The start of a journey

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: Iain Merchant CC-BY

95 thoughts on “Getting started with blogging: Building a learning community

  1. Hello~ everyone~
    I’m Ivy. Am I the the first to get to sit in the sofa?

    1) Interesting experience about new technology, well, I always download Youtube videos about English grammar, usually animated ESL videos made for kids, and that really saved me a lot of time of explanation, and students love it.

    2) I want to learn about games to play and learn language at the same time. Any recommendations?

    • There is a platform called “steam” whoes users comes from all over the world. All games on that can be used as a language learning tool because interactions with others cannot be avoided. I currently play a game called farmed together on that platform and my neighbor farmer comes from France we often communicate about the vegetable in the garden and the decorations of the cottage. It’s really fun.!

  2. Hello everyone! I’m Sarah. I must admit that new technology is closely related to my teaching. I usually encourage my students to use apps to listen and practice speaking as well as referring to others’ learning experiences. It’s really brilliant and helpful.

    • Actually, I usually use ieltsbro most and my students are really into it. It’s mainly because it offers the latest questions of ielts speaking test and also provides others’ audio recordings about the questions, which can absolutely inspire students to explore their own insights.

  3. Hi, everyone 🙂 I’m Amanda and nice to meet you all. What I am doing now is one of the interesting experiences that I’ve ever had with new technologies hahaha. About the question… Well… I’d like to know how I can use technologies to help adult English learners learn by themselves.

    • Hi from behind. I would recommend a pair of headphone of high quality. Then put on the headphone when they commute. Turn on NPR One, there they are, a bunch of English programs of all sorts are waiting for them.

  4. Hi guys, it’s Julia here. I am a primary school English teacher in Shenzhen. My pupils are all very cute but naughty. There’re lots of classroom problems ocurr from time to time. I would love to share my confusions with you.

    • Hi Julia. I am a teacher in a secondary school in Hong Kong. I mainly teach junior form students whose ages are from 12 to 14. They are quite naughty and not motivated most of the time. The reason why sometimes I don’t want to use new teachnology in my class is that I can expect that there will be some mess and misbehaviour. And my personalities make me worry about this kind of situation very much. One time, I have already banned students’ access to certain webpages like Facebook when they are using IPads in class. I felt comfortable as I thought they had no ways to misbehave. But I was wrong. They still used the photo taking function to make fun of other students.

      After that, I learn a lesson. Now, every time before I would like to use new teachnology like iPads, I explain the classroom rules and usage rules to them explicitly. And I encourage them that if they want to have something fun like these in class again, they need to behave well. Otherwise, school will not allow them to use new technology in class anymore. Most of the students understand my meaning and will behave well and ask others who are naughty to behave well as well. ^o^

  5. Hello everyone I am Catherine with a C.💕
    I am trying to find a useful app to help me memorize new English words however there are too many apps online. Do anyone has a good recommendation for me?

  6. Hi, I’m Moon. I taught children English with the help of games for a short time, and I’m quite interested in this course.

    • Hi Moon, I’m interested in applying games to teaching English ㅎㅎㅎㅋㅋㅋ O(∩_∩)O~

  7. Hello, everyone, I’m Joyce. It’s very interesting to experience language learning in such a way. I’m looking forward to applying more technology to English learning and teaching.

    • Well, nice to meet you. I hope that the English games I used and my teaching experience can give you some useful information and ideas.

  8. I’m Pesy and I suppose technology really help me build up my relationships. I made some nice friends in my journeys and we frequently chat and share with the use of ins and fb. Geographical distance is no longer a problem of maintaining friendships.

  9. Hi~ I’m Charlene. I’d like to share an experience that on the Christmas holiday, I went to visit my uncle’s family and I saw my niece was doing the English dubbing for her favorite cartoon Peppa Pig on the mobile app. I think that new technology provides a more interesting and enjoyable atmosphere for learning a foreign language.

    • Absolutely yes. This app is really interesting and I love that! I can always find some clips of my favourite movies and dubbing is exciting!

