Here we are at the start of a new semester. I can honestly say that I can’t remember a semester anything like this one: the road ahead looks a little bumpy with our enforced adoption of real-time online and interactive learning but, at the same time, what an interesting opportunity that presents for a course on new literacies and language learning! If we work together, we stand to learn a lot about the hows and whys of distance learning.

Which brings me to the main point. 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: Jotpe on Wikimedia Commons

67 thoughts on “Navigating learning over bumpy terrain: The importance of community

  1. Hello, guys! I’m Daniel. I am indeed quite an outgoing person and love to interact with people face to face whenever circumstances allow. Unfortunately, I have never imagined that we can only ‘meet’ and interact with each other through real-time learning and virtual community at the moment. Hopefully, things will get much better and we can go back to campus asap!

    In terms of one interesting experience that I had with new technologies, although I’m not that into technologies like some of my friends do, I did have an interesting story regarding the use of new technology to share. Last year, I tried to use a real-time communication tool called WeChat to conduct an online lesson with a student of mine. That was the very first time that I gave a lesson online, and I remember correctly that I was so nervous before the class that I try to test the functioning of the tool as well as the networking of my internet repeatedly. Fortunately, things all went smoothly in that lesson and it was indeed a very interesting experience interacting with the student online using screen share / video / audio and typing.

    Talking about a question about new technologies that I would like to have answered on this course, I’m actually keen to know how the near future of online education would possibly be like in China after the widespread adoption of online teaching these days during the epidemic.

    I’m glad to become part of this online community and look forward to our future interaction and collaboration here.

    • Thanks for sharing, Daniel. I have used WeChat to deliver class to my students too, that is very convenient. But I recommend Tencent (QQ) for real-time course instead. Actually, my first online teaching was conducted by QQ. I really appreciate its screen-sharing function, which you can share your screen with your students immediately, like Zoom, the one we now use. By contrast, WeChat can’t perform this function. Hope you can try out in the future.

    • Your experience with Wechat sounds exciting. I could tell you’re a well-prepared teacher. I wonder how’s using Wechat to teach different from in person teaching and as a software/app how is its functions compared with other ones.

      Good question. A similar question has been on my mind as well. Now that schools have no choice but to adopt distance learning. Would it permanently change some regular practices? It definitely forced teachers to go through the steep learning curve (those who are used to resisting have fewer excuses now, cuz they have nothing else to do but to learn using online teaching tools!)

    • The implementation of online education in China may not be advocated in recent years, because many educators still consider digital tools as distraction rather than effective learning tool. In addition, senior teachers who are not familiar with new technological devices would probably such an attempt, and distance teaching via new technologies requires students to be highly disciplined, which is not appropriate for some students.

    • I share the similar experience with you. What I employ is QQ when delivering my lesson to students. It is quite convenient. But I hope a new function can be added in this app because of the fact when sharing the screen the teacher fails to notice the students. You are not sure what the student is doing at the moment.

    • Yes, I’m interested to know will online learning become more popular among mainland in public school after this special time too. I have seen some funny videos and complaints about E-learning online. But I think Zoom works well actually, so maybe if mainland schools have platforms and resources to conduct online learning, it will become more popular.

    • Hello guys! Thank your for your interesting replies! It’ really great to hear what you share with me about similar online teaching experiences. I’m sorry that I mistyped “WeChat” in my first post there, but what I actually used in that online class was QQ. The biggest problem of online education to me is the lack of real interaction between teachers and students. Hopefully, the VR technologies will be fully developed and implemented ASAP to make solve this problem.

  2. Hi, I am Tiffany from the mainland of China. Hope you guys are all doing well. I am so glad that I am part of this course as we now can put theories into practice, and learn more about online teaching & learning.

    As for the interesting experience I have had with new technologies, I would like to talk about my latest experience of attending an online academic conference. I attended an online academic conference few months ago, which was hosted by some professionals in early child education discipline. They used the Zoom and PowerPoint to introduce their research goals and present their research findings, the form of which was quite different from traditional academic conferences. Besides, I have seen some scientists using videos to record their research process and present their ‘paper’ as well. Technologies have changed the way we learn and teach.

