Vocabulary Class Takes to 21st Century Learning Tools

This is a follow up to my previous post entitled Glogster EDU My Grasshopper Mocha.  In searching for some creative ways to teach and learn vocabulary, I decided to use Glogster EDU for a springboard and platform, add a few other web 2.0 tools and vocabulary sites, and see where it took my adult ESOL class in three weeks.  In the process, we used Pic Lits, Jing, Youblisher, Wall Wisher, and Tagxedo.  Here’s where beginning to advanced level language learners landed in a few class periods when they brought their laptops to class.  Click here for full view. (See below for explanations of how we incorporated each of these tools)

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Jing :  Inspired by Daniel Pink’s videos that encourage people to ask the question “What’s my sentence?” when thinking about intrinsic motivators, I created my own video recording of my sentence.  I stated what impact I hope to have in the world and my related vocabulary as an example for my students.    (Here’s a direct link to my video created with Jing, an easy to use screen capturing tool for both images and videos.)

Pic Lits and Jing:  (See previous post here for more on Pic Lits) Assignment 1.  With limited time, Pic Lits’ library of pictures and words served our purposes.  Students were encouraged to use pseudonyms for usernames.  We spent a few class periods finding pictures, working on vocabulary development, and editing.  They emailed me their links and within a matter of minutes, this Student Pic Lits Glogster came to life.  Assignment 2.  After students got the hang of Pic Lits, they created their own sentences demonstrating what impact they hope to leave and their related vocabulary.  They used a variety of online dictionaries such as Lexipedia in a round robin synonym/antonym vocabulary building activity to give each other additional vocabulary suggestions.  Optional assignment 3.  A few students decided to take it a step further.  With 15 minutes in-class time and my laptop, they snapped pictures of their Pic Lit sentences and recorded this video using Jing.  Watch their video here!  It was fun listening to them self correct pronunciation, peer edit, etc. as they recorded.

Youblisher, Jing, and Tagxedo:  I wanted to give Youblisher a try, so I took snapshots of each of the student sentences using Jing.  I compiled them in a PDF file and within a matter of seconds published their sentences in this online book. (Click on the bottom right to flip the pages.)  We also compiled our favorite words into a Tagxedo picture and added it to the Youblisher book.

Wallwisher:  We used wallwisher on a limited basis.  We added our textbook’s vocabulary to a wall, and weekly words that students taught to the class from their vocabulary journals.  Some students took the optional challenge and wrote sentences using the vocabulary words.  There are many possibilities with Wallwisher or another similar tool such as LinoIt

Online dictionaries and games:  We rounded off the class with partners exploring and then presenting assigned online dictionary and vocabulary games to the class.  Here’s a link to some online vocabulary student sites for various language levels.

Jing, PicLits, Youblisher, Wallwisher, Tagxedo:  Any of these can serve as standalone tools within the classroom.  However, publishing them on a platform such as Glogster EDU creates a buzz of excitement and a place to collaborate and share work.  A big thank you is in order to my students who put in the effort and worked on this project in a short amount of time and granted me permission to share it!  Here’s one last look at the final project’s home page.

Drop us a line if you want to share an experience with any of these tools in the classroom.  Happy Glogging! 


Links of the Month: March

Cheridy’s picks:   For as long as I can remember I have been interested in the idea of space and how we utilize it.  This Clever Sheep podcast called  The IDEA about school learning environments, space, and 21st Century technologies caught my attention. Rod Lucier, The Clever Sheep blogger, also blogs about it in his post entitled IDEA, which includes an interesting video. Lucier's 7-10 minute podcasts are ideal for packing in interesting ed/tech ideas in a short amount of time.  Another one of his podcasts I enjoyed was Teach vs. Reach.  It's in part about reaching out with interactive smartboards and network learning by using tools such as Skype, Scribblar, etc.

Kacey’s picks:  I continue my podcast“professional development commute.” Here are some things I’ve been listening to.
·         The Future of Education  with Steve Hardigon offers interesting interviews that give many perspectives. I like how Steve’s questioning follows what I want to ask his guests. All the podcasts have been good listening. Recently, I enjoyed this interview with Kevin Kelly.  I also liked this interview with Yong Zhao on Education, China, and Tiger Moms.   
·         ED Tech Crew is new to me and worth it for its quality and topics.
·          Bit By Bit "Play Time (Please Don't Cry)” is a blog post by Bob Sprankle with an embedded audio of Bob’s “Sandbox” routine recorded during one of his kid tech classes. You can also download the short podcast from iTunes. Look for “Play Time! (Please Don’t Cry) between shows 109 and 110. Happy Listening!

