Saturday, April 4, 2015

2.1.1 Web Tools

web2oh_toolbeltTXT by The Daring Librarian, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by  The Daring Librarian 

Among the wide variety of Web 2.0 tools that can be used for student learning and instruction, there are three categories that are particularly relevant: communication tools, collaboration tools, and social bookmarking tools.

In language instruction, communication tools such as blogs and microblogs are invaluable tools to enhance students' language-learning opportunities. Blogs can be used to integrate academic vocabulary in a meaningful way when analyzing facts, summarizing events, and expressing opinions. Students' writing skills can be improved through the use of blogs. In the world language classroom, the more opportunities students have to use the target language meaningfully the greater chances of them becoming proficient. Spanish language learners can greatly benefit from using blogs as online journals to communicate with their classmates using the target language.

Collaboration tools such as wikis allow students to submit, review, and discuss content collaboratively. In the online environment, having students collaborate on a wiki is particularly beneficial since it gives them the opportunity to interact and construct meaning together in the target language. Instructors can also provide feedback in a more timely manner by reviewing students' wikis as they develop their work, and by making corrections when needed. Wikis offer all the advantages of formative assessment tools since students' progress can be evaluated throughout the development of their wiki pages.

Lastly, social bookmarking tools are an effective way to access bookmarks anywhere and at anytime. It is a great means for students and instructors to network and share bookmarks with each other. For example, in order to organize materials for each thematic unit of study, students can compile a list of resources using a social bookmarking tool. They could bookmark the sites that they find more useful and interesting, and organize them by tags (vocabulary, grammar, irregular verbs, culture, etc). Students can also network and share their bookmarks, benefiting from seeing their peers' bookmarks and using their tags.

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