Monday, December 29, 2008

Tips & Tricks 2009

It's EVO time again. This year, I'm taking on week 4 of the teaching tips & tricks workshop and revised the description posted at the EVO wiki. My offering is still about teaching technology and writing.

This year I am taking on technology and strategies for managing managing the oversized ESL writing class. Entry level college writing classes for native speakers are capped at 18-25 students. Even 25 is a lot if you teach multiple writing intensive classes. The marking alone will do you in. Yet all around the world, hard working ESL instructor teach huge writing classes.

I'm working on a more detailed workshop outline and schedule and developing/hunting down resources, all of which will be posted here as we go along.

I am particularly interested in feedback and suggestions from teachers working with over-sized writing classes. What do you need? What have you been doing that works for you?


The Teaching Tips & Tricks Workshop provides online and blended-class teachers with tools and ideas to use in their classes. The objective is to familiarize teachers interested in computer enhanced learning environments with practical applications of appropriate and available tools.


Week 4: Managing Large ESL Writing Classes.

Topic areas include: writing situations and strategies; becoming a self aware writer and one’s own editor; writing groups; feedback strategies and using software application as feedback tools; collaborative writing and document sharing; peer review; revision; rubrics; holistic evaluation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Webcast Academy | Collaborative Learning Community

The Webcast Academy  is a hands on, collaborative training center for people interested in learning how to produce and host live, interactive webcasts. You can learn more about The Webcast Academy, check out resources.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


PlayIt4Word is a Game of Wits and Words for ESL learners, Basic Writers, High School English, Developmental Writing and First Year Composition.

The object is to be the first to complete a sentence and get all the points. Playing the game that teaches learners of all levels the parts of speech and word position and helps students understand parts of speech and how English sentences are constructed

Play it 4word rules

Also in Junior (for beginning readers, ESL beginners, literacy programs), Wicked (not for the squeamish or vocabulary challenged), MLA and APA versions. PlayIt4Word MLA & APA are described as a fun way to learn documentation of research in an essay. The ultimate oxymoron, or what?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

English Online

Anyone familiar with English Online ( and how they might be doing? If memory serves (which it does not always, so I could be wrong), English Online started out as a free site - resources, online study materials, online but not personal lessons.

Brochure -
Press release -

What is the future for private for-profit but non-accredited online teaching? Is this an effective strategy for putting outsourcing trend to instructor advantage as independent contractors rather than academic sweatshop workers?


Blogging from Mountainair NM at

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rhetoric and Composition - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

Welcome to the Rhetoric and Composition Wikibook. This wikitext is designed for use as a textbook in first-year college composition programs. This free wikitext has been written and published online because its authors believe that while commercial textbook publishers offer excellent products, many students are unable to afford them. They want their knowledge based on years of teaching experience to be available to anyone with the desire and ambition to learn.

This book is written as a practical guide for students struggling to bring their writing up to the level expected of them by their professors and instructors. It also avoids complicated "textbook language" and jargon in favor of plain, easily understood prose. Its authors have simply passed on what has worked well for them as college writers and instructors. This book is written by real college writers who know what it takes to earn an A on their writing projects.

Printable and pdf versions available

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Collaborative writing online with Writeboard

Write, share, revise, compare. This application looks like it could be used as an archivable, online whiteboard to demonstrate and model writing, revision, marking as well as for group writing / revising / editing projects




If you've used collaborative writing applications to facilitate / manage writing in large classes without being overwhelmed by marking, please let share your experiences with us.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

WRTING: Preparing Students for the TWE

The Test of Written English (TWE) is a required part of the Computer-Based TOEFL. Students must compose an essay in thirty minutes. This demonstrates their academic writing proficiency in the following:

  1. Generating and organizing ideas on paper.
  2. Supporting those ideas with evidence or examples.
  3. Using the conventions of standard written English.
TWE test results help institutions evaluate your students' academic writing proficiency and place them in the appropriate writing courses.

What is the TWE? explains the TWE, its function, how it is scored, and sample essays.

