Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Web2practice videos on Web 2.0 tools

I have recentl added a lot of new links to the ICT4LT Section on Web 2.0, Module 1.5, Section 2.1, headed What is Web 2.0?

This section now includes many more links to a range of social media tools and also to JISC's Web2practice videos on Blip TV:

- Social Media: http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/social-media/

- Microblogging: http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/microblogging/

- Podcasting: http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/podcasting/

- RSS: http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/rss-2/

- Collaborative Writing: http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/collaborative-writing/

and more to come...

Graham Davies

Students are not big users of Web 2.0 technologies

I've just read this article by Gregor Kennedy et al., which suggests that the new generation of students is less interested in Web 2.0 technologies than teachers imagine them to be. It reports on a research study conducted among a large number of students in Australia, which concludes:

- There is greater diversity in frequency of use of technology than many commentators have suggested.

- The use of collaborative and self-publishing Web 2.0 technologies that have often been associated with this generation is quite low.

"The net generation are not big users of Web 2.0 technologies: Preliminary findings", ASCILITE 2007 Conference, Singapore:


Interesting - comments?

Graham Davies

Sunday, 12 July 2009

We have been nominated in the Top 100 Language Blogs list

The ICT4LT blog has been nominated in the Top 100 Language blogs list in the category Language Technology. You can vote for us by clicking the link below:

Graham Davies

Friday, 10 July 2009

The VLE is dead. Long live the PLE!

There has been a good deal of discussion in various blogs that I read about the death of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Many educators are now arguing that the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) points to the future of e-learning. The Wikipedia article gives a good idea of what a PLE is all about:

I can see a PLE working for older learners (and that obviously includes me) - and in effect I have already set up my own PLE using a variety of Web 2.0 tools - but will it be suitable for children of school age? Will this be a feature, for example, of the new Open School for Languages (OSfL)? The contract for the development of the OSfL has been awarded to Lightbox Education: see the Press Release.

Graham Davies

Friday, 3 July 2009

Report on Love Language Conference, 1 July 09

I spent a very fruitful day, 1 July 2009, at the Love Language Conference, Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, organised by Careers Europe. The main theme of the conference focused on ways of encouraging students, especially boys, to continue learning a foreign language or to take up a new language. There were two keynotes by Barry Jones and Simon Green and four workshops conducted by Tom Barwood, Ruth Linden, Bev Whiteside and myself.

Barry Jones gave examples of ways of motivating boys to learn foreign languages, based on research that has revealed approaches that really work (v. Barry Jones's CILT publication "Boys’ Performance in Modern Foreign Languages"). Simon Green gave an entertaining presentation of effective strategies for engaging language learners at KS3/KS4.

The focus of Tom Barwood’s workshop, entitled “Foreign languages – not me mate!”, was also on motivating boys, while Ruth Linden talked about languages in the world of work and Bev Whiteside talked about teaching languages in the context of sports.

My workshop focused on ICT as means of engaging language learners, especially through games and Web 2.0 applications. I was also able to demonstrate Second Life and play a short video on a school that is using Second Life with children aged 13-plus – though not yet in teaching foreign languages.

I have uploaded my PowerPoint presentation to the Web. It might be useful, but it probably needs my accompanying commentary in order to make sense – and I did not have facilities available to record it. There are, however, lots of clickable links in the presentation that will lead you to some useful websites:


All in all, this was an inspiring day, even though we sweltered in the heat. The conference was attended by around 35 teachers, mainly from the North of England.

Careers Europe is based in Bradford and acts as a National Resource Centre for International Careers Information: http://www.careerseurope.co.uk

Graham Davies