Posts from ‘July, 2008’

CSCLL: Away from language, towards communication

Problem: ESL materials that are supposedly designed according to a communicative framework nonetheless feel contrived, irrelevant, and just plain boring. Problem: Activities that are designed for the purpose of language acquisition when language, in reality, is rarely acquired for the sake of language acquisition just as trees are rarely counted for the sake of counting […]

QuickTopic message board

QuickTopic is a good option to keep in mind when you’re looking for a message board / mailing list solution. Hosting your own message board is becoming more of a headache in terms of spam and security, and so using a hosted solution makes some sense, especially for educators who don’t live to maintain their […]

CSCLL: Away from language, towards communication

Problem: ESL materials that are supposedly designed according to a communicative framework nonetheless feel contrived, irrelevant, and just plain boring. Problem: Activities that are designed for the purpose of language acquisition when language, in reality, is rarely acquired for the sake of language acquisition just as trees are rarely counted for the sake of counting […]

Delete those cookies to save money

The following article seems to imply that you can save money when shopping on line if you delete your cookies. (emphasis added) Shoppers Naive About Online Prices | LiveScience …Turow found a retail photography Web site charging different prices for the same digital cameras and related equipment depending on whether shoppers had previously visited popular […]

Halloween and Chinese ghost month

I do not know how correct the following article is, but assuming it is fairly accurate, it is amazing how much the roots of Halloween have in common with current practices of Chinese ghost month here in Taiwan. Ghosts coming back for a limited time, offerings of food to appease them, and bad things that […]

VOA Special English

This site produces good quality, simplified English programs. My main criticism of VOA has always been not the quality of its production, which is excellent, but the content of its programs. Being almost entirely US-focused, it is not terribly relevant to students in other countries. And much of what it produces is just plain boring, […]

Collaborative activity

I’ve been kicking around the idea of using unsolved crimes as the premise for collaborative activities, as a type of PBL activity. This CBS news video page seems to have some promising leads… The screen capture at right was taken at http://www.cbsnews.com/…. A simple, straightforward activity would be to have students watch the video and […]

What is the task?

I was reading the following link and information on the parent site and my first-cup-of-coffee, 6:30-on-a-rainy-morning-brain started thinking that maybe I’ve been approaching the issue of computer supported collaborative language learning (CSCLL) content and activities from the wrong direction. Perhaps I should not focus so much on ‘language activities’, but more on collaborative work for […]

pbWiki and FC10 prep

Site25 wiki / Fedora installation notes PBWiki is a nice site to keep in mind. I’ve created a couple wikis on PBWiki, and although I use them very little, my appreciation for PBWiki is growing the more I visit the service. It’s refreshingly free of Google ads, at least for educational users, and it seems […]

WordNet lexical database

This is a useful tool that is also just fun to play around with. It only lists what I call content words (as opposed to function words) and what they call open-class words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. WordNet does a better job at giving you the definitions of a word than do most on-line […]