Many things have changed in schools in the last decades, the blackboard was replaced by the whiteboard, the

tape recorder by the CD player and more recently we have computers, the internet and interactive boards. However, very little has changed when it comes to homework . Teachers usually regard homework as an opportunity for further reading and writing practice. Many times, in the EFL field, the homework assigned are exercises provided by the workbook or writings. There’s a great gap between classroom activities and the traditional homework we still assign. So, how can we bridge this gap? Leister (2008 ) in a video about Technology integration, describes the phases observed as teachers try to integrate technology to their classes. In phase 1, teachers are still in control of technology and use it to make the lesson more colourful, in phase 2, students are encouraged to search for knowledge in the web, whereas in phase 3, teachers see students’ role differently, not as consumers of information but as producers of content. Trying to bridge the gap between classroom activities and homework assignments, during the first semester of 2011, I developed a project with EFL students where apart from assigning the traditional homework, students had to carry out 10 tasks using different webtools. I named the project “The 10 tasks Challenge”. The objective of the project was to provide students with the chance to practice the four skills in language learning (reading, writing, listening and speaking) at home. Students were expected to use language recently learned and different webtools to create recordings, animations and comic strips, making the homework experience more personalized and hopefully more motivating. The project involved 35 students who had already studied English for about 4 years at a Language Institute in Brazil. It’s important to point out that these students are economically privileged so I knew from previous conversations that all of them had access to computers and the internet. I selected the tools according to the skills I intended them to practise and the kind of content we would cover during the semester. For example, if I wanted students to use informal phrasal verbs in a dialogue, I would choose a webtool which would allow my students to record their own voices roleplaying the dialogue. To start the project, I needed a space to communicate with students and viceversa, a space to publish the tasks with instructions , and finally a space for students to publish their work sharing it not only with me but with the whole group. For all these reasons, I chose Edmodo to be our main platform. Sharing with parents is another very important aspect. Many parents complain they’ve never heard their teenage kids use English. Therefore, I

used the school wiki to publish what students had been producing and sent parents the link via e-mail. With the project, students were able to create digital content with language recently learned and parents were able to follow their progress in learning a foreign language.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer: Get 4 months of Scribd and The New York Times for just $1.87 per week!

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times