Our Final Week :(


And… This is the last week. The course has taken 13 weeks. During these weeks, we have learned a lot of things. At the beginning of the term, I have thought that the course would overstrain us. It would take lots of time. In fact, we have many lessons, homework, projects, presentations etc. we have a lot of duties, and we haven’t enough time to do the tasks. Especially, I was afraid of writing the reflection of each week. Indeed, I’m not good at the things related to computer. So, I have thought that the course would be persecutory, but I have seen that the course would be benefit for us after I looked at the syllabus. The tasks in each week are enjoyable, useful, helpful. They ate good ways of teaching for us in the future. Sometimes, we have had difficulty in tasks, but we have sometimes fun. Some of the tasks are easy, but some of them are difficult. I’m not good at using computer. Thanks to these tasks; I have developed my using computer skills. The tasks that we have done are the things that we can apply to our students easily. It prevents time consuming. We are in the technology age. The children of today are digital natives. They love the technology. For example, most of them already have a facebook account from birth. So, we should be used to use the technology in our lessons. Especially, using technology in our department is very easy and enjoyable. It’s too cheap. There is a computer in almost all schools. It is attractive for the students. Especially, using it for young learners and beginner-elementary levels is good and effective. They should acquire all skills at the beginning. They should be good at seven areas; writing, speaking, reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. And I believe that the students will develop their creativity. They will be active in the lesson, or they can work as a group. And the technology makes our lesson effective. The tasks that we have done are good for our students. They will be able to do a lot of projects individually or as a group. Besides, we can give them homework by using these tasks.

I want to talk about the tasks that I like and that I will use in the future. For example, I will use facebook, twitter. Thanks to these they can follow the groups. Or, I can form a group for my students, and I can use it for informing the students about the lesson, homework, project etc. I will use most of the mobile applications. They will make my lesson easy, attractive and effective. And, I will use wordpress for my intermediate level students. I can ask them to write something by giving a topic. So, they will develop their writing skills and their creativity. Especially, I will use Dokeos. I will create a class made up from the student in my class. Even, I can apply a quiz. The other one is digital storytelling. I think it is very effective in teaching writing, reading, listening, pronunciation etc. In fact, it can be used in teaching all skills. As a teacher, we can prepare a digital story and we can use it in our classrooms. We made the students to listen to the story. Then we can ask them to retell the story or after they listen to it we can ask them to write an end by changing the end of the story. Besides, we can ask them to write a new story by looking at the digitalstory that we prepared. It is very useful, attractive, colorful and effective. At the same time they can develop their creativity. It is appropriate for the students between 5-16. I will use it absolutely. Finally, one of the tasks that I will use in the future absolutely is weebly. It has a lot of creative things and it is colorful. For example, I can ask the students to create a website. Apart from homepage and contact page, I can ask them to create some pages related to the lesson such as projects homework, podcasts, speaking etc. I can give them weebly tasks to them.I think that we have learned very helpful things that we can use in the future thanks to this course. We take this course as optional, but I think it should obligatory. Every student should take it. To me, it will help us while teaching because we are in technology age. Now, we should know how to use/apply the technology in education. For today’s education, knowing how to apply the technology into the education is necessary absolutely. If you don’t want to be a standard English teacher you should know these tasks, you should take this course. I suggest you to look at these tasks that I have mentioned one by one. So, you can be an ideal, perfect English teacher. I have liked this course so much and I have found it very useful and helpful. I’m sure that you will think like me, too. And, you will use them in the future or now. I’m sure that I will use them in the future. In fact, I’m using some of them from now on. 🙂

Twelfth Week…

This was the last week that we were taught for us. We talked about two different things. First one was http://www.weebly.com/?lang=tr.  It is a site. It helps us to make a website that is special for us. If we like we can log in through our facebook account; or we can sign up free after we fill necessary information. After it, the site gives an address. We can edit this address. We can add images. In fact, we can add our photographs. It can be a slide show. When we have a site address, there are some tools. They are very different things. You can add a lot of things through these tools, but using them is different a little bit. Generally, we click on it when we want to choose something. But, now we should drag. We have a chance to add both image and text. We can share video form YouTube. We can add surveys, too. After editing our site, we should click on publish button that is on the right on top of the page. Now your site is ready.