Cheridy’s picks:  Glogster EDU is my web 2.0 tool pick for this month because I have had so much fun employing it in the classroom.  See my post below.  I also RSS feed to Technology and Education Box of Tricks and appreciate this gold mine post of useful web 2.0 tools called A-Z Resources for Education gleaned by Jose Picardo.  I have added it as a link in our web 2.0 tools tab.

Kacey’s picks:  When I found this one I e-mailed Cheridy, “bazzinga!” Cybrary Man's Educational Web Sites has a wealth of links and information for students, teachers, administrators and parents. This section is by grade level with links to teacher’s web sites. This part of the site could be useful for new teachers.

Happy Exploring!


Glogster EDU. My Grasshopper Mocha.

(Please stay with me; this short digression does relate to tech/ed.)  I’m a big, no HUGE, peppermint mocha fan.  I eyed a special called grasshopper mocha at a local coffee shop I frequent but thought, “Why change a good thing and possibly waste $3.50 on something that probably won’t live up to my expectations?”  One day, I was in a crazy, risk-taking mood and blurted out, “Grasshopper mocha, please.”  To my pleasant surprise, I discovered this drink is a delight!  I now order grasshopper mochas more often than peppermint mochas and recommend them to others. 

About a week ago, I had a “grasshopper mocha” tech moment.  I’ve been pleased for several terms now with Weebly for Educators and Posterous in my classes.  On the spur of the moment, I gave the Glogster EDU account a whirl.  Wow, am I glad I did!  Below is a Glog that I’ve been working on in collaboration with my Vocabulary class students. (Click here or on the pink Glogster box below to view full size.)  It’s a work in progress—shortened because it is only a month long class and we began in week two.

Glogster EDU has a lot to offer.  For starters, it’s a free.  The teacher can create student accounts and manage them.  Accounts can be made private or public. Edu Premium accounts are also available.  Many educators are already on board.  There are glogs to explore in a multitude of categories ranging from language arts to science.  Here is a link to one I like called What Do 21st Century Students Need? and another entitled Best of TED for Teachers. (A downside I sometimes encounter is that glogs may take a few minutes to load, but hopefully wait time is worth it.)

Stay tuned for more posts on my uses of Glogster EDU combined with Pic Lits, Wall Wisher, and some of Daniel Pink’s thinking.  Drop us a line to share your Glogster EDU.

Happy Glogging!


ESOL and Multilingual Sites Mingle with Content Areas

My College of Ed. classes are exploring ways of making language comprehensible to English language learners and bilingual learners in the content areas.  They have looked at many ways of embedding meaningful language opportunities and of reducing the linguistic load in all of the content areas.  Using technology and sites such as the following are a few of the ways to do this.
language books by joomlatools, on Flickr
Multilingual Sites
Larry Ferlazzo has some suggestions on his list of The Best Multilingual and Bilingual Sites for Math, Social Studies, and Science.  The Multilingual Science Glossaries by Glenco for middle school and high school look promising.

Little Kiddos
For young learners and beginners, Kindersay is a site worth exploring.  Thanks to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers and his post which highlights additional sites for language learners.
 Digital Storytelling all ages
With a bit of creativity and careful planning, digital storytelling has amazing potential in integrating language and the content areas.  Proof resides in some of the ideas and lesson plans my students have created.  Little Birds Tales seems to be young learner friendly.  I recently signed up for an educator’s account at GoAnimate and am exploring it.  I have watched my own kiddo extend her classroom language learning in some exciting ways at home on this site. (A thank you to her teacher!)  

Quiki Online Talking Encyclopedia
I have been following Quiki since it was in beta and am not sure how to categorize it.  It’s interesting to say the least.  Take a look.  What do you think in terms of language development and content integration?  Here’s a link to Quiki on a topic of interest to me.

I am teaching an adult ESOL vocabulary class for beginner to advanced levels.  Here are some vocabulary sites that I recommend to them on our class glogster. (More to come soon about glogs.)

Other sites we are exploring are found on our ed sites tab, which we continually add to.  I laughed at my memory the other day when I thanked one of my students for giving me a site I recommended on this blog.  This is a conscientious attempt to highlight and apply these sites in posts like this one and Kacey’s Storyline Online post.
If you have any recommendations for additional sites or want to share ways they are working in your class, leave a comment or drop us an email.  Happy exploring!

top photo by  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licensejoomlatools