    The question I would like to ask is about the effectiveness of online classes, especially for language courses. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the most of the Chinese teachers are now delivering classes online. But after I saw how my brother is fooling around with his iPad during the class hour, I now have some doubts about the effectiveness of the online classes, and is there any method to improve the effectiveness of the online classes? Or is there any method to attract the attention of the students effectively?

    Hope we can meet in person ASAP.

    • I feel the same way as you do. Not to mention others, even myself sometimes just fool around when listening to B’s classes. Therefore, one way to solve this is to introduce some supervising systems to monitor students when taking lessons, but some may think it will infringe their privacy, so, it is hard to manipulate.

  3. Hi, everyone, I am Phoebe. I believe we all share one interesting or ‘interesting’ technological experience nowadays. That should definitely be our online courses! Because of the NCP, we now all have to take the course online. I believe we all ran testing-class several times with different professors, some went smoothly (thank God), some just tortured our mind and ear as the network was not so stable for all the time (shrug). I would like to share my observation here.

    Some of you must know Dr. Carl. I take his discourse class on Tuesday night. I still remember at the first class, he just walked and jumped all the time. I still remember his facial expression, looks like a cynical teenager! After class, some classmates just become the fans of him, saying he is so cool etc. But this Tuesday, when we had his class, I find out that he is different. Because of the bad network, he had to slow down his speaking, and he had to stayed at his place without any moving or gestures, being afraid of any movements would resulting in worse network. All you can see from his face is desperation (maybe praying for better network from the bottom of his heart), he becomes an adorable cutie (from some of our classmates).

    That is quite interesting. I mean Dr. Carl may still be him, but the network, or the screen changes his impression or image in our mind. New technology does help us a lot especially under the influence of the NCP, it seems that we can still have classes as usual. But new technology doesn’t convey all the things authentically, especially the humane parts. See? Wrong impressions or misunderstandings could easily occur when we are in front of the screen. Because we can’t feel the real person by truly interacting with each other.

    This observation makes me wondering: whether it is possible to eliminate the imbalance between the virtual world and the reality? And if possible, by how? Since my question comes from the learning class, it should contribute to the quality of class (I believe). Hope I can find out the answer in our course!

    • I’m also in Carl’s course. To make things better, I believe the most efficient way is to require instructors to conduct classes in classroom or their office on campus, where the connection is hopefully most guaranteed(according to other teachers and from other studnets’ expereince). But of course, to achieve this goal, it’s best if the university launches an explicit requirement.

    • What a really interesting class observation and comparison between the face-to-face instruction and online education! I can’t agree more with you about the fact that at the moment the technology doesn’t allow us to fully interact with each other online the way we do in the physical classroom. What I think may change the situation and make online education more effective and interactive is the future development and implementation of VR technologies. Hopefully, that day would come earlier so that it can become a complementary methods to traditional education.

  4. Hi! This is Warren. Nice to meet you all. I enjoy travelling, and the advancement of technology has brought drastic changes to my travel experiences. Pages such as Tripadvisor have really helped clumsy travellers like me a lot. Moreover, I want to know ways, as teachers, to incorporate technologies into our classrooms for adolescents. For instance, how we make use of learning management systems like class blogs to consolidate further students’ picking up with the course content.

  5. Hello, everyone! I’m Alex.
    I had an interesting experience of language learning on “HelloTalk” where users can exchange languages. On the app, users can send both texts, voice messages, video calls and so forth.
    One problem I encountered in the process of using this app is that “language partners” relationship is not solid, and the connection is very week because of different cultures, different time zones and language proficiency.
    These problem is almost insurmountable because virtual world is quite different from real one.

    • Thanks for sharing, it’s definitely a problem that needs to be solved. Would it be possible if an assignment needs to be completed by the students together (Kind of like the telecollaboration that was mentioned in lecture just now)? How would that change students’ motivation to interact and communicate with one another?

