Thursday, 4 September 2008
Developing personal learning environments using web 2.0 tools
The new distributed social web has the potential to be an effective environment for formal and informal language learning. It offers opportunities for students to participate in a space that is more personalized and student owned. Sara Guth presented an ongoing project, BloggingEnglish, where an EFL course used a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) as an alternative instead of a learning management system. Students were presented with an ‘e-tivity’ every week from exploring the blogosphere to developing their own blog with rss-feeds, social bookmarking, producing podcasts and also YouTube films. The outcomes of the study show that students were very positive to this way of learning English. It increased their interest and motivation. Various aspects of reading, writing and listening were practised, though not so much speaking. Pedagogical challenges were brought up too, for instance assessment: How and what is assessed in such a course environment?