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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Videos in ESL

One of the first memories that I have is my father filming our family travels with his old Sony video-camera and later recording them into a cassette tape (yes I'm from the cassette tape era don't judge me). Videos, since the introduction of videocameras and video cassette tapes, have been one of the most used tools for almost every application. From videos for recipes, to music instructional to every instruments, videos are one of the sought after tools in education. Videos have been in a constant evolution, from video tape videos to the most recent tools like Youtube, Vimeo, webcams, etc. As a whole, videos are one of the most complete ICT that teachers have at hand when teaching a class because it has almost, not to say all of the elements of the ICT I have mentioned in my previous posts. For example, you can have a video blog oriented to teaching like for example this:


As you can see, videos encompasses both the discursive and visual tools that teachers in any subject can use. As I mentioned earlier, videos have been there for ages in the form of instructional videos, me as a musician consider instructional videos a valuable tool because it haves both the audio elements, the visual elements that help me as a person who is learning get the concepts and knowledge easily. In ESL, and in many areas of teaching videos can be applied as a valuable educational tool, like is in the case of the web page /www.teachwithvideo.com, a project dedicated to teaching any subject through videos. Another we can find is the web page www.eslvideo.com, this web page is dedicated mainly to ESL. The page provides many activities such as songs, unit lessons, quizzes, even exams. To me, eslvideo.com is one of the most complete page for ESL teaching. Another web page is http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/ a web page to teaching teachers in how to teach and use tools and activities in his or her classrooms.



Another way of using videos as an ICT is through the web page Youtube. Youtube, since its creation in 2007, Youtube has become as one of the most important social tools that people all around the world use, according to the webpage (N.D) more than 1 billion of people visit the page each month. Having said that, teachers can post videos and tutorials that can help people, either students or casual learners and even teachers. An example is the Youtube channel created by this lady called JenniferESL, you can visit her in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/user/JenniferESL, this channel contains tutorials and lessons for beginners, intermediate and advance English students: 


To sum up, videos are an amazing tool for teachers to use in their classroom since it is a combination of both images, words and audio elements that facilitates the process of learning to the students. Thanks for reading my post and I invite you all to my Youtube channel in which I'm posting some ESL teaching related videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4NTuk61h5rRHLc_9e1zeDg. Over and out!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Podcast and its uses as an ICT Tool

In most of my post, I have talked about ICT that makes us write and post and share information in a written way. Most of you might think "is there any other ICT that I can create without writing a ton of paragraphs like the ones you are making?" Well, the answer is yes. Since we are working with technologies we can use many ways to express ourselves, including oral speech, like is in the case of podcast. Podcast or Netcast are according to Dictionary.com (N.D) "a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer”. We can say that podcast are sort of a new age radio program that we as Internet users can create and express ourselves. Podcast are of many different kind, we have music podcast, literature podcast, politics podcasts even art podcast.


In my experience, I had the chance to participate in two podcast, one was a music podcast that I had the chance to write the script for the person who was hosting the podcast. The other one, I was in charge of putting music and jingles to the podcast itself. I must say that podcast are a more reliable tool than radio programs because you can post your podcast and people can listen to it at any time without following a certain schedule that radio stations have, unless the podcast is a live stream. You guys are wondering “well, podcast are a nice tool, but how I, as a teacher, can apply them to my school program or activities?” Since we are working with a more audio related medium such as podcasts, you as a teacher can elaborate activities related to listening comprehension. Let’s say for example you post an interview on your podcast and at the description you put a set of questions based on the interview, by making this you are developing your students’ listening comprehension skills. Other use in which you can apply podcasts is to assess your pupils’ pronunciation and use of vocabulary. By making your students create a podcast of their own favorite topic or a theme that you want to use for a certain unit or chapter of the book, you can assess and evaluate the use of vocabulary, pronunciation and their use of language in their own podcast. Other uses can be if you are preparing a dictation activity, you can post a podcast on your page or wiki and make the students listen to it without using any tapes or disks, or simply you can post a chapter in which you’ll talk about a certain topic, make the students listen to it, and later on discuss it in class.


To conclude, even though podcast are more oriented to listening comprehension and pronunciation, we can still find its uses in our classrooms. As I said before, podcasts are a great communication school because it can reach to more and more people around the world since you are talking, also it gives you more room to prepare more interactive activities such as discussion forums, interviews, etc. Hope you like this post, and I invite you all to follow my podcast http://giacomederico.podbean.com/, and I invite you all to create a podcast and try it yourselves, see you on my next post. Over and out!