Winding road by Patrick Mackie

Now is an exciting part of the semester: we’ve gotten off to a good start and are ready to explore the world of new literacies and language learning. As Graham Stanley points out in his book Language Learning with Technology, for online learning to work effectively, it’s important to build the right kind of supportive learning community. A good learning community is one that has a sense of team spirit, where the participants have a healthy respect for one another and can take up a range of mentoring roles, becoming teachers as well as learners.

That’s why this first post is all about learning more about each other. Please respond to this post by leaving a comment and introducing yourself (whatever you feel comfortable sharing in a public online space like this one). Please relate: 1) one interesting experience that you have had with new technologies; 2) one question about new technologies that you would like to have answered on this course.

After posting your own comment, you can respond to someone else. Do you think that you have the answer to their question? Remember to be constructive in your comments and critique.

Image credit: Patrick Mackie (CC-BY-SA)

53 thoughts on “Getting started: Building a learning community online

  1. I am Jeff. If I am to say a little bit about myself, I would want to tell everyone that I am deeply in love. I am in love with Hong Kong. Don’t try to steal my love from me, but I am willing to share her with you.
    I am very interested in this course as my experience with new technologies is quite basic although I do have fun trying to build my own blog.
    I would like to learn how to incorporate new technologies into my current career as an educator.
    I look forward to the journey that we are embarking on together.

  2. Hello, I am Yueming, at the back of the classroom. haha. It is very interesting that I could use blog, and share something and comments with classmates. I have used Second Life before, which helped me about knowing western culture and Dutch. But it failed later, I was wondering that whether and how we could let all the students join in SL in the future.

    • Hi Yueming – that’s interesting that you say that the Second Life experience failed – why was that?

    • Thank you so much, I think the most important reason was motivation of students. They thought it was too complicated. Besides, limitation of network and we had different time. so….:)

    • I see. One thing about that kind of tandem learning is that it needs to be planned very carefully, especially if you are using synchronous (at the same time) CMC. Another popular use of Second Life is planning virtual fieldtrips – students go into the virtual world, visit an interesting area and the experience acts as a kind of stimulus to produce texts in English (reports, presentations and so on).

    • I want to say, especially for young learners, tandem learning is better than bridge approach, because, we as teachers will not know who our students are chatting with on the internet.

    • Hi! I am Nancy. From my own experience, my teachers usually take setting assignments such as website design or presentation with ppt as the main integrations of technology in class. I admit that it is a good way of practicing language but somehow lacking of interest.
      I am now thinking that maybe making a video (teamwork maybe) will be more interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Nancy. I think you make a good point but I feel that the teacher plays a vital role in how they frame the project just as much as what the project is. Making a website or a ppt can be very stimulating for students with the proper guidance from the teacher. Often, in my experience, a teacher’s method can be the hindrance to the Ss learning or motivation. Being able to ‘read’ our Ss and anticipate their needs is very important. IMHO

    • Hey, Jeff. Satisfying different needs of students is of an importance in a successful class. But again, I think it’s very difficult for unexperieced teachers to carry out this task. Even though they know their Ss well, they cannot handle the complex situation in the class. IMHO ^_^

    • Hi Yueming, it sounds like an interesting experience and I hope that you can find out how to let students join in SL in the future.

  3. Nice comment, Jeff. I am Stella. I have also worked on researches on how Facebook contributed to teaching in my discourse analysis class.

    I am tired of only using grammar drills as online exercise for students. I am so happy to learn new ways to interact with students using technology.

    • Thank you Stella. Yes, I think that this course will equip us with the tools that we need to help our students use the technology that is all around them to enhance their learning.

  4. I think blog is a good way for shy students to express themselves. It is a good way for shy students to learn English.

  5. Hello everyone. I am Fiona. I’m glad to share ideas about this course with everybody in this way. I look forward very much to hear your voice. ^3^

  6. Hi everyone, I am lily.
    I am the researcher tonight. Thanks for everyone to be a part of my research project, especially for Fiona and Scarlett.
    Enjoy this class very much.

    • Hi Lily. This is Mia. Would you please tell me more about your research? I am curious about your topic.

    • Yes Lily, I too am interested in hearing more about your research. Maybe you could do a presentation in front of the class for us so that we can learn more about it from you.

