Sunday, May 1, 2011

Podcast in Teaching

Recently I checked out the Educational Podcast Network. This is a websites full of educational resources in the podcast form. Many topics in this website can be used for educational purposes. For example, there is one podcast about the America's Thanksgiving, and it can be used in an history class. With this audio, teachers can introduce, from a special perspective, the history of World War II. This podcast is really authentic. It excerpts part of Winston Churchill's lecture before the America's Thanksgiving, talking about people from all of the world would soon be freed from the fear of German war. Using podcasts in history narration is always a good idea, because the podcasts can make the classroom vivid, and thus motivate students more to learn the somewhat tedious history.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Exploring the ePals

The website I'm going to introduce today is called ePals Global Community. ePals provides collaborative technology to help the schools, teachers and learners to connect with each other. It gives students the chances to learn under a intercultural context, working along with peers from other parts of the world. In other words, the students are learning within an authentic context. For the schools and teachers, ePals can be a chance for them to look for cooperation, or opportunity to exchange educational ideas, or even friends.

With the help of ePals, teachers can set up a project which provides the students with opportunities to research on a topic with peers from other places and culture. Students can email their peers, exchanging information and ideas with each other. From my point of view, on one hand, it is a GREAT environment for the students to learn because the input is quite comprehensive in this situation; on the other hand, when the students, especially those ESL/EFL students, are working on the projects, they are practicing their language skills at the same time. This is the feature I like most about ePals. In the future, I would love to use it in my classroom. I will try to choose a intercultural topic (holidays, etc), and encourage my students to communicate with voices from all over the world (introducing each other about their favorite holidays and making friends). I believe it will be a good chance for them to learn.

Another feature I love is the virtual field trip series. In this section, there are a lot of video clips introducing different places. The several clips I checked out are all made by the students themselves, and they are so cute! I feel like I'm there with all those lovely students. It's amazing because probably you cannot go there by yourself, but with the help of this feature, you get the chance to see the world from another perspective. Vice versa, I'd like to encourage my students to make videos themselves to introduce their hometown. I think they will like it. Also I am thinking 

This clip was made by the students from Ola School, Idaho USA.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Happy day --- Something you can create with Bookr

I recently created this using Bookr. And I will use it in my class. Because we are learning how to describe feelings and emotions now, I can use this storybook to help the students review related words, and provide them with some authentic context through telling them the story and showing them the pic book. With pictures, it is much more possible for the students to get the meaning of the whole story and each word; on the other hand, the students are probably intersted in the storybook and pictures so they are motivated more to learn.

I do feel it is a good way use picture tools like Flickr and Bookr in the classroom. I am pretty sure that my students will like them. Why don't you have a try?:) I'm convinced that incorpotating these things in the classroom will lead the teacher and students to an unexpected beautiful place


a little slice of heaven, and a little bit of you by notsogoodphotography
Attribution License

Burges Window --- Example of using a Flickr picture and attributing it to the creator

Bruges window by Monosnaps
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

This picture is called Burges Window, and it was created by Monosnaps. The picture is retrieved from A Flickr CC search toy

Various types of creative commons licensing

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Information retrieved from:
About the Licenses - Creative Commons,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to integrate the microblogs into your classroom

This week we are dealing with the microblogs. So I am thinking about how to integrate them into my classroom to motivate my students' learning. Then I read some articles and searched on the websites about how other teachers deal with the microblogs like twitter. I came up with a couple of good ideas which I would like to share with all of you.

1. Teachers can post links of additional resources for their students on the microblogs for their students to check out.
2. Post a video for the students to check out.
3. Let the students post their idea on a certain topic on their microblogs. And let the students to leave comments and maybe do some discussion on each other's microblogs.
4. The students can post their questions on their own microblogs. Teachers or other students who have the answer can answer them.
5. Guide the students to follow people with expertise in certain fields. In this way, the students are expected to learn a lot from those people.
6. The students can follow daily updates like news or other things. In this way, they may practice their literacy skills. This is especially useful for those language learners. They can refine their reading skills by following those microblogs in the target language.

There are a lot more ideas can be found on the websites, I recommend the following link, and it does contain a lot of useful information.

50 ways to use twitter in college classroom
Tips for using twitter in the classroom

Monday, February 28, 2011

Integrating video games into your classroom!

Recently I have found a very interesting blog. It is about several video games which can be integrated into the classroom instruction. I found it on the Website of Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day, and you can find the links as follows: Video Games in Classroom Instruction.

I find it interesting and useful. I have played a lot of video games before, and I am pretty sure that most of my students will be interested in those games. However, I never thought of integrating those games into my classroom instruction. Inspired by the author of the blog, I suddenly realize that we can use those games to make the teaching more interesting and funnier. Like in the escape game series, we can use it to teach prepositions or vocabularies or whatever you can find in this game. This game will definitely motivate the students to learn, and as teachers, you can make the students engage more in the class (As in the games there are always options for you to choose).

I will absolutely try it in my future classroom, and I believe that it will be great! I hope you guys can check it out, and maybe also try it sometimes. Trust me, it is going to be amazing!