Thursday, December 20, 2012

Digital Citizenship, Ethics, and Netiquette 2

Digital Citizenship, Ethics, and Netiquette 2

Last week, I learned two technologies related to digital citizenship, ethics and netiquette from my colleagues, which I want to share in this week’s blog post. One is Digital Citizenship (, which I learned from Hiraman Byrd’s blog ( and the other technology is Media Smarts (, which I learned from Seher Balkaya Bulat’s blog post (     

Digital Citizenship is a site that aims at helping educators and parents teach learners and children how to use technology in an appropriate way. There are links to resources, publications, and nine elements on the site. The resources link may be beneficial for adult educators to raise their learners’ awareness of the new technologies and how to use them. I chose this technology because it is easy to use, up-to-date, and provides many links that can give practical ideas to an educator.

In my professional practice, I could use this technology to make my learners better digital citizens. The first way I would benefit from this technology is to adapt an activity described on the site, which you can reach through This activity focuses on the use of
cell phones. Instead of asking my learners to mock a phone conversation, as suggested in the activity, I would get them to watch short videos showing how people can interrupt others with their mobile phones. Then, in small groups, I would ask my learners to come up with some appropriate and inappropriate places and ways of using the mobile phone. Then, I would ask the groups to refer to the nine elements on the website and relate at least one element to the issue of disruption caused by mobile phones. Finally, I would turn this into a whole class discussion where each group reports what they have discussed. We would end the lesson by deciding on some rules for mobile phone use in our classroom. The second way I would use this site is to have my learners reflect on their use of technology, and, referring to the nine elements, to write a list of the things they are doing right and a list of things they should be more careful about as digital citizens.

Media Smarts is a Canadian site that focuses on digital and media literacy. It has a wide coverage – from teacher resources to detailed information about problems like cyberbullying. I chose this technology because it offers a lot of resources that can easily be adapted to cater for the needs of learners at all ages.

This technology can help my learners become better digital citizens. There are lesson plans under the resources tab that I can use with my learners. One example of how I would use this technology is that I would ask my learners to study the Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet (, choose one potential risk of being online that they have experienced from the list, and present to class a detailed description of the experience, ways they used to avoid it, and ways offered by the site to avoid such experiences. Another way I would use this technology is by preparing a questionnaire using the information on Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet about
Safe Surfing (  Then, I would go over the results of the questionnaire with each learner, determine their weak areas and ask them to visit this link to learn how they can improve their surfing skills. They will be asked to report this in written form and submit it to me. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Digital Citizenship, Ethics, and Netiquette

This week, I want to introduce A Thin Line (, which aims at teaching young adult learners how to become digital citizens and Digital Passport (, which is a tool for educators to prepare their learners to become good digital citizens.

A Thin Line has a colorful opening page, from which learners can reach five links: Get the Facts, Take Control, Your Stories, Draw Your Line, and Blog. Clicking on “Get the Facts” takes the learner to a page that gives information about sexting, constant messaging, spying, digital disrespect, and cruelty. Once the learner reads this information, s/he can post this action to “Draw Your Line” to show their stance against digital abuse. “Take Control” allows a learner to get help or help others for problems they face with people in the digital world. “Your Stories” gives them access to videos where users describe their personal experiences. They can post their actions on “Draw Your Line”, and “Blog” takes them to people’s blog entries related to abuse stories in the digital world and digital citizenship. I chose this technology because it is full of up-to-date, real stories that my learners can learn a lesson from. In addition, its target population is the age group of my learners, who are young adults.

In my professional practice, I would use this technology to help my learners become better digital citizens. For instance, I can choose a video for them to watch under “Your Stories” and get them to write their comments below the video. I would then ask them to read one another’s comments so that everyone sees how people may react differently to the same situation. I would then turn this to a whole-class discussion, where we talk about the problem and the best ways to deal with it. I can also ask my learners to follow blogs and respond to them on a weekly basis. At the end of the term, I would ask them to write a reflection paper where they express what they have learned from these blog posts.

Digital Passport is actually a tool designed for kids, but it can also be adapted to suit adult learners’ needs. Using it, an educator can easily create a group by adding her students, choose activities for them to do, and keep track of their performance. There are five modules to complete, and once a learner completes all, s/he receives a digital passport certificate. By clicking “Educator Materials”, the educator can learn about the aim and content of each module and reach the supporting materials. There is also an Educator Guide, a Student Workbook, and a Student Progress Chart available. I chose this technology because it is user-friendly for an educator. The objectives of each module are clearly stated, and there is a detailed lesson plan for each supporting material. In addition, the materials are up-to-date, with links to videos on YouTube, so the learners are likely to find them interesting.

