Language Show Live: Digital literacy meets EAP

28-Nov-2012

The first stop at the Language Show Live takes us to the EAP area, which is a rather tricky area to teach as it does not only need to be filled with specific content, but also with real life skills which students will be confident to reach to and apply in their academic escapades. The presenters of the Digital Literacy Meets EAP talk were Rui da Silva (who you may know from his stint on this blog in May) and Chloe Druce, both from Bellerbys College in London. Their talk was focused on using easy online tools to work with EAP students on: essay planning, organising research, reading and thinking critically. I really enjoyed the talk and took away from it a very nice list of online tools to try out; you can find the details below.

Scoop.it

It is an online magazine where you gather articles from the websites you visit and organize them in your very own magazine. You no longer have to jump from website to website; now you have everything organized in one place.

The internet gives students a chance to access an unlimited number of articles, which don’t necessarily represent the highest quality of language and content. By setting up your students to carry work using Scoop.it you help them to work on reading and evaluating resources they access and decide what is worth using in their work. You could divide your students into groups and assign to each group a topic. Students work in their groups building up their online magazine. As they are working on their online magazine they can leave comments about what they or people within their group have found. Either during the working process or once the work has been completed, they can share their online magazine with other groups and leave their comments in other groups’ magazines.

Scoop.it is great at helping your students to build on the very essential skill of selecting and collecting valuable information. It also personalises the learning process as it allows students to evaluate and curate their very own content.

Annotary

This is another great way of making research smarter and keeping track of what you read. Students can bookmark (collect) interesting or relevant web pages and easily access them when needed. A great thing is that students can group their collection following a topic or project they are working on. Students can highlight passages (pages stay highlighted when they return); take notes on any page and save them with the bookmarks. One of the best things is that students can collaborate with other users: share collections, notes and highlights and follow other students.

Annotary helps students to:

  • Read actively and evaluate
  • Identify language discourse
  • Learn to question things
  • Explain and summarize
  • Organise and synthesise
  • Record and share

 

Prezi

Most of you probably are well familiar with Prezi which simply puts PowerPoint presentations in the corner. If you are new to Prezi the most important thing to know about it is that it lets you give a visual story with a flow and narrative element, where images and words work together to help you present an idea or lesson.

As for students, Prezi helps them to make more fluent presentations together with encouraging planning and narrative skills. Students become narrators and they take their listeners on a journey through their work. Once students have completed the presentation they can transform it into an essay.  In this way they can keep their thoughts organized and structured, making the essay easier to follow.

Key points:

  • Visualise- language is not only about words
  • Cluster- ideas are better organized
  • Narrate

 

My brainshark

This tool gives you a chance to create, share and track online and mobile video presentations. You can easily transform documents, such as PowerPoint into voice-enriched video presentations.

Why it’s a good tool:  

  • Helps to reflect on what has been done: students don’t only write a presentation and submit it, but also read through it and explain
  • Helps teachers to understand student’s thinking process and identify where the problem is
  • Students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills
  • Presentation practice; helps students get a sense of how they’ve done
  • Upload PowerPoint and record is practice in a meaningful environment
  • Sharable
  • Students benefit from feedback
  • Sets students for success

 

Soundcloud

Last but not least Soundcloud lets you record audio and share it via sites and social networks. You can find and follow people to share recording with each other, add comments and ‘likes’. Soundcloud helps students to learn to reflect on their work and realise what is right and wrong.

 

Why it’s a good tool:

  • Recordings can be saved
  • Students can create sets of recordings and work on their individual speaking
  • Share recording with everyone, engage with each other

 

I think that the above tools are easy to use and, what’s important, don’t add to teachers’ work load. As for students, they become empowered and are given opportunities to work independently and to be in control of their own work.  I hope you will have a chance to add these tools to some of your classes and your students will enjoy using them!

 

Joanna

 

 

Please see below for more articles in the ‘Language Show Live’ series:

Introduction

Language Show Live: Fun and effective uses for technology in the classroom

Languag Show Live: Online real-time communication

 

 

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