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Week 3

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on February 2, 2011 at 12:54:58 pm



  • Live Session

      The Value of Synchronous  Learning Environments by  

                SYNCH AND SWIM_baw11.odp                              

     Michael made a very good case for synchronous online classes and communication, talking to us on                                        Yahoo Messenger.  Always within the context of blended learning, it was pointed out that synchronous

     communication encourages more immediate involvement  in the learning process, makes the social aspect

     of learning more satisfactory and enhances the sense of community among learners. If used appropriately, 

     synchronous environments can offer a wide range of motivating activities, often in a more convenient,

     practical manner than a face-to-face class. Despite the technological requirements synchronous learning

     requires - in terms of skills and equipment - using such environments can be both rewarding and effective;

     at least, that's been my own experience with synchronous online teaching so far :-)



  • Week 3 Questions    

    • How do you start a conference and invite guests at Yahoo Messenger?
      On the top bar in Yahoo Messenger you click on Actions. From the drop-down menu select Invite to Conference.

                    A window opens and you have a Messenger List. Choose who you'd like to invite and add to the box on the right. Finally, click on Invite.

    • How do you save your chatlogs to your hard drive at YM?

      On the top bar in Yahoo Messenger you click on Contacts. From the drop-down menu select Message Archive.

      A window opens and you can click on the olgs you want to save. Then you click on the Save icon on top left and choose

                   where in your local disk you want to have it saved, from the Save in menu.

    • How do you start a conference and invite guests at Skype?

      I'm sure there are more than one ways - this is how I usually do it:

                    I choose one of my contacts from the left-hand column. Before I click on Call, I click on Add People, which is next to

                    the Call / Video Call button. A window opens and I click on a contact in the left-hand box, click on Select at the bottom

                   and the contact appears in the right-hand box. I repeat the process with all the contacts I want to add. If I want to remove

                   a contact from the right-hand box, I just select the contact and click on Remove. When I'm done, I click on Add on the bottom

                   right. The window disappears and I can click on Call Group.


  • Week 3 Readings 

    • Almeida d'Eça, T. (2004).Online Tools that Promote Language Learning and Foster Professional Development.
      • An excellent anaysis of the why and the how online communication tools can make language learning a better experience, including a comprehensive description of tools like Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Groups. I do agree that such tools can foster learner autonomy, provide a medium for realistic language practice and provide teachers with the opportunity to "experience" some of the difficulties learners may face in such environments, as well as the opportunity to expand their skills and develop as professionals.
    • Lai,C. & Zhao,Y. (2006). Noticing and Text-Based Chat. Language Learning and Technology
      • Amazing! Although this is a rather dry, academic piece of writing, it's definitely worth reading through. Hard, scientific evidence that CMC can promote certain learner skills better than a traditional f2f class!
    • Gonzalez, D. & Esteves, L. (2006). Enhancing Collaboration Through Chat in ESP: A Conversation Analysis.
      • This article looks at language learning from a different perspective: almost in a CLIL context! The valid scientific research in this case study focuses on how both learner autonomy and effective collaboration can be enhanced through the medium of online chat.
    • Chat as a Teaching Tool. Pointers & Clickers
      • Some practical tips on how to use chats and chat logs with your students
    • Gonzalez, D. (2003). Teaching and Learning Through Chat. A Taxanomy of Educational Chat for EFL/ESL.
      • Very clear and comprehensive classification of various chat types, used both in language learning and teacher development.





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