Following on from a couple of previous posts regarding web applications and non-web applications I have used in the class, I set out on a little bit of personal research to have a look at some of the new web apps and see how they could be used in an MFL classroom (filters permitting) or to aid language learning. Regular readers will have seen the recent posts about specific language learning resources. These post and others to follow deal with applications which don't necessarily have a language learning purpose but can be adapted for this purpose.
In this post I want to deal with what I've termed mashups, for want of a better word. They permit the user to manipulate text, images, audio and even video.
Glogster's tag line is "poster yourself". And it is simply that. You create a poster including pictures, text, video etc. I think this would be superb for language learners. Students could create e-posters about themselves, celebrities, their town etc. They can show off their writing in a foreign language, or they could record themselves speaking the language on their phone/mp3 player and upload it. They could even make a wee video and upload it. In one piece of work students could present both their Speaking and Writing skills whilst at the same time showing of their creative skills.
Obviously, knowing the kind of networks we all work with in schools it may not be possible to use in school, and if possible it would probably need some preparation beforehand. Students would possibly have to load pictures/audio/video onto a pen drive at home. I think though that it is at home that this would be great for learners to sink their teeth into. Once their glog is created they can then either embed it in a class blog or email the link to their teacher.
Here's one I did earlier.
Scrapblog is similar to Glogster in many ways, in that you can add photos and videos etc. It differs in one obvious way, and the clue is in its name, scrap...blog. It's the e-version of a scrapbook. That is you can create multiple pages, add a sountrack to the project and even add Ken Burns Effect to your pages.
I think this application would be a great way for students to write about and create a pictorial representation of a holiday experience, say a school trip to France etc. In my example I thought about the topic of school and how I could represent that. Obviously mine is a quick version just to have a look through (which is why the embedded video has nothing to do with our school) but there are definite
possibilities. This is more of a long term project though.
Update: Scrapblog can also be used to tell a story. Why not adapt a fairy tale in a foreign language and jazz it up with photos?
This app is essentially photo based, but text can be added. Again this is great for writing and showing an account of a trip and such like. What I do like about it is the fact that you can collaborate with friends. So a group of students could work on a project of some kind away from school, and not have to be together. Even better, if a student (or class) has a penpal a mixbook of images and writing comparing and contrasting each others' lives etc. A way for both (sets of) students to practise their language skills whilst ensuring they understand each other.
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