In general, model TOEFL essays concentrate on: Suitable word usage; Content; Organization; Examples / Evidence; Formal writing style; Correct grammar and Sentence variety. The best way to prepare for any writing test is by writing. Here are some sites to help you prepare yout students for the TWE.

Two sites, Findscore and GetToefl (computer scored), offer free essay scoring, which should help teachers with oversize classes assign more writing. Findscore's offer of free scoring by human readers sounds too good to be true, so it might be. Take care not to agree to hidden charges.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Read The Words

How Read the Words Works

First, You must create an account. Accounts are completely free and ready to go in less than 1 minute.  Your information will never be shared with 3rd parties. Once you create an account, you will be taken to the “My Readings Page”.  You can manage your current Readings and create new ones by Clicking the button, Create New Reading.

Step 1 - Select what you want read
  • Upload Adobe PDF
  • Upload MS Word
  • Upload HTML File
  • Write Text Content
  • Cut and Past Text
  • Input Website Address
  • Input RSS Feeds URL
Step 2 - Select a Reader
  • Listen to Reader’s samples 
  • Choose 1 of 14 Different Readers
  • Each Reader has a Unique Voice and Some Have Accents
  • Control your Reader’s Speed
  • Play with your  Reader’s Pitch
  • It takes our readers approx 1 minute to generate a 1 hr long recording
Step 3 - Sit Back and Listen
  • Listen to your reading online
  • Download your reading to your ipod or other mp3 player
  • Broadcast your reading as a podcast and share it
  • Post your reading in your Website or Blog
  • Save yourself Time
  • Turn the readers of your blog into listeners
  • Allow your readers to listen while they multi-task and download your blog


Monday, March 24, 2008


Share PowerPoint presentations online, slide shows, download presentations, widgets, MySpace codes.

SlideShare is a great site for sharing presentation slides, it’s like youtube for presentations. Upload your pdf or ppt and it will convert it into flash. You can then embed it via a small snippet of code, share it, or download the video. Share publicly or privately. Add audio to create a webinar.

Ways to use your whiteboard

from the ED-TECH list

Thirty-three interesting ways (and tips) to use your whiteboard

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Task Based Learning

Ten tips for using a task-based learning approach
from Continuing Education, by John Iveson, education

A group of adult learners chooses a house to buy from a real estate brochure. Next, they select a mortgage from a list including fixed and variable rates with various payment schemes. Learners also calculate how much they expect to pay over the course of the mortgage given certain economic conditions.

In another classroom, groups are watching a series of video clips. In each clip, an accident takes place. Consequences include burns, bleeding, loss of consciousness, and broken bones. Student groups discuss the action they would take in each case.

Next door, a teacher tells adult groups that their boss needs a Microsoft Word document by lunchtime. The document should include a table showing the staff work schedule for the next month. The necessary staffing information is on the whiteboard. Each group attempts to create the required document by the set deadline.

These lesson snapshots are from programs in finance, emergency first-aid, and an introduction to Word. In each task, students must communicate in order to achieve a goal. Groups then report their decisions and findings to the class as a whole.

After the report stage, each teacher may give feedback on students’ task completion, give teaching input, and set focussed practice of the target skills. In future, students can draw on this feedback and input during the completion of other tasks.

All three teachers are following a task-based learning approach to their classes. Task-based learning (TBL) has emerged as a major approach to language education over the last two decades. However, its principles can easily be applied to all subjects.

TBL lessons follow a flexible cycle. The process usually includes several key stages. Firstly, a short pre-task stage sets the theme. Next, learners draw on knowledge and experience to complete a task in a group. Following the task is a feedback and practice session.

Although the onus is on learners to complete tasks successfully, the role of the teacher in remains vital.

The following ten tips can help teachers to plan and implement effective task-based learning lessons.

