Showing posts from 2007

Web 2.0 for EFL Teachers

I'm currently in Caracas, Venezuela, where I'm the facilitator of this seminar: Web 2.0 for EFL Teachers: Podcasts, Blogs, Wikis, Virtual Worlds and Digital Games . The seminar has been organised by the British Council & AVEALMEC, a relatively new CALL Association for teachers in Venezuela. We have started a ning and over 40 people have joined, although only 27 of these people will be at the f2f seminar. Today, day 1, we'll be looking at social software, blogging, RSS & tagging, and some of the teachers will be presenting a few of their blogging projects they have been involved in. It's great to see so much enthusiasm and expertise here in Venezuela and can't wait to get to know everyone better and find out what they have been doing.

Education@Edunation - Second Life Teaching Tools

I'm now getting excited about the new initiative that the Consultants-E are launching in two weeks: a new series of monthly events, Education@Edunation, which I've been asked to help co-ordinate. The first one, which unfortunately I won't be able to attend (I'll be on a plane coming back from Venezuela) looks like a very promising launch to what I'm sure will be a very popular event in Second Life: Title: SL Teaching Tools Time: Saturday 1st December, 08.00-09.00 (SL time)17.00-18.00 ( UTC ) Place: Edunation III Conference Crossover Space (EduNation III 202, 27, 21) Details: Dudeney Ge will be be giving an introduction to some of the tools available for teaching in Second Life (free gift for teachers included!) This first event will be followed by others, approximately once a month, so it should be a great way to meet interesting people and find out about Second Life educational initiatives, etc. Here's the details: Education@Edunation is a seri

Webheads in Second Life Monday Tours (again)

Tomorrow from 20.00-22.00 GMT (Monday 29th October) we'll be meeting at the Webheads HQ @ Edunation for another Monday night SL Webheads tour. This time it'll be a visit to some Second Life quests followed by a discussion of how something similar may be exploited for language learning. Using Second Life as a platform for games is becoming more popular, with the recent 'CSI' and 'I am Legion' game launches. How feasible is it to do something similar (albeit on a smaller, less ambitious scale) for language learning? So much for being able to keep up a weekly Webheads tour / meeting in Second Life - workload has meant it is impossible, but hopefully a once monthly meet is possible for me to organise. So, after being contacted about this by by Seth Dickens , who is bringing along some colleagues tomorrow, we've decided to restart the tours / discussions tomorrow. What's the theme this time? Rather than explore more real life cities (by no means exhausted,

Second Wind for Second Life?

Second Life ( SL ) seems to be back in the news, thanks to the TV programme CSI:New York , which has featured the virtual world in some episodes and also launched a Second Life game based on the show ( see video below ). As there are competitions to solve crimes and track down murderers by finding clues and filing reports, it could be interesting to English language learners (I've only just joined in so I'm not sure how valuable it is yet). (above - the CSI SL game also has its own SL viewer and simplified SL orientation to help players with the interface and the game. More photos here ) This transmedia storytelling ( thanks to Ewan McIntosh for the link ) seems to be something we'll be seeing a lot more of, and Second Life is an attractive option because it is cheaper to build a game using this platform than starting from scratch. It also takes advantage of its existing user base. Could this prove to be a second wind for SL, now that the hype / criticism cycle of the vi

Webheads @ Edunation - 1st October 2007

Yesterday's Monday night meeting of the Webheads in Second Life was supposed to be an introduction to the new Webheads HQ @ Edunation III . Eveything was set for 20.00GMT - I was waiting there for people to arrive when the region started logging out (this 'rolling restart' to regions happens occasionally when servers are reset etc.) . I was teleported to another sim and couldn't find my way back for another twenty minutes! Finally, I managed to get back to Edunation , but not to the Webheads HQ , which remained inaccessible for the rest of the evening. Not able to proceed as planned, as people started to arrive, we sat back in the comfy bean bags and chatted, watched a Teachers TV podcast and then Dudeney G demonstrated the fabulous new Flickr in SL tool that he has been developing. How does it work? Well, you can type a tag and then when you touch the too it displays an image from Flickr that has been tagged with this word. We all got carried away trying it out

