Computer assisted language learning course has had an immense effect on me until now. What l have learned and what has changed my thoughts and knowledge about teaching English depends on this course. My hesitation at the beginning of this course, expectations and thoughts changed very much. Firstly, l have found out new teaching ways of English, secondly how to cope with difficulties and eliciting boredoom environment of class and finally lots of applications and sites ( which are free to register and use) that l can use in my teaching section. Classical language teaching in classroom can be monotonous, boring, and even frustrating, and students can loose interest and motivation in learning especially shy and passive students. CALL can provide student ways to learn English through computer games, animated graphics, and problem-solving techniques which can make drills more interesting and rapidly. Its time saving and easy application system also teachers to teach the course in a better way. Actually in Turkey still lm thinking that nothing will change in education system but it depends on teacher how to give the course. So we as young teachers should give care our job and if we want to teach English or any other course to students we should try new ways of teaching. New language, new pronunciation, new vocabulary whatever comes to your mind consists effort to learn. It is impossible to teach just in front of the blackboard with presentation of grammer and some structures of language. Four basic skills should also be taught to be effective. To do this we have learned a lot of applications and sites in call course. Audioboo for example, is an important site to check the pronunciation of students, by telling a story, suitable to their level, like us a failure story or news they heard currently, you can give a lot of tasks like these. But speaking program should be able to diagnose a learner’s problem with pronunciation, syntax, or usage and then intelligently decide among a range of options.
For writing, you can make your students have a wordpress account and give weekly tasks again like us, and check the punctuation errors, capitalization which is done mostly in English or creativity and productivity of your students.For listening again you can offer your students to listen some expert people on audioboo, ted talks on youtube ect. and for reading there are a lot of applications as l know one of them is e book reader application for mobile phones. Students in Turkey are less desireful to read a book. With this application, it comes more interesting and enjoyable to read. It pushes them to read more. Except that l have learned some disadvantages of call course of course. Like verything call is also not perfect. Students are open to adapt to anything they are given. Computer draws attention and addict students to itself. There became laziness, passive students. It is also necessary for teachers and students to have basic technology knowledge before applying computer technology in second language teaching and learning. They should be accustomed to computer usage. Actually we are in technology era but still there are lots of schools which are not met with computer. Except that It can not also deal with learner’s unexpected learning problem or response to learner’s questions immediately as teachers do.
To conclude, CALL has certain advantages and disadvantages and teachers should know the strengths and weaknesses in applying CALL in classrooms. But with not solely depending on usage of call and with general teaching style, we as young teachers should make some change and make the learning more enjoyable.
Last course and last information about internet usage on education. Our final topics were “weebly (for creating website) and “second life” ( three dimension environment). We firstly argued on the weebly site for creating a website for free. We should visit http://www.weebly.com to create an account and it doesn’t need to be worked on it so much, easy to develop. Frontpage is the other site to create a website but this one is easier than it. We can create blog or pages about your interested area also we can add youtube videos, questionnaire for students or anyone. There are some colums on page that you drag on page and do what you want. For example to upload a video you drag the embed code on page and upload what you want or again if you want to add a text you drag the text box on page and write what you want. You can edit or give titles to your pages. It is our final Project task actually we will add all we hae done until now to this site. We can use it in future, it is good for making difference in education term. We can make our students create thir own websites for portfolios or projects in an enjoyable way. It provide students a new, engaging way to express themselves, have fun while completing assignments they are given.
