Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nice Surprise! Old friends, New friends!

Well, it's been quite a while since I created this blog, but finally found the time to visit in order report on what's been going on in our EFL-Tech classroom (One 45 min lesson per week).

A very pleasant surprise awaited me here, when I discovered a comment from Christine Southard, whom I "met" first on Classroom20. I've been so sidetracked for the last couple of months, translating the Ning platform to Hebrew, setting up a network for my EFL students and kicking off "Edureshet" a social network for Israeli educators (reached 50 members yesterday - yay!!) that I haven't been taking part in the English conversations going on - there just doesn't seem to be enough time to fit everything in.

Hopefully now that Edureshet seems to be about to take off I will be able to revisit the friends I made during the summer.

As I mentioned briefly above, we, Susanb the EFL teacher and I, have set up a Ning Network for our EFL 6th grade students.
Registering to the site, working inside the Ning space and creating their profiles and profile pics, takes time for our students, but it's all good! They are using English in an authentic way, and they are enjoying it so much that they visit the site from home too!

We have set up the site so that the profile questions- repeat vocabulary and grammar used in the first few weeks back at school. The profile pics have been used to revise Parts of the Body, ie students create avatars here. Next up they will add an "About Me" text to their pages, and create voki characters and after maybe we'll start blogging.

The original intention was to follow the pace of the regular EFL lessons, but so far that has proved impossible - however I think our pace will pick up once the students start to feel comfortable with the site.

For now it is wonderful to see the busy list of recent activity, to read the short comments they leave on each other's pages, to discover through their profile info that Eshel's hobby is building computer games, or Boaz plays guitar etc.. That Nir "am not so good English" (although he really is), to recieve a message from Adva through the in site mailing system ...
...and of course to recieve "friend's requests" :-) (although I haven't announced it anywhere - anyone sending me a friend request gets a gif of their name in glitter - I'm waiting to see how long it takes them to realize that)
as the site is a closed site instead of adding adding a link I'm uploading a couple of screenpics.