IWB Resources - Useful links

General Promethean iwb IWB Research Forum Why use an iwb? Comenius Resources Images Exploding Dog DK clipart Microsoft clipart Corbis Images Sounds Collect Britain (Accents, etc) Routes of English Poetry Jukebox Video iFILM Prelinger Archives Other Links Online ILT Activities BBC Schools Big Brown Envelope English Resources

Is there a demand for studying English in Second Life?

In Japan, 30% of those surveyed by Goo Research’s online monitor group would like to . Or at least that's what was said in April this year (I've only just seen this now) - I wonder, if you asked the same people now, would the answer be any different? How many of those people have tried to study English in Second Life? And, Perhaps the answer would have been different if they had used a different verb instead of study - learn or practise , for example. It's amazing what you find by chance... I came across the What Japan Thinks survey (" Are you interested in studying English in Second Life? ") while trying to find out the source of an extremely annoying error message* that keeps nagging my avatar ( see below ). Needless to say, I got sidetracked and now find myself blogging about the survey instead of finding the solution to my Second Life problem. Learning a language in Second Life This topic was discussed extensively at the 2007 Second Life Languages Semina

Webheads Tour Second Life #2

WEBHEADS DISCUSSION TOUR #2 REAL LIFE EUROPEAN CITIES IN SECOND LIFE For anyone out there interested in meeting up in Second Life on Mondays, I thought it would be interesting to continue the tour of Real Cities we started last week. We only got to visit two, and there are lots more that we can take a look at. As the best part of last week's tour was having a guide speak us through it in Wonderful Denmark , I thought I could attempt to do something similar in.. * Barcelona * Liverpool and if anyone comes along who'd like to give a tour of another destination, please let us know. Here are some of the other cities I proposed visiting last week... * Moscow * Amsterdam * Lisbon * Brussels * Dublin FOR DISCUSSION: Second Life has its fair share of Real Life cities that people have created. Why build a recreation of a Real Life city in a virtual world where what you build is confined only by your imagination? Do these places attract native spea

Webheads Tour #1 of Second Life: Real Life Cities in Second Life

The idea behind this tour was to visit a number of cities in Second Life that have been based on their Real Life counterparts. There are lots of these and they are mainly European cities for some reason, so we decided to visit a number of them: Venice Moscow Amsterdam Barcelona Wonderful Denmark Berlin Liverpool In the usual Webheads fashion, it didn't turn out as planned, but what did happen was very educational ("inspiring, even" was a comment I received from one of the participants) The general idea I had in mind was for us to visit these places and try and find out the answer to some of these questions: why do people choose to recreate Real Life places in in a virtual world where what you build is confined only by your imagination? Do these places attract native speakers from these countries? Are these places interesting visits for learning the language associated with the cities? What can you learn about culture from visiting these places? I was surprised at the t

The Interactive Whiteboard - white elephant or teacher's pet?

The Interactive Whiteboard ( IWB ) is a technology that promises to truly transform the classroom and yet is seen as a threat or a waste of money by many teachers. Their views range from luddite , regarding the introduction of any teaching technology as unnecessarily contaminating the classroom to the (more reasonable) preoccupation that this tool will lead to a overly teacher-focused environment and a group of learners passively sitting dazzled by the bells and whistles used by the sage on the stage . It doesn't have to be that way though. In this post, I will reflect upon the recent discussion on the Dogme (teaching unplugged) list about the pros and cons of IWBs, and put forward the view that the key to a successful IWB implementation is in the training, something which seems to be missing when many organisations unpack and install these shiny new toys. A good workman never blames his tools Before I continue, let's stop and take a look at the tool itself. There are many d