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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Week 7: Videos and other useful Web 2.0 tools. Are they suitable for all kind of students?

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As technology evolves every day, there are multiple choices in technological tools that can be used in the classroom. In fact, it is amazing just to take a look to the different options that we have to make new things in our classroom that we did not even know they existed. But are all these resources suitable for all the students?
Some teachers are always looking for improvement in language teaching and how to include technology in their practice. In fact, Dunn (2011) presents a list of 100 web 2.0 tools proposed by different teachers from all around the world to develop activities in ELT. Some of them are used to create videos that can be uploaded in the internet like: ANIMOTO, PIVOT STICK FIGURE ANIMATOR, SCREENCAST, XTRANORMAL, SLIDESHARK, YOUTUBE,  USTREAM.TV, VIMEO, among others. This list gives us an idea of the huge variety of tools that we can access to create new things with our students.
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However, there are several aspects that should be analyzed before choosing one of these resources to work in our classes. The idea of using web 2.0 tools in our classes is to offer our students the opportunity of doing some collaborative work, but before planning an activity that can use one of these tools, teachers should take into account student’s needs, age, they type of English that is taught (EGP, ESP or EAP, for instance), the context of the students and the purpose of the activity.  The use of these resources should be meaningful, useful and at the same time collaborative, so learners can get the real benefit of using it. In this line Pim (2013) states that “Technological use is clearly ‘situated’, dependent on context and predicated on the notion that what works in one context may not be entirely replicable in another. However, creative practitioners will always be able to see the potential for an idea and are particularly adept at customising approaches to meet the individual needs of their learners”.

Although some teachers include technologies in their practice, they tend to be very traditional because they like to use those tools that they know very well without stopping to think if there are others resources that can be very useful for educational purposes and can fit better student’s context and needs. When choosing a web 2.0 tool and designing an activity it is important to know that not all the classes are the same and that the class effectiveness may vary depending on each group, so careful planning should be the cornerstone of including technology in our classes. 

Here there are some videos that are used to teach English through videos: 

Dunn, J. (2011) The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You. (online) Retrieved from: 
Pim, C. (2013) Emerging technologies, emerging minds: digital innovations within the primary sector. In G. Motteram (Ed.) Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching. (pp. 16-42)

1 comment:

  1. After learning how to create your own videos, would you use them with your students in Amazonas? Yes? No? Why?