You can add a contact part to your site. In this way, people who want to communicate with you, comment on your sharing or to say their feelings and thought can contact with you.

Besides, I want to state that we can form different sites by using the same account.

In the future, as a teacher, we can ask the students to make a site like this. They can share their projects, homework here. They can create a colorful, effective and different projects. At the  same time, they will enjoy. The children like the computers, especially the internet. It is clear that we are in the technology age.

And, the second topic of today is http://secondlife.com/. If you play it, you know. It resembles to Sims, but second life differs from it in some ways. The people in second life are real people. We can chat or talk to them. In second life, there is a simulation environment. Meanwhile I want to state that Second life is forbidden in most of the universities in Turkey. I think its reason is nonsense. People think that the students and workers can become addicted to it. It can prevent normal life of people or their performance, so it is forbidden. The people see it as a game, but I think it is not. It can be applied in the lessons. We can use in classroom, too. For example, we can teach in the simulation environments. We can create a class made up from our students, and we can teach in that environment. Our students will have fun and will enjoy. I think it is an effective way of both teaching and learning. Firstly, we should create an Avatar form. We can say that the first forms of second life are Quest Atlantis and active worlds. They are simple forms. Now second life is the best we can use it by giving homework to the students. For example, they can do an interview with other the people. The people in second life are real people from all around the world. We can ask them to work as a group in different topics or different duties. The other points that we have talked about are digital immigrants and digital natives. When I heard them at first I was surprised and confused. I didn’t know what they are. Digital immigrants are the people who learn how to use the technology in time. That is, they don’t know using the technology from birth. Digital natives are the people who know the technology since they were born. I mean that those people know how to use the technology from birth. We can say “technology child” for them. When they open their eyes to the world, they meet with the technology. To me, they are lucky from birth! J

The people who are digital immigrants don’t want to use the technology. In fact, they can’t use it effectively, they can have difficulty in it. For example they

  • print out their e-mail messages.
  • have a secretary to print out the messages.
  • call the person who they send an e-mail to for informing etc.

I want to talk about Second Life a little bit more. In Quest Atlantis, the characters’ appearances are good, and they can change their clothes. But it is limited in some ways. Second life is the best, as I have said. We form simulation environments. In second life, the characters are better for example, they can dance, too. When we click on the character, we see more options. We can choose the activity that we want them to do. Besides , there is a chat part in second life. If we have a microphone we can talk to people, but we can close it if we like. We can earn money by using it, too. But, I have a bad new for you; you need to have a limitless internet to use it.

It is used in all over the world. Especially, the famous companies use it for advertisement such as Adidas, Nike, Nokia. For example, Adidas will create a new T-shirt. In that environment, we can take that T-shirt, and put on it. When the people click on us they can see the features of the T-shirt. During this, we can earn money. This way is good for advertisement and marketing for those companies. As I have said beforehand, it is used in most universities in all over the world. In these simulation environments, we can give the students real life tasks. We can ask them to share them. They can work as a group. We can add music.

And, it’s interesting that the characters in the simulation environments can be the creatures apart from a human. They can be a bird 🙂

There is a “world” button on the top of the page, and we can pass from one world to other world. It means that we can be beamed up. I think it is an effective way of teaching. Thanks to Second Life, we shouldn’t go to the school. The school is not only a building if we use Second life. The school becomes everywhere  for us. To me, Second Life should be applied in a short time. I’m impatient for using it in my teaching. I’m sure that my students will like it. 🙂

Eleventh Week…


                The topic of this week was “podcast”. I didn’t know it beforehand. I just heard the word of podcast. I didn’t know what it is, but I learned that it is really useful thing today. It is the combination of IPod and broadcast. It helps us to listen some programs that we couldn’t listen to it at the moment after recording it. Radios usually use it. They record it, then they broadcast it so that people who miss the program can listen to it. To listen it afterward, we should download it as a Mp3 file. There are four type podcasts.

