EdTech 541 – Week 8 – Due 10-19-10: Social Networking Activity for Your Thematic Unit
As part of this unit, we will be using the online language exchange tool SharedTalk, hosted by Rosetta Stone. After creating an account, you will engage in instant-messaging text conversations with Spanish speakers from around the world. SharedTalk also offers voice-chat capability, but we won’t get to that until later in the semester.
Here is a guide to the account-creation process:
1.) Navigate to www.sharedtalk.com
2.) Click Join Us
3.) Click I want to learn foreign languages through language exchange on SharedTalk.
5.) Input all required information to create your account. Important: As a safety measure, DO NOT provide your last name (it is not required).
6.) Open your email account (the one that you provided in the registration process) and click the link to activate your account.
7.) Sign in to SharedTalk, click on text chat, then click chat now to enter the chat house.
8.) You will see two lists – The one called Connected Members shows every individual currently connected to SharedTalk. The other is titled Public Chat Rooms. Within the Public Chat Rooms window, click on English-Spanish.
9.) You should now be in the English-Spanish chat room. From here you can type in the text field to post a message that will be visible to the entire chat room. On the right-hand side of this window, youll see a column called Members in this room followed by a list of names. Click on any name (ideally someone who has a Latino-sounding name – Better to choose Jorge than Billy) and click chat. This person will receive an invitation from you to create a private chat window. Once that individual accepts, a new window will open and you will begin chatting one-on-one. You can have multiple chat windows open at the same time, so dont hesitate to initiate multiple conversations.
10.) Important: SharedTalk is a very closely-monitored system – Any inappropriate language and/or themes will result in prompt account cancellation. Please conduct yourself accordingly, and if another user online engages in inappropriate behavior, inform your instructor right away so he/she can report the abuse to the SharedTalk administrators.
Starting points for conversations:
Once you have a chat window open, you may find yourself wondering what to say. Think of this in terms of a travel situation in which you just met a local resident and are getting to know them. Here are some useful phrases meant as a starting point:
¡Hola! Me llamo _______.
¿Cuántos años tienes?
Later this semester our class will use SharedTalks voice chat feature. This will take place in the computer lab. You will work in groups of three, taking turns wearing the headset (this is to keep the background noise level down). When it is your turn to speak, the other two students in your group will support you and offer written or whispered advice concerning what to say or how to respond to a question.
Livemocha is a powerful online language learning system. It offers free courses for beginner to intermediate-advanced learners. The modules include an extensive selection of lesson foci. Within the travel category alone you can find lessons on Country / Nationality, Units, Directions, and Needs / Wants. There are image and voice-augmented vocabulary lessons and a wide selection of writing and speaking exercises all of which can be submitted for review by other Livemocha users.
Begin creating your account by providing your native language, target language, and email address. Once you have finished creating an account, it’s a good idea to explore the site on your own for awhile – There is a lot to discover.
Submitting writing and speaking samples for feedback from a native speaker is an easy process. Click on the Learn and Practice tab at top, then click on Extra Practice. Select Write, Speak, or Dialogue, choose a topic from the list that appears, and begin.
You can give back to the Livemocha community by reviewing the submissions of others and offering corrective feedback. You might be surprised how helpful your feedback can be for an individual trying to learn English. As you progress through lessons and participate in the Livemocha community, you earn Mochapoints.
Note to instructors: Tracking Mochapoints is an easy and effective way to monitor student participation and progress. Point-based evaluation allows students to chart their own course through the software.
Livemocha is not limited to ‘offline’ conversation. It is a simple process to initiate a live chat session with other Livemocha online users. Click on the My Profile tab at top, then click Friends. You will see a list of suggested conversation partners based on your native language, target language, and ability language. Click on someone, then click Chat with User. Later you can click Add Friend if you would like to correspond with that person again. Note that there are Report abuse and a Block User buttons. If working in class, consult your instructor before using these options.
Note to self and EdTech instructor (Hi Jackie): I am impressed and overwhelmed by the capabilities of this site. What an amazing tool. Now I really want my classroom to be a computer lab.
Mixedink is collaborative document creation program. It bears similarity to Google Docs but can accommodate a far greater number of collaborators. See demo video: http://www.mixedink.com/educator/#_demo_video
For instructors - Here’s how to get started:
1.) Navigate to http://www.mixedink.com
2.) Create an account (requires email verification).
3.) Sign in, click on the My Classes tab, then click on new class.
4.) Input requested information, then click on Create.
5.) Once the class has been created click on the My Projects tab, then click New Project.
6.) You will input the project title, type of document, motivational header, and assignment description. The assignment description is where you will explain the goal to students while emphasizing the collaborative nature of the project.
7.) Return to the My Projects tab and click on the name of the project you just created, and then click on Write & Remix.
8.) In the New Draft window, type starting point text for students (if desired) and click the Submit button.
9.) Back under the My Projects tab you will see the URL for this project. Provide students with this URL.
10.) Students access the project via the URL and join the individual-collaborative writing process.
Example travel-related project for you to join: http://www.mixedink.com/PacoSpanish3Per1/Hostels