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Welcome to Tech Talk for ICT in ELT! Feel free to share your comments!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Wordle




Purpose:
A Wordle is a creatively designed collection of words taken from a text with the most frequently occurring words appearing in large print. The website also allows users to work with texts written in a host of other languages such as French, Spanish and Dutch.

Relevance:
A Wordle can make vocabulary and grammar learning more interesting.

It facilitates group work.

It allows both teachers and students to be creative when working with texts or vocabulary lists.

A Wordle can be used to encourage use of the target language in the classroom.

This tool can also be useful in giving feedback to students about common spelling or grammatical errors.


Tip:
A Wordle can be an interesting way to start off a grammar lesson. Select a text from a newspaper, song or magazine. Create your Wordle and distribute among students. Ask students to work in groups to identify a particular grammatical structure, suggest a rule indicating how the structure operates and, using other words in the Wordle, create examples of grammatically sound sentences. Once you are satisfied with the results, introduce the original text and have students compare their sentences with those found in the text.

Limitations:
It is not possible to save a Wordle in a jpeg or pdf format. 


MailVU: Video Email


Purpose:
MailVU is an online video recording service that allows users to record, save, email and post 10-minute long videos, which may be set to self-destruct after a fixed period of time.

Relevance:
If you believe that speaking skills should be an essential part of your students’ language learning then you will find this tool quite useful.

The ability to record on their own, away from the rigid structure of the classroom, may improve students’ confidence in speaking in the target language.

MailVU also allows learners a measure of autonomy in that they can work at their own pace to improve the quality of their video recording.

Tip: To get your students’ creative juices flowing, invite them to pick up the object closest to their computer and make a 3-5 minute presentation about the object.

An equally interesting version would be to ask them to record a story in which that object plays an important role.

Limitations:
I cannot identify any limitations to this site. MailVU is very easy to use.


Here's a simple tutorial video to take you through recording your own video.
video

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Bubblr



Purpose:
Bubblr is an online tool that allows users to create and share online picture strips using high quality pictures sourced from Flickr.

Relevance:
If you believe that learning outcomes improve when students are highly motivated then this tool can be quite helpful. It facilitates a great deal of creativity, which may ultimately increase student motivation.

The high quality and wide variety of pictures available means that you can reinvigorate any topic by making a visually appealing presentation.

Bubblr makes it compulsory for students to comment on pictures, which means that they will always have the opportunity to develop their writing skills.

Tip:
Why not introduce idiomatic expressions or proverbs using pictures? Following your example, ask your students to create picture strips that portray idiomatic expressions or proverbs in the target language and/or their mother tongue.

Limitations:
The availability of thousands of pictures means that creating a picture strip is potentially quite time consuming.

There is no way to filter the quality of the pictures; some may be inappropriate for young audiences.

Tags used to describe pictures may not be reliable.

Published picture strips are automatically made public.