1) Introduce ideas in the pre-task
The pre-task stage should help students understand the coming task. Here, teachers can bring up themes, ideas and vocabulary, and discuss pictures or data. Teachers should avoid teaching new content at this point. Learners should enter the task stage feeling free to draw upon any knowledge and skills they wish.

2) Pitch the level right
Setting the task at the right level takes practice. If the task is too simplistic, learners may achieve the goal quickly with little effort. As a result, they are unlikely to develop skills. On the other hand, a difficult task can frustrate students into completing a task with minimal communication. In an effective task, students explore ideas and reach consensus after productive negotiation.

3) Gauge cognitive demands
Teachers can change the cognitive load required to suit the learners’ level. For example, a task may involve finding solutions to financial problems. Higher-level students could discuss case histories and hypothesize about similar situations. Lower-level learners could arrange a list of solutions to a financial problem in order of effectiveness. In each case, the theme remains the same, but the intellectual demands differ according to level.

4) Be flexible with task demands
Cognitive demands of a task can also be changed to manipulate task difficulty. A teacher can increase or decrease the task demands by changing the following factors: Group size, time allocation, number of operations required, and familiarity of material. Providing more or less visual support is another way to influence task demands.

5) Step back
During the task, it can be tempting for teachers to step in and correct learner errors. However, teachers should refrain from intervening. The task is a time for learners to work towards a goal using their available skills. Teachers may help learners formulate their ideas and reasoning. However, they should take care not to correct errors at this point.

6) Be a good monitor
While monitoring learners, teachers need to listen carefully. They should make unobtrusive notes. These notes will be used during the feedback and correction stage later in the lesson. It can reassure learners to know that teachers are also noting good examples. Eye contact should be avoided while monitoring unless a learner makes a direct request.

7) Give time for report preparation
After the task, learners prepare to report their findings to the whole group. This report stage gives presentation practice in a more formal setting. It is important that learners are given enough time to prepare their reports. In this way, they can pay attention to the accurate and effective organization of ideas.

8) Avoid public correction
When offering feedback to the group, teachers should avoid naming students who made specific errors during the task stage. Maintaining confidence during the task stage is especially important. Students need to feel comfortable expressing themselves. Highlighting mistakes by named individuals can erode confidence for future classes. Explaining this policy to learners often helps create a positive learning atmosphere.

9) Choose errors wisely
Providing good feedback involves choosing errors that relate to the majority of students. Learners may lose focus if they do not feel involved in the feedback stage. Also, teachers should mainly select errors that relate to the specific learning aims of the task. Having good and bad examples from learners helps to clarify aims effectively.

10) Provide a model task
Where possible, teachers should provide a task model. This can give more exposure to relevant information and ideas. The model can be given in the pre-task or feedback stages. Be careful not to provide a solution to a task during the pre-task! The model is often given after the task. This can grow learner confidence through the knowledge that they have completed a similar task to an acknowledged model.

More about Task Based Teaching

Sunday, March 2, 2008


YouTube offers authentic examples of everyday English used by everyday people. Study English with free videos from YouTube,

YouTube - Essay Writing for ESL/EFL Students

YouTube and ESL

YouTube Videos in the ESL Classroom

ESL videos, with quizzes

You can also visit YouTube and do search for ESL or just look for videos in English that interest you.


Go to youtube and look for videos. Pick one (or more) share with the rest of the class. Write a brief description and review.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Preparing Students for a Web 2.0 World

The linked article, Preparing Students for a Web 2.0 World, starts off with a fascinating statistic: “93% of Web Sites to add Web 2.0 functionality in 2008.”

And continues, "So if we as educators are thinking about preparing students for their careers in their future, clearly their future will require insight into how to effectively work within the Web 2.0 environment."

