Tag Archives: esl

Minutes from Tech lunch

February 1st, 2013

Thanks to all who attended our tech lunch on Friday, February 1st.  The purpose of the gathering was to solicit some feedback from instructors on their technology use and preferences in the center.   Following pizza, attendees shared their thoughts on answers to questions such as “What are the benefits of using Starboard?” or “What do you think that students expect in terms of your technology use?”.  This generated some great suggestions – here are some points that were raised:

  1. Having a rubric on the iPads for scoring presentations easily.
  2. Having the calendar of events available for students on Blackboard to connect to the wider OSU community and ability to post additional events.
  3. The size of the Starboard is perceived to be a drawback for some instructors.
  4. In some classrooms the Starboards need to be calibrated regularly.
  5. The majority of those present would like to check out iPads for a month.
  6. All instructors present had a tech-savy person in their office to help with quick questions.
  7. The majority of those present allow students to use phone dictionaries in the classroom.
  8. One instructor uses Polleverywhere in class for student feedback.
  9. The general feeling was that students expect instructors to post assignments and information on Blackboard.
  10. Katie and Michelle will make sure that instructors can post a link to the Student Tech survey on Blackboard and remind them to do it.
  11. A demo class using Starboard was suggested and the idea of peer coaching for Starboard use was discussed.
  12. The legality of posting student presentations on YouTube unlisted was discussed and mention made of the task force in place who are looking into this problem of video sharing.
  13. A question was asked about students posting in-class work related to INTO classes on YouTube.  Is there a branding problem?
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Hyperlinked Feedback on Writing

I used to feel overwhelmed by writing classes. So when I was at conferences or perusing journals, I would focus on anything about writing instruction. Now, I love teaching writing, but still haven’t stopped searching out information about the latest trends in writing instruction. I posted in July about using track changes in Word and screencast feedback using Jing. Well, my latest pet project also deals with computer mediated writing feedback. I was reading “Technology and Corrective Feedback for L2 Writers: Principles, Practices, and Problems” by Ferris (2012, p. 15) which had an aside about using “macros to provide brief, generic explanations to common errors”. I honestly knew very little about macros and nothing about setting them up, but I was curious. After a little googling, I found out that with Macros you can create shortcuts for tasks you repeat often. They are actually pretty easy to record too (and if you are here at INTO OSU, I can help you make them or give you mine). They were exactly the tool I was looking for to create hyperlinked feedback.

Here are the macros I set:

Mistake Short-cut/Macro Symbol with link
Article CONTROL + A,R art
Capitalize CONTROL + C,A cap
Fragment CONTROL + F,R frag
Number CONTROL + N,U #
Possessive CONTROL + P,O poss
Punctuation CONTROL + P,U punc
Run-on CONTROL + R run-on
Spelling CONTROL + S,P sp
Subject/verb CONTROL + S,V s/v
Verb Tense CONTROL + VT vt
Word Form CONTROL + W,F wf
Word Order CONTROL + W,O wo

Now, I am using macros to link my coded errors corrections, like CAP, S/V, VT, to websites with explanations of the rule(s) and practice. It took some time to set-up, but I graded my first set of student papers today using the Macros and was so excited about it. They were easy to use and students get just-in-time help and practice. I don’t have any student feedback on them yet, but I hope they are as over the moon about it as I am.

Do you have any websites that you like for grammar explanations? What would you link your codes to?

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Twitter as a Professional Development Tool

I have to admit: I’m not an avid Twitter user. In fact, my twitter account will show you that I have posted 57 tweets in the last year. About one per week. However, a recent article on the NYT blog inspired me to rethink Twitter for professional development and increase my involvement. The article featured 33 educators and each presented ways in which they have created their personal learning networks.  Surprisingly,  15 of the educators mentioned twitter as a key component to their professional development. People follow certain hash-tagged conversations, like #engchat #edchat #edtech. They also connect with people from around the world to discuss and share ideas. There certainly is a lot out there. I guess, Twitter really can be helpful. As a little bit of proof here are three interesting tweets from people I follow:

Do you use Twitter for professional development? Who do you follow?

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Visual Writing Prompts

I was surfing the web this week and came across the Writing Prompts tumblr page. Some the prompts would be difficult for our students, but here are two examples:

I liked that the writing prompts were so visually compelling, so I decided to create a few in a similar style for my TOEFL prep class using existing TOEFL prompts. Here is my PowerPoint with visual writing prompts.

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Deciding to Use Technology

Personally, I use new technology all the time, but I am more hesitant to introduce new technology to students. Three years ago, I blogged about my process for choosing instructional technology, and it hasn’t changed much. I still believe the initial question should be the learning objective. What do I want students to learn? (I wouldn’t encourage teachers to start with a piece of technology they want to use and then see how that would fit with their learning objectives. Learning objectives need to be first.) After choosing to focus on a learning objective, I ask myself what is appropriate and feasible. The question of feasibility should include resources and time available, along with usability. Of the remaining technological options, I ask myself what affordances do they offer. Are they social or interactive? Do they provide quick feedback to students? etc. Then, I can make a good decision. The chart below has more details, and here is a larger, more readable copy.

How do you decide what technology to use? What factors do you consider? I didn’t include assessment in the process. Would you?

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SEP Mexico: Technology Class

ImageWe have a wonderful group of Mexican teachers at INTO OSU this month. They are taking courses in ESL trends, methods and technology, along with sharing information about their country and culture. Teaching their technology course is certainly a highlight of my summer. In the last two weeks, we have discussed audio recordings, text analysis tools, collaborative writing, and using videos. I have been posting all of the materials from the class online, so if you want to check out what we have done so far, please visit the class website. And meet the teachers this week at the public library where they will be giving a presentation.

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There are many sites online for recording and posting materials. These are two that I would recommend; both are free:

I would recommend using Audioboo. Students do not have to create accounts to use Audioboo and can post the link on an assignment page in blackboard.

The first is called Voxopop and is similar to VoiceThread. It allows for “Talk Groups” where members can each post recordings. Here is a fun example.

Full directions and information on these tools and using YouTube for student videos are available here: tech_for_listening_speaking

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iPad Ingenuity

These are the materials from Katie Mitchell, Susan Beddes, Kakhramon Gafurov, and Michelle Scholz’s presentation at INTO Conference.
Motivation to Purchase iPads

  • Enhance learning
  • Engage students
  • Reduce obstacles
  • Provide equal access
  • Better understand students

Example Activities

  • Book Reports Linked Through QR Codes
  • iPads and Facebook in class
  • Paraphrasing and Online Polling
  • Researching and Evaluating Sources
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Quick Films to Practice Speeches and Noticing Genres

Prezi: http://prezi.com/vqhe15ob60fe/ipad-presentation/

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