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!

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