I posted a Tweet today to share 31 websites suitable for young learners of English:
31 Ways to Help Young English Learners - GR8 Sites, many interactive activities. http://ht.ly/2nTdu #tesol #efl #esl #elt.
This link to my 44tips.com service provides the best interactive student activities for lower level classes, many usable on SmartBoards as well. There are sites offering videos, sounds, games, activities, cartoons, courses, audio, stories, searches, all aspects of literacy and phonics.
From my observation of blogs and tweets, these sites are among the best available, so I'm sharing them with learners (as many can be used outside of class) and teachers to get the most out of new technologies and to maximise their fun in learning English.
If you have other sites worth adding, please let me know. Please enjoy!
I agree the basic twitter.com page is like a firehose. However, I've got a few ways of stilling the flow.
I use "Hootsuite" and arrange those I'm following into columns according to interest area e.g. ESL, travel, etc. Then I only put the ones I'm REALLY following closely into each category. The conversations are threaded and if you click on a little + next to the message it brings up a preview of the real site with an image and some text.
If you want to send longers messages, you can use twextra for rich formatting too.
Another nice service is twitt.er times which gives a newspaper version of the main tweets you receive which have attachments. It includes images, a summary of the story and who tweeted or retweeted it.
Also, you can use twitpic or twitvid to upload and share pictures and videos. Twitter is also rolling out a suggested friends function (on the regular .com site).
Of course, I agree that some of these are add-ons rather than built-in features, and that Facebook is more for personal & social communication.
However, FB is not without its issues and limitations also. One of the biggest was privacy problems, which I'm not sure are completely addressed yet. For adults I guess this is less of a concern than with children who may share more on FB than they should. Also, I believe third party companies can still access your friends and friends of friends for direct marketing. Finally, all the stupid/inane apps (like Farmville) are still potential hazards.
That is why I've been terribly unfashionable and started a MySpace account. It's harder to convince friends to use it, but if you look at the new interface and some of the other nice features, it's really as good as FB. Since I have recorded a number of music tracks, MySpace also lets me share these directly from my profile both in audio and video formats. It also offers a blog where you can rant on longer if you want, and it's the second biggest network behind FB.
Bottom line, there's a place for both. It's just a question of getting them to work for you efficiently, and of choosing which to use in which context.
Posted 11th August, 2010 at http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/jason_renshaws_web_log/2010/08/facebook-or-twitter-or-both.html
Yes, both my short Korean public school career and anecdotal evidence from colleagues, leads me to confirm that things are really sad there.
Both students and teachers waste enormous amounts of time on meaningless, repetitive tasks while patting themselves on the back for putting in so many hours. Unfortunately, it's so deeply embedded in the culture that they don't even see it.
As I've mentioned elsewhere before, this is also a contributing factor to the high youth suicide rate in South Korea. A colleague told me at her school they didn't even acknowledge when this happened to one of her students - it was just business as usual. Does that mean suicide is "normal"? If all one's youth was wasted sitting in sweaty classrooms with no vacation breaks, no time for friends, endless homework and memorisation, and seemingly uncaring parents, one might wonder whether life was worth living as well.
If we could spend an equal amount of time educating governments, parents and administrators there on efficient and effective ways to learn, we could PERHAPS turn things around. However, I fear that nothing short of a "shock and awe" campaign would have any impact on the entrenched ideas, the ruthless pursuit of profit, or the fear they feel towards many things non-Korean.
I'd have to say too that as an "outsider" while living there I felt powerless to influence change. It WILL come in time, but at what cost?
Posted 6th August, 2010 at http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/jason_renshaws_web_log/2010/08/teaching-in-korea-eight-days-a-week-and-a-cruel-summer.html