  10. Hi, everyone! I am Yasmine. The unbelievable thing I have with technology is that I can’t imagine one day I just use the blog to learn with others by giving comments. It’s definitely a brand-new way. And I hope we can get some critical ideas from discussion.
    And I would like to know the apps that are user-friendly and free of charge to edit the videos. Thanks a lot!

    • I believe that the use of the blog will be practical in reading and writing. I will be the first one to comment and finish my homework of writing a short essay!

  11. Hi^^I’m Evelyn.I used to teach adult learners online, and it was convenient both for teachers and students. I wonder how teachers use new literacies to make students form a habit of learning English by themselves in their spare time.

    • I am really interesting about the differences with face-to-face when you are teaching online, can you tell a little bit?

  12. Hello, I’m Iris. I’ve used some apps to help with my language learning and teaching, like the IELTS BRO for IELTS speaking and TPO for TOEFL. These apps save my life when learning!!! But I also have some doubts. Since these apps are used for learning and teaching, students’ attention is sometimes driven away by the electronic devices. Is it difficult for class management? How to deal with this problem?

    • But the TPO frequently fails especially when taking the online tests!!!!That software is so unstable that my answers have been clear many times before I finished!!!

    • Hello, Iris. I think you are an experienced teacher, so I don’t think that class management would be a problem for you. And I think when it comes to IELTS learning, most students are adults, which means they have the awareness of the importance. So my answer is, you should clarify the importance of the exam, and you should inform them of the class discipline ahead. Hope it would help. 🙂

  13. Hello, everyone! I am Ivory. I am so happy to meet you all in this interesting course. I think online learning community is one of the useful ways to learn language interestingly and quite effectively. However, sometimes, as a teacher, I do not have clear concept about how to involve E-learning in my lessons. I usually use YouTube and Netflix to raise my students’ interest in my class and then ask them to do short writing or finish a worksheet based on those video clips. I always wonder: Am I involving E-learning in my class? And what can I do to go beyond this stage?

    My interesting experience that I have with new technology is that I asked my students to play Cooking Mama at home or watch one video clip about one playing it and then asked them to write a recipe with a few comments on their ability to cook in the class. They seemed quite motivated and happy.

    • I like the way that you used Cooking Mama in your lesson as a stimulus for some language production. Nice to hear that the students enjoyed that as well. I think you may have answered your own question about how to go beyond just showing videos! I think that getting students using technology to *produce* as well as *consume* is a very good place to start taking things further.

    • I am wondering how to make use of e-learning in teaching. You have provided a good example like playing a video and asking students to comments on the video. Any tools suggested for students for the purpose of self-learning?

  14. Hi,I’m Pat. Nice to meet you all. I usually use the sound recorder and some other apps in my teaching. And the new technologies are really helpful in teaching, especially when teaching listening and speaking. I would like to know how to motivate the students to use the new technologies in their self-learning when necessary.

    • So nice to meet you Pat. I must say that sound recorder is really useful in language learning and teaching! I think you can firstly assign it as homework for students finish and ask their parents to assist and supervise them. Gradually, they will know the benefits of new techs and love using them!!!

  15. Hello everyone. I’m Celia. I really think it’s lucky for us to have access to different technologies which help us with learning, especially when it comes to learning a second language. There was a time when I used an APP called DuoLingGuo to learn German. I think the app is quite useful because it has different courses for different levels. And I think it’s worth recommending to you all.

  16. Good evening everyone, I’m Fay. It’s nice to meet all you guys in new technologies’ class. I deem this class could give me some new thoughts to teach my future students with the assistant of technology.

  17. Hello, everyone. I am Fannie. I took an MA course last year. One of the assignments was to create a website via WIX to introduce an educational issue in groups. It was totally new and interesting for me as I had never created any website before.

    For the second question, I would like to know which kinds of technological tools are useful for primary students (like P.1-P.3) because some of the introduced tools may be quite too advanced for this group of students.

