Using a combination of tools that are all “free” would make our classes more appealing as we will have more chance to tap on all the different learning styles and provide more authentic materials to our students. I think the technological tools discovered this week focus on two major issues. The first is about the integration of online platforms to promote discussions and deliver lessons, assignments. All the suggested ones (Nicenet, Blogger, Google site) are free and simple to use. The second issue is about creating exercises that could be used online or printed out to do while the students are offline. Giving word puzzles and games would bring more motivation especially to the kind of students I have. People, mainly teenagers, like to play while learning.
Instead of sticking to the old monotonous method of “chalk and talk”, I am thinking of creating a variety of task types and mixing both online and offline exercises. Such tools would raise my students’ motivation and interest and maximize their exposure to English outside the class. They will have some enjoyable time to study English more than the two hours they officially have at school. Assigning online or offline exercises can also foster their autonomy because they have a great potentiality as far as critical think, problem-solving, creativity are concerned.
Some of the constraints of applying the project are related to some of the learners’ skills with the computer and the internet. They are not many but I think some assisting and guidance at the beginning of the school year would make them do the tasks successfully. The second constraint is related to the availability of computers and the internet connection. Classrooms at my school are not equipped with computers or the internet connection. The only equipped classroom is devoted to computer studies. Therefore, as I don’t have the chance to use the internet in class, I am more interested in making use of the internet outside the classroom. A good number of my students have access to the internet at home or in cybercafés. I intend to give tasks and projects that they’ll have to do online or print them out and bring them to class. Being an offline or online task depends on the nature of the tasks and the activity. To encourage the lurkers, all the activities should be graded based on rubrics shared with all the class.