Creating Crossword Puzzles for Teaching

From: Net Gold's David Dillard, cross posted to EDTECH
 Creating Crossword Puzzles for Teaching   This is a good resource for creating puzzles and also for using/sharing puzzles created by others.  <>  Be careful, however. If you look at the puzzles in the links on the left side of the page, you will find some that are pretty offensive.  The owner is good about removing them if you report them through the "report bug" link. If you send students to the site, give them a direct link to the puzzles you want them to see. If they hit on any that are offensive, they are somewhere other than where you sent them and should not be able to hold you responsible. In any event, this is one of the better resources I've found.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TCC 2008 PREVIEW: Virtual Worlds in Education

TCC will host a TCC 2008 Preview Event on March 13: Virtual Worlds in Education. The event is FREE but registration is required. Seating is limited so it is important to register early if interested.

Also, please note that registration for TCC 2008, April 15-17, is now available online. 

-Bert Kimura for the TCC 2008 Conference Team
Thirteenth Annual
April 15-17, 2008
Pre-conference dates: April 2-3, 2008
The New Internet: Virtual Worlds in Education
March 13, 2008
Join us for a free, live preview webcast of TCC 2008. The session includes presentations about the role and value of virtual worlds in education and getting started quickly in these new learning environments. The session will be followed by in-world virtual tours of Second Life and There.
March 13, 2008 (Thursday), 200 PM HST (800 PM EDT)*
    200-300 PM: Panel session featuring Dr. Cynthia Calongne, Colorado Technical University (Second Life), 
      and Mr. Frank Whiting, Shasta College (There).
   330 PM: Second Life in-world tour.
   430 PM: There in-world tour.
TCC 2008 Preview Registration
This event is FREE, but registration is required. To reserve a virtual seat for March 13, register at:

TCC 2008 Conference Registration
Individuals $69, see homepage for group discounted rates or contact Sharon Fowler <>. (Conference homepage)

For more information, contact Peter Leong <> or Bert Kimura <>.

Hosted by the University of Hawai'i, Kapi'olani Community College and University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Educational Technology Department, College of Education in partnership with and the Pan-Pacific Distance Learning Association. Additional support provided by the New Media Consortium and Osaka Gakuin University.
* For a conversion to your local time zone, see:

Teaching Tips: post workshop addendum

Beyza and I plan to continue with our EVO Teaching & Learning Tips projects. e.g. my Tips blog (up for renaming because the name is so long) and Beyza's wiki,

Purpose: a language/ language arts collaborative teaching an learning resource and teaching tips clearinghouse; not limited to ESL/EFL/ESOL teaching - or even English.

Open to the world of English. EFL/ESL and FL teachers using CBI an/or internet resources in their teaching... or just interested...

Contact us about collaborating in/ contributing to our Teaching Tips blog/wiki project

So here's a
Teaching Tip and resource, a post workshop addendum to the week 5 wiki week & blog blast:


Landmarks Class Blogmeister 
Perhaps one of the most fascinating tools that has emerged from the Internet cloud in recent years is the Blog. A shortening of the term Web log, the Blog is an online publishing tool that enables people to easily publish their loves, passions, dislikes, peeves, discoveries, and insights.

Thousands of teachers have discovered the value of classroom blogging, both as an avenue for their communications, but also as a tool for giving voice to what their students are learning and how they are learning.

Class Blogmeister
is one of several blogging engines that have been developed specifically for classroom use. You are welcome to explore the writings of teachers and students alike.

The Process image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Online Collaborative Writing

FYI - links for collaborative writing sites. Why? Because collaborative writing is a possible solution - or at least welcome help - for the oversized writing class.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Recapping Sunday Session

Beyza's report on her Sunday session on using Wiki's in the ESL classroom

Dear All,

We had a great session last night with the participants .We learned how to use wikis in our classes and how to edit wikis in the playground and reflection sections of our week 5 wiki.We decided to edit it and add some more information even after the sessions as it 's really a good way to make us collaborate and learn together.You can have a look and edit it anytime you like.

The recording of the WIZIQ session is at:

Our Week 5 wiki is at
You can edit it as long as you have the invite key, tipsandtrick

I also uploaded my ppts to SlideShare and sent an invitation to the Tips & Tricks group to view them there.

It was really nice to get together in WIZIQ yesterday.Thanks a lot for your participation.