    • You can try some movie dubbing apps. There are many cartoon video clips on these apps and you can assign homework like asking students to dub one or two video clips at home and share it with their classmates in a chat group.

  18. Hi everyone, it’s Shirley. When I learnt at the start, i really wanted that I can be facilitated not only in the class but also after class. And at that time, some English TV program were the only resource that I could find. However, even though I had more exposure, it seemed like there was no improvement at all. That confused me a lot, maybe it is because I didn’t use it in the right way, so what’s your opinions?

  19. Hello everyone! I am Mandy. I had kept written blogs on line every week during my intership as a teacher. I think it gives me the platform to record the interesting things happened and the hardship I came aross everyday at that time. I can also share my teaching method and ideas through the blog with the netizen. Everyone online can communicate with me about English teaching and some may even make comments or give some suggestions for me.

  20. Hi, I am Emma.
    I used to use some WeChat Subscription to read English news or practice English speaking, it is quite interesting.
    I wonder that how can teacher balance the students’ studying time in class and outclass by using new tech.

  21. Hello, everyone! I’m Jennifer. It’s quite interesting to talk with you in this way. I don’t have much teaching experience before. And I’m wondering how to use new technologies in teaching effectively without distracting students?

  22. Hi, I’m Hayley and I seldom make a comment on blogs but now I am trying and I feel great. I think online dictionaries and some Apps which can force me to memorize new vocabulary are helpful. I want to know more practical examples about how to embed social networks into the teaching because the scenarios are more interesting and authentic. It may be great if people can learn language through an actual conversation.

    • I think if teachers want to combine the language teaching with social networks, maybe I think it needs to consider lots of the factors, like the learners themselves, the social context and so on. Goodnight.

  23. Hello, everyone, I’m Zoe. I have to admit that my own previous experience only provide me with limited experience of using new techiniques to teach, so I’m quite interested and eager to find more. So far as I know, there’s a machine called electronic responder which students can use to provide their feedback during class. At the moment students press the button of their answers, teachers will know who did it first and whether their answers are correct or not immediately. But this machine is relating students in class only, hope I can get to know about more interactive new literacies.

  24. Using technology to assist language teaching is really a very effective way for not only students but also teachers. I benefit from this a lot for when I was in junior high school, my English teacher used songs and movies as language materials and we were asked to dub films we chose by ourselves at the beginning of every class. All students found it very interesting and we didn’t view English as a burden like we used to. The language improvement just happened naturally during the whole process. This is also my goal of teaching English: display the fun part of English and let the students develop the language from their own interests.

  25. Hi guys, it’s Carrie. New technologies surely give me access to language learning. I have had quite an experience playing video game while talking to my teammates who come from all over the world in English which was a lot of fun and show me how powerful and fascinating new technologies can be. So my question is that is it possible to introduce these kind of video games to young kids for learning language since their level of the language is still quite low.

  26. Hello, I am Queenie. Actually I had experience of using blog for English learning in my university. At that time, our teacher asked us to post our poems in the blog every week, but we didn’t know what’s the point of doing that. I hope this time I can make a good use of it.

    • Hello, Queenie! I have heard that you have been to one country of South-Eastern Asia for the volunteer teaching program. Out of my curiosity, I wanna know the teaching condition and situation there, do they utilize some new technology in the traditional class? I’ m glad to wait for your sharing.

  27. Howdy, This is Mercy! The most interesting thing about the new technology which rocks my world is the platform of online course. Cuz gathering international students who come from different countries and sharing the counter-arguments for each other is quite an awesome experience. Speaking for the online course, I do not completely cast my vote on the “interaction parts”, I mean the function of comment really do provide students with communication, however, how about the inappropriate utilization of linguistic ability of students? Does it possibly trigger some cultural conflicts? Although some misunderstandings could be reduced with the help of emojis, I suppose it still hard for L2 language learners convey information in an effective and accurate way online. Do you guys have some original suggestions or solutions for this question? I’m looking forward to your sharing.