    • Thanks for your sharing, Alex. I haven’t used “HelloTalk” before but I really want to have a chance to practice English with a language partner from another country. As the problem you mentioned above, I think we could find some foreign language partners who are currently studying in China, so we can have the same time zones to use this application. What’s more, you can not only practice English with him/her, but also teach him/her about Chinese. So you two can exchange different language and different cultures.

    • I also had similar experience of using chatting apps (or maybe chatting forums) to communicate with people who are also keen on practicing English. But the last time I talked to someone in that app was with another Chinese guy, so basically we did practice our English but we didn’t have the chance to learn something new about cultures. You mentioned that the relationship built through this way is not solid and the connection is weak. I agree with this but tend to think that the reason behind this may not be the different cultures and language proficiency, but the fact that it’s not a well-developed tele-collaboration so that users of the app may just get into the chatting room with new people randomly whenever they are in the mood.

  6. Hi, I’m Samson. I teach English at a secondary school. It’s a little strange that we are learning about new literacies and then all of a sudden we need to adopt e-learning (a bit like a mandatory practicum). But all’s good since that’s the trend of the education world, isn’t it?

    In response to Q1: Hmm… I feel like it’s cheating to say “Zoom,” but it is the latest app/software/ I have recently learned to use/experimenting.

    Q2: What kinds of pedagogy or software could help student practise writing more without increasing teacher’s heavy marking load?

    • Does your school require teachers to teach in real-time or upload videos and/or stuff onto Google Classroom?

    • Hi Samson!

      This is Michelle. I remembered when I was in college, my teacher in written class required us to use “” this website to post our writings (Sry, unable to find the mainland version.). In this web, when you post your essay, it can automatically find the grammatical errors and give you some feedback sentence by sentence according to the database. The web also shows mark. And you can revise the essay no more than 3 or 5 times (cannot remember clearly). And marks of the class can be sent to the teacher after the deadline. By this web, the teacher only has to set a class link and posts topics there. This web is able to mitigate some workload of teachers at least they do not have to carry huge dairy notebooks… (LOL)

  7. Hello, I am Key, a Vlogger and author of a WeChat official account. I would like to share one of my interesting experience of using new technology. I used Prezi and an online mindmapping tool to demonstrate the sentence structure in my grammar lesson for a group of Year 9 students. They are more motivated than usual since the structure are vividly displayed on the screen with animations. I found that effective and try this method every time to faciliate my grammar lesson.

    From my experience, reading and writing on the blogs may include more multimodal elements including videos and pictures. Also, there is a word amount limit on blogs, so we cannot type a long-text article as we can on the page.

    • I see what you mean. But probably we can turn the weakness of the word limit into a possible tool to encourage students to write more concisely?

    • I have also thought about setting up a Wechat official account of my own, but I always found it difficult to choose an appropriate and attractive title and contents. maybe I can learn from you by trying those apps next time.

  8. Hi Daniel! This is Olivia. I feel disappointed like you at not being able to go back to our campus to have ‘real’ lectures, but I am also glad that we get the chance to have classes online. This is an interesting experience and I hope that we can make full use the technology to learn effectively.
    Likewise I have had classes on Wechat. One thing I liked about it is that it saves time on travelling because virtual classrooms are there for us as long as we turn on the computer or mobile phone. However, one the the drawbacks is when students were working on their paper instead of computers, it was a bit difficult for the teacher to observe how they were doing because of the angle of the camera.
    Overall, I feel excited to be in the online community. People share and communicate more often and in time in a sense.

  9. Hi guys, I’m Tina. You might find me a bit introvert but sometimes I can be quite talkative (when talking about something I’m interested). I enjoy listening to music and singing in my spare time.

    It’s really reassuring to see that our teachers have made so much effort to make this on-line learning experience a conducive and satifying one for us. Some teachers make great use of the “poll” function to learn about students’ current locations as well as their online learning preferences, and adjust their teaching accordingly, which really impresses me. Others are not so familiar with all the functions yet, but continue to check the chatbox to see what the students need to say. This is really interesting.

    I would really like to know under such severe circumstance(novel coronavirus), how and to what extent will schools in China adopt online teaching (which kind of represents new technologies).