1)      Authentic Podcast

Its aim is not educational. It is for all people. They record their voice for themselves, for pleasure.

2)      Teacher Podcast

It is for only teachers. Its aim is to teach English to the students.

3)      Students Podcast

It is for the students it is used by the students. They can use it to prepare a project. They can work together. So, interaction takes place. They both have fun and learn something.

4)      Educators Podcast

It is for teachers again, but its aim isn’t to teach English for this time teachers use it for their career.

                To do a podcast, you need to a program that you can record your voice as a Mp3 file and a site that you can upload it. I can suggest you a site to have a look at: http://www.npr.org/ -NPR(National Public Radio). You can find a lot of podcasts there. These podcasts are being used for developing listening skill. The more you listen to podcast the more you can develop your listening skills. At the same time, it affects your speaking skills, you can improve your pronunciation. Podcasts are about up-to-date information. And you can also learn a lot of new things by listening to these podcasts. In NPR, there is section named “by topic”. When you click on this button, you will see lots of podcasts prepared according to the topics. You can choose any podcasts that you want. You can download them a Mp3 file. And, if you use RSS or Itunes in your computer, the new ones are uploaded automatically. In fact, as a teacher, we can use these podcasts as a listening text in the classroom. Or we can use them in the exam (in listening and speaking parts). But, there aren’t written forms of these podcasts. If you want to download both as listening text and as written form you can visit “Voice of America”. In that site, you can find both find both of them. I want to state that NPR is good for your personal development. You should have a look at that. Finally, I want to give you a site that you can podcast. It is http://audioboo.fm/ we should have an account to record our voice. After taking an account, we can form our page. We can record our voice, and share it. It resembles to Twitter in one way. We can follow another people. In our page, we can follow us, we can ask them to prepare a project by using these podcasts. Or we can give a task, then we can ask them to record their voice. This page consists of only sound recorders. You should visit it!

Tenth Week…

                In this week, we talked about digital storytelling and story jumper. Let’s talk about the first one a little bit. We can say that it means telling short stories. While doing it, we can add photos, videos or voice records. In fact, we can record our voice by using sound recorder in computers and we can use it. The program that you will use while doing it is windowslive.moviemaker.com. If you have a difficulty in finding story, storynory.com can help you. You can find a lot of stories in there. You should visit it. You can also use short and real stories with real photos. For example, you can watch a video named “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” to see how to do it. In digital storytelling, the thing that is important is time. People don’t want to watch the video if it is too long. So, you should arrange your time carefully. Before starting to the digital storytelling, finding the materials such as photos, text, voice record prevents time consuming. You insert the photos one by one. You write the text on them or you record your voice instead of writing on the photos. I think the second one is better. We can decide how much time the photos can be seen. That is, we can arrange their times. We can use animations section. We can add effects, so passings become more attractive and better. After finishing it, we should press “save movie” button, but if we want to work on it again, we should press “save project” button. I think we can use it in the future as a teacher. I used it beforehand. It is really effective. We can focus on all learning styles by using it. And the students really like it. They participate in the lesson actively and willingly.

               The second one is story jumper. It is like digital storytelling. We can say that it is like an online book. In order to work on story jumper, you should have an account and you will ask a story script. If you want, you can find another books prepared by the other people. You can have a look at them before you start to your project. As I have said, it resembles to digital storytelling. We can add text, photos on it, too. In fact, we can use our photos or the story that we write ourselves. Firstly, choosing the photos, text makes it easy for us. It prevents time consuming. We press “create” button on home page. Then, we see a page like in “paint”. On the left of the page, there are some tools. By using them, we can decide on color writing or design. There are already some scenes. If we want we can also use them. The site gives us 16 pages, but we can increase or decrease the numbers of it according to the length of the story. When we finish it we press “share” button. If we want to buy we can order it. I think both of them are useful. I can suggest them to you. I used digital storytelling in one of my lessons. I liked it, so my students did. I will use the second one, too. To me, you can use them in your lesson, too. You will see that the results make you happy. 🙂

