It’s been a busy week in the course. We’ve talked about social bookmarking, listening skills and CALL. Thats’s a lot of food for thought!
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Nowadays, knowledge in the Internet is being spread and disseminated via different channels (blogs, professional websites, forums…), but probably the most effective way to share this knowledge is through social bookmarking, which has become a paramount element in this big world of Internet. Users can build their own framework of sources of information out of different types of platform. Pure social bookmarking platforms like delicio.us or diigo let you create lists of favourite sites and store these lists in a referring library. The big issue is called tagging. Bookmark libraries can become massive lists really hard to manage. Tagging resources with relevant terms related help us search for the sites we need according to our needs (Secondary education, listening, ICT, interactives, edugames…). We only need to type the tags and the site will display those links that contain the tags we requested.
Other ways to share knowledge are sites such as Symbaloo (site where favourites are organised in visual libraries -webmixes- containing links of the same field or topic; Scoop.it is a service where users can build a page with brief posts where they mention a website or a resource, with an image, the link and a description. In most cases Scoop.it provides with a possible descriptive text that can be edited. Tagging is also paramount when we want to find our “scoops” within the page.
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This week we have also analysed the approach given to listening and speaking skills through CALL. The issue has moved between the use of speech analysis software, more focused on prosody, phonetics a more scientific approach of the learners pronunciation, and the use of websites whose main goal is to help students improve their listening skills through the comprehension of real English and “lab” recordings. Many websites offer scores of recordings covering different subjects and levels. Improving our listening skills through songs is also extremely relevant, and our old ways with the cassette or CD player have been replaced by websites where we can read the transcript as we watch/listen to the song and even do fill-in-the-gap exercises (Lyrics training, Batlyrics).
We could conclude that all these different approaches make up for the feeling that ICT in language learning is here to stay!