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Showing posts from September, 2009

An Engaging Online Gradebook Suite

I know this post is not relevant to computer-assisted language teaching, but I thought this will help educators like me to manage their gradebooks easily and in a  secure environment.

I have heard of engrade a while before from many educators on my PLN like twitter, Classroom2.0 … . So now I decided to give it try as I was concerned about the continuity, sustainability, security, and privacy of engrade since it is free for educators ( we always have the feeling that free means insecure:)
The interface of engrade is great and it really engages the teacher, student, and parents in the ongoing student assessment. Teachers can have students and their parents see their grades on engrade by supplying them with student access only. In addition to its excellent computational assistance of grade averages, engrade enables teachers to :

upload files for students and parents

comment on a particular student’s academic progress for students and parents to see, as an ongoing evaluation. Th…

A Great Tool to Improve Students' Vocabulary: An Alternative to Wordle

I am sure all of you by now know Wordle and its great implications in ESL/EFL. Wordle- a word cloud that displays words of a text, website, or Delicious visually and according to a word's frequency- has become a favorite tool for English teachers to teach text genres, vocabulary building, and much more. Teachers all around the globe build activities around Wordle to result in enhanced language learning. If you would like to read more about Wordle and activities that can be built around it, I recommend you read Nik Peachey's Post. He also provides a tutorial on how to start with Wordle.

However, there is another web-based tool that is based on vocabulary acquisition theories rather than technical aspects. This web-based word cloud tool is

.  Now, to be honest wordsift is not visually appealing as wordle is and it is not customizable with regard to 1- words displayed in word cloud, 2- word cloud appearance, and 3- options of text input. Yet, it does render a great way to e…

My Top 10 Learning Tools for 2009

This post is a contribution to c4lpt’s call for learning professionals to contribute their Top 10 Tools for Learning. Well, here it goes, not in order of preference.
Mindomo is a an excellent online mind mapping software that supports critical thinking. It is highly customized for education. Educators can embed their own maps in any website or blog. Students can use it with ease due to its user-/student-friendly interface. Students and educators can share and organize researches in an “interrelated form”. Etherpad is a great web-based word processor. The great thing about it is that you can edit the same document in real-time and you don’t need to register. Just invite and share the unique url. This is great with regard to teaching and learning in real-time. Teachers, colleagues, and students can collaborate on the same word processor in real-time. Another great feature of etherpad is that you can export or import to and form MS word, PDF, and Open Document. (scriblink is another real…

What is Web2.0? How Are Web2.0 Technologies Used in Education and Language Learning?

I was approached by many educators in my teaching context asking about web2.0. What is it? Why is it called web2.0? Intuitively because there was a web 1.0 :)
To explain what web2.0 is, I should show you what web1.0 is and how they differ and how web2.0 affords an innovative learning based on collaboration and sharing of knowledge.
The model below roughly shows how web1.0 differs from web2.0.

Web1.0 refers to :slow connection (modem) HTML websites One to many communication Static Websites Web1.0 companies present on their websites and users read the information with little communication between the two.
Web1.0 was used in  education and  language learning for drills and practice. The “drill” and “practice” nouns lend themselves well to behaviorist theory of learning. It can be seen as the PP approach too where PP refers to Present then Practice. The website Presents and learners, especially language learner, Practice but with little or no third P (Produce).
Web2.0, however, has arrived…

Edmodo: A Microblogging Educational Platform

I’ve been aware of edmodo for quite a time now though I have never had the chance to use it with my students yet, as the scholastic year did not start yet.
What is Edmodo?
We all know twitter as a social networking platform and a microblogging platform for language learners right!!! The thing is that twitter does not have the security that our students need for safe microblogging. This is where edmodo comes in with its enhanced new features.

Simply put, Edmodo is a microblogging platform for education. You notice this on the home page of edmodo where there you can sign up as a teacher or a student.

Once you enter as a teacher you have to create an account to use edmodo. Your pesonal page contains all the features you need to connect with your students. You can upload assignments with files, link to urls, embed videos, or post a note.
The security in edmodo is that you have to create a group to connect to. Once this is done, you are given a code which in turn you give to your students.…