Blogs and wikis

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Blogs and wikis: a deeper look

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In this presentation we will... Learn what blogs and wikis are Look at blogs and wikis in the ELT context Discover how to set up a blog or a wiki Focus on blogs and wikis as a solid foundation to structure our use of cloud computing tools in ELT

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We’re going to watch a video called “Blogs in plain English”, made by http://www.commoncraft.com/ . You’ll need to be connected to the Internet. Please download Worksheet 1 before watching and complete the tasks. If you’re not connected to the Internet right now, here’s the link to copy and paste into your web browser later… http://www.youtube.com/v/hrs8MGWhDhg

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Here’s a definition A Web log , or blog , is a webpage which is mainly written in a personal and informal style. A typical blog is interactive and combines different media, such as text, images, video and hyperlinks. Here are examples of blogs that were set up by Primary schools in Spain and Britain… Let’s put our teacher’s hat on and identify some key words!

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If you click on the image you can visit this blog in real time. It’s worth having a look around this class’ website as it’s a great example of effective use of ICT in an educational context.

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If you click on the image you can visit this demo or example blog in real time too. This website provides you with a range of ideas for creating your own blogs.

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What are the benefits of blogs? Blogs are highly motivating for writing tasks Blogs are great for information exchange Blogs can help us learn about culture We can contact schools in other countries Blogs are good for organising & presenting projects We can upload multimedia material to our blogs Blogs empower shy pupils Blogs have added value in terms of ICT learning

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If you choose to set up a blog as your Module 3 task you can do it here… www.blogger.com We recommend you visit this webpage to get a very good introduction to the world of blogging. The excellent Teacher Training Videos website also has good video tutorials to help you set up a blog. Setting up a blog

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If you’re not connected to the Internet right now, here’s the link to copy and paste into your web browser later… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8kcqpPcAKg You are going to watch a video called “Wikis in plain English”, made by http://www.commoncraft.com/ . You’ll need to be connected to the Internet. Please download Worksheet 2 before watching and complete the tasks.

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Here’s a definition A wiki is a webpage designed to enable users who access it to contribute or modify content. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites. Because the editing of the information is shared it can be updated and/or corrected very easily. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia. Here are some examples of wikis in educational contexts… Let’s put our teacher’s hat on and identify some key words!

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If you click on the image you can visit this wiki in real time. It’s a teacher training website and it gives some great ideas for integrating ICT into education.

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If you click on the image you can visit this wiki in real time as well. This website has been created by schoolchildren on the premise of Wikipedia, but with information relevant to children.

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Let’s think about what the benefits of wikis are… Wikis are very useful for shared writing tasks Wikis promote teamwork Wikis are motivating for pupils Wikis are great for peer correction Wikis can enhance project work We can upload multimedia material to our wikis Wikis have added value in terms of ICT learning

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If you choose setting up a wiki as your Module 3 Task you can do it at these websites… www.pbwiki.com www.wikispaces.com www.wetpaint.com The excellent Teacher Training Videos website also has good video tutorials to help you set up a wiki . Setting up a wiki

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Blogs Wikis What is the relationship between blogs and wikis? A wiki website can have a blogging section but a blog doesn’t usually have a wiki attached. For example, you can imagine Wikipedia having a blog but you can’t imagine a blog having the biggest online encyclopedia in the world attached to it.

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Privacy questions are very important. Blogs and wikis need to be open to encourage students to interact, but make sure they don’t show personal information. Solicit parental permission for children to use blogs and wikis and encourage parents to access the websites to see their offspring’s work. Become aware of the local and national education authority guidelines for using these websites in education. Always stage and structure tasks very carefully to ensure students know exactly what is expected of them and don’t go off on tangents. Students need to have a clear idea of what netiquette is and what is and isn’t permissible when using blogs and wikis. Have an assessment procedure in place, it’s as important when using these websites as it is with traditional coursebook material . Blogs and wikis – general guidelines

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So what is the relationship between blogs, wikis and the ‘cloud’?

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What do we do when we want to access our class work, to revisit it, to consolidate learning? Aren’t we back to square one? Where can we put all our work if it’s not on our computer, if it’s in this nebulous ‘cloud’? We can upload it to our class blogs and wikis.

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This is a simple blog we set up to upload and embed some cloud computing tools. Click on the image to have a look at it.

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