Have a great week!!

English instructor &CALL Coordinator
Bahcesehir University English Preparatory Program

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Re: [tipstricks2008] New on Tips & Tricks writing blog


Thanks for commenting - the more discussion the better. Did you post your comment on our Tips & Tricks blog at Please do. While you are there, please take the poll too..

The differences between blog, web and wiki was the very first question ( posed in the EVO Workshop, Blogging 4 Educators, which has both blog.( and wiki ( The following is from Blogging 4 Educators, Week 1 - In your own words:
While it is true they are all websites, the most significant difference is that blogs and wikis are part of the so called Web 2.0 services or the read/write web, which allows users to easily publish and edit content. Traditional websites (Web 1.0) required experts to know a special language, HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and users could only read or consume information. Generally, you can only reach the webmasters or site owners by e-mail but you can’t interact with other readers or change the content.

Beyza worked up a blog/wiki comparison sheet that I hope she'll post on our Tips blog.

I've been blogging for a a couple of years now. My "take" on blogs and blogging keeps changing. Blogs have many purposes and can be so much more than a collection of personal commentaries. I publish a local community and arts blog as well as another for my online ESL class. I writer several others as well, but the community and arts blog, Mountainair Arts, the private class blog (Blogging English) and now the Tips & Tricks blog take up most of my blogging time. No two are the same: I use each differently.

I use the class blog to deliver lessons, links and study materials, post assignments and discussion questions. It is not a public blog and is just for the class so they can have a private place to share their writing. Everyone in the class is a guest contributor. Blogging English is a writing group, bulletin board, discussion forum. resource page, online classroom and delivery system.

Mountainair Arts, my community and arts blog at probably comes closest to matching your understanding of blogs. I blog my personal opinions and post a lot of internet research on. I also blog community interest news, post links, announce events, editorialize and write about issues I think are important to the community. There is no newspaper in Mountainair, so the blog is also local media. It supplements but does not replace the local grapevine - word of mouth and flyers posted about town.

Recently I started a blog just for an annual local poetry event, the Poets and Writers Picnic at This blog is a time saver because it takes the place of the web page that I have to put up every year for the event. Past web pages are still up an linked to the blog for continuity. Blogs can also be quick and easy "web pages for dummies in a hurry."

Yet another blog, one I've been neglecting, is for personal writing and culture criticism that some local readers would find harsh - it's a place to test drive essays I may someday revise, polish and submit for publication. Others reflect personal and professional interests, started but currently inactive for all practical purposes.

Other educators have different approaches to blogging and find still more uses for blogs. Blogs are popular teaching tools and resources.across the discipline, for all subjects and levels. This huge category seems best saved for another, separate and link-loaded post that lets ed blogs speak for themselves.

Many blogs are openly commercial. Some promote goods, products or services for sale - the blog equivalent of the "informercial." Many runs ads for revenue. Some blogs, like web pages, carry advertising to cover costs. For still others, usually published by "probloggers." advertising can become a major source of income if the blog becomes popular and has many readers..

Indeed, every interest areas has blogs. In the arts and literature, blogs are an affordable, easy to use medium for creating a visual portfolio and publishing works. My next project (scheduled for today but snowed out) is to help a poet friend get started blogging.

What would you do with a blog? How would you use one in your teaching? How would you use a wiki?


zahra shahsavar wrote:
Dear all,
Regarding to the differences between blog, web sit and wiki, I want to say that to my understanding, blog is an online collection of personal commentaries which is the result of wide- ranging online and offline research and often provide alternative perspective on a topic or issue; while web site is just a place on the net which gives different information around different subjects to people. We can access to some information existed on the net by wiki for instance, you can get some information about the author of the book and so on by fooling around the net.

Input please

What aspect of teaching writing or classroom delivery / management challenge should we address next?