I can use this technology to make my learners’ better digital citizens. I would not cover all the modules with them; I would choose some resources, adapt them, and use them in class. I would, however, encourage my learners that need extra assistance to take responsibility and complete all the modules. Most of my learners are cell phone addicts, so in my professional practice,  I can focus on the module “Communication: Twalkers” and get my learners watch a video on SchoolTube, where Amaya, an eleven-year old learner talks about the use of cell phone use among elementary school learners. Then, I will turn this video into a whole-class discussion about the use of mobile phones in general, and ask my learners to work in groups to come up with a list of “Dos and Don’ts” when using mobile phones. This will be turned into a poster presentation; each group will hang their poster on the classroom walls and get feedback from the other groups. I would also use this tool to help my learners become better searchers of information. In the module, “Search: Search Shark”, after watching the video of Solomon, who talks about the importance of using keywords to find information online, I can ask my learners to brainstorm other ways of refining the search results. Then, as homework, each learner can find a good search site and present it in class, explaining why it is a good one. Although this technology cannot be used directly with adults, there are a lot of ideas it offers that can inspire us. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Distance and Open Education Technologies

Distance and Open Education Technologies

This week, I want to introduce Moodle (, which is a distance education technology and Creative Commons (, which is an open education technology.

Moodle is a learning management system (LMS). By using it, it is possible to create fully online courses, but it can also be used for blended learning, to support classroom learning. It has activity modules (i.e. forums and wikis) that can be used to enhance collaborative learning, but it is also possible to deliver content and assess learners’ performances using Moodle. I chose this technology due to this flexibility it offers. It can serve different purposes and it can be used with learners of all ages.

In my professional practice, I would use this technology for blended learning purposes, to support my classroom teaching. For instance, after teaching the past tenses in class, I would use the wikis to encourage my learners to work collaboratively in groups to create a story, using these tenses. By using a wiki, learners will be able to add, edit, and give and receive feedback easily. It encourages collaborative learning. I can also use this technology for my professional development. By following the registered sites link, I can reach the links of the educational institutions and follow their news, upcoming conferences, reach their resources if they are available, and the like. So, in addition to being beneficial for the learners, Moodle can help the professional growth of an adult educator.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization. By using it, people can share their creativity and knowledge legally. A person who publishes his work under a Creative Commons license accepts that others can share, use, and adapt it. By joining Creative Commons, people can have access to a big pool of free materials they can use. I have chosen this technology because it aims at providing people free access to research and education, but while doing this, it does not disregard copyright issues; it respects copyright laws.

I can use this technology in my professional practice to encourage my learners to share their work with others on an online platform and to introduce them to this alternative research method. For example, after learning about how to write a short biography of a person in class, I can ask my learners to choose a prominent figure in history and write a short biography of this person. Then, they can share it on Creative Commons so that others can have access to it. I would ask my learners to read one another’s work and give one another feedback. I can also use it as a research tool. I can ask my learners to choose a topic of interest and prepare a PowerPoint presentation by using the information they find on this site. My aim here would be to encourage my learners to give credit to the work of others, even if it is shared freely on the Internet.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Week 5 Assignment 1 Games, Simulations, and Virtual Environments

Games, Simulations, and Virtual Environments

This week, I want to introduce a virtual environment and a game that have the potential to enhance adult education. Second Life is available on, and the Restaurant Game can be reached via

Second Life is an online virtual world. Everyone can create an avatar by entering the site for free and start exploring this world. It is not a game, but more of an online social environment to meet people and visit places. Users can get as creative as they can while creating their avatar and their virtual home. I selected this medium because learners can practice English while communicating with their classmates or strangers in a relaxed environment that does not involve competition. To incorporate this technology into my professional practice, I would inform the learners that are at intermediate level and above in the Preparatory Program about Second Life and encourage them to join it. Then, I would start a Second Life Fun Club, which learners can join as an extra-curricular activity, after class hours. I would have scheduled meetings with the learners there, to assign them specific tasks every week, such as “visit London and note down the most interesting person you met there”. In our next meeting, learners would describe this person. Another way I would use it is to ask my learners to reflect on their experiences in Second Life, comparing them to their real life. I would ask them to write a weekly reflection and submit it to me. I think learners who volunteer to join this club would benefit from this experience tremendously because they would be practicing English in a real-like environment according to their preferences. I would just be there to guide them in this adventure. The website offers more ideas for using Second Life for educative purposes for those who are interested.

