Saturday, 26 January 2008

Still thinking about ning

It's time to just sit down and write.
I've been thinking about ning and how I can use it in the classroom; it seems that many are doing this and finding it useful. For those of you who don't know, a ning is basically a social network that you have control over. You make it, you manage it. Anyway, as seen in a previous post, I used one on our trip to Japan - and it worked really well for that. Now, to use it in the classroom (as a language teacher) ...

Within the ning we can use its various tools. Time to think aloud ...

Blog - students can blog in the target language. Perhaps students are assigned days on which they must post a blog in the target language. We can then connect with other classrooms - domestically or overseas (Japan for me).

Podcasts -
the ning allows us to upload music. Create podcasts and place them on the site. Podcasts of grammar explanations, speaking questions, listening comprehensions. Of course the students too can put up their speaking answers and so on.

Member profiles: students can write their profiles in the target language, adding to it as they increase their grammar and vocabulary base.

Embedding objects: videos, sketchcasts, brainstorming activities using can be used in all sorts of ways. I have already found self-introductions in Japanese (from You tube) that are appropriate and can be used as listening resources or stimulus for the students own speaking or writing tasks; however, finding these does take time. Sketchcast is something I'm keen to use as it could be used in Asian languages to help explain their scripts. Students should also create their own explanations - moving, purpose built flashcards. All these can be embedded into the ning.

Forum: Questions in the target language could be placed on the forum and discussed. Homework could be to answer these things.

There is probably a lot more to it than this but it's a start.

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