Archive for the ‘ESOL’ Category

Photo Logs (Phlogs)

August 26, 2007

Phlogs (Photo logs, or blogs with photos) have a lot of appeal for adult education/ESOL. They could be used as part of a classroom virtual visit, for example. Students using regular, digital, or even throwaway cameras could do phlogs of their neighborhoods. (I did one of my neighborhood several years ago called “from my window .” Every photo was taken from a window of my house or car. Then I wrote short captions underneath — a perfect beginning level ESOL activity.) You’ll find it at
http://www.alri.org/esquare/esq2/window/jp.html

Picture taken from window in home of David J. Rosen

Students at project Hope in Boston a few years ago did a history phlog, Dorchester Now and Then, comparing photos from their neighborhoods now — and earlier. You’ll find it at

http://alri.org/ltc/prohope/dorchester/

Codman Square then and now

Immigrant students could also document their passage from their first country to their neighborhood in North America — scanning photos which were taken earlier. All students could document what they like — and don’t like — about their communities. And phlogs could be used for action research/social change projects — documenting urban or rural environmental hazards, poor public services (trash not picked up, street signs missing, giant pot holes, etc.)

Project-based Learning: The International Classroom Virtual Visit Project

August 26, 2007

In a post to the National Institute for Literacy Technology discussion list on July 17, 2003, http://www.nifl.gov/nifl-technology/2003/0228.html Irshat Yusupovich Madyarov wrote:

I’m looking for a platform to be used for an internet-based intercultural communication between two schools with kids from different cultural backgrounds. This would involve user-friendly message board, posting pictures, etc. There will be a web site as a part of this project, so we could as well integrate all communication tools we need into this website. i know some websites that offer this type of service. I would like to hear about your experience.

I replied:

One example of project-based (constructivist) distance learning, which involves matched classes, groups or schools from different countries is the International Classroom Virtual Visit project. Susan Gaer, an ESL instructor at Santa Anna College in Southern California, and I developed the project in 1999. Since then we have helped teachers and their classes, from various countries, to match up and exchange information about themselves and their cultures. Students introduce themselves, their class/school and their communities through student-and teacher-made Web pages. They ask each other questions using group or individual e-mail. Most of the classes are adult ESL/ESOL students, but some are K-12 students, and some are adult basic skills students. Some of the matches have been cross-generational.

It’s a great way to encourage production of writing, cultural learning, and increased comfort and experience with the internet. For some (teachers and students) it’s also an opportunity to learn about web page design, including graphics.

For more information about this project, and to see the Web pages the classes have developed since 1999. you can go to the Virtual School Visit section of Susan’s E-mail projects Web page at:
http://www.otan.us/webfarm/emailproject/school.htm

To join the International Classroom Virtual Visit project, go to:
http://lists.literacytent.org/mailman/listinfo/icvv

An inexpensive platform which you might be interested exploring for project-based learning, that has a message board, a place for posting pictures, and many other virtual learning environment features is Community Zero http://www.communityzero.com/