Thursday, January 12, 2012

Digital tools class, Week 1.

Week 1. Task 3.
To introduce myself I created a short presentation about myself using Prezi. I was impressed with the tool, a much more interesting and visually relveant way of making presentations. It is far from perfect (I have some serious time constraints right now) but I hope to do some more work on it when I have some time. Enjoy!
Karen's Prezi presentation

Week 1, Task 5.
 Prezi Flavors About Me Animoto Edmodo

  1. Think of how you could use one of these tools with your students.
  2. Add your ideas to your own digital portfolio. (consider language goals, digital tool to be used, time frame, steps)

I have had a really busy week with work so it has been a challenge to find time to explore these tools sufficiently, but I got really stuck into Prezi the other night when I was making my intro and I loved it. I teach busy business people so getting them to do anything outside of class can be challenge, so I will have to be very selective of anything that I attempt to bring into class in order to not waste time. However, I can see the relevance for this tool in the business world immediately. Given the number of presentations that I have helped students write describing company processes or company structure, I think this tool would have plenty of new fans in any of my classrooms.

In terms of actually using it in class, I teach from a more unplugged approach so it would probably be something that I would add to my 'box of tools' if you like. Stemming from conversation we often come up with mind maps of different uses of new vocabulary, for example you could see the lesson plan about weather below. This could easily be transformed into an interactive moving presentation using Prezi. 

It could also be used to keep a class list of 'verb, noun, adjective' that most of my students have in the back of their notebooks. I can imagine one of the word collections that came up today (compete, competition, competitive) being illustrated with either pictures or short film clips to help them remember the differences (perhaps the pictures popping up first followed by the words).

From an Academic Director point of view I could use this tool to more easily illustrate the procedures for starting classes, where it depends on the type of class you are teaching what paperwork is required. It could really 'pimp' my boring old flow chart!

My one concern with this tool is that it could be quite easy for students to waste a lot of time using it, and not conversing in English. I think I would try and set them the task of at least finding some electronic pictures to illustrate whatever point we were working on to bring to class before we launched into the tool. Ideally we wouldn't spend too much time on the construction of the presentation (they are all computer literate adults), but the chances of them completing it for homework are also slim. This could well be the downfall of this tool in my classroom.

As I said, I don't feel I have had sufficient time to explore the other tools, but I have them noted in my delicious stack for perusal when I have time!

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