The Restaurant Game is great for English language learners to learn about the British culture. The player acts as a newly employed waiter at the Brit Café, who is trying to serve customers the right food. The menu consists of traditional British food, and the main aim is to familiarize the player with these dishes. There are three categories in the menu: starters, main course, and pudding and each has a number of scenarios in it once you click. I selected this game because I think it is important for learners of English to learn about the culture of the language they are studying, and food is a big part of the culture. I could use this game in class in my lessons for teaching purposes or I could assign certain scenarios as homework for my learners to learn some meals by exploring themselves, depending on how independent my learners are. I could test their achievement by giving them a quick True/False test in class. Another way of incorporating this game into my teaching is to turn certain scenarios into role-play activities in class. I could assign a different scenario to pairs of learners and ask them to learn every food on their menu. Then, in class, pairs could act out this scenario. I think this game is a fun way to teach learners of English about the British culture, and it could be integrated into the lesson in many ways.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week 4 Assignment 1 Mobile Learning Technologies

Mobile Learning Technologies

The mobile learning technologies that I want to introduce are two applications available in iTunes App Store. Flashcards Deluxe can be viewed and downloaded on iPhone and iPad from and Notes Plus can be viewed and downloaded on  iPad from

Flashcards Deluxe is designed for both iPhone and iPad. It is not free, but it is not expensive; it costs $3.99, and there is a lite version available, which is free. This application is great because, as well as creating their own flashcards within the application, the users can download 4 million+ flashcard sets from and easily. This application can especially benefit language learners. They can practice vocabulary, grammar, listening and speaking (there is a text to speech audio in 18 languages), and spelling in a fun way. I could incorporate this technology into my professional practice in a number of ways. In my reading lessons, before studying a text, I could assign a number of words from the text to each learner, which they should learn at that level. Each learner then would prepare flashcards for his words using Flashcards Deluxe. We would set some standards for this; for instance, all learners will include the part of speech, meaning, other forms of the word and an example sentence for each word that they are assigned. Then, learners can present and share their flashcards in class, and everyone in class will be responsible for learning these words. I would also benefit from this application to improve my learners’ spelling. Turkish learners usually have difficulty learning the spelling of English words, and they generally need extra practice in this area. I would record a list of commonly misspelled words that we studied, like acquire, conscious, foreign, and the like, and send it to my learners to upload on their application. Then, they would listen to them on their headphones in class and try to write them with the correct spelling. I could do this in class as a practice activity or as an exam.

Notes Plus is designed only for iPad and is not cheap; it costs $7.99, but the excellent ratings and the customer reviews it has received show that it is worth the price. Users of this application can handwrite smoothly using their fingers, mix handwriting with typed text, record audio while taking notes, import a PDF file, and insert images easily. My learners could use this application to take notes in class. While I am teaching grammar or writing, my learners either stop listening to me and start copying what they see on the board or they focus on listening to me but fail to take notes, so they do not remember anything the next day. Notes Plus is a perfect solution for this. My learners can record my voice and take a picture of what is on the board and take notes on it at the same time. This would give them both the audio and the visual account of the lesson, so when they go home, they can easily revise what was studied. I can also make use of this application in my reading lessons. Once my learners upload the text that we will study in class onto this application, they do not need to bring their textbooks to class. Then, they can practice reading for main ideas, skimming/scanning a text, reading for details easily. For instance, they can highlight the main idea of the text in yellow, underline the places X visited, order the jumbled paragraphs, make inferences by taking notes in the margins, and the like. When they do these on a printed text, it gets messy after a point, but with this application, they can use different colors, fonts, handwriting, and other features for every type of question, so it would look more organized.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week 3 Assignment 1 Social Networking Technologies

Social Networking Technologies

The two social networking technologies that have the potential to enhance adult education, which I want to introduce are Edublogs and Wikispaces.