Secon topic is “second life”. People are called in two way today some are “digital immigrants” who meet with technology long after they were born and the others “ digital natives” who born with technology. We are at the middle of this definiton. Today teachers can control their students on digital environment, with lack of noise, lack of boredom and in a stress-free environment according to me. We can see the benefit of second life there. I have heard it before but didnt have much information about it. There are some arguments on this topic whether it is harmful or not. But to me, every sites on internet should be controlled or of course can be harmful.You can make your students argue on a topic and control by reading their speech on page. Teacher can be observer and control students. Not long before there were two other sites for creating such environments. First one is active worlds as l remember , you can chat there and it is three dimensional environment second one lm sorry but can’t remember now. There the visual aids are more significant and you can change your figure’s cloths. And last one second life, it is the most developed one you can chat, make conference, change cloth of your figure or add name to your figure there. You can upload Powerpoint presentation org et news by chatting. Another good side of it , you can speak with mic but l dont recommend it l think there can ocur chaos if you work in for example a computer laboratory. Some firms make their products advertising by clicking on things on people while wandering on second life. You can click again world buton and go wherever you want on the world but if l do this l will be upset you will want to go there in real life and it can be difficult to make it real. This term will be over but (lm implying just for this course) with more knowledge about social sites. I have more information about different teaching styles at school. Thank you for this Sedat teacher
The topic, we have talked on, this week is NPR (“National Public Radio” or “No Purchase Required” . NPR was created in 1970 and it distributes news and cultural programming. With postcasts we can publish our raido programmes. The one who use audiboo can share and post his/her recorded sound. You can use it for reporting, storytelling, education or just to let friends know what you’re up to. When you record and upload your audio file, you can include your location, a feature which l liked most. In npr site you can find a lot of categories to listen actually most of then are to develop listening skill. But we can not find the written form of this sounds which l was disappointed. Because if we as teacher want our students to both listen and see the text can not realize our aim with audioboo. But there is another site like that differ from audioboo that both has the text and sound together. It is “Voice of America”. If we like a sound, an information from audioboo, we can download it and listen again and again. Ohh another feature of this is actually like twitter. You can follow members of it which maybe you think useful for you or publishes sounds about what you are interested. Also users of it can upload a photo with a title. We also have a task this week to record our failure experience. It seems difficult because ıt should has limited time and we as English language teaching students should pronounce the words correctly. We if want to improve our speking and listening skills, can use this site. It is enjoyable actually. With some smartphones which again when l heard was upset because l don’t have such a phone, we can connect it and publish and share our posts. With technology everything is available today. It depends on our area and interest to use which kind of easy way of teaching in our classes. To be effective we should’t be lazy to use them. l hope we will use all we learned in this course. At least different from a usual teaching system which is teaching in front of the blackboard.
Stories; fiction or fact, are people’s lives, thoughts, emotions even the knowledge about the term they are written. Today stories are told in many different ways that to suit the era according to me.one of them is “digital storytelling” actually l didnt heard about it before that shows lm one of the victim of normal and boring education system in Turkey. It is not difficult and available almost everywehere and level. People share their life story and creative imaginings with others. In education we can use it in a more enjoyable way. Digital storytelling is a way to incorporate and teach the twenty-first century student the twenty-first century technology skills such as information literacy, visual literacy, global awareness, communication and technology literacy. The most important thing that l read from internet is that teachers can use the mobile phones to create short digital stories. We should give attention while preparing it. For example, we should arrange the level of students, time of it (5 to 10 minutes) and the content l think plays a big role there. We should know what we aim to give the students. Actually except the courses, l think teacher can use it for many other topics,He/she can show the classroom rules or to motivate them at the begining of the year it can be used instead of just telling them to the students in class. Anyway l have learned through my education life, “if you teach your student in a different but a useful way what you want, you will success.” This is an opportunity that we must use especially if we are the teacher of elementary school. Young learners have trouble with adopting the course, this is solution fort hem. We as teacher canm also make them creative by making them create their own digital story. It also develops learners thinking way of language and more a lot of intelligences for example spatial, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist and bodily-kinesthetic. It depends on teacher to make it more useful. Digital storytelling also has some disadvatages unfortunatelly, if the teacher is inexperienced about teachnology, he/she will be unfruitful, or some schools may not provide such techonogy in every class. And if the class is crowded it is also difficult to check the students. Ohh l was going to forget to mention about one important thing which is to make the digital storytelling we should have “movie-maker” programme on our computer. And there is site that our teacher mention about where we can find short stories “Storynory.com”.
Another one is “story jumper”. Again used for writing a story, making the students more creative . students can develop ideas on a topic and share the book they prepared with friend. And the most important thing that they have is that they can copy it but for $24.95. it is free to sign up and more funny than the accustomed way of teaching. I hope l will use it.
