Wednesday, November 26, 2008

People of the Screen

Hey, can you tell I'm on vacation? I actually have time to read this article by Kevin Kelly in the NY Times about the ubiquity of video in our culture, and to think about it, and respond to it! (OK, I know, something's wrong with this picture when I only have time to think on vacation!)

The article compares how the printing press made us eventually "people of the book," and how digital media have become so accessible and manipulable that we will soon have a visual language to match our verbal language, and be able to create, manipulate, annotate, and recreate visual images, video, the way we now do words.

There are many ways to do this now. For example, here is an article, with classroom suggestions, about how to add thought bubbles, captions and hyperlinks to video using Bubbleply.

CCAE South

The workshop went well. I spent half the time talking about resources on the OTAN Web site, and there are always plenty of people who haven't explored yet. The other half was about video in the classroom. Useful for the teachers, but I had a mixed audience with a lot of support staff, not sure what they thought of it all. But really, you gotta admit it's amazing how easy it is to show video from anywhere. It took me all of 15 seconds to embed those videos in my blog. How many in my audience had a blog? None.

However, a teacher from Downey Adult School, John Oppenheim, did a workshop on Web 2.0 for the Classroom, and talked about blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking. This is encouraging - it's not just us OTANians talked about Web 2.0 any more! He also posted his slides.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Video as a Writing Prompt

There are lots of funny animal videos online. Here is one with a bunch of cat clips. Any one of these could be a writing prompt for a descriptive paragraph.

Using Video to Teach Math

I'm putting together some examples for a workshop on using video in the classroom. Here is a classic Abbott and Costello using math. Maybe not great for instruction, but will certainly lighten the mood once students have a good understanding of multiplication and division.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wikis in ESL

I attended this event on Saturday purely as a participant, which was a nice change. I had time to listen and observe more than I have in the past. And things have definitely changed. There were two or three presentations on wikis. A year ago, most ESL teachers hadn't heard of wikis, so this was a welcome evolution. One of the most interesting was by Cassie Piotrowski, who teaches academic writing at San Jose State. It was interesting because she was not a high tech person herself, and struggled with some of the technology in her presentation, but nevertheless she was fearless in implementing a variety of Web 2.0 activities for her students.

In her Culture and Current Events class, she has her students divided into teams, and then from each team page she created a student page for each student where they post their slide show, video of their presentation, and other assignments. On her home page, she has all assignments with links to resources and documents.

On her Writing Class wiki, look at the links to the student pages and their assignments, which include Bubbleshare slideshows, Vokis, and Wordle assignments, in which students enter a list of significant words and Wordle creates a graphic of them.

Here is a Wordle of my delicious bookmarks.