  10. Hello everyone! I am Ariel. I would like to share one interesting experience that I had with new technologies. I have ever used an internet teaching platform created by my previous company to teach English lessons to my students, and last year it added a new function that teachers can send virtual red packets to students online. During the courses, if I want to inspire students, I can send them virtual red packets as an encouragement. And I believe that new technologies can build a bridge between teachers and students, so I would like to find out how teachers can get closer with students, or how teachers can give feedback to students more directly by using new technologies.

  11. Hi, I am Flora. I am a crazy fan of the Korean band “Winner”. If you like them, let me know, we can talk about that after class.

    One experience: about the projector. I remember once I used that to show students’ work, but the projected image was upside down, finally some students helped me about that. Even today I still do not know how to use that correctly.

    One question: since the school only has very limited digital resources and outdated equipment, how can we teachers make fully use of just some computer softwares, and at the same time persuade the leader or the principal into introducing new resources.

    • I believe the projector you had problem with had a flipped image. So projectors can flip images horizontally or vertically. There should be an option to choose to enable or disable the flipping.

      My school also has outdated IT equipment, sadly. But once I asked the students to take out their cell phones to do one class activity. It went really well, cuz their phones were very new and up to date~ Maybe BYOD would be one approach?

  12. Hi, guys! My name is Connor. I am glad to be with you for this course in this semester. I hope to learn more new things on it and I am trying hard to improve myself. Though the recent situation has stopped us from having the class face to face, I think we can get over that.
    As for the experience with new technologies, I think it is through the app named pen pal that i made a lot of new friends over the world. There was one time that i posted a letter with a lot of depressing words asking for advice on how to stay a regular and healthy habit and prevent me from sleeping late. Then I got a letter from an American girl who said she had a similar problem. She encouraged me to arrange the time well and try to control the time of using the mobile phone and i think it’s quite helpful.

    How to edit the videos and make it coherent?

  13. Hi~I am Eva. I feel quite good to share my opinion via Internet. I hope this blog will provide us more opportunities to share and comment ideas.
    I remember that when I was preparing the IELTS test, I took online course with foreign teachers to practice my spoken English. Those lessons helped me a lot. New technology gives us chance to have classes despite the distance.

  14. Hi people out there, this is Aria. I am thinking that if new technologies change the entire way of people living. I consider the answer is yes and it is happening. And accordingly, the way of people learning changes. Then will it be a revolutionary change? What will be the role of the teacher in a high technological-based learning environment? Of course under the current stage, I am still learning how to incorporate new literacies to facilitate language learning and teaching. And a further step would be learning and teaching languages to interact with technology. Everything happens and changes so fast, and I think I am only seeing a tiny piece of the whole picture.

  15. Hello, everyone. My name is Betty. I am fascinated by technologies and I do believe the future is the future of technology. If you don’t know anything about technology, you will be weeded out by the whole society. For example, at present, because of the outbreak of coronavirus, a lot of teachers have to teach online. They need to take advantage of technology to facilitate their teaching. If they don’t know how to use a computer, they will have big trouble. New literacies and technology are the unstoppable trends of teaching and learning.
    Actually, I always attach high importance to technology. When I was in university, there were so many apps about English, which I made full use of to improve my oral English. After I graduated, I found a job in Shanghai. I taught SAT grammar to students in America online. I am so grateful that my first job was related to new literacies. I needed to learn how to communicate more effectively with my students online and how to arouse their enthusiasm for English, how to deal with the technical problems, such as the unstable network. During that year, I really learned a lot about technology. However, I also met some problems. As a previous grammar teacher, I wonder how to teach English grammar more effectively and efficiently by using technology, if you’ve got some ideas, please let me know. Thank you!

  16. Hello, My name’s Zhu Linyi and you can call me Charlotte. I think it is interesting to share thoughts and experience during the class through network platforms like this, and quite new to me.
    My interesting experience with new technologies is that in the last semester, one of my paper was about the use of emoji on the social network such as Twitter and Weibo. That’s quite unique compared to traditional handwriting. People share news and thoughts not only by words, but also images, because it provides a multimodal platform.
    The problem I have is that how to guarantee the teaching effect. Acquiring knowledge under the help of new digital technologies, students may improve their integrative competence, but as an English teacher, how to evaluate the progress students have made on English competence?

