Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why & how to use online message boards

James Trotta
Jason Ham

Teaching English in Korea ESL Blog

Learn English grammar online (discussion forum)

Forum is open to the public

Started out by doing grammar tasks (go find this form used out in the Web) then moved to student-directed topics (whatever you are interested in) and then moved to prompting culture topics.

Polling is good to get students going on the topic. I think that this is a good method, good suggestion, that I hadn't thought about before.

They pay NES $.20 per post to reply to learners' postings. Great idea, though James did say that it was coming out of his pocket. I don't think anyone is going to make a living off of it, but it is a small motivation to participate.

Using Ning for language classes

Using Ning for Language Classes

Joshua Davies
Donaleen Jolson

Sunday 12:00-1:20

This was one of the highlights of the conference for me. Not because I didn't know about Ning before. I was planning on using it for classes, and potentially as a portal, long before this presentation. However, it was great to hear about someone using it and how they use it.

This post is linked to some general information and the presentation is embedded below.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

KOTESOL 2007 - Content-based ESL for EFL learners

Clara Lee Brown

Univ. Tenn, Knoxville

CBI in Korea,

New emphasis on English, with greater competency requirements, English Villages, native speakers....lots of money.

She emphasized the need to use the language, rather than learn the language (Krashen lover :)

Message is more important than the delivery of the message.  Communication is king.

Really, this is a commentary on EFL in Korea, hitting on the need to revamp the system.  Change the goal and change the approach (Paradigm Shift)


What she doesn't address is modification, error correction, dual-language instruction, and lack of authenticity (CBI in Korea is NOT authentic).

Because CBI EFL in Korea not authentic, we have to be very careful in how we carry it out.

Authentic materials are NOT comprehensible input, which she says is a rationale for CBI.  Then she recommends not buying textbooks and using authentic materials ???  This is directly taken from Krashen. (She addresses this later, but really glazes over the need for output.  Emphasizes input again).


Just like you have to break through the affective filter to reach the LAD, she's got to break through my filter to reach me.  Her blind focus on input, raises my filter.


I really enjoyed her approach with the audience and I think that we have more in common than not, but her presentation put me off a little.  I'd love to discuss it with her in small group.

Using blogs to improve writing fluency

Terry Fellner

Matthew Apple

Maggie Lieb

Saga University

10:30-10:50 AM

Looked a writing fluency. Established fluency = word count + lexical frequency + comprehensibility

Focused on increasing writing fluency.

  • Enlarge active vocabulary (from passive to active)
  • Increased exposure to vocabulary
  • use of blogs
  • concordances
  • Movie trailers
  • Grammar games
  • Diamond ranking (Fellner, 2005)

Used daily topics, in a 7-day course,that were emailed to the students. They were restricted to 20 minutes for a blog posting. They then commented on classmates' blogs.

They wrote more (though that is a little fuzzy). They did control of typing speed (great idea). They tested on first and last day.

KOTESOL 2007 - Forums 2.0: Getting the most out of online forums

Forums 2.0: Getting the most out of online forums

Thomas Pals
Michael Shawback
Mark Sheehan

Shizuoka University of Art and Culture

9:00-9:50 AM

They encourage students to post on forums anonymously, though teacher has admin function that allows for identification. They developed a module to do this.

They use Proboards, which is a free (self-hosted) system.

Most of what they talk about is the description of the systems and their methodologies for use. They have a very rich discussion board, with a lot of topics and good participation. However, they look like they have serial discussions, which aren't very good for critical thinking. More cognitive support is necessary to take learners to the next level of engagement.

They are also using the forums to connect cohorts over the years. Nice usage of the technology, in my opinion. I'm interested in doing the same thing with a social network like Ning.

Overall, it looks like a very good application and it seems to be modifiable.

Some links:

Presentation Movie

KOTESL 2007 Presentation » SlideShare

KOTESL 2007 Presentation » SlideShare

Here is a copy of my presentation on slideshare. You might have to manually advance it to get it started. I don't think the embedded video (in the presentation itself) will play.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Overview of Web 2.0 Technologies Used in the CALL Course

Overview of Web 2.0 Technologies Used in the CALL Course

This video is a more in-depth look at some of the technologies introduced to the CALL class (though not all were actually used by them)

Web 2.0 Collage

Web 2.0 Collage

This is the collage of Web 2.0 sites that I show at the beginning of my presentation at KOTESOL.

Friday, October 12, 2007

YouTube survey

SurveyShare YouTube Survey

Hi all. This is a survey that Curt Bonk is conducting on the use of YouTube in education/training. It's a quick (10 min) survey that includes watching 1 short education/tech-related video. Go help him and fill it out.

You can help me too. If you refer someone, you get some free time in the pro account for SurveyShare, so drop my email address in there (


Monday, October 08, 2007

CogDogRoo » StoryTools

CogDogRoo » StoryTools

It always amazes me when I come upon a posting like this. I'm amazed because there is something new. I feel like I'm at this 24/7 and see everything out of the starting blocks, but there's always something else.

This is a list of applications that can be used to tell digital stories. There is something here for everyone and enough to keep you exploring for quite a while.

Some of my favorites are: VoiceThreads, VUVOX, Scrapblog, Google My Maps, Splashcast, Animoto, Slideshare, and Sketchcast.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

K12 Online 2007 - Schedule

K12 Online 2007 - Schedule

This is a must-attend event. I really hope that I can make these presentations considering that most are around 9:00PM my time.

Check out the schedule. If this was a regular, hotel-based conference, I would say that it was unprecedented in scope and in simply fascinating topics. Most traditional conferences have a handful of presentations that I'm interested in, and, thus, I don't sacrifice much to attend them.