Use the comment function to give us your input

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Welcome to week 5- Teaching writing

Hello tipsy trickers,:)

Welcome to week 5. My name is Beyza Yilmaz and I'll moderate this week with Vanessa Vaile . As Vanessa mentioned in her previous e-mail,we will focus on teaching writing with online tools . We have many different teaching contexts and there are various tools to make use of to teach writing. We will try to show you how we use these tools with our classes to provide you with practical ideas. Of course it's up to you to choose what to use depending on your teaching contexts and objectives. Please feel free to reflect upon the tools which will be mentioned during this week both in our blog ,wiki and in our yahoogroup to come up with better ideas..Do not forget there will be a synchronous session at 6 PM GMT on Sunday in WIZIQ.You'll be sent a link about the session.

We hope you enjoy week 5 .

Best wishes:)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Teaching Writing - where I'm coming from

Hello all

I said I'd go first and here I am. By doing so, I am also modeling a basic teaching strategy - e.g. "modeling." Writing teachers not only model writing for their students but are often their first audience as well. How they feel about writing for us shapes their attitude toward future audiences and comfort with the writing process itself. Enough with the compositional pedagogy lectures already! But seriously, writing and its teaching do come before tools - and help determine which ones to use.

I write, teach writing to both NNS and NS writers, advanced and emerging or developmental, college level mostly but also secondary school, ESL, computer mediated writing, writing for the workplace, written communication (business), WAC, GED, technical writing, writing about literature. I've been doing it since 1991. Before teaching writing, I did technical writing, business writing and copy-editing professionally, and wrote non-fiction for newsletters, specialty magazines and local print media. These days I
write web page copy, blog copiously and maintain a local chamber of commerce web site.

The word came before the byte. Computers did not enter my writing world until the mid 90s. Since then I've developed course materials using online resources, built course web pages, and taught writing in both blended or hybrid (writing intensive comparative literature classes, developmental writing, college composition, GED) and 100% online (college composition, literature, ESL) classes.

I started teaching ESL online in (I think) 1997 while at UC Davis. Vance Steven's presentation at an online conference about teaching online mentioned EFI. Volunteering to teach online seemed like a good way to learn how to teach online and experience. When I applied, David sent me 100 applicant email addresses. I started with group and individual addressed email but soon moved to groups. Later I built pages, used groups to email web page like lessons/ study group materials, and so on.

Over the years, I tweaked, fiddled and experimented email and group features to streamline class administration tasks that eat into teaching time. Pat Harvey and I collaborated on self-paced study package. Free, non-credit online courses have a high attrition rate - not just ESL but across the board.
We found ourselves spending too much time processing students, many of whom would disappear after just a few lessons, and wanted to free up more time for the student who really wanted to learn.

Although I still use many of the same tools, techniques an online resources, I've added blogging to my online teaching tool kit, Beyza has me convinced to try wikis too. If DSL ever comes to Mountainair or I can ever afford wireless (neither likely in the immediate future), you'll see me in "tech-ier" teaching venues.

Write on!


PS I will also blog what the syllabus stated I would cover on days 1 & 2. That dear readers -
colleagues, mes semblables - is part of the "asych avantage" ...

Week 5 is here!

Hello Tipsters

Week 5 is here and with it, writing. Since this week is about writing, I want to step back from voice and video tools and ask you to write your thoughts rather than speaking them.

Beyza and I will write - and ask you to write - using the same tools we use with in computer mediated writing: email, text chat and conferencing, blogs and wikis. I hope that using these same tools to communicate with one another about writing - in writing - will add to our insights on using them teaching. Beyza is up for adding voice. I am more for mute week of scribbling.

Let's start by briefly stating where we each come from as a writing teacher - background, exeperience, teaching situation, levels/ ages taught, class structure, OLS if relevant, and so on


  1. I'll post my first question (perhaps on my teaching tips & tricks blog as well as here on YG), which will be general - a reflection on teaching writing and its place in your classroom.
  2. The question after that will ask you to reflect further on teaching writing and to share your own experiences and impressions.
  3. Then onto tools - so start thinking now about what tools do you use now as well as what tools to you want to incorporate into teaching writing in your ESL/EFL classes.
Your answers will also help Beyza design her asynchronous presentation and WiZiQ session this coming Sunday.

