Showing posts from July, 2003

Hasta la vista Flooble chatterbox!

I have ditched the flooble chatterbox because it's never been working. I don't know whether it's not compatible with blogger or if putting it at the bottom of the page wasn't a good idea, or...? Anyway, I have been testing out another chat box on my other weblog and at least that works, even if nobody has used it yet.

Weblogs and writing | Technology & Learning - The Resource for Education Technology Leaders : "Web publication gives students a real audience to write to and, when optimized, a collaborative environment where they can give and receive feedback, mirroring the way professional writers use a workshop environment to hone their craft. ...Students will write when they have something to say, when they have an audience, and when they get feedback."

Teresa Almeida dEca's class Blog

Teresa Almeida dEca's class Blog : Teresa's experience of using a web log with her students is definitely worth looking at closely. She wrote to me to say that she started after reading Aaron Campbell's paper : "I felt that a teacher-student blog had the interactivity, type of content and Web presence that I'd been looking for, so I decided to give it a try. It's been mostly a result of instinct and some luck in the choice of layout, I think, because it has certainly appealed to the students from the beginning. In spite of one or two frustrating moments along the way, it has been a very stimulating and challenging experience that I hope to keep up next year with the same students." Let's look at Teresa's weblog carefully : A. GENERAL: Her blog is a class blog. The idea is that students can participate out-of-class, with the idea of extra reading and writing practice in a fun way that is very personal to them and allows them freedom


audioBLOGGER: Listen to this : "audioBLOGGER is a service that provides bloggers with the ability to post audio to their blogs from any phone. ". This is worth looking into.


Chuck@China : "Weblogs do serve another more important purpose - and that is to filter vast quantities of information about a particular subject through a weblog so that people with similar interests can read, consider and comment about the subject."

Courses using Weblogs

Courses using Weblogs : examples of weblogs used in teaching, as opposed to weblogs about education.

eatonweb portal

eatonweb portal :: the original weblog directory : "The journal of an American college student living and teaching English in Northeastern China"

TEFL Smiler

TEFL Smiler : "This is the weblog of a teacher of English as a Foreign Language who's been accused of smiling too much. "

Caution: contents may settle during shipping.

Lost in transit : is a group weblog by expatriates and emigrants around the world writing about their experiences.

English for Architecture

videochat : What's the story, according to you? : An example of an educational blog in action

Weblogg-ed Vol.2: Using Weblogs in Education

Weblogg-ed Vol.2: Using Weblogs in Education . Of course, I haven't had time to read all this information myself, but...the point of blogging is that you can mark all of the interesting links you find and go back to them later when you have time to read them (in theory!)

Weblogs and student writing | Technology & Learning 'Web publication gives students a real audience to write to and, when optimized, a collaborative environment where they can give and receive feedback, mirroring the way professional writers use a workshop environment to hone their craft. ...Students will write when they have something to say, when they have an audience, and when they get feedback.' // posted by Graham @ 9:15 AM"


elearningpost is a great web log all about e-learning.

The Impact of Weblogs

Stephen's Web ~ Papers ~ More than Personal: The Impact of Weblogs : "According to SchoolBlogs, weblogs also foster communication between students. 'Working projects between schools across the globe can be provided with an online platform in a matter of seconds. SchoolBlogs can also produce discussion and information flows within an individual educational establishment that are far more dynamic and effective than a traditional 'intranet'. Teachers and students are motivated to share information because they have ownership of it.' ($265)"

Blogs and Wikis: Environments for On-line Collaboration

And here's another one, with lots of good links: LLT Vol7Num2: Blogs and Wikis: Environments for On-line Collaboration

Learning Circuits -- ASTD's Online Magazine All About E-Learning

Here's another good introductory article about weblogs as a tool for e-learning: Learning Circuits -- ASTD's Online Magazine All About E-Learning

Google Internet Explorer toolbar - great for blogging

I have been trying out the Google Internet Explorer Toolbar with a Blog This! function. It makes it incredibly easy to blog websites you are visiting as a pop up window opens up that allows you to save directly to your web log. Great stuff!

Using English Blog

And here's another one: - particularly useful for English language teachers: "Online newsletter weblog containing ideas, thoughts and musings about the English language and its use."

Blog - EFL Gazette

I've found another article about blogs in ELT, this time in the EFL Gazette .

Bells and Whistles sorted out

I have finally worked out how to combine the bells and whistles on this site so that it actually works. Now to try them out and see what value they have. The Chatterbox for example is an idea that appeals, but I haven't been able to get it to work yet.

More student blog advice

As I start to update the student weblogs, I realise that it would have been much easier to do if I'd created them all under my blog account and not under separate blog accounts. When it comes to housekeeping accessing them under your own account is much easier than if you have to log out and log in all the time.

Student Blogs

Nik Peachey ( British Council Search English ) has suggested I provide links to the actual blogs the students produced, so here they are: Barcelona, our world TV and more Cristina's and Sofia's Blog Beth's Blog Anonymous Blog World of Music Blog Valencia FC Blog Our summer Web Blog As you'll see, some of them don't actually have that much content. I will be posting the other things the students did (that they intended for the blog but never got around to posting) over the next few days. If you look now, you'll also see that sometimes the students couldn't remember which blog they'd posted to, so they sometimes posted to each others. That was partly my mistake by not clearly assigning blogs to students or not recording the logins. I am going to rearrange the material so it reflects the original intention of the experiment. I suppose this is partly the role the teacher has to assume if something like this is undertaken - there is a


I've just changed the template, and sure enough - my links are all gone, but I've checked the archive page and they are still there! I'm going to attempt to rescue them from there and transfer them to the front page...

