Monday, May 9, 2011

ePals Global Community

So when I first read the term ePals, it reminded me of Pay Pal. When I went to the site, I couldn't have been more off. I loved the fact that teachers and students can use this website to talk to other students or teachers in other countries in a way that is protected since security is so important these days especially on the internet with underage children. I liked that as a teacher you have the option to sign up for a bulk registration where the whole school/district can sign up. What I would be concerned about is for the children ages 13 and under needing their parents email address and having the parents not give it or not follow through and having that student not be able to partake in a class activity using ePals. I really like the fact that there are precreated projects to use as a teacher, but you can also upload projects for others to use. It really is great for collaboration. I also like that I could find a classroom in Germany speaking either English or German. That would help students get involved with the culture even though it is in their native language if they are still beginners or have them get the change to speak in the target language if they are advanced. Another thing that I was surprised to see is that it is not just classes who are on here but some families have signed up as well. For example when I was searching through the Germany section, I saw a family of 4 that was interested in getting to know English speakers in the US. Not only would I use this in my classroom, but I am actually going to sign up my class and show the other foreign language teachers in my school and district this website. I had often contemplated the concept of having penpals with the students before but I never really found a site that I thought was reputable. But since this site has National Geographic and Truste Kids Privacy backing it up, I feel both the school and parents would trust it.

Monday, May 2, 2011


The podcast that I chose to take a look at, that I would use in my classroom is "ESL Podcast 682-minor medical injuries". Although I teach German currently, I am studying ESL and perhaps will teach ESL in Germany. So when that happens, I need to be prepared with materials. I know that over here a big LOTE unit is health and wellness. So this podcast would be great to use for that unit since it discusses vocabulary that fits in with specific health related situations. What I REALLY liked about this podcast is that it offered the dialogue both spoken slow and fast with explanations in between. It also gave you the specific time of where the teacher can find each part throughout the podcast. This would be great for different difficulty levels. It also provides a script so that perhaps students could act it out later. Plus as you can see this is podcast 682 so there are probably 681 great podcasts just like this that I can't wait to explore.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flickr # 2

Because I discussed the application Bookr in my googledocs mod, I figured I would practice what I preached and create something using it that I would use in the classroom.

Since I didn't have any pictures currently uploaded on Flickr, I decided to do a search on Bookr for pictures of modes of transportation (the theme of my book for my class, and what I am currently teaching my 8th graders). What I was really plesently surprised to find out was that an option was given to "recycle" a book and create your own book out of a previously made one. This made my job a whole lot easier and used great pictures. The only problem was I was unsure of how to add more pictures into the recycled book. I would probably use this as an example book for my students and have a day in the computerlab where all of my students would create their own "Verkehrsmittel" books.
My Bookr

by JMV on flickr

Flickr #1

First off, let me state that my flickrname is rcoleman5.

There are 6 main different types of licenseing for Flickr: Attribution, Attribution-ShareAlike, Attribution-NoDerivs, Attribution- NonCommercial, Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike, and Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

The Attribution license lets people take your work use it (privately or commercially) and even change it as long as they give you credit for it.
The Attribution-ShareAlike license is basically like the Attribution license but the person using your work must both credit you and license their new creation.
The Attribution-NoDerivs license lets people take your work and pass it around as long as it is not changed and you are given credit for it.
The Attribution-NonCommercial license this license lets people use your work and change it as long as it is not commercially and they credit you. They do not have to get a license for their new work.
The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license this lets people use your work and change it as long as it is not commericially used and they have to both give you proper credit and licensce their new work.
The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license lets people download your work and share it but cannot change it or use it commercially and proper credit must be given to you.

Computer Mess, a photo by phil_g on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
By Phil! Gold

Monday, March 14, 2011

Microblogging and my use for it

Before this module, I had actually signed up for Twitter when it had become "big". After initially signing up, I never actually used Twitter since I just assumed I would use Facebook Status Updates instead. So I didn't remember my user name or password and I had to create a new account. That was my first realization as to how little I knew about microblogging. The two articles that I decided to read to help open me up on into the concept of twitter was the Langwitches Blog article What is a Hashtag? and the Free Technology for Teachers Blog article Don't Eat Lunch Alone. The first article's title really captivated me since I would see people making references online to hashtags but I had no clue what their actual use was, and the second one caught my eye since I am the only German teacher at my school and because I am only a .4 position at my school I can relate to the concept of "eating lunch alone". In the first article, was very descriptive as to what a hashtag specifically is. I always assumed it was just the number symbol but they explain the term applies to the number symbol along with the phrase following it. It then explains the purpose of hashtags as acting just like tags in a blog or on Flickr but included in the post. This article is even more helpful because it links to other articles that explore Twitter's use in the classroom even more. The second article contained two different videos that helped give tips on how to find other teachers on twitter and then use twitter to connect with those teachers and share information with them just like you would through socializing with eating lunch with them. This is a great tool for professional development and something I would really use because as the only German teacher in my school, it is often hard for me to find other teachers to connect with and though this I can not only find other German teachers but perhaps teachers who are in the same situation as me. This helps build camaraderie along with giving me people to bounce ideas off of/ learn from. Another great thing is that since I am only a .4 position teacher and I am not at school the whole day, I would be able to access my Twitter account from my home computer or my iPhone. Both of these articles were really positive in helping to change my view on Twitter's usefulness and both gave me ideas on how to personally apply Twitter in my teaching career. These ideas focus more so on connecting with other teachers to get ideas about activities, lessons, or classroom management but another idea I had for using twitter was having a Twitter account for my class where I could blog the homework assignments. This idea then led to maybe blogging in German and giving extra credit to the students to translate or respond. Or perhaps even making it homework. This really has opened up many opportunities!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Class Outside of the Classroom

While looking at different educational blogs and their posts I came across the blog Teacher Reboot Camp with the post about having a goal to change the learning enviornment in the classroom. This really interested me because I always strive to have a safe enviornment in my classroom where students are more open to learning. But I never really thought about how my classroom and the learning could extend beyong the four walls. It was really interesting to think about whether or not I could complete the activites suggested, and I am going to now talk to the principal at my school about perhaps having a scavenger hunt since my current unit with my 7th graders is scbool vocabulary so it would be cool to have them get out of the classroo and search the school. It also made me think about how when I was in high school taking Latin we got to go on a field trip to the zoo and look for the latin names of the animals. It clearly was something memorable and brought out classroom outside of a normal context.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mod 4: Post 2

When looking for a group that would be useful to me professionally, I came across EFL Classroom 2.0. This is a great site for me since I am currently learning how to teach English as a Second Language. At first I thought the site was going to be easy to navigate due to the home page, but quickly found out that it was a little overwhelming on the inside. I did like the surveys though that popped up such as "I ____ correct my students when they are speaking" and you can then select from how often and vote. I feel that there is really a plethora of information available on this site as far as forums to connect with other teachers and resources. This will definitely be a site that I will frequent often for support from experienced teachers as I make my way into the ESL field.