Monday, 5 December 2011

Adobe Connect

What is so fabulous about ADOBE CONNECT? how would this tool benefit a language learning?
Well in this entry, I will explain how adobe connect may work for a language learning classroom. Basically Adobe Connect is the most basic tool which is needed for a long distance classroom. The teacher can always act as the mastermind in the classroom but it is the students who should do all the interactions and enthusiastically learn the language :)

How could this tool be used in the classroom?

  1. The teacher could use this tool as an alternative to a new environment of language learning.
  2. Students might get a little bit excited to involve in a long distance classroom therefore they'll be pretty much motivated to take part in the classroom and learn the language :P
  3. This tools can act as an interactive board fro learning to take place since students are allowed to post relevant links, photos, audio and et cetera during the online classroom.
  4. The teacher can also give make a summary of what they have learned in the real classroom, in other words, feedback session can be done in this long distance learning.
What I like about this tool?
  1. Amazing website as it allows maximum interaction between the teacher and the students!
  2. its free,in the first place so you really have to sign up for an account to permanently use this tool.
  3. Fun and interesting way of learning!
  4. Sharing files is always at your fingertip!easy and simple.
  5. Many useful buttons and features available, they are all useful for language learning to take place.
  6. Involves language skills like speaking listening writing and reading.Its a complete and 'all rounded tool'!
What I dont like about this tool?
  1. Its NOT free unless you sign up for it.
  2. No two way of interaction can really take place because too many noises made (during the discussion for example) may be quite disturbing!
  3. You really need to know the function of every single buttons in the tool otherwise, real problem will take place!
  4. That's so unreasonable for the teacher to actually monitor what the students are doing since they are all at different places.

Trial version of Adobe Connect

Some tutorials on how you would work in it by yourself!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Using MailVu and Keek in the connected classroom. has offered a very interesting platform for not just language learners, but definitely suitable for all types of people in this world regardless of their careers. Having said that, this tool gives a vital impact to its users especially those who are interested in passing messages through an unbelievable medium- easy, quick, and free. Not just that, this mailvu also provides amazing video recording tool and it can just simply be sent to anyone else through emails. As simple as that and you can just get the message and the video straightaway!

The same notion  is represented by the other website which is known as KEEK. The only difference between MAILVU and KEEK is that the latter provides an embed code system for its users. This is absolutely amazing for students as they can keep their video for personal collection or they can just paste the embedded code in their language blog.

How can this tool be used in the language classroom?
Both MailVu and Keek are relevant to be used as medium for connected classroom in which allows students to get involved in such interactive way of language learning. The teacher can exploit these tools to encourage the learner to use the target language not just in the classroom but also in the outside world. There are many ways of using these tools, for example, the teacher can set up a speaking task which requires the learner to communicate meaningfully. In general, the teacher can start the lesson by drawing a timeline regarding his own personal life on the board before asking the students to interrogate the teacher by asking "what happened to you in 2002?" The teacher then can respond to the question by briefly explain the events happened in that particular year. This way of introducing a schemata for students is quite relevant as students will get clearer understanding about the speaking task. The students are later expected to draw their own timeline and use either MailVu or Keek to present their timeline. If the teacher wants to encourage more interaction, students may be asked to interview a friend about their timeline and record their conversation using these tools before sending it to the teacher for evaluation purposes. Other than describing a timeline, the teacher might ask the student to promote an object for business purpose, interview a 'public figure' (who are made up), present their favorite recipe or even recite an interesting poem of their choice.

The teacher also has to bear in mind that giving feedback is almost necessary in ensuring students' level of understanding of the language. the students may get pretty excited to know that their teacher is actually listening to their speaking and in a way it does motivate them to produce efficient outcomes. 

the positives about these tools,
  1. Quick, easy, interesting and efficient tools for connected classroom.
  2. MailVu allows you to make 10 minutes recording and that's more than enough while the Keek allows you to have only 30 secs of recording. the beginner and intermediate language users can go for the latter first before upgrading themselves to use MailVu,
  3. Boost learners' confidence especially in speaking skill. It also helps those who are less active in the classroom participation to practice using the language personally.
  4. If it is assigned as a homework, learners can have their personal time to re-do until they come up with the best recording.
  5. Learners can also save, send and share their files with someone else from  all over the world and this definitely creates a real audience for them. Usually, most of the students will feel encouraged to take part in the lesson if they know that there will be authentic audience.
however, the negatives are,
  1. The mailvu is a free tool but it only lasts for 14days of trial.You have to sign up and pay for the permanent account if you wish to.
  2. The keek is absolutely FREE eventhough you have to sign up first before using it. However 30secs of recording will never be enough to evaluate learners' speaking skill!
  3. The mailvu does not have the embedded code and even worse it cant be downloaded at all.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Poscasting has now becoming popular not just in the socialising world but also in the language learning world. Today I am going to present about a free, newly established tool which makes podcast-ing as something which is interesting enough to be introduced in the classroom. As all of you can see, the marvelous website is called AUDIOBOO. Eventhough this is a free tool, you still need to sign up for an account so that you can share your voice and your excellent ideas with your friends, family and the rest of the world!

