Sunday, February 29, 2004

the friend of a friend (foaf) project

"The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project is about creating a Web of machine-readable homepages describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do."

This is related to the article about FOAF networks and weblogs (see below)

Saturday, February 28, 2004

DevForum (E-Discussions):

The E-Discussions Toolkit:

"Since 1998 electronic discussions have played a valuable role at the World. By promoting consultations with the public, they have furthered the vision of the Knowledge Bank, which is about putting in place systems for capturing knowledge more effectively."
Internet Time Blog: Building Community

An interesting article on how to approach this...
Internet Time Blog: Edinburgh -- Etienne Wenger: "The three aspects of social learning are the Domain, the Practice, and the Community. What, how, and who."

An interesting piece covering communities of practice, and the future of social learning, which is naturally related to weblogging...
Internet Time Blog: elearnInternational:

"PowerPoint. How many in the audience use PowerPoint at least once a month? (Most of us.) How many learned it by attending a course? (1 person) How many learned via eLearning? (2) How many learned through trial and error and/or asking people for help? (45) This is a typical finding."

Would you get the same result if you substituted 'Powerpoint' for 'weblog'?
Emily's Newspaper ::

A student weblogger speaks about her experience on her weblog :

"I absolutely LOVE WEBLOGS!!! The webloging experience for everyone is so great for education subjects, or of course to share your feelings. Ms. Davis' group allows me to really express my feelings about the subjects on the news and my side of the story. You might think that you can just write it down on paper and have the same effect. If you have a weblog though, you can write AND get a response from other viewers. "

Emily is one of Anne Davies' students, and part of her Thinking and Writing Wrinkles Group, which is a very successful class weblog.
Weblogs, Portals, and KM | MySmartChannels:

"Articles about the convergence of blogs, k-logs, and portals"
Drupal.org:

"Drupal is an open-source platform and content management system for building dynamic web sites offering a broad range of features and services including user administration, publishing workflow, discussion capabilities, news aggregation, metadata functionalities using controlled vocabularies and XML publishing for content sharing purposes. Equipped with a powerful blend of features and configurability, Drupal can support a diverse range of web projects ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven sites."
Auricle : The weblog as the model for a new type of virtual learning environment?:

"I've not yet, and may never do so, reach any conclusions about what I'm considering currently. The more I look at, and have experience of using or enhancing, weblogs the more educational potential I see in this genre. I'm certainly not going to put them forward (yet) as full-blown Learning Management Systems but as candidate engines for alternative and perhaps more satisfactory virtual learning environments? ... probably yes."

Thursday, February 26, 2004

justalking2 ::

An ESL class blog:

"This blog belongs to a group of students from all over the world who are studying in the Learning Skills Unit at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. "

And it's companion :

Just Talking

They haven't been updated for a while, but they are good examples nonetheless...
Blogging:

An introduction to blogging in the classroom...

"You don't need complicated online learning packages to set up a simple online course on a blog. Your own imagination and a group discussion board is enough to start you off. The versatility of a blog means ...Your blog can extend your teaching, and your students' learning, beyond the walls of the classroom into the heart of the internet."

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The ELT weblogging group at the British Council - SearchEnglish Engine is another place you can go to to find information and share views about blogging in EFL/ESL.

Apart from signing up for content delivery (you decide when and what subjects you'd like to be informed about), there are also forums you can join in (you need to login before you can post), a noticeboard, and a shared file area, which will feature soon some activities you can use with classes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

SDS Universe: Bernie Dodge puts his life online

“Good blogs are those that have managed to find their own voice,” said Bernie Dodge, professor of educational technology at SDSU and an experienced blogger. “They’re genuine, thoughtful and somehow they speak from the heart while acknowledging there’s an audience

"No one has time to find all the interesting stuff that’s out there on the web, so if you find a subset of blogs you like to read, written by people who have interests similar to yours, you’ve multiplied your ability to uncover information.”

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Blogfeed:

"Blogfeed creates an RSS newsfeed from the HTML file of your blog. We created this to generate RSS feeds for Blogger powered blogs, but Blogfeed can be used to create an RSS file from any HTML document."
Free Weblog Software for ESL/EFL Classroom Use:

A useful chart comparing different weblog software that teachers might want to use with students, etc.

The tools compared are: Blog-City, Motime, Tabulas, and Xanga. Blogger does not feature here. I have been following the discussion on the TESOL EV ESL Blog group lately and it seems that Blogger does not have a good reputation among teachers as an easy tool to use with classes.

I think this is mainly due to the necessity of having to manipulate HTML code (in the template) if you want to add links, and having to use an outside service for comments or a tag-board. You also need to look for an outside website if you want to post photos.

