Monday, November 16, 2009

Web 2.0 Voice and video tools, podcasting, voice mailing

Audio and Video Podcasting
Podcasts are web 2.0 tools. According to Wikipedia, a podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video that is made available for download via web syndication. It is generally in mp3 or AAC format. Podcasts, videocasts or vodcasts can be downloaded and retrieved later by the user in a computer or portable audio device. The more popular podcasts hosts are audacity, podbean, podomatic and There are other Web 2.0 audio tools like: skype, snapvine, google talk; and video tools like you tube, for example.
Podcasts allow you to capture any show and watch it at any moment or place and as many times as you wish, usually for free.
According to Podcasting in Plain English there are three main reasons to podcast: the first one is that anyone can do it because it is very easy; the second reason is that you can subscribe to any web site that has great podcasts and the third reason is you can take it with you in the computer or in an MP3 device or an IPod.

Educational uses
There are many activities that you can design for students with podcasts in order to help your students practice the language. You can do role plays, news programs, podcast dramas, spelling bee and book talk. This way, students can be more involved in their learning process and they may be more comfortable due to the fact that they are used to deal with technology all the time.
Here is my first podcast:

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This is my first voice message at Snapvine:

Podcasting in Plain English


According to Wikipedia, a wiki “is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language”. In a wiki you can include texts, videos, pictures, photos, gadgets and widgets, among others.
Basically, a wiki is a free web site that is really easy to create. It is a very friendly space that encourages people, students in particular, to participate and to share opinions and materials. It helps developing creativity and promoting collaborative work.
Most wikis serve a specific purpose and off topic material is promptly removed by the user community. Some examples of wikis are Wikipedia, Wikibooks, City Wiki and some more. PBworks, Webpaint, Wikia and Wikispaces are the most popular pages for those interested in creating a wiki.

Educational uses of a wiki
According to Izquierdo (2009) wikis are used for:
• Course syllabus and course contents
• Course projects
• Institutional web sites
• Forum – Discussions
• Events
• Online presentations
• Workshops
• A resource for teaching and learning

Izquierdo, E. (2009) Wikis


According to Wikipedia, a blog, the contraction of the term ‘web log’, “is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order” Blogs are Web 2.0 sites.
In other words, blogs are web pages that work as personal or grupal journals that are written in chronological order. Blogs are very helpful for students to share information, to practice the language, to publish anything for free and to complement classes.

Types of blogs
Aaron Campbell (2003) in Izquierdo (2009) affirms that there are some blogs that can be used in language teaching such as: tutor blog, class blog and learner blog. In the first one, the teacher leads the blog and it can be used for assignments, homeworks, course information and syllabuses. Students can not write or post unless they are allowed by the teacher. In the second blog, both, teachers and students, can write and share opinions, information and thoughts. It is mainly used for discussion and extracurricular activities (practice writing skills for example). Finally, the learner blog requires more work and time from the teacher not only to set up but to moderate it. It is an online space for students, in which they are encourage to write in the target language and to practice, it is specially for them.

Advantages of blogs
Some of the advantages of blogging are the opportunities for our students to practice language outside the classroom, it leads to cooperative learning because students read their classmates' post and can help each other with mistakes and share ideas, it encourages and motivates students to use the language.

Izquierdo, E. (2009) Blogging.