  28. Hi, everyone. I’m Yan. The interesting experience with new technologies is that I used some apps to learn foreign language, like Bussu, which functions like a platform gathering many language learners to share or to encourage others to learn languages. Learners in Bussu also comment on others’ practices and will attain a certificate after finishing courses. I find it inspiring to continue next-level learning.

    • Your experience reminds me that when I learned French, I wrote some short passages on an app and some French native-speakers corrected my mistakes and gave me useful comments. I suppose this kind of apps really helps a lot when we learn a new language by ourselves!!

    • Hi, Yan. Your experience seems quite interesting. And I want to know whether is it like a Tandem learning approach?

  29. Hello, guys, I am Miles. I believe this is an intriguing way to communicate with each other and exchange ideas with a blog. I once used ‘Quizlet’ ( to set up my own vocabulary list to help me memorise and review words. This is also an efficient tool to help teachers to teach students. For the new literacy, I wonder, particularly in my context, whether it is commonly acceptable for most people to regard it as a good alternative to learn language.

  30. Hello, everyone, I’m Jean. I think one of the most interesting things that I have done relates to new technology is that once in college, our teacher asks us to use video to record our conversations to foreigners we met in West Lake. I think it’s an interesting project for we all paid a lot of attention to do this.
    As for questions, I really want to know how we can use new technologies to manage students outside learning effectively?

  31. Hi, I am lucy. When we talked about online games in class, I recalled the game I was playing recently and interestingly, I found out that I came across a lot new words related to games… So really happy to take this course, and I wonder that despite with so many technologies, how to motivate students enthusiasm by using these tools?

  32. Evening guys~I am Nicole Zhang.
    I am quite impressed by the new technology now. Actually, I am reading Harry Potter recently. I am on the seventh book now and about to finish the magical journey.
    This APP I am using called Shanbei Reading, which is a series of APP including vocabulary, listening and writing. Anyway, the reading I am doing now has a really interesting function is that if I didn’t know some words in the passage, I can just click on it and it will show the brief introduction about the subject. For example, I don’t know about who is Hermione. I click on it and it will tell me that she is one of the best friends to Harry who also goes to Hogwarts, etc,. It not only tells us about the vocabulary but also some details of the book! I found this function very useful and interesting

    As to learning new literacies and language learning this semester, I really want to find out the best way for me to connect the digital literacies to language teaching in my future career. Because I think I myself find there are varieties of very intriguing and thought-provoking materials we can use to help students not only learn inside the classroom but also outside of the classrooms.

    • New technologies enable us to read e-books, which is so convenient and less paper consuming. But as we have discussed in the first class of this course, we cannot turn pages physically when we read e-books. Actually I think turning pages physically means a lot when I read a book. So what do you think hhhh?

  33. 😃Hi everyone ~I am Champion LIN. I have something interesting with new technologies that I’d love to share. Last semester we all had the creative adaptation of a certain literarature. And our group composed a song and shot the mv for that song. We did our melody composition, which contained our vocal as well as piano sound with laptop. And after we shot several videos, we used softwares for mv editing. That was my first time to composed a song and made it into a mv. I learned a lot and got much fun during doing the creative adaptation.

    I think after learning this course, I might be able to use new technologies for my own learning in a more satisfying way, like learning in playing or doing. And I might want to guide my students to use new technologies for their own creative learning in the future.

    So~let’s learn tgt 📖 Add oil~~~

    • Hi Pat~~yes, the song “Hope” is the thing with feathers was composed by our team~and thank you for your compliment~ Thanks for my team members, thanks for new technologies~ We will do our utmost to creat more songs and share them on YouTube~~ if you like our works just subscribe my channel………….hhhhhhhh

    • Hi Pat~~yes, the song “Hope” is the thing with feathers was composed by our team~and thank you for your compliment~ Thanks for my team members, thanks for new technologies~ We will do our utmost to creat more songs and share them on YouTube~~ if you like our works just subscribe my channel………….hhhhhhhh

    • Oh~yes definitely ~ That was our first try of composing a song and we really enjoyed the process~
      (BTW, I had changed my name shown to the public into Champion)~Many people are curious about why I named myself Champion. Reason#1:Its prononciation is similar to my Chinese name. Reason#2:It can motivate me to be a better one.

