Making Use of Blogging, Podcasting and Wikis in the MFL Classroom is a presentation Alex Blagona, Language College Coordinator of Northgate High School, Ipswich gave last Friday at the Heads of Modern Languages Conference in Ipswich organised by Suffolk County Council.
When I got in contact with Alex over the weekend he sent me the transcript he had prepared to support his session and also kindly agreed to record it as an audio file. As you can see both are available below)
I particularly enjoyed listening to Alex recounting his personal experiences of using blogs, podcasts and wikis in the MFL classroom and admired his honesty when describing the challenges as well as the rewards he had faced since the start of the project. It is clear that all the hard work is now paying off though and hopefully his experiences will encourage others to try out these tools in their own department's across the country. Let's hope so, anyway.
Here are some of my favourite quotes and in brackets why:
"The constructive criticism and praise Harriet received actually meant more to her than any comments I as her teacher could have made" (Peer assessment)
"being able to upload podcasts and other recordings of our students so that others can listen to them, and comment on them, has meant that students take the skill of speaking a lot more seriously than they did" (Raising standards)
"Comments are important for the benefit of our students being assessed by their peers is enjoyable and rewarding as well as being motivational" (Pupil Voice and raising motivation)
"We have had to show students how to work together effectively and how to share ideas and concepts as opposed to at times just plagarising other students' essays, but now the wiki effectively runs itself, monitored by teachers, but run by the students." (Independent learning and team building)
"In this year's Suffolk Gifted and Talented Linguists programme, the Year 11 students involved have all been working on their projects by using wikis. This has been ideal for the students who are spread from all parts of the county. It has enabled students to add resources, write collaboratively and share ideas from wherever they are without the need to actually 'see' each other." (Distance learning and collaboration)