  17. Hi, my friends, long time no see, I’m Daisy and I’m in mainland now. I haven’t go out of my house for about a week! I feel somehow boring and even more tried staying in home for so long, hhhh. The online teaching is efficient and interesting for me, just much more better than my expectations, although the no face-to-face interaction makes me have no desire to express myself sometimes. The most frequently used digital tool for me is Wechat, until now I think I haven’t used some new technology in teaching, just show some videos and films in the class to my students. And in a face-to-face class, usually I can’t tolerate my students using smart phone, because I doubt if they are doing something else, hhhhh.

  18. Hi everyone, I am Vanessa. I love traveling and learning new languages.
    I have been using duolingo, a language learning application, to learn some new languages by myself. It’s quite interesting. There are many 10-min learning exercises. When I pass them one by one, I can accumulate some points and go to the next level. It’s important to motivate language learners at the beginner level.
    On this course I would like to know more about how to motivate language learners with new technologies without distracting them from language learning.

  19. Hello, everyone, I’m Lyla. It’s pretty interesting and cool to conduct a blog when we are taking a course. As for my interesting experience with new technology, I’d like to mention the experience when I happened to use Tandem four years ago. I and one person from Spain had exchange language teaching of Chinese and Spanish, and we communicated with each other through English. Even though it was useful at the beginning, it was quite difficult for us to maintain the teaching process and to get the achievements we wanted. So in this course, I want to find out since new technologies are said to obtain so many advantages, what can we do to make one language learning platform like Tandem a consistently motivating one to language learners?

    • Hi, Lyla. I think we share similar experiences of tandem learning. But I do not resort to some related apps, so my learning experience is not as systematic as yours. But from your experience, I find that some apps like Tandem may be a good help in online learning, and I will try them in the future.

  20. Hello, everyone. My name is Wang Rui and you can also call me Sophia. I am a quite outgoing girl and I really like talking with others. So if you are free and feel boring, do not feel hesitate to talk to me hahaha.

    One interesting experience that I have had with new technologies is chatting with my foreign friends orally through WeChat. When I was an undergraduate student, I got to know an international student who is a native speaker of English and wanted to learn oral Chinese. Since I am a Chinese native speaker who wants to practice oral English, we form a study pair. Five times a week, we chatted with each other orally through WeChat for one hour, half English, half Chinese of course. Through that process, we both have improved our oral speaking and I really feel good about that!

    One question about new technologies that I would like to have answered on this course is about students’ attention when we involve technologies into class. Well, one of our purposes to involve technologies into class is to grasp students’ attention, but actually sometimes students may be distracted if the technology is too interesting. So how can we teachers master the degree of incorporating technologies to ensure that they are not distracted?

    Anyway, nice to meet all of you! 😊

  21. Hello everyone, I am Ariel WANG. I enjoy traveling a lot and had been to many countries and cities.

    Though I like to travel I had never shared any of my traveling experiences on public websites. The reason I didn’t do it is that I collect information from others experiences on travel websites and feel like my travel experience is not valued enough to be shared. However, as vlogs are becoming more and more popular I tried to make my own travel vlogs during the self-quarantine time and I think it is fun and interesting. I believe making a vlog is a project-base approach of teaching new literacy and also a multimodal composition approach.

    I have a question in my mind that technology is everywhere in our daily life and we, as teachers, are encouraged to apply technology and new literacies in classroom teaching, but is that appropriate to get small kids be closely engaged in the digital world? Or is there a certain level of age group is good to use new literacy in language learning?

  22. Hi everyone, it’s Shanice! I’m an outgoing person and I like music and movies. I really hope that things will get better soon and we may hang out together!

    Talking about the interesting experience of using new technologies, I recently participated in an online job recruitment. I first need to answer some questions and take a sort of apititude test and then I need to wait for the
    online video call interview. I really like this form of recruitment because it helps save my time and money to travel to another city. Also, in the special time at present, it is a good alternative way to keep things going safely.