      Lastly, wish you a happy holiday~~

  34. I hope that during the class I can learn the knowledge not only in a superficial way. I would like to know more about how different literacies would be applied in the real class, and other potential problems that occurred before. I hope that the class can really provide me enlightment for the future career

  35. Hi, everyone😊 I’m Sophia. I’ve used the app English MofunShow to practice my oral English. I’ve also asked my students to dub in this app. Some students really enjoy it because they can choose their favorite movies or characters. They can also collaborate with their friends to complete an excerpt.

    • Hello Sophia! I like using this app as well! I think it is pretty good to practice my oral English in such relaxed and interesting way.

  36. Hi everyone I’m Bella. New technology can serve as a helpful tool in English teaching, and the relationship between new technology and language teaching is getting closer and closer nowadays. I used to resist using new technological tools, like projection, iPad, in class cuz I loved the feeling of writing on paper/board and taking notes. However, gradually I found applying new technology in language teaching and language learning is an irresistible trend under the social environment now, and it indeed have its unique affordances. (I accepted it three or four years ago, and now I take my iPad with me every class haha) In that case, I decided to take this course and try to figure out how to apply it in my language teaching. Hopefully, I can acquire some teaching approaches related with new literacy this semester. 😊

  37. hi, everyone. I am Winnie. I think new technologies are often used in our learning process. For example, I once took several online courses. It’s quite convenient and recommended for the reason that it allows us to take some courses of famous teachers we are interested in and save us time and money at the same time.

  38. There was a time when a friend shared the hyperlink of an interesting article about caring for animals in his moments on Wechat, which caused heated discussions about the animal issue in our daily life. The discussions were not only between the poster and his friends but also between his friends who could see his moments. I also took a part of it, too. At the end, he had to delete the hyperlink because the comments kept increasing, and some of his friends had great disagreement with each other. it was out of his expectation that the articles attracted lots of his friends’ attention. The question I would like to know is that for the very young language learners, whether it is appropriate to adopt new technology in teaching as some parents actually try to limit their children’s use of technology.

  39. Hi Everyone! I’m Chelsey. I bet that new technology has been part of my life: Watching TED and finding latest information on YouTube And British or American operas are on my playlist. About question: How to combine games with new technology to keep motivating students on their learning in class?

  40. The “Tandem learning” mentioned in this lecture reminds me of a website called “Conversation Exchange”. Basically, it is a platform where people who would like to learn foreign languages can come and exchange their language skills. The users can show their proficiency level of different languages, their requirements, including the learning purpose, the way they prefer, etc. and the place they live or work in for the convenience of looking for language partners. Actually, I tried it before, but I gave it up after a short period of time. Several problems I suppose are the obstacles for me or even other users.
    1⃣️Strictly speaking, none of the users are language teachers, which means people may not be able to find others’ language problems or have no idea about how to exchange language skills.
    2⃣️People may find it hard to learn or practice if they are beginners in their target language and their language partners are highly proficient in their L2.
    3⃣️Some of the information provided by users may not be true and people find it difficult to trust strangers, especially when they need to have a face-to-face conversation.
    4⃣️People tend to give up practice easily due to the lack of supervision or encouragement.
    5⃣️People cannot assess whether they make progress or not.

    What do you think of these👆?

  41. Hi, I am Sophia.J. I taught young learners for 2 years and I don’t want to do that again. 😆
    I don’t like reading but I determined to force myself to develop a reading habit this year. so…..I am using an App to read some news every day now! It is quite motivative because it promises the users with cash rewards if they finish their reading tasks every day. BTW, in order to practice speaking, I just retell the news to my friend through wechat voice message then we discuss about those social issues. This is quite interesting …for English and for your friendship.
    My question is how I can make techniques cater to students with low self-discipline. (shameful to say that…. I myself often get interrupted when I am using digital tools. )

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