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Assignment: Cooperative work on characteristics and use in EFL of BLOGS; PODCASTS; WIKI;


In these days, teachers have the advantage of having a lot of resources when preparing a lesson
plan. They can choose materials from very different sources. Among them, Internet seems to be the
most widely used . And I think this is because a number of reasons. To start with, I could mention that it
offers a wide range of options for students motivation and development. What is more, students get
easy contact with other learners from different parts of the world, and can share knowledge, discuss, and
learn together.
Web logs or BLOGS are a type of technology that allows for journalistic styles of writing to be
published on the internet. It is defined as a form of personal expression that is characterized by a list of
dated news items, listed in reverse chronological order, authored by one or more individuals (Good,
2003, n.p.). The overall tone and style of writing tends to be informal. Some important features that are
part of BLOGS include: Automatic date-stamping for each post, an archive of past posts by date or
theme, a way for readers to comment on each post, and an area especially for links to favorite sites.
The use of BLOGS with language students learning English holds several beneficial
characteristics. First it offers a new and creative means of expression as compared more traditional pen
and paper type activities. Secondly, it enables the student to break free from the traditional role of a
passive learner and into one which encourages autonomy and investment in the learning process. An
additional positive aspect of using BLOGS includes an increase in student motivation in selecting topics
of high interest to students.
Its the term given to the audio files we find on the web, normally on mp3 format. We can record
our opinions and comments about something in particular, convert them in mp3 format, edit them and
upload them through a net server. Finally, we need a program that reproduces them, such iTunes. Doing
this, everybody can listen to what we want to say. Podcast is also used to upload songs, dialogues or
even to teach something such as how to keep an informal conversation in English. Podcasts can be
downloaded onto a computer, a MP3, iPhone or iPod and listen to them whenever you want.
As a podcast is an audio story created to share ideas, presentations, or music, any activity that
involves oral presentation can probably be adapted to create a podcast series. Students can use
podcasts to interview each other, tell stories, create newscasts, hold debates, or run radio shows.
Schools can use podcasts to make announcements via their Web site or to record guest speakers and
publish their presentations available online.
A wiki is a website whose users can add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser using a
simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are
often created collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include community websites, corporate
intranets, knowledge management systems, and notetaking.
If any user who is at this type of site would like to contribute to the page, make corrections, or
additions, the "Edit This Page" button will change this page from a static web page to a word processing
document. It is just that easy. However, most pages are restricted so that only invited guests can

contribute. Most wikis are more open to collaborators but requests to join the wiki are required. This is a
safeguard for the organizer to be able to have some degree of control over the content and the writers.
The whole process of this type of technology allows a community of people to share information
easily, collaborate, and connect with others with common interests. The purpose of a wiki is to facilitate
participation in an easy-to-use online environment by a community of people who care about the content
because they have ownership of the process and the results.
Features of a wiki:
quick definition: webpage with an edit button
easy to correct mistakes
easy to allow people to contribute
does not prevent the making of mistakes
wisdom of crowds collaborative (wikipedia)
notification asked to be notified when changes occur thats how stuff gets fixed in 2 minutes.
web 2.0 applications work with old computers - no need to spend money on software
YouTube allows people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. It provides a forum
for these people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution
platform for original content creators and advertisers.
Now that a growing majority of Internet users have broadband, YouTube and other video clip sites
have become very popular. These sites provide English learners and classes with a new tool to improve
listening skills and pronunciation, and enhance conversation . The real advantage to these sites - at least
from a language learning point of view - is that they offer authentic examples of everyday English used
by everyday people. On the other hand, students are attracted to the "real life" nature of these videos.
By creating context for these short videos you can help your students explore a world of online English
learning possibilities.
Flickr is a popular photo sharing website that allows members to upload their own photos into
customizable albums that can then be labeled, organized, tagged, and publicly posted. Flickr, as well as
many other photo hosting websites, provides image URLs for every file that is uploaded, and these
image URLs can then be used to embed a photo in a website, social networking profile, blog post or
Facebook (formerly Thefacebook) is an online social networking service headquartered in
Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his
college roommates and fellow Harvard University. After registering to use the site, users can create a
user profile, add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share
videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join commoninterest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize
their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends".

Several researches have been made concerning Facebook and other social networkings in
education. There are as many conclusions as papers. Here we can take one of them in order to compare
pros and cons of its use for educational purposes:
Participation of a mentor and mentee on the Facebook group page was seen to positively affect their
relationship both online and offline.
Students and mentors that interacted regularly, posting questions and receiving feedback through the
page, were observed as having a stronger relationship than other mentor-mentee pairs.
Analysis of survey results revealed that most students believed that they learned more because of using
the group page and thought it was helpful in achieving their goals for their project and for the group. In
addition, most students would like to use social networking for educational purposes and were interested
in using social networking in school.
Lack of access to participants was problematic to the study. Both mentors and mentees expressed need
for technology support and guidance, however limited access prevented researchers from addressing
these issues.
Privacy issues also impacted the way mentors and mentees learned about activities and posts on the

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character
messages called "tweets". Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only
read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app.
Tweet: Tweets are publicly visible by default, but senders can restrict message delivery to just their
Retweet: Retweeting is when a tweet is forwarded via Twitter by users.
Following: Users may subscribe to other users' tweets this is known as "following" and subscribers are
known as "followers"
Format: Users can group posts together by topic or type by use of hashtags words or phrases prefixed
with a "#" sign. Similarly, the "@" sign followed by a username is used for mentioning or replying to
other users.
Various research groups around the world have begun to discover the magic of twittering, trying to
harness twitter as a tool that supports the learning process. Twitter is a platform for sharing different
types of media files along with short and concise text, which may contribute to interaction in the
classroom and may improve instruction and learning process. Cohen, A. & Duchan, G. (2012). The
Usage Characteristics of Twitter in the Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and
Learning Objects, Volume 8, 3.
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