    I’m also interested in the application of new technologies in teaching, but I think this kind of application hasn’t been very popular among mainland China due to the traditional ideas about education and learning. So my question would be how to change people’s mindset about applying new technologies to teaching?

  23. Hi everyone! I am Michelle. It is great to meet you on blogs! I recalled my memory that I used Zoom one year ago. I was invited to watch an online debate of children from primary school. Their leader was in Singapore and most children were in Mainland China. In the debate, someone has to interrupt and interrogate the person who is illustrating his/her points by raising hands (which is called POI in the real Scenario). It was really challenging that when a child was saying something through microphone and suddenly his/her voice was covered by his/her opposite sites. The whole procedure went well but the POI moment was more like a marketing-bargain(LOL). I think people are more careful to listen arguments in online-debates because every one’s faces are showing in a whole screen. How interesting!

    As for a question about new technologies that I would like to have answered on this course, I want to know whether the online social apps tool would have any surveillance and record their users meeting or something in the future. As far as I know, in China, messages in social apps such as WeChat can be used as proof through screenshot when people are accused of.

    Hope we can have a wonderful blog journey!

    • The experience you shared with us is so interesting and I think I can even imagine how noisy the PoI moment was,LOL. You’ve raised a very special topic which is always ignored by us, and I can see what your concern is. And I think maybe you can further illustrate how to define the “surveillance” you mean, because I suppose in the social networking apps like Wechat and Weblog, the posts are under certain surveillance, so some violent and improper resources will be filtered. And banning people from using screenshot to keep the evidence seems beyond what surveillance can manage…

  24. Hi!Everyone, I’m Phyllis. I’d like to share an impressive experience of using technologies. That’s during my undergraduate period, I took English Short Stories courses. In that course, our teachers required us to work in group to adapt one of the stories we had learned to film a short video, which is one part of final assessment. My group chose Wilde’s The Little Prince. The process of filming was not easy, because we could not memorize lines or the environment was so noisy, so the effect was no so satisfactory. Then we were advised to use VideoStudio, which allowed us to dub for our video. Then it went more smoothly

  25. Hi everyone, this is Biyao, I think apps like google doc. or google drive which allows many people to edit the file at the same time is quite useful for me. Especially when doing group projects.
    I hope I can learn how to make good use of different tools and make my class more attractive.

  26. Hello, glad to meet you guys here. My recent experience of using new technology is definitely using the zoom to attend online class. I have never attended the formal online class before, so this kind of experience is novel to me, and I can feel in person the affordance of this technology, like having access to learning resource without the restriction of distance.
    The question is whether there are practical websites or software suitable for teaching students of different ages or at different school stages, which could be used in our future career?^^

  27. Hey guys, I’m Queenie.

    1) One of the interesting new technologies I used last year is an APP called NOTABILITY. It is very convenient for me because I can import all the class materials of each subject and edit them with my apple pen. It is very beneficial because I do not have to go to the library early in the day to print all those documents, PowerPoint and reading materials out. It saved me a lot of time and I do not have to carry a lot of heavy materials around. Another advantage of using this app is that I can a look up to my notes whenever I want to as long as I have a digital device like a phone or iPad or computer since I saved all the data in the cloud.

    2) I do not have any question about new technologies in this course at the moment. But I want to look for some inspirations for using different technologies in the process of teaching.

  28. Hello, everyone. My name is Catherine. I used to be a secondary school English teacher. Now I’m here to get myself refreshed.

    To be honest, I’m not quite interested in new technologies. But recently my friends got me into IFLYTEK input which is a sort of typewriting method used on the mobile. It can be used to transform what you said to written mandarin or English quickly and accurately compared to other similar apps.

    In this course, I do hope have a good knowledge of how to integrate new literacies into my real teaching within the context of secondary school in mainland China.