As the name suggests, Edublogs ( is an education blogging service. In addition to blogging, learners can participate in discussions, post videos, podcasts and documents, and create their own class publication. I have selected this technology because it is designed for educational purposes, so it does not include any advertisements or inappropriate content; it is easy to use; and it offers a variety of learning tools. I might incorporate this technology to my professional practice by creating a class on the page. This would enable me to monitor every entry that my learners make to their blogs and their peers’ blogs. I would give my learners weekly assignments to prepare and post on their blog, related to the content we cover in class. They would also be responsible for reading a selection of their peers’ blogs and commenting at least on two of them. I would grade these entries and give my learners feedback on a weekly basis. Another way I would incorporate this technology into my teaching is by asking my learners to download the IOS or Android application on their mobile phones. Then, I would give them short homework tasks, such as “Report the most delicious food you have had today” or “Write about the most boring part of your day” and ask my learners to write short entries on their blogs for these, using their mobile phones. This would improve their fluency in using the language, since they would not have the time to plan their writing, and it would be fun to read one another’s entries.

Wikispaces Private Label Education ( allows schools to create their own space, but it is also possible for instructors to start with their own classroom wiki on Wikispaces. Through a wiki, learners can easily add and edit written work, as well as sharing ideas, photos, links, and the like. I have selected Wikispaces, because it can be reached on every device, it enables the addition of widgets, it has a discussion board, it logs every change made onto a document, and it has adjustable permissions, so the educator can control who sees what. I have been using this technology in my writing courses to encourage collaborative learning. It works well, especially with projects where I assign my learners to gather information from various sources. I provide them the link of articles and videos on the wiki, and assign my learners different parts of each source. Then, I give them the essay topic and ask my learners to share the parts of their source that they feel are important and can be used when writing this essay. They all comment on one another’s notes, add, edit, or delete them. Once they are comfortable with the information they will use, they write their essays individually and share them on the wiki. The second way I incorporate this technology into my teaching is by engaging my learners in peer feedback. Once every learner shares his/her essay, I ask my learners to read at least two of their peers’ essays and provide feedback according to the criteria discussed beforehand. Learners write their second drafts according to the feedback they receive from their friends and submit me this revised draft. That way, learners become more independent, as they take responsibility of their learning.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Week 2 Assignment 1 Applications and Media Resources

Applications and Multimedia Resources

There is a vast number of applications and multimedia resources available on the Internet. This week, I am going to focus on two of these that have the potential to enhance adult education.

The first one, Interactive English, which is available in the Apple store, is a free application designed both for iPhone and iPad. There is a new edition every month, and it is designed for three distinct levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. I have downloaded it onto my iPad to see what the November edition includes. In this edition, for basic level learners, there are some interactive vocabulary exercises related to ages and a basic news story; for intermediate level learners there are some interactive vocabulary exercises related to remembering and an intermediate news story; and for advanced level learners there are some interactive vocabulary exercises related to groups and quantities, an advanced news story, and a video discussion. I have selected this technology because it is free, easy to use, and offers materials for English language learners at three levels. I also liked that it offers new materials every month. One way I could incorporate this technology into my professional practice is by assigning the vocabulary exercises as homework. Then, in class, I would ask my learners to produce a dialogue, a paragraph, or a short story (depending on my learners’ level) in pairs, using these words. Another way I would incorporate this technology into my teaching is by assigning my learners to read the news story as homework. Then, in class, I would group my learners and give each group some questions related to the news story to discuss. Finally, I would ask my learners to reflect on the story in written form and submit it to me. You can reach this application by following this link:

The second technology I have selected is BBC Learning English. This is a wonderful site that offers links to a variety of learning sources, such as blogs, Facebook pages, podcasts, videos, and the like. One reason I liked it is this variety it offers. In addition, it is up-to-date; the links take you to current news. There are many ways I would incorporate this technology into my professional practice. One way would be to assign my learners to do a mini-presentation of something they learn via this page (such as an idiom, news, information about a topic of their interest, and the like) every week. I would not limit them with what to present, because the site offers sources for people with various interest areas. I think my learners would enjoy to learn about something they are interested in and to share this with their peers. Another way I would use it is to ask my learners to communicate with other learners around the world, using the “Community” link. Once they follow this link and sign in, my learners will be able to make a new entry and write a comment to another learner’s entry. I would ask my learners to make two contributions to this discussion board every week, as a part of our course. This would give them a chance to establish genuine communication with other learners of English. You can explore this site by following this link: