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The Power of 2.0

 
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scholaglobal



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Honolulu, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: The Power of 2.0 Reply with quote

I was reading about the U.S. economy and decided to share some thoughts. I am sure that, to some extent, each one of us has been affected by the current economic conditions, and we are certainly hoping that this trend can be reversed soon.

But when it comes to Education, I believe that teaching and learning should be immune to economic crises. Specially now that we have web 2.0 collaborative tools and free learning management systems like Moodle, ILIAS, and OLAT; teachers can reach out to learners and share their knowledge anytime, anywhere. Like never before, teachers have the opportunity to help learners improve their knowledge and employability.

Teachers can create their own groups on social networking web sites (e.g., Schola Global, My Space, Facebook) and start helping learners who have eventually lost their jobs. I am not saying that teachers would offer free classes (they could), but they can make use of these web sites to provide professional development courses; and charge much less than a formal educational institution. In fact, teachers who have also lost their jobs could start a new profession by teaching online courses through collaborative web sites.

I call it "The Power of 2.0"; and I believe this can help us make Education immune to any economic crisis.
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Nick Cox



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Silesia, Poland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean like this?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Filologia-Angielska/72001990700?v=box_3&viewas=690320801#/pages/Filologia-Angielska/72001990700?ref=nf
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scholaglobal



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Honolulu, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked the Facebook page and found my way to some eLessons on MacMillan's web site. However, I was referring to integrating collaborative resources such as blogs, discussion forums, and file sharing features into online groups; which would help both teachers and students develop a better educational portfolio. That's why I have been studying Web 2.0 resources and developing my dissertation project on Schola Global.
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Nick Cox



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Silesia, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There IS a discussion page and the Notes feature has blog-like qualities, though I use it for posting articles or writing reviews. There's also a poll, videos and photo albums of history. How much did you look at it?

As for file sharing features - such applications do exist on Facebook and I have reccommended one on the Facebook page, but one is not allowed to add it to public profiles (only personal ones) and to be honest I can understand the legal reasons why. I do use it myself, though, and send things to students.
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woodcutter



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1303
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you mean that since few students are now able to pay, we have lots of chances to teach cheaply online using great new tech tools? Can you see any down side to this for us teachers?

A resourceful person has long had plenty of chances to learn for free online. All student questions get answered here, for example, pretty much. It makes no difference to the esl industry. So your cheap learning won't matter much either.

I dislike this tech-for-the-sake-of tech trend that is creeping into teaching. The main purpose of the ESL teacher is to add the human element in the mix. Many people seem to think that a hi-tech activity is intrinsically better than a low tech one. The opposite is true.
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Nick Cox



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Silesia, Poland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would never say that e-learning is better and you're absolutely right about the human element. What the internet offers are a variety of alternative activities which are neither available in the classroom nor suitable for it. It also provides students with a resource to use in their own time at their own pace which may, if properly done, be enjoyable as well as informative. As a teacher you should appreciate very well that the one and only thing that would help any and all students to improve is not different teaching methods or materials, but the commitment to practising in the student's free time.
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mesmark



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 276
Location: Nagano, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun! Smile

I agree with woodcutter a bit here. Even though I make sites for students, MES-Games and Fun Fonix, a motivated student hardly needs my effort and a student that isn't motivated enough to study on their own time is only temporarily wowed by my effort. They quite quickly fizzle and turn away.

In the end, no matter how you present it, the student is going to have to 'study'.

Does technology in any form make that any easier to swallow or reach someone that wouldn't otherwise study?

Nick Cox wrote:
What the internet offers are a variety of alternative activities which are neither available in the classroom nor suitable for it.

I will say that I haven't had much formal study in CALL but what would be suitable as online learning that's not suitable for the classroom?
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Nick Cox



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Silesia, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mesmark wrote:

I will say that I haven't had much formal study in CALL but what would be suitable as online learning that's not suitable for the classroom?


I would say anything which is potentially useful to the student, but which requires neither direct involvement by the teacher nor any speaking by the student. In the EFL school classroom, that would be considered a waste of the students' precious money. They've paid for 1) a teacher who does stuff and doesn't just assign reading and listening 2) the chance to talk and not just shut up and listen to a lecture. We unfortunately have to think of them as clients as well as students when we are with them, but on the internet and in their own time we and they can focus on different types of task.
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Nick Cox



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Silesia, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also add writing - I think students are more likely to answer a discussion thread ("Where would you like to visit in the English-speaking world?" for example) and British and American culture. I don't know if I'm alone, but as a native speaker I am often frustrated that English seems to be the only language whose textbooks rarely deal in the culture and history of the nations where it is spoken as a first language. On my web page I can pour these things out for my students. I seem to have at least one student who is hooked on my writing about British history!
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woodcutter



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1303
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there's the thing. English students don't often care about that too much, because English is the language of greedy money-raking. And yet while we would probably go to a French or Spanish teacher and enjoy a lively and professional lesson without wanting too much homework, the English teacher has to play the messiah with a moodle, or they are not "A Teacher" (hushed tones).

Most people who love to moodle, it seems to me (I'm not familiar with the other systems), love to save time by sticking info and worksheets on it and forcing others to download, check frequently and do the spadework.

The ability to create a forum for your students is good, but the internet is a fun place with multiple attractions. Talking in teacher's forum will not be fun for most people for very long.

As to not being able to control the input if the students are roaming the various free stuff available, most people wouldn't worry too much about their students having genuine motivation to learn by themselves in that way.
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mesmark



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 276
Location: Nagano, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick Cox wrote:
I would say anything which is potentially useful to the student, but which requires neither direct involvement by the teacher nor any speaking by the student. In the EFL school classroom, that would be considered a waste of the students' precious money.

I agree that the lesson time shouldn't get eaten up with writing tasks and reading tasks that can be done outside of class. However, how does web 2.0 accomplish that any better than the 'old fashion' method on the same topic?

I know there is a lot of media (videos, music, podcasts) on the net that provide natural English and utilization of those outside of class would be great, but are they a way to reach those that wouldn't normally study?

There are people out there like me who love to make this stuff and I put interactive exercises on the net. I do it because I enjoy it, but I don't think other teachers are doing their students a disservice if they don't do it. Also, as I said above, my students will use the programs for a couple weeks and then never return, unless I force them. In which case, I could just as easily give them old fashion homework.

I do agree that the web is a tool and it can be utilized to do great things, but I don't think it brings more to the game than other avenues, just another avenue.
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woodcutter



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1303
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mesmark's site (check his profile) looks great by the way. I fear I will never be promoted unless I create such a thing myself, but does the world really need us all to get a personal site?

I know a guy who spent $4000 setting one up thinking he could make money by charging less money to schools than Dave. I notice that he has since taken to writing forum posts to himself in that cyber-wasteland.
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mesmark



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 276
Location: Nagano, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodcutter wrote:
Mesmark's site (check his profile) looks great by the way. I fear I will never be promoted unless I create such a thing myself, but does the world really need us all to get a personal site?

Thanks and no, I definitely think there's no need for everyone to get out there and make a website. Just like there's no need for everyone to write a book (luckily there are publishers to police that arena, but then again that's based on will it sell, not is it good.)

I think if you have a few good ideas to start, it might be good to start a site, but if you just have one idea then why not add it to the forum of a site you like.

That's not meant to say don't do it. Generally, building a site will drive you to be more creative and add something to your blog/site. Just to add to how much of an ESL Tech geek I am, here's my podcast on why you should blog about your ESL experience:
http://www.eslteachertalk.com/2007/03/why-not-start-an-esl-blog/

Woodcutter, I've made 7 ESL websites and all are doing really well for their markets, but none are as respected as being published. "So you made a website. My mom just Twittered about her shopping trip. So, what?"

I don't think making a website/blog will be something you'll need to do (unless maybe you work at an IT school.)

woodcutter wrote:
I know a guy who spent $4000 setting one up thinking he could make money by charging less money to schools than Dave. I notice that he has since taken to writing forum posts to himself in that cyber-wasteland.

Dave's site is what they call a 'first mover'. He was the first one to make an ESL teacher forum/community/website and thus has the most name recognition on the web. That follows with the heaviest traffic.

Other sites in the same genre will never catch ESL Cafe, no matter how good they are. They won't get the exposure and that's just the nature of the web. the sites have to be fundamentally different or offer something quite different for the experience.

So your friend may be able to offer lower rates but he can't bring the traffic, which is what people pay for.

However, we digress. Quoting himself ...

mesmark wrote:
I agree that the lesson time shouldn't get eaten up with writing tasks and reading tasks that can be done outside of class. However, how does web 2.0 accomplish that any better than the 'old fashion' method on the same topic?
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woodcutter



Joined: 19 Jun 2004
Posts: 1303
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I could digress a little more, the best reason not to start an ESL blog is that you can discuss things here and actually have people read what you say and yet few people even want to do that. If every blogging dictator out there would discuss things here or similar places as an equal then the level of conversation would improve a lot.
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Karenne



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodcutter wrote:
If every blogging dictator out there would discuss things here or similar places as an equal then the level of conversation would improve a lot.


Oh dear ;-( WC you really don't like us bloggers do you?

It's just that there aren't that many people actually posting or talking in here at times... Aside from Lorikeet and Fluffy Hamster and you there's so little other interaction, don't you think?

K
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