Voices Vol 41 No 3

Technology

Organizing the Confusion – Making the Most of the Internet for Your Students

By Marilyn Pongracz

There is so much out there now on the web that could be useful, it’s overwhelming.  We ask ourselves, how can I possibly keep up? How can I know what is most useful for my students?  In my workshop at the conference in May, I tried to give attendees an overview of websites and ideas that might be helpful to them and their students.

The questions below may give some guidance.

When you answer these questions, you can start with one website that seems best and gradually build with one item at a time.  This is a realistic expectation for any busy teacher.

There are different types of websites for you to use. 

The first are sometimes called platforms.  If your school has a website with pages on which you can upload homework assignments or add links for your students, that’s a good place to start.  Colleges use WebCT, Blackboard, or Moodle for online courses, hybrid, or web-enhanced classes.  If none of these are available to you, a blog or a wiki may be your choice.  A blog allows for online discussions with the latest posting at the top.  http://edublogs.org/  A wiki is a series of pages that allows for asynchronous collaboration that teachers or students can use for text, pictures, links, and more.  http://www.wikispaces.com/  Otherwise, you might try Edmodo http://www.edmodo.com or Weblist, a simple new website that makes it easy to add documents, pictures, and links: http://weblist.me.

Other websites are the ones that you would link to because they provide lessons that teachers can use or information that students can work with.  Below are a few of the best ones.

 

There are also sites that can foster creativity. 

There is so much out there, how can any teacher keep up?  Here are a few sites that can help.

For more sites, you can visit the tech presentation wiki at: http://njtesol-njbe-tech-presentation.wikispaces.com
Marilyn Pongracz is the Technology Coordinator for NJTESOL/NJBE and the English Language Resource Center Supervisor at Bergen Community College.