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Topics - jmerchant88

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Critical Reviews of Technology / Critical Review of Diigo
« on: May 02, 2014, 03:44:10 PM »
Diigo is an online information management tool. Please enjoy my critical review of this tool.

Funny or Cool Stuff / Make a Music Video!
« on: March 15, 2014, 04:48:41 PM »
This is an idea I'm basing off of an activity I did with elementary students learning English in France. At the end of the year, I choreographed a dance for them to learn to a popular Katy Perry song. I had to do some minor editing to leave certain parts of the song out (to keep things appropriate), but most of the students had heard the original song anyway. I chose to use her "Hot N Cold" song because there were lots of antonyms in the chorus (e.g. hot and cold, yes and no, in and out, up and down, wrong and right, black and white, stay and go). That was the type of vocabulary my beginning students had been learning, so I thought they would be able to understand the song better that way. My students were so thrilled to be using a popular American song in class and had so much fun doing it. Something like this could be used as a reward for hard work, or even just to take a break. To apply this to technology and CMC, I thought that students could make their own music video to a popular song. This could be a one day project, or it could span over a matter of days or weeks. This would depend on how much the teachers wanted to guide the project, the level of the students, and the objectives of the activity. If students were working with another school, like a telecollaborative project, they could share their videos with each other. I'm sure there are many other ways an activity like this could be used, but that is just an idea I've been thinking about for a bit. I hope you find it interesting!

General Links / Socrative-Student Response System
« on: March 11, 2014, 10:45:58 AM »
I heard about Socrative in a recent seminar led by Jill Tschopp Huang. This website can be used by teacher to ask students questions in class. They use their computer to respond, and the teacher can see the results instantaneously. There is a variety of question types: T/F, multiple choice, and short answer. Students can also take quizzes or compete in a race with other students. It's very easy to use and it's free! I hope you take some time to explore this site. I'll be using it in my classes very soon.

General Links / Diigo--possible tool for collaboration
« on: February 26, 2014, 01:07:32 AM »
I recently learned about an online tool called Diigo that is used to manage the information we encounter online and want to keep track of. It has some neat features. By installing Diigo in the toolbar of your web browser, you can make annotations, highlights, insert sticky notes, save screen shots, and more. All of it is stored in a cloud, so you can access it anytime from many different electronic devices. This could be a handy tool for CMC because learners can share anything they've saved into the cloud with other learners or teachers. For instance, group projects and collaborations could make good use of this tool when doing research or discussing articles they've read. Learner's could post notes directly on web pages, highlight important paragraphs, and share their findings with others.

To learn more, visit You can click on the "About" tab, or watch some of their tutorial videos linked on the homepage.

If you're using the virtual world Second Life, this link might be helpful if you are trying to build something. The learning curve is steep if you're new to Second Life, so any tips and clues about how to use it can be very helpful. A group and I were working together to build a pyramid in Second Life,  and we had to look up how to do quite a few things. I hope you'll find this as useful as we did.

Funny or Cool Stuff / Mailing List Joke
« on: February 03, 2014, 09:59:15 PM »
This is how I often feel as I'm swimming through the sea of emails I receive everyday. Anyone else feel this way, too? :D


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