Nineth Week…

In this week, our topic was Facebook and Twitter. At the beginning of the lesson, we talked about Skype and its past. There were chat rooms in the past. I don’t know them but, as I understood today , they were used to chat different peoples from all over the world. While people were starting to talk to others they were using ASL to meet. Here, A stands for “age”, S stands for “sex” and L stands for “location”. Each room had a topic to talk about. For example, the topic was jazz music. People who were interested in jazz music were talking to each other, comment or share something with each other. Afterwards, it became MSN, and it is Skype now. In the past, there was ICQ (I SEEK YOU). To use it, you should take a password. You could be online by using that password, so you could chat with your friends. It was popular in 2000s; it was good at sharing files. Let’s just say that sharing the file was left half finished, you could resume on it. Skype is being used for voice talk, video talk or correspondence. At the beginning, it was built for voice call by using telephone. Now, there is a Skype telephone, we can call a computer by using it. Moreover, if you pay in your account you can call all telephones such as mobile phone, home telephone or computers when you go to abroad. But, it is nonsense that we try to use it in the same group or class. We should use it for the students that are from different countries. Even if they are from different countries they can work on the same project.

Recently, people are using Facebook for sharing something, communicating or they can find old friends thanks to Facebook. But, some people don’t think that it is reliable. So, they don’t want to use it. Some people see it as waste of time. In fact, since it is not reliable and it is seen as waste of time it is forbidden in most offices. As a teacher, if we can raise awareness it is not seen unreliable and as waste of time. If it is used consciously it becomes effective and helpful, too. When we want to contact with our students we can use it. It can be used for sharing files, online teaching etc. We can form a group for our students or we can share educational groups for them. That is, it is useful in teaching, again.

Twitter is just like Facebook but a little bit different. There is not chat in Twitter. People see it as waste of time and unreliable, again. But they can make it reliable and effective by changing its setting. And, they can pay attention to the people that they follow. As a teacher, we can suggest it to our students. They can follow us, the educational groups etc. They can use it for communication or entertainment. I liked the topic of this week. Now, I have a Twitter account 🙂   I am curious about the next week 🙂

Eighth Week…

In this week, our topic was WiziQ. I heard it for the first time. Indeed, when I saw it I was surprised. It is awesome. We can make an online conference by using it. That means we don’t have to be face to face. Whenever and wherever we want to attend a conference it is possible. For example, it is useful for the master students. They don’t have to move on one city to another. Thanks to WiziQ, they can communicate or work together. They can listen to the same lesson at the same time and at different places. I want to mention it in detail. It has both free parts and paid parts. We can use it to teach a lesson or we can attend a free or paid lesson if we want. Since these lessons are recorded, we can watch or listen to them again and again. It is possible that we can teach a lesson; we share a PowerPoint show and we talk or discuss about it. We state a certain time or we can say that we will teach a lesson at that moment when we want to teach a lesson. To help people to find our lesson when they want to listen to it, we can specify some keywords about the content of the lesson. We can upload every document that we want such as a video, word file, PPT etc. It has a whiteboard that the teacher can use but the students can also use it if the teacher allows. The teacher uses this whiteboard while teaching the lesson. At the same time, there is a chat part. Thanks to it, the students can talk to each other, comment on the lesson or ask questions to the teacher or to each other during the lesson. Like Nicenet or Dokeos, as a teacher, we can close this part if we want. That is, if we teach a lesson we manage to the lesson, we decide what the students will be able to do. It has also a webcam and microphone opportunity. The students can use them if we allow them to use. For example, we can use the microphone in speaking activities, but we should be sure that all microphones are not open. If we open all of them at the same time, there will a lot of noise. We should prevent it. On the left of the whiteboard, there are some tools to use on the whiteboard. For example, we can zoom or underline something by using them. As I have said, the students can also use these tools if we allow them to use them. Besides, there is an icon like a hand. When a student asks a question or wants to say something raises his/her hand. It makes the lesson funny and enjoyable. J The teacher can see it and s/he can allow the student to speak. Since we can see the participants we can also focus on them individually. If we want to upload a video it is possible, too. We click on mediaplayer and give a link. We share the video. WiziQ is generally used for online conferencing by uploading a PowerPoint show all over the world.