  7. I think technology in language teaching will be the new trend in the near future, and I’m glad to have the class about New literacy, especially to have a blog with all my classmates.

  8. Hi, it’s Clover. I am so excited to do another online project in this semester. Can’t wait to be fascinated by the coming passages and comments.

  9. I’m Aileen. Associating technology with language teaching is quite an exciting thing to do. I want to explore more about the balance between technology and teaching in this course.

  10. Hey, there! I’m Caroline. Very excited that we can manage this blog together as a learning community. It’s like a wonderful journey, because almost every second we can get new views, not the natural beauty, but the literal words that we experienced, and learned in our life and class. I hope the blog could be a fusion to let what we have learned about digital literacy blossom in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi everyone, I’m Emma. This is the first time that I use this kind of way to communicate, especially the aim is learning. It’s great to talk to all of the classmates here and share different opinions. This course is so interesting.๐Ÿ˜Š

  12. Hi. I am Anika. I think this course is quite interesting. It reminds me of my own experience that I talked with people from other countries via Skype. Thanks to the high technologies that now I am able to get access to other culture.

  13. Good evening everyone. I am Scarlett. It is quite interesting that all of us sit in the same classroom and post something online about ourselves instead of talking with each other directly ~~
    Another interesting thing tonight is that Fiona and I had been recorded by Lily for the first session of this class, and Fiona kept flipping her hair to make sure that she looks pretty all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi, Prof. The online activity enables us to achieve communication beyond time and space. And we were sitting in the same classroom while using the online techonology-blog, which gave me a special experience.

  14. Hi, this is Jasmine. This is the first time for me to write comments on blogs in class! Because this is not permitted in traditional classrooms. It’s a really interesting learning experiences to communicate with classmates and teacher in this way. And I think maybe future students will benefit more from new technologies.

  15. Greetings everyone. This is Thomas testing out his computer blogging literacy. How is everyone else making out???

  16. This is Tracy???Yes, not a dog!!!
    I remembered that I made a commercial video with my first Iphone 4 in 2011. I use this video to promote the product in class and all my classmates said they would buy it.
    My question is…I need more time to think about it.

  17. Hello everyone! I’m Huayan, a big fan of basketball and all interesting things.
    When I was in the university, one of my teachers built a forum for us to submit assignments and to discuss some boring topics so we didn’t enjoy it very much.
    I do think the present course will benefit me a lot and hope to apply what I’ve learned to my future teaching.
    So, I want to know how to get students really involved in and interested in the class.

  18. Hello, my name is Sherry. I start to love this way of exchanging ideas. I like to play Micro-blog which also called Weibo, where I can share news with followers and post pictures. And now, we have a place to share not only our life but also what we are learning and thinking. Wish we all have a pleasant blogging journey.

  19. Oh, forgot to say that this classroom is awesome and it’s the first time I have class in AC2, not CMC!!!

  20. Hi! This is Elaine. There’s something wrong with my laptop, so I have to update personal profile via my phone now ๐Ÿ™ It’s time-consuming and inefficient. Anyway I’m currently able to leave a comment. What I want to say is that the type of tool that we choose in digital context really matters a lot.

  21. Hello, Iโ€™m Gloria. It is really an interesting and unique experience to have a class blog to communicate with each other, exchange ideas, learn new things about new literacies and language learning as well as have fun. Hope we can all enjoy this class! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi, Gloria. Yes, I think it’s definitely a wonderful experience for all of us. And I’m sure by the end of this semester, everyone will learn something from this blog platform ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Hi, this is Sherry, this is my second comment. There is something wrong with the first one. Why it says “your comment is awaiting moderation” it’s been an hour…and I hope this time will be OK…

  23. Bonjour,everyone! Itโ€™s Gavin. Reflecting on my previous study, the closest experience with technology would be the completion of online courses. I had to complete assignments and respond to othersโ€™ comments. It sometimes got quite time-consuming as I had to go through a huge amount of comments. This could also be the problem I would like to address in this course.

  24. Hi, this is Jenny! It is so cool to discuss something with you in this way. Actually, I always write some comments for my friend’s weibo. We talk about our college life, friends and gossip, haha. This class provides us an opportunity to talk about language learning online.I am looking forward to this interesting experience!๐Ÿ˜Š

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