Every week this time, when I write my blog to reflect the learning experience I have mix feelings of satisfaction for all the works done, a chance to learn a great amount of technology tools and at the same time I feel a little bit sorrowful for the upcoming reality of end of the course. It is just left only two weeks before we say goodbye to each other. However, the course brings us with lots of pedagogical knowledge of using innovative tools that most of us have never heard or used before. Every week is rich with valuable ideas, tools and resources to explore.
Like the past seven weeks, I learned something new in week 8 and discussed about “Teaching with online Tools” in Nicenet. This week was all about online tools and I could see clearly how I could use these tools effectively with my students. I have gained some experience of using these tools already because I am learning with them as a student as well as reflect as a teacher how I might use them effectively for students’ learning. You may want to know them, right? Of course, they are no other than Nicenet, Blog, Google Sites for class website or wiki and Google docs for class surveys. I enjoy learning with these tools and I found that each tool has its useful unique way for the benefits of learning. For instance, Nicenet is good for written class discussion, Blogger is a place for teachers or students to post lessons and comments on class activities and if you want to share sites and files with students or students can share each other, you can use Google Sites. I took an advantage of creating one of them on my own and see how it works. I created a Nicenet class for sharing ideas among colleagues. The purpose is to introduce them with this useful tool while discussing how to integrate Nicenet in our teaching. We were having a great discussion and my colleagues ask me for sharing more innovative tools from this course. We will surely meet again in my workshops after this course. After all, unlike other careers, sharing and learning together is essential part of our teaching field, isn’t it?
As this week highlight online tool, ANVILL (A National Virtual Language Lab) is introduced by Jeff Magoto, the director of Yamada Language Center and the designer of ANVILL. It is a course management system where teachers can create oral communication course. I would call it “a 21 century language lab” and it is clearly not like the one students learn in the language lab back in the old times. Jeff described it as “For us the "language lab" part of ANVILL shouldn't suggest a closed, impersonal system, rather we hope that it suggests to our users a place of "experimentation" and connection. Where content is fairly easy to display, where learners have multiple ways of interacting with it, and where opportunities always exist for them to step outside the glass bubble of the classroom to the world where language is really used. And that they have ways to talk about what they learned out there.”
ANVILL provides many useful features such as Voiceboard, Livechat, Forum, TCast etc. in which teachers can post questions and students can response making their own video and audio recordings. I definitely need to explore more about ANVILL and it will be one of the useful handy tools for enhancing students’ learning except that it needs good Internet connection but it’s FREE. You can create your own teacher’s account here https://anvill.uoregon.edu/anvill2/user/teacher
Moreover, it is really great to know a collection of useful online tools to create online or offline worksheets, flashcards, tests and games. My favorite is creating a variety of exercises using Hot Potatoes features such as JQuiz, JCross, JMatch, JMix, JCloze etc. Here is the list of useful tools that you can use in your teaching;
Well, another learning week has passed successfully and I’m looking forward to learning more next week. I’m not ready to say goodbye yet and of course, there is a big deadline for my final project and I’d better start working on it now.
And also, I am grateful for all the insights and encouragement from Janine, our tutor and many thanks to my dear friend, Gladys who helps me giving detailed and concrete feedback for different areas of my project. I really thank her for sharing her time replying me with feedback as soon as possible though she is very busy with her assignments and work. Lucky to have you as my partner, Gladys and thanks to all my colleagues from this course.