How to use web 2.0 resources in class: a possible lesson plan

TOPIC: past summer holidays
TIME: 2 x 60-minute sessions
TIMETABLE FIT: one of the first weeks of the school year, when students still remember what they have just done on their holidays
TARGET LANGUAGE: holiday vocabulary; past simple and continuous; language to describe photographs
TECHNOLOGY USED: wiki, flickr, Power Point, slideshare
AIMS: for students to talk about their last summer holidays; for students to describe their holiday photos and tell anecdotes about them.
STUDENTS’ LEVEL: lower intermediate, ESO 3
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Collaborative projects: pros&cons

After having read about other projects available and having flicked through their websites, it’s become crystal clear to me that they definitely have a lot of potential for use in and out of the classroom. Most of the ones I’ve looked at seem really engaging and motivating, as well as relevant and meaningful for students. Also, they come across as a very hands-on way of getting them to research things and learn about them.
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Online collaborative projects: Global Schoolnet

The Global Schoolnet is a USA-based website for online collaborative projects which includes a wide variety of activities on many different areas. You can search for projects by date, age, curriculum area, keyword or technology used. Among the most popular ones are Letters to Santa (mainly about writing), GeoGame (mostly about Geography) and Newsday (to do with Journalism), although there are actually over 3,000 existing projects, some currently in progress and others already completed and archived. Projects are suitable both for primary and for secondary learners. In order to take part in the projects, you must register first. Students need to register through a teacher.
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I wiki, you wiki, we wiki…

PBwiki is a web 2.0 resource with a really funny name that I find extremely practical and user-friendly. I’ve used it to create a wiki for my students. So far, I’ve only posted resources for them, but I’m planning on getting the students to write on it collaboratively (which is actually the main aim of a wiki).
Take a look at the link and see what you think!

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Recording…

Once a friend of mine told me about a dictaphone he used in class to record students’ dialogues. I thought it would be a terribly complicated device to use, so I figured it wasn’t really meant for me. But then one day in the sound department of a big computer store, one of these little evil machines was there calling out my name, so I really had to buy it. It’s basically one of the best investments I’ve ever made. It was definitely worth the money it cost, as I’ve used it a lot and with many different levels, always with great results!

Now check out this Power Point presentation where you can see one of the activities I did with this voice recorder.

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To be (motivated) or not to be…

Nowadays, I think most teachers would agree that motivation is a key factor when teaching, especially when teaching teenagers.  I find that keeping our students interested and paying attention isn’t an easy task, but that technological and audiovisual resources can definitely help! Below is an example of this. It’s a short-film I created with the programme Dvolver which I’ve used with my ESO 1 students this year. 
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