  29. Hello, I am Olivia. I am interested in language learning and I am currently learning English and Japanese as foreign languages although I cannot speak them too well. I am also fond of language learning, how language is learnt/acquired so I decided to be a language teachers. Hope I can do it well.
    I’d like to mention the experience that I tutored a student through video call on Wechat. It was time-saving indeed because both my student and I didn’t need to spend time on travelling to the classroom. As long as our network works normally, our interaction went well and in time. However, for the problem of the camera angle, I had some difficulty in observing her doing the tasks in class as usual. My student got too curious about the new form of lecturing so that she got distracted some time.
    The question I want to raise is about the efficiency of teaching and learning online, particularly in class. Based on the status quo of China that the class size is usually large, it poses challenges on the teachers to improve the efficiency of using technology in class, ensuring all students are using computers for real learning purpose. So how can we, as teachers solve the problem?

  30. Hi! I’m Brenda.
    For me, despite the unstable network state,it is still interesting in classes to exchange ideas and know about classmates through blogs.
    Learning with new technologies, on the one hand, provides us with access to more high-quality courses; on the other hand, can be a platform for us to get acquainted with people share the same interests. I once made some friends when I took part in an online painting course.
    What I want to find out is that how can teachers help students eliminate the sense of strangeness resulted by random group allocation during online teaching discussions?

    • Hi Brenda. That’s a very interesting point about online ‘strangeness’. If you are taking part in a course with no face-to-face presence, then I think it is essential to go through an initial phase of getting to know each other, similar to what we are doing now. The idea is to build up a kind of community, where members of that community appreciate each other as real people, rather than just blips on the screen.

  31. Hello everyone, this is Julie. I’m actually a very easy-going person. My friends told me that when they first met me, they thought I was shy and introverted, but after we became familiar with each other, they found me very lively and humorous, and I also hope to be friends with you.
    I think that under the special circumstances like this, although the online course is our only choice, it is indeed a very convenient way to learn. We can communicate and interact with each other in real time without leaving the home.
    I used to use new technology as a material for extracurricular learning. I remember before an exam I used an app to improve vocabulary and read some articles. The purpose was to review more specifically because that app had lots of exercises and articles relevant to that subject. It has improved my learning efficiency and greatly helped me.
    I am curious what new technologies could be more feasible and effective to use in English classes in China. And I believe there will be answers after some discussions.

  32. Hello, guys! I’m Manty, a girl from Zhejiang. I am really easygoing, outgoing and sometimes a little bit talkative with my friends. I am also a ‘lazy’ girl with procrastination(it seems impossible for me to early to bed and early to rise*–* )and this year, I hope I can be more diligent and be more disciplined.
    For one interesting experience that I have had with new technologies, the first one came into my mind is when I had a lesson which taught by a native English teacher, he used some kind of apps (mixing the games like slicing fruit, dancing with some English words and expressions) which seems really interesting and all of us were so actively participated in those activities.
    And I want to figure out how we can integrate these new technologies into our teaching to achieve a better learning outcome.

    • Hahaha, your experience of learning English with technologies sounds really interesting. Although I didn’t play this kind of games before, I believe that it is a quite effective way to engage students’ interest in learning. I also want to learn how to integrate these new technologies into the traditional way of teaching as it can help us teachers improve teaching efficiency compared with simply lecturing or pushing students to do boring drills.

  33. Hello, everyone! I hope all goes well with you at this special time. This is Mira, and I am staying at home, in Beijing, attending our classes on Zoom. This is not my first time to attend an online class, but honestly at the beginning, I think this would be challenging, while it turns out to be pretty fascinating and easy to get start with.

    I remembered that I have joined an online oral training and practicing session on Acadsoc two years ago, it’s an online platform where you are designated to an native speaker and you can practice your oral English with the foreign teacher. Basically you first choose a context where the conversation will happen, and the native English teacher will give a simple lecture on some basic and common use of language in that particular context, and then you can start communicating freely with your native partner. It’s quite interesting, because we can see each other, and we can hear the voice clearly with the Cam. and Mic. My partner who was also my lecturer coming from New York and he was currently staying in Italy. And I was staying at my university in Beijing. In spite of the distance, this face-to-face online communication brought us closer, and I was fully engaged in this oral class, without any distraction. So, this is definitely a great experience of improving my English speaking with new technologies.

    Also, there is some questions I’m quite curious. For example, when the online teaching happens like what we are going through right now: there is only one teacher and a big class size, instead of the one-on-one online class. The teacher may feel stressful, because he/she needs to manage the class while giving lecture. What is the best way to allocate the class arrangement and how to use multimodal resources to keep the students fully engaged?

    • Hi there – can you share a link for Acadsoc? Do you know what ‘business model’ they use? Do you have to pay for lessons or is it ad supported? I’d be interested to find out…

    • Yes, of course, the website link is attached here:
      (I think they don’t have an English version though);
      Well, I think first you have to choose from preschool English, primary and secondary school English or adult English, and then there will be a promotion specialist getting in touch with you to introduce their class modal and the service they can provide. Yes, you need to pay for the lessons and after that, a foreign teacher will be matched and assigned to you. The class will be held online on their platform and I think they develop the video tool by themselves.

    • I searched Acadsoc!!! And I saw a huge Tongdawei!

      That is a real concern for teachers. I think teachers need to spend more time on online-class preparation such as signal-check. Online-teaching actually put much invisible pressure on teachers because they cannot predict some accidents. I think it is one aspect where stress comes.

  34. Hello, everybody! My name is Yvaine. I am really an introvert person and I have been trying to become outgoing. Under such an unusual circumstance, we have no choice but to have lessons through the Internet. In general, I found it worked well except some Internet issues. In terms of an interesting experience of using the new technology, I want to recommend the app named “Open Language”, which is an online language-learning tool. It provides many practical courses with different topics. Besides that, we can listen to the new podcast related to some latest news or current cultural events every single day. It’s worth mentioning that there are two hosts for each pod. One is a native speaker, the other is a non-native speaker. Sometimes the Chinese host explains the important language point during their discussion. I really got benefit from this digital tool.

  35. Hello, guys. I am glad to be “net” friends with you.

    Talking about an interesting experience I have had with new technologies, it should be my own learning experience through an app which forms an online community and matches language partners for members. I still can remember that I used to practice oral English with a native speaker who is interested in Chinese. My weakness is her strength. We are complementary and have a similar goal——improving language skills, so that we could help each other. It is a wonderful experience. By the way, as various kinds of online communities springs up, people can easily get into the group consisting of members with similar interests, purposes or goals. There is an interesting channel in Bilibili, called “online study room” which acts like a monitor and facilitator to motivate people focus on study instead of their phones. Likewise, thanks to the new technologies which reduce the distance between people who is hard to meet in real life, I can be here to contact with all of you.

    As for the question about new technologies that I would like to have answered on this course, it would be how to combine new literacies with traditional classroom teaching effectively. New technologies do change the way of teaching and learning a lot, so how can we fully exert its advantages and weaken its disadvantages.

  36. Hello, everyone! I am Krystal. I’m from Hangzhou, a well-known city in the mainland of China. However, the city is sick and a kind of blocked for the virus now. So according to the situation, our university also takes action to modify the way of teaching from offline to online, for me, which will be an ecstatic experience especially for this course, because we can explore more for the technologies and new literacy through real experiencing it. I am looking forward to the upcoming online learning experience and hope everyone stays healthy.

    For the interesting experience of new technologies, I can share my experience as a substitution of an online English teacher. I have worked as a pre-school English teacher for one year but in the offline department. I was embarrassed at the moment I knew I have to take that online class, because I didn’t have the online course training experience before and didn’t know how to operate it as effectively as an offline one. So, I received a short training for the online platform before the class. That was the first time I had stepped into the online preschool class, and I was amazed at the existing online functions. I wasn’t expecting the immersion entertainment that rolled out! For the younger kids, we normally use a lot of props to get them immersed in the situation or the topic we are learning, however it is really time-consuming to make the props before the class and it’s like a test of teachers’ manual work ability. When it is online, teachers are able to change the background of the scene according to the topic or class situation. Additionally, there are tens of popular practice activities provided for the platform and it is convenient for teacher to prepare for the class. As children are too young, this kind of course requires the participation in parