(Please excuse the Cross-posting in other Nings)
I would be interested in subscribers take, on how language educators could benefit from Web 2.0.

I see that there are 2 levels:
1. Communicating and sharing of ideas and resources, among users (a Social Network is a good example)
2. Utilizing Web 2.0 features directly within language learning for students. An example could be, making a video of part of a classroom lesson, placing it on the web and making it available as a podcast to a closed community. This will allow students to Time-shift their lesson, if necessary, and allow review and greater understanding.

Thank you for your concrete ideas.

Joel

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I use technology pretty intensively in my high school Spanish classes at all levels. Every class has a ning, and we have a communal wiki for our department that hosts materials (grammar reviews, good ideas, projects) as well as interclass faculty discussions. Here's one project I do where Web 2.0 works pretty well.

In my junior year Spanish IV class, we are doing a cultural study of Argentina. We do a web-based introductory class on the history and images of Argentina, watch a movie and have an on-line discussion of the movie in Spanish, and then students work in pairs to create a Digital History project from web-based information about one aspect of Argentine history. This results in a quicktime video of about 2-5 minutes. These are posted on our class ning, and commented on by the other groups. When corrections are made, it is then posted on a communal ning shared with our partner schools in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where students there watch the movie, and comment on the facts and the language of the projects. In theory, those foreign students will then undertake a similar project about American History (this hasn't happened yet!) and we comment on their projects.
This project specifically supports our curriculum in language and culture, as well as forging closer ties between us and our partner schools, incorporating native speakers into our classroom, and developing students Web 2.0 abilities. One of my favorite elements of this project is that then my students have an actual product in the target language which they can then, for example, use to support their college applications. Besides that, students then occasionally exchange e-mails with the foreign students, and when we do our service trip down there in the summer, they have friends waiting for them.
Wonderful stuff, congratulations and thank you.

I am guessing you are in the USA?

I will pass this on to my team. IF we get funding I will endeavour to share progress here as well.

Joel
Hey Joel,
Wouldn't it be a better question for us all to work together and see if we can figure out how language learners could benefit from Web 2.0? Most of the teachers I know are already pretty skilled in both language skills and pedagogy.
I think those two you mentioned are fine for improving language teaching. The first one is a bit reminsicent of my days overseeing penpal letters (and later email exchanges) and the second one seems a bit like an electronic version of posting great student work on the bulletin board or around the school. Nice for those who did it, but usually limited in its power to help others learn.
But I see at least a third level, one where the focus is on language learning. This third level begins to use some of the power of 2.0 by connecting students and resources around the world. The key here is to have learning targets and goals that extend beyond the classroom and the "clearly articulated curriculum". For example, what if you used a ning-type environment to set up a site for learners who were into skate-boarding, for instance. They could make and share vids (with commentary,of course) about that, have discussions about the heroes of the sport, the competitions, the latest moves, (could encourage them to add in some geometry and math or physics here -- in the target language of course) etc. Of course, it might be just one or two out of all your students that was interested in the sport. So? There are plenty around the world, and they learn when they have control over time (many language teachers and students still define language learning as what happens during their class period :-( ) and content, and social groups, etc. What about your learners who are passionate about the environment and saving the world? It's not difficult in a 2.0 environment to encourage that passion in the target language, facilitate their communication independent of the classroom and open them up to the concept that there is much to be gained by examining a problem and solutions from other cultural and linguistic perspectives. The point is, whatever your students might be "into" there are untold hundreds of thousand of other students around the world who are probably into the same thing, and now they can connect to each other!
Yes, it takes a totally different approach to teaching (replacing that with "causing learning") and assessment, but much work has been done in that realm as well, particularly with the combination of the Linguafolio online and the STAMP test.
Well, probably not what you were looking for, but I struggle in my own practice with avoiding the temptation to try and use 2.0 solutions to learning for 1.0 (or preWeb) approaches to learning.
The network I am involved in are looking at ways to work together as you so rightly suggest. My role is in trying to touch the collective to find ideas and experimentors that we can add to our thoughts.

I intend to share our results later.

Meanwhile your suggestions are great, thank you.

Joel
Larry Ferlazzo's site is a must to checkout, expansive collection of resources for English language educators/students.
Thank you Maria.

I know Larry's excellent work. He has even listed my Kindersite Project site.
Language exchanges either synchronously via something like Skype or asynchronously via blogs or a social networking site. For the asynchronous, another good idea is to have students join a social networking site that is dedicated to the language they're studying (http://mixi.jp, http://www.studivz.net/, etc)

There are also language exchange sites using either Skype or blogs dedicated to language learners. Feel free to contact me if you need specifics.

Todd

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