Careful What you change!

Well, my computer crashed when I was republishing and I've lost all of my links and the extras I added to the sidebar. I'll have to rebuild it (when I have time). I suppose there has to be a way of protecting this. Maybe I'll have to make copies periodically whenever I make substantial changes. If not, then a lot of work can be lost very easily!

Invited user Test

If you set up a blog site for students, and invite them as contributors, you can have more control over the look of the site and the links on the template, etc. They can't change the settings or templates; only post contributions. This is a good idea.


I have added a Flooble Chatterbox to the side-bar to try out. It allows visitors to add their comments and could conceivably be used as a type of 'chat' system between students (or teachers). Please try it out!

Weblog Change

This weblog has now changed. Originally my idea (posted under the title) was: Observations and comments about the use of weblogs with students and teachers of ELT. July 2003: I am currently using weblogs with two groups of teenage students learning English as a Foreign Language (Upper Intermediate level). That refers to the postings below this one. I am now going to expand the blog to examine not only classroom use of blogs, but anything and everything I come across regarding blogging in ELT. If you are new to blogging in ELT, then I recommend you check out some of the links on the left-hand side. In particular, the British Council Search English site is a good place to start. It's a great site for professional development in general, and has a subgroup specially about blogging in ELT. I suggest signing up/ logging in and then going to the Discussion Groups section - look for the Blogging in ELT subgroup. Take your time to explore the site, as it is complex and has a

Summer Course End

Well, now the summer course is over and I am going to analyse what was done and tidy it up a bit. I also told the students to keep an eye on the sites as I would be posting some more of their work (this should keep me busy for a while!). I am also looking at add-ons that could be useful for use with students on their blog sites, so don't be surprised if new things pop up at the bottom of the site, etc. Those I think are useful tools I'll leave, and the others I'll get rid of quickly.

Taking a Break

I decided to call a temporary halt to working on the weblogs with the students. They have been using the computer room sessions to work on their writing (producing dialogues) and searching for information for a class quiz to be held on Friday. Of course, there is nothing to stop us from later reworking this and posting it on their weblogs, although I am beginning to question the approach I have taken with them. When I suggested the other activites, none of the students asked to go back to the weblogs, which was disappointing. I now feel that they have to be guided in order to make use of weblogs, especially at first, as I think some of the students really don't understand what they have been doing. Perhaps if we consolidated their work into one class weblog it would be better, with comments from different students about different things. Although it requires considerable work, I think it might be worth the effort to see if this relaunching provokes their interest. If anyone

Double Whammy

The last post was about Thursday's class. I went in again today with two classes. The first group were in for an hour, and although they didn't spend all their time blogging, a substantial amount of time was spent looking at blogs and revising the blogs that the other class had started. I should say hear that it was much easier the second time. I told them to save their work first, and the session seemed to go much more smoothly. However, leaving the students a complete free choice about what to publish led to some problems. A few happilly got on with the task, writing about themselves, and their lives. A couple of the others, however, took to writing unkind comments about what the previous group had published. I suppose this was because of their age (14-16), but it was a shame. Then a few of the others just didn't know what to write and they kept saying this to me, despite me giving them lots of ideas and suggestions. I think about 70% of the class managed to get somet

Rethinking the Blog class

Setting up the Blogs before the students went into class was definitely a good idea. I also produced a worksheet which guided them through changing the settings (title, description, name, etc). This time the class went much better and there wasn't the sense of frustration that occurred the day before when the work the students had done was lost. The experience, however, was not without its problems. Some of the students lost work because the computers crashed when they tried posting their entries. The PCs we use are not ideal for the job we ask them to do, and sometimes we have to try two or three times to load a webpage. This is OK if you persist with the refresh button, but if the students use the back button, then their work can sometimes be lost. What I suggested to the students was one of two things: They should copy the text they write before moving onto the next screen, so if it is lost then they can always retrieve it from the clipboard. They should write their t

The Beginning

So, yesterday I started a student blog experiment with the first posting you can see below. I have been interested in the possibilities of using weblogs with EFL students for a while, but I hadn't really the right class or conditions up until now. This class seems ideal. They are a higher level class of students studying a summer intensive course (four hours a day, two teachers) at upper-intermediate/advanced level. The students have 2.5 or 4 hours class a day, the first two hours with another teacher and then the remaining time with me. Because half of them are doing a 90-hour course, and the other a 60-hour course, I have the whole group of fourteen for just half-an-hour. Then the 60-hour students go and çI am left with the 90-hour ones. I have a computer room booked every day to use during the first half-hour slot, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity to use weblogs. The difficult question was (and is) how to do it. Why Weblogs? The main reason why I am interes

Hello students!

Hello Francisco, Albert, Albert, Josep, Pau, Cristina, Alba, Carla, Cristina, Joan, Sandra, Laura, Jordi, Nuria and Ignasi! This is an example of a weblog - you can post anything here that you think people might be interested in reading. You can make your BLOG about one thing in particular, or fill it with everything you are interested in. You can add links to websites you find or want people to know about, post your feelings about a particular subject, publish your poetry, etc... What I would like you to do is to respect the following rules for blogging during this class : 1) Everything should be in English - get me to check it before you publish it if you like 2) If you publish anything about anyone else, make sure it isn't offensive, insulting or untrue... So, that's all. Have fun! Graham