Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Welcome to CALL fall 2006

Hi Folks,

Welcome to the CALL Class blog. I'll use this blog solely for posting reviews and "how to's" of technologies and resources that I find useful for langauge teachers. For the first few postings, I'll cover some of the sites that we are using in this course including
Moodle, Blogger, & Wikispaces.

Your role as a reader (and student) is to read the postings, check out these technologies, and comment on my postings. Comments can range from, "that's great...." to "how do I..."

Let me know if you have any questions.

8 comments:

Steve Richter said...

Dan,
Already I have been energized by the simple fact that the class actively involves using computers as part of the learning process and not just as an email or discussion tool. As a fellow geek and also as a fellow expatriate, I rely on my computer for news, entertainment, communication, shopping and an information source. Since the best learning involves as many modes as possible (auditory, visual and cognitive) it only makes sense to make use of the wonderful tool that the modern computer has become. Although I know about blogs and wikis, I have not had any opportunity to use them previously so this will be an area of new learning for me. I am really curious to find out what has been done in the area of computer aided language-learning so far. Since this is a relatively new area, I'm sure that there is still much to be done.
Let the games begin... ;-)

Steve Richter

Dan said...

Good to hear.

I call Moodle, Blogs, and Wikis our trinity of technologies. A little corny? Yes. But descriptive none-the-less.

And those are only our foundation technologies. They are used for discussion, collaboration, and publication. My goal is to USE as many of the technologies that we DISCUSS as possible. Without an understanding of what our students go through in using these technologies, we can't adequately discuss their uses in language classrooms.

Of course, none of the technology means anything without solid theories of instruction backing them up :)

Chien-han Chen said...

Hi! Dan,
This is my first time using a plateform with those three technology at the same time, though I have used them seperately. I'm really interested in how these three technology can play different roles but all facilitate learning in this class. Thank you for introducing us this and there are indeed a lot for us to investigate in CALL, just taking this class for an example.

Dan said...

I like to think that all three have something unique to offer teachers and learners.

Moodle is really a great all around system that has a lot of functionality built in. It discussion forums, chats, Wikis, and I even think that the newest version has blogs built in (We are running the previous version). However, it is not an option for most teachers that take this class. It takes a little money/know how to run your own and most schools won't run one for you. Therefore, I just use it as an alternative to OncourseCL, which has a terrible, terrible discussion forum. I prefer to use more accessible technologies for the rest. Technologies that the average user and access.

Blogger is a good, free service for blogs. Blogs are a great way to personalize learning. Discussion forums are largely closed systems (not accessible by the public) and they are not really good outlets for personal expression. Blogs are.

Wikispaces is another great, free resource. Wikis are great for many uses: collaboration, consensus building, group page design, and, well let your imagination run wild.

Janine said...

Dan,

A lot of this is new to me, although I did create a blog for another class.

I spend a lot of time correcting papers for beginning-level FL students, with the hope that they will learn from their mistakes. One aspect of CALL that really excites me is the possibility of students doing grammar and vocabulary exercises in electronic formats that will provide them with immediate feedback. One of my textbooks has a CD available that provides some of this, but at $20 each, my school won't provide them. And I know that vocabulary and grammar are just the beginning. Although I envision students using computers mostly outside of class (since I spend class time primarily in speaking and listening practice), I'm also eager to learn of ways to use the technologies during classtime.

Christine Parker said...

Dan-

I am finally here!!! I am very excited to be learning new tools to aid language learning and for myself to become more familiarized with the resources that are available to teach and engage my students. Also, I am not as computer savvy as I would like to be so I am looking to gain confidence in this area. This course is going to be very exciting, challenging, and instrumental for my professional development.

Christine

Juhi Kim said...

Hello Dan,
I am still busy to visit each site following your instruction. The resources here are huge, still don't know where I am. I am trying to figure out where is where ~~!! ^^;;

Dan said...

Hi Juhi. Just try one thing at a time. You'll be ok :) Good to have you here.

Dan

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