I think it is very useful. Especially, we can use it when we want to teach an extra lesson. It is possible at the weekends. Since I like sharing my information or I want to give extra things from out of the classroom to my students I can use it in the future. Finally, a woman, Nelie Deutsch gives free lessons. I analyzed it and I liked it. I think you should look at it sometime. http://www.wiziq.com/nelliedeutsch 🙂 

Seventh Week…

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In this week, our topicwas really intersting and useful. I liked it so much. I think it will be very useful in our career in the future. Our topic was online learning. I think it is really important thing for us.It’s clear that we are in the technology age. Especially, I liked the topic of this week. We have learned two different things in this week and they are useful things. Firstly, we have talked about  http://www.nicenet.net/  I is free. You can use it wherever and whenever you want. There is an interesting aspect of it. We can see how many people use it and how much time she/he spend on this site. As a teacher, we can use it effectively. We can create a class for our students, but there is a negative point: we can’t share a word file, a PowerPoint show, a graphic etc. or we can’t upload a video on this site. We can share their links. The aim of not sharing something or not uploading a video is to prevent it to slow down. So, we can use it expeditiously. The second thing that we have talked about is http://campus.dokeos.com/  It’s different a little bit. It’s not a thing that everybody can see like a blog. Indeed, it resembles Facebook in some ways. Its differences from Facebook are

–         It’s closed to people from outside. Everybody cannot see it.

–         The things that are shared aren’t seen by somebody from outside.

–         We can do any changes on it whenever we want.

And, it is also free for using. For example, we can participate to the lesson if we want. They are free. They are at the bottom and on the left of the homepage of the site. These courses are open to everyone. I want to talk about it in detail a little bit. As a teacher, we create a class and add our students. When we do it, we see 3 parts: AUTHORING, INTERACTION AND ADMINISTRATION. Authoring part belongs to the teacher. The students cannot see it. There are some sections on it again. I will mention briefly. In documents, the teacher adds the materials. In modules, it prevents to pass away another task without finishing the previous one. Prerequirements, mediabox, description sections are some of them,too. In this part, we can add quizzes for the students. Question types can be multiple-choice, open question, matching or fill in the blanks.

Interaction part is for the students. The teacher can manage this part,too. And, it also has some sections. For example, in chat section, the students can share their feelings, ideas or they can discuss a topic. They can ask questions eachother. In forum, the teacher can give a title and the students can work on it or comment on it. It is like forum that we know. In wiki, the students can work on the same page as we have learned it beforehand. In dropbox, the students can upload a file or they can exchange their files here. In surveys, the teacher can conduct a questionnaire.

Administration part is for the teacher again. Here, the teacher can ask the students to create a blog page. Especially, reporting part is interesting here. It shows us which students use it and how much time she/he spend on it.

The students can see their grades in this site. We can do changes on it like we want. For example, there is an icon on it. It looks like an eye. It allows the students to see that sections. The teacher manages it. If the teacher wants, she/he can close it. As a result, these help the teacher to create an online cclassroom.

Thanks to online learning, the studnets can develop their self-motivation, writing skills, interaction skills. They can also express their ideas, feelings clearly. Their creativity can develop,too. All of the students participate to the lesson actively. But I don’t think it is appropriate for the beginner level. And, unfortunately there is no computer lab or internet access every school in Turkey. If I have these opportunities, I’ll use it in the future undoubtedly. 🙂