Saturday 31 January 2009

Voicethread and Voxopop

This week we have been experimenting with Voice thread and Voxopop (formerly Chinswing).

I am new to Voicethread, so I'll need some time to explore it and become familiar with it.

As regards Voxopop, I have used it before and I love it! I have used
it for basic listening, for example I created a coversation called
"Introductions from around the world" where you can listen to different people introducing themselves and talking about their cities and professions.

I also thought of creating one so that students tell me and each other
about their holidays. Since we have quite numerous classes in my
school (about 40), each student's speaking time is very short. This is
a good way to generate more speaking opportunities and, as Rita
pointed out, to maximise exposure to the language.

This is the lesson plan for it.

Summer holidays
Vicky Saumell


This class is made up of 40 students, boys and girls of about 16 years old in their 4th year of secondary education (one year before graduation). They have English classes for 3 hours a week and they need as much exposure to English as possible. They school year is from March to December, so when we meet this March they will have just had their holidays.


To have students talk about their summer holidays


By the end of this activity, students will be able to:

• Post a recording of their holidays on Voxopop
• Comment on their classmates holiday reports.

Rationale for the activity

This activity mainly focuses on developing speaking fluency by asking the students to talk about a familiar topic. It is also a learner centered task and allows for personal interaction among the students.


1) Students get familiar with Voxopop in class (20 mins)
2) Students record their holiday report on Chinswing (10 mins)
3) Students listen to other students’ reports (30 mins)
4) Students comment or ask questions about someone else’s holiday (10 mins)
5) Students reply to comments or questions. (10 mins)

Anticipated Problems/Solutions:

Problem: The activity could take longer than expected the first time as many students will want to make multiple recordings.

Solution: Once they have become familiar with Voxopop operation, and if we run out of time, students can do the remaining work at home.


Students can then comment on their favourite holidays in class. They can also comment on the usefulness of the tool.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Blogging scenario

'You are a 'blind optimist' who believes that by using blogs in your
lessons you might afford new learning opportunities for students and
perhaps encourage your colleagues to become interested in using Web
2.0 tools. You would like to present 'A Vision for Incorporating
Blogging into Lessons' at the first staff meeting of the year. Explain
your plan for incorporating blogging. (What do you have in mind and
how you will accomplish it?).

I believe that before we can incorporate blogging with our students we, the teachers, must be familiar with them ourselves.

So the first step in the plan would be that each teacher has to set up a blog to experiment with it. The main purpose of the blog must be sharing professional experiences among the teachers, but each teaher can choose a more specific area to blog about.

After the teachers' blogs are up and running smoothly, i.e they have learnt the basics of blogging and understand or realize the power of this tool for students, we can move on to the second step.

The second step is to introduce blogging for students.

In order to do this I would plan for instances in which students can start interacting with blogs, without having to have their own blog first. I mean, responding and adding comments in other blogs. An example is this: Here students must write book and film reviews and post them to the school's blog.

A third step would be for students to have their own blogs. But I haven't thought of specific content or guidelines for these.

This is my first take on the subject... will probably adjust my ideas along the way.

Blogging for profesional development

I have just started this blog as part of the Enhancing Lessons with Web 2.0 EVO sessions 2009. My intention is to use this blog for professional development, to experiment with web 2.0 resources that can enhance language learning.