I think Tabulas seems to be the all-round winner at the moment. When I have time, I'll certainly be trying out these tools myself to see which I prefer. Curiously enough, I have only ever used Blogger with students - I started learning how to blog with Blogger, and it seemed natural to me to use it with students. although it may not be the best option, there are some things I like - the Google Toolbar, for example, with the Blog This! button is a great idea, and makes posting even easier. I don't know if other blogs make use of this feature...
Room 209:

"Hi we are room 209. We are students in the Chicago Public Schools and we maintain this blog. This blog is a way of asking questions, writing about the things we are learning, discussing ideas from many sources, (books, blogs, letters, interviews) and reflecting on those ideas"
tBLOG - Idioms Are Fun!

A great Young Learner blog...
Blog, blog, blog...round the clock!

"My intention is to suggest some possible activities to use them with our students as well as providing teachers with some links to excellent resources on blogging."

A great idea - lists activities using blogs...

Friday, February 20, 2004

E-Learning Web Logs:

"E-Learning Weblog articles"
TrackBack: Where Blogs Learn Their Places: Syllabus

As Stephen's Web puts it:

"This article is a concise and accurate introduction to the concept of the 'trackback' in blogging"

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bee Online 2 is the sequel to Bee Online - I look forward to reading the student posts...
Blogging and Presence Online

This is Bee's online book she made for a chat session presentation on blogging...
EV Online Webhead - Trial Weblog - Bravenet Web Journal

Wow! There's so much ELT Blogging going on at the moment, I'm sure webloggers have noted a shift in the blogosphere...I know I have...
Stephen's Web ~ The Semantic Social Network


"Two types of technologies are about to merge. The technologies are content syndication, used by blogging websites around the world, and social networking, employed by sites such as Friendster [http://www.friendster.com] and Orkut [http://www.orkut.com]. They will merge to create a new type of internet, a network within a network, and in so doing reshape the internet as we know it."

Thanks to Bee for this link - a very interesting article...


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Links - TESL : Weblogs

Blogs by ESL/EFL teachers, blogs about English learning and teaching

Monday, February 16, 2004

ESLingSan:

"This if my ESL Blog as I undertake an MA in TESOL at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. Argh!!!"

Another teacher self-reflective blog...This seems to be a growing area...
Blinger: A linguistics and ESL Blog:

"On a lark I did a google search for linguistics ESL blog and discovered I'm number one. Pretty good for a blog that isn't even two weeks old. I have no idea how I did it."
On English:

"Speaking about the English language, the pitfalls, the pleasures, the rules (or lack of them thereof), the art (poems, short prose, puns, 'proetry'), and so on."

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Article on ELT Blogging

You can now find the first article 'Why blog?' in the documents section of the ELT Weblog group at British Council - SearchEnglish , as well as discussion forums relating to different aspects of blogging in ESL & EFL.

Search English is a British Council "news, information, and networking tool for English language teaching professionals.' Apart from offereing discussion groups on all manner of subjects (CALL, online learning, blogging, etc) it's a free service, which you can configure to bring you the news / lesson plans / articles / etc. that you are interested in. If you haven't visited it yet, then I recommend you do so.
Weblogs Compendium - Blog Hosting

Here's a list of weblogging tools to choose from
An English as a second language blog - ESL blog:

"ESL blog aims to provide news, reviews, opinions, and links regarding learning and teaching English as a second language and English as a foreign language. "

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Reading Edublog news tonight led me to KO, and this post:

Weblogs allow teachers to guide informal classroom activity and to see student’s work before its time for the test or final paper. Students gain a vehicle for creatively experimenting with thoughts and concepts and easily accessing, cataloging and storing outside information related to their interests

Monday, February 09, 2004

I have been running a tutor blog for my ESP students studying Image & Sound. I introduced them to blogging in October, and they have set up learner blogs (see links on the tutor blog) and have used their blogs as a way of submitting assignments that can be then read by others.

I have been looking at ways of presenting corrections to students, writing comments to their weblogs, and have told them to feel free to use the weblogs as much as they like. A large proportion of these students don't have access, or have limited access to the Internet from home, so they have not been using the blogs much. Still, it's been an interesting experiment and most of the students seem to be happy using blogs.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

EnglishIV

A tutor weblog for students of British literature...

Friday, February 06, 2004

Pre-Service Teaching Course Blogs

"These brave future teachers are forging ahead into unknown technology territory this semester"

Bernie Dodge's pre-service teaching group have started blogs - they are to be evaluated as part of the course...

Thursday, February 05, 2004

After a few technical hitches, I've now started posting to the Weblogging subgroup at the British Council - SearchEnglish Engine, and I'd like to encourage you all to join me over there too.

Search English is a free service offering customised news, information and networking possibilities for English language teaching professionals.

I hope that the Weblogging subgroup there will give us a place to discuss and debate our weblog experiences, experiments, etc, and have decided that one of the first things I am going to do is to upload some short articles for beginners who are interested in weblogs and want to get started. Another good thing, would be for those with weblogs to write a short piece about their experience. Getting in touch with others who had started blogs really helped me get started, and made me avoid some of the traps that a beginner can easily fall into.

So, please come on over to Search English, and let's start something special...