technology has tried to promote physical activity within our culture. In recent years interactive video games and persuasive technology have become motivational with promoting change to exercise behaviour. Interactive video games like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), Wii Sports, and Wii Fit were designed to generate more appealing game play but recent studies have indicated that these games do intensify energy outflow and can harvest positive health benefits. Several fitness centres, schools, and old people’s homes are now offering interactive games to promote physical activity of children, adolescents, and older adults. Interactive games are well suited for playing alone or with others and require little training or skill which in turn provides an alternative to exercising in poor weather, and may serve as a transition to actually participating in sport and physical activities. Persuasive technology is described as a computer system, device, or application that is intentionally designed to change a person’s attitude or behavior (Fogg 2003). This technology uses apparatuses (e.g., pedometer or balance board), media (e.g., video, audio, or both), and social interaction (e.g., playing with another person) to encourage people to implement the behavior unconsciously. Although the DDR was not designed to specifically promote physical activity, it has improved exercise attitudes and behavior of children and youth using ideologies of persuasive technology. Dance Dance Revolution uses video, music, and a dance platform to capture interest and engage children in the motion without them understanding that they are exercising. The evolving arena of persuasive technology has a vast prospective for promoting physical activity and healthy behaviors (Fogg, 2003). What are your thoughts on the influences of modern technology on physical education?


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Annette Anastopoulos EMT501_201160_A_D Thu 11-Aug-11 10:01 pm Blogs for teaching

I have been reading about blogs from the textbook on page 221, viewed the article that was recommended in Module 1, initiated blogging into my classes and I am currently reading further into the successful integration of blogs within the classroom. I believe that blogs have a great potential as a learning tool. Blogs can be powerful in the classroom. Teenagers as mentioned in the recommended article are navigating blogging software with ease. They effortlessly upload photos, video, audio files and other fun features. Blogs are just as easy as sending an email and have successfully initiated the Read/Write component of the Web. Teenagers are naturally communicating with a Web audience in their personal lives and as such are very willing to share their ideas, learning and thoughts online with their peers. Students that don't always want to participate in classroom discussion gain confidence in publishing on blogs and this in turn promotes student engagement and analytical thinking. The concept of publishing instantly to an audience who are frequently willing to share back ideas opens the door for collaboration. Blogging requires critical thinking and faciliates "a new form of genre that could be called connective writing, a form that forces those who do it to read carefully and critically, that demands clarity and cogency in its construction, that is done for a wide audience, and that links to the sources of the ideas expressed" (Richardson, 2006, p.29). As such the teaching possibilities for blogs are endless. What ideas do you have for initiating blogs in education??


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Christopher Bushell EMT501_201160_A_D Sat 27-Aug-11 03:14 pm Re: Blogs for teaching

Been going back over the textbook readings. The use of blogs is a good idea when you have a mixture of Digital Natives and Immigrants in the class. As a digital immigrant myself, the blog makes it a whole lot easier to use and publish information. Huffaker (2005) agrees a blog as a way of instant publishing text without students having the necessary technical knowledge. In a law subject in the Associate Degree Policing Studies I developed an exercise requiring students to view a ‘YouTube’ video (Assault) and prepare a police notebook entry on what they observed. Post the notebook entry on the blog, whereupon students critique other student’s blogs or peer review. The link to policing is when students peer review other student’s work. Actual policing cannot occur in isolation, it will involve a collaboration of multiagencies within the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) to resolve incidents. Most actions need to be reviewed objectively to establish the legality and procedural correctness or otherwise of those actions taken or initiated. Peer review in the student’s learning reflects this process, a process carried on once a police officer in the NSWPF. The blog provides the opportunity for prompt feedback by the tutor or comments posted by other students. Duffy (2008) agrees, blog is a simple creation of new information that is automatically archived which serves as portfolio of student’s work. Duffy (2008, p122) adds a blog can: “promote critical, creative and associational thinking in relation to blogs being used as a brainstorming tool and also as a resource for interlinking, commenting on interlinked ideas”. Reference Duffy, P. (2008). Engaging the YouTube Google-Eyed Generation: Strategies for Using Web 2.0 in Teaching and Learning. Electronic Journal e-Learning Volume, 6(2) , 119-130. Huffaker, D. (2005). The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom. Association for the Advancement of Computing In Education Journal, 13/2 , 91-98.


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