The Webinar Effect For Community Sharing and Caring.

This is my contribution towards the April ELT Blog challenge.

Inspired by The RSCON Mini-conference on April 6th.

Topic: Ideas For Teaching With Technology.

 

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It occurred  to me on Sunday during the #RSCON Mini-conferences that I could use the experience as my contribution towards this month’s carnival topic. Thanks to the RSCON organisers Chiew Pang and Shelly Terrell for the inspiration.

It dawned on me that the topics were practically the same as our blog challenge – about sharing favourite webtools and teaching ideas.

Therefore I’m sharing the edtech ideas of all of the presenters from the mini-conference which took place in a virtual classroom..

We had 8 mini presentations and a technology smackdown. It was all made possible by the virtual classroom, so my overall favourite tool to share in this respect is the live online virtual space.

This makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve been involved in many sharing initiatives through live webinars.

It all started with The Edupunk on WiziQ where we used to hold free weekly creativity and language learning experiments for the world of language learners out there. It continued with contributions towards the ELT MOOCS, MOODLE MOOCS, Virtual Round Table, EVO, Spring Blog Festival, The Reform Symposium and a special webinar for the British Council.

So with the live online virtual space as the main tool, I’ll now post links to the webinars where we shared all of the other tools and ideas through online collaboration at the mini-con on April 6th 2014.

Favourite tool(s):

Virtual classrooms, google hangouts and all live online virtual spaces.

Examples of virtual classrooms:

WiziQ, Blackboard, Adobe Connect, Webex,  google hangouts.

Idea:

This massive tool is our umbrella for sharing all of the other tools, or at least, showcasing them. Virtual classrooms, hangouts and all types of webinar technology  also serve  as  community-building arenas for enabling great synergy, excitement, professional development and socialising online – so I’m calling it the ‘webinar effect’.

 

The Webinar effect and RSCON Mini-con.

Mini-con presentions and  technology smackdown all in one place:

If you find some quiet time to view these webinars you’ll get many inspiring ideas for technology and creativity. Beyond that it’s impossible to feature all of them  separately on this page, but I can describe and show two examples as I have the power points from slideshare.

This mini-presentation is about brain-friendly ways to memorise language through imagination, association and creativity.

The ideas suit both traditional learning situations and the use of technology. For the purposes of technology ideas, I will describe some tools I use for materials design and teaching.

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1) Comics: I do a lot of teaching through comics and often use comic life to create power point templates and images. That’s how I designed the one above. Of course comic life is wonderful for students as a story -telling tool, and much, much more.

Other good comic sites that I use are makebelief comix, Bitstrips.

For more information on comics, check out comics in education and see my links to Shelly Terrell and Janet Bianchini at the end.

2) Word clouds: are very versatile for teaching – you can teach so much using the word images as prompts for brainstorming and all kinds of creative activities. You can use them to display new words, word families, vocabulary revision, grammar, visual spelling practice, memory games, story-telling prompts, unscrambling poetry, re-writing a story /song from scrambled up prompts. Most importantly you can get students to create their own word clouds based on personal themes and get them to present and talk about their themes using the cloud as a visual aid.

Obviously I need to write a separate article on this huge topic as well. The ‘footprint’ image in my presentation was made with Taxgedo. The other popular one is wordle.

3) Mindmaps: The possible uses of mindmaps are extensive and exciting and I’ll be writing a separate article on this, as well as showing how to create mindmaps and get students creating their own during my #RSCON webinar in July. For now you can see one of my ideas about mindmapping and movie clips in the presentation above.

I use imind which is not free, but other tools are popplet, mindmaple and mind 42. Here’s a link to even more.

4) Poetry and story-telling: there are lots of lovely online tools to help your students publish their creations. I’ll give a short list under the next presentation.

5) Mnemonics, interactive posters, infographics.

In keeping with my brain-friendly theme above, if you use some memory association activities with students you can display them visually online through interactive posters and infographics. I use Eduglogster for posters and Pictochart for infographics. Here are more free infographic tools, compliments of Christopher Pappas.

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Here is another mini-presentation by Malu Sciamarelli

Creative writing: Malu shares lovely ideas for writing and I will add some nice tools to help them write online. My favourites are storybird, Story Jumper, Zoo burst and Prezi.

Here’s an example of a proficiency level collaborative story using 100 words from a proficiency word list. The story was created by a fifteen year old boy with some guidance and correction from me.

Poetry:I think that interactive sites with nice visuals and voice over effects would be nice for poetry because students can record themselves reciting their own poems, tongue twisters or other funny rhymes.

A simple google doc or google presentation can be used for this as it has voice capability and you can add images and share collaboratively. Students could all add their own poetry recitation to the same presentation that would have lovely images and the poems they created. Voki is a wonderful tool with character creation and voice recording features. Students can get funny avators to recite poems and then embed into onto class blogs. They can also create their own story-telling, poetry reciting and tv shows on glogster by creating videos of themselves presenting.

I’ll be writing separate articles on all of these tools and ideas and presenting them in detail in the July RSCON webinars.

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About Sylvia Guinan

Sylvia is is an online teacher & writer with a background in English Literature, history and education. She is also an award winning blogger featured by The British Council, online teacher, official blogger for WiziQ, professional development organiser, and passionate researcher into creative learning via Educational Technology @Eslbrain. She is currently focusing on ELT publishing and children’s publishing. Her personal projects for 2014 include writing ELT books through story-telling, comics, poetry, and social and emotional learning, while continually creating and sharing brain-friendly learning materials and ideas online. Her other main interests are art, writing, poetry, and psychology, which which help her to create fun quality time with her children and add colour to her language lessons. When she's not teaching online, she's writing course books, blogging or running her English language Facebook groups.
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