Write on!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tentative Syllabus: Week 5

Managing Computer Mediated Writing in the EFL Classroom:

From E-mail, Groups and Text Chat to Blogs, Wikis and Messaging

Syllabus for Tips & Tricks Session, Week 5

Was: The Email-based Online Classroom

Evolving into: The Asynchronous Online Classroom: from E-mail [to Groups to Blogging] to Wiki ... and points beyond

Facilitators: Vanessa Vaile, Beyza Yilmaz

Contributors: Moroccan Teacher (and we hope more to come)


  • Email and associated features/tools
  • Blogging apps: Blogger; Typepad; Wordpress, Edblog
  • Wiki
  • Yahoo Groups (and others)
  • PPT
  • File sharing
  • Interactive (games, quizzes)
  • Online surveys/ polls


  • Tips & Tricks blog (Vanessa)
    • Open for comments posted in response to original posts
    • Tips group and others invited to join as guest contributors
  • Wiki (Beyza)
    • [for Beyza to fill in and elaborate on features and participation]
  • PPT on Wikis in the ELL class (Beyza)
  • Tools and features in existing T & T group
  • Links to online tutorials and other resources – posted on both blog and wiki

Objective: to explore and compare tools and applications for the asynchronous online class and asynchronous tech component of blended or hybrid

Brief description:

1) Describe and give examples of using email and other text based tech apps in the online and blended classroom.

2) Hands on participation using these tools and apps

3) Resource sharing and discussion

  • Telling: descriptive narratives of asynchronous class management strategies
  • Showing: presentations on blogs and wiki will run a blog and a wiki, both created just for this session.
  • Doing: hands on participation by teachers, ESL students, session visitors and participants
  • Reflecting: comments; impressions; discussion

Note: "lectures," materials, PPTs, links to recommended readings, assignments, activities, etc. will be posted on blog, wiki and/or tipstricks2008 yahoo group

Day 1: Introduction.

  • Characteristics of the Synchronous (Beyza) and Asynchronous (Vanessa) Classes
  • In the Beginning There Was Email.
  • Why write when you can talk?
    • Blended classroom
    • Online classroom
  • Text based tools for online and blended classrooms – a brief overview
  • Learning situations and the learners who use them. Who and what we teach when shapes how we teach and what tools we use.

Day 2: Course Management:

  • Role of the internet in managing blended or hybrid classes
  • Email based asynchronous classroom.
    • Rolling vs fixed admissions.
    • Open ended, ongoing classes vs classes with fixed start/end dates.
  • Self-paced CBI
    • Online
    • Computer Labs
  • Student attrition and retention.

Day 3: Applications, tools and resources for computer mediated writing.

  • Surveys [create and post link to online survey]
  • Comparison and evaluation: which applications fit which learning situations, learning styles, course materials/goals, and which complement one another, e.g. using email groups, blogs and wikis does not make email obsolete.
  • Synchronous elements in asynchronous learning

Day 4: Email and Groups

  • Associated tools and features

Day 5: Blogging and blog features (Vanessa)

Day 6: Wikis and other social networking tools (Beyza)

Day 7: Wrap Up Discussion.

  • Recapping: TWTWTW
  • What next? The future of asynchronous text based instruction in a world of virtual synchronicity.
  • Lead into Week 6

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The right place for me !

Hi ,
Thanks for the invitation. I'll be glad to share my modest experience with you. I've been working on the use of e-mail to contribute to the improvement of writing in my EFL classes for some time now. As no technical support is provided in my school, the students and I have to use our home computers . There's a good website - EPALS - which enables teachers with monitored accounts for their classes. My first online colleague and I have been using its services for a while. Recently, a colleague from the US suggested that we share a blog together and she is setting up.

I shall be looking forward to learning more trips and tricks from you.Writing is the skill that presents the most challenges for a language teacher.
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