Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 8 is all about “Online Tools”

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

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.


  1. Hi Zun Phyu

    Just like you say we only have two weeks to finish the course and it is so sad for us , this course have been a great experience and the amount of possibilities it gave us to learn new strategies, online tools and the more updated resources on the web was really wonderful . This week was also great for me I learned a lot about AVILL and the other tools we can use to create interactive exercises to work online and offline, Just like all of us I really hope we can check once more the areas of out projects to get them well done. Good luck!


    1. Hi Vilma, thanks for your wishes.
      Best of luck with your project too. :)

  2. Hello Zun,

    I have to say that your reflection for this week is so great to be read. I also have to say that Week 8 was so fabulous. We learned many other rewarding tools from which both students and teachers can benefit a lot. I tried many new tools, but one I prefer is EasyTest Maker where we can make tests easily and it saves a lot of time and we can publish the tests to the web for students to take online at home or in a controlled classroom setting. On the other hand, I prefer ANVILL because students can benefit a lot by using it.
    At the end, I have to say that I am also sorry for knowing that we are almost reaching the end of this wonderful course and I will miss my academic family, i.e. all of you, a lot. But I hope that we will keep in touch with each other.

    Everything the best!


  3. Dear Zun:
    It's not time to say goodbye yet. We have left each other's e-mail addresses and you call me a close friend! ^^
    I know that once the online course is over everyone will be back to his or her tight schedule and busy life. The only way to keep in touch is by keeping in touch for real! When I say for real, it means that we should write often and if possible we can even Skype. I am using an all-day-long Wi-Fi logging on package with my phone, so feel free to drop me a mail when you want to. I will get back to you in three hours unless it is my bedtime!

    With so many online tools, we can actually work out some projects together as teachers and connect our students to get to know each other’s culture. I love your idea of creating a Nicenet for the other teachers at your school. The whole point of getting exposed to new knowledge will not be meaningful until we share.

    Sorry for not providing the peer-viewing comment as early. I hope mine helps with your final project. Here in Taiwan another week began two hours ago. Good “Morning”, Zun!

  4. Dearest Gladys,

    I will not say goodbye to you and to all the colleagues from this course. Just like Rade said, we will absolutely keep in touch with each other after the course. I am really happy to have you as a close friend in this online distance course. One day, I want to visit Taiwan to meet with you. :)

    I really like your idea of doing projects together and we can connect our students with online tools like keypal system. What a marvelous thought! As for the project, your feedback helps me a lot for improving my project. I need to work on many areas and hope to get it right for the final time. Thanks again for helping me out and hope mine helps you too.

    With love,

  5. Hi Zun Phyu
    i have to say well done teacher. You have a nice blog here.
    In this wonderful week we move ahead to achieve the goals of the course. Creating an online course site or an exercise to use online or offline. I was enthusiasm about this. I stated creating online class for my grade 11 students (English for Me ) .


  6. Hi Yasir, Thanks for your nice comment.
    I'm sure your students will enjoy learning in your online class. Have fun with it!