Good news to anyone who already have their very own Twitter account, you can simply sign in using your Twitter account. To the rest who have not got a Twitter account, dont worry because you can follow the steps below in order to sign up for a new Audioboo account.

There are 4 basic steps which you need to follow. Firstly, key in your email address followed by a username of your choice. After that, please create a memorable password and confirm it. Once you've done this, please refer to the next picture as there are quite important information which need to be filled in. To make your account more recognizable, do upload an image of yourself.

Once you have successfully logged on to the website, you are now be able to follow any other users available on the user listings. This is quite similar to the Twitter concept in which allow you to freely follow anyone whom you would like to listen to and definitely closely  related to your field.

This tool is designed to integrate with other available social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr and Friendfeed. Although Audioboo is just a tool for podcasting, the needs of Audioboo has become massive. This is maybe because people have realized that information should be spread quickly and effectively and they, at some point may prefer to listen rather than to spend time on reading a long article. 

The positives of Audioboo are:
1. Learners can simply record their audio thoughts and ideas and post them quickly to real listener all over the world.
2. It encourages them to be more confident in speaking the target language as the tool provides them an environment for practicing the speaking skill.
3. Audioboo is absolutely a free tool but all you need to do is sign up for your very own account.
4. Easy peasy lemon squeezy type of tool, information can be spread just by clicking on the recording button and post the audio quickly!

1. Learners need to have a high level of confidence before posting any audio post as any minor error and mistakes made represent their level of language. Learners might easily become less motivated if their weaknesses are revealed publicly.
2. A great podcast, a latest advanced gadget, a powerful skill of speaking do not make any sense if the learner are incapable to get an excellent connection to the internet. Make sure you have a great access to it otherwise, the speaking development could not be carried out.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

just click and learn :)

Isn't it amazing to know the fact that language learners can actually make full use of just one website in order to learn new languages? In this entry, I would love to explain about a website which is called click and learn, an educational language website developed in Spanish, and specially designed to meet the needs of modern language learners. This website is quite special since it provides 4 different language versions, which are English, French, Spanish, and Valencia. The first thing that catches my interest about this website is definitely the variety of language activities provided therefore this website is a highly recommended to all learners from all over the world.

In order to begin the exploration of many interesting language activities in this website, you just need to click on the MENU button and within seconds, a few small boxes will appear at the upper left of the screen. These buttons are actually representing the level of students and the activities which have been specially designed for them. If you are a 2 ESO learner, just click on the specific button and a few selection of activities will pop up.

The good thing about this website is that for most of the activities, the learners will be introduced to the form and function of that particular grammar point. As for the example, the relevance of using past tense form is highlighted in the first slide of the activity page. By explicitly explain how past tenses should work in the sentence, it will definitely boost up the learners awareness thus prepares them to be familiar with the sentence structure. The example of the so called notes are as below.

After you have successfully explained the use of past tense in the sentence, the learners will then be assigned with a few exercises in which purposely created to test their understanding about the grammar point. Usually, a clear instruction will be given in the first place in order to facilitate the learner through out the exercises. Examples of exercises are as below.

The pros and cons about this website are :
  1. Visual and oral activity are quite balanced and students may enjoy its colourful layout.
  2. Level of interactivity / clicks might be a bit interesting as students need to deal with kineasthetic learning style(clicking the mouse in order to move the cursor)
  3. Quality of images is quite good and attractive to young learners.
  4. Most instructions are clear enough to be understood.
  5. Engagement and interest are available as personalisation is very much focused on especially while selecting the task.
  6. Feedback is provided at the end of every practice therefore the students may know what their weaknesses are.
  7. The flow of the task is NOT that organised and it differs in different tasks.
  8. Context of the lesson is organised according to students' age level 
  9. Focus on practice
  10. Navigation: too bad because once you've made a mistake,you will always need to start all over again.
  11. There's an enormous amount of activity available!
  12. Level and age are provided.
  13. Unfortunately there's no back button in case you wanna go to the previous page.
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