Social media; we enjoy, have facilities of it and spend most of our day for it. Facebook and twitter are the most popular ones. I want to give some clear explanations about facebook that we all know, it is an exiciting free social networking website that allows us to register, have an account, upload videos, photos and if it is used for some other reasons, we can give some important links as our status. Facebook was founded by 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and originally called thefacebook. We get in touch with friends, family who are away, some other people in other countries. Facebook has 37 different language availability and it has the opportunity of publishing your advertisement sites, creating a group for a purpose, creating an event like,wedding news of our friends, a conference or concert which are l most across with, and finally pages that can be about anything you are interested. Actually l hate being added to groups l dont like or getting links of some pages to like it. Ohh lets talk about some bad sides of facebook, you can play games on facebook but also you send request to your friends to play with you most of time lm bored and tired of rejecting all of them. having such an opportinutiy is good. Another point is there are unrespectful actually l call them harmful and unneccessary people that add you and message you. To reject them again you have also opportunities one of them is making your apperance only “for friends” or “ just me” if you do “public” of course everybody can see what you have shared, said or where have you been (if you mentioned about it) and make comment to your status and send messages you. Families according to me shouldn’t allow their childrens to have facebook account if they are too young. But if we as teachers want to use it for education of course that would be useful in many ways. But it should be controlled and limited. We can create group for writing essays on a topic and make childrens more creative by encouraging them with feedbacks again on facebook because it is more different than in front of blackboard.
Another one is twitter; actually the same with facebook but real-time information network that connect us to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place. There are some signs that one of them is use the hashtag symbol “#” People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. I use it most of the time when lm bored or interested on a topic. Actually at the left side of the twitter there are phrases with hashtag and by using them you can complete or change the writtten one with your own words. Again we can use it for education but in a controlled way. You can recommend you students to follow some important issues about education or their field and Keep foreign language students informed of current events from relevant nations while simultaneously challenging them to use their translation skills by keeping a specific news feed. They can share their notes with friends or have a topic to disccus on it. To cut it short and have some more information l offer you to look at this site. I find it more useful. http://www.teachhub.com/50-ways-use-twitter-classroom
Another one that l forget and was recalled by Mustafa is skype. as l said for others we can again add friends, share our thoughts, celebrate birthdays, learn different languages, talk with friends with (the most important feature of it’s online video call). It is free and you can use it by logging in with your phone, computer or a tv with skype programme( l’ve learned yet and found interesting). But it has some other features by spending a little for it to use widely. For instance, if you pay for it l dont know how much it is you can make call phones, access wifi, or send sms. The problem is l dont have people in my account except three friends of mine:) we use it for doing homework or talking on an issue about a topic or sometimes because of the limited English input in Turkey we talk English with each other a few hours and l recommend you to do it. It is very useful. We can also use it in our teaching section in the future but again in a controlled way.:)
Another important and useful tool, wiziq. We have learned about online conferencing actually which l was bored while watching maybe because of its being compulsory like other tasks like that in summer. But for teachers and students it also gives opportunity to leran without coming together in a place or it is not a face-to-face education. And because of its international feature for teaching, it serves multi- cultural and multi-dimensional experience for both teacher and learners. You can leran from experts on a subject or ask question from there which is also a good feature of it you can use and you can get help for homework and the exiciting part of it, especially for foreign language learners to learn more about language, its chatting part. If you have wiziq and want learners to know about it you can share it on any site and they can join your teaching part. It is free for both teacher and learners. The most interesting side of it as l remember from my learning section, sessions get recorded so you can revisit it even searc for topic you are interested. Teachers can explain concepts using ‘learning assets’ such as images, videos, PowerPoint presentations, documents etc.
Another good side of it that is its having a whiteboard feature that when you write something everybody can see it and delete part it includes. Friends experienced it in class this week but l couldnt because of not having computer you can also use the microphone but it is not necessary because you can see the toughts, writings from chat part but if you have audio you can talk too. Something that we need to know these poisbilities are just available when teacher allows us to use. It can be used in every area l think very well.
Online learning our most disscused topic nowadays. We have learned two sites for online teaching and learning this week as l remember. One of them is http://www.nicenet.org which is offered free for public use and free for participation. The important thing about it that l was confused is it shows us how many people used this site and the time of it. We can not upload video, visual aids, or documents like word files not to slow it up. Mostly it is used for reading and writing. The other is http://www.compus.dokeos.com for creating a course for learners and consists more contents but cause it to be more slower than the other l mentioned about. Teacher can add quizzes for learners and its chat availability gives students the chance of asking questions each other even they can disscuss a topic there. They can learn their grades from there.
There is also an icon which looks like “eye” that allows students see some colums of this site and teacher controlles it. He can close this section for students not to see one part of the site. For example he can reject the chat part and students can not chat. Actually there ,with online classroom, education occurs self motivation, the ability to communicate in writing effectively. I can use this in future because of its time saving and easy way of teaching features. But still l support face-to-face teaching method especially if lm teacher of youngs beacuse they need to ask questions and they should sometimes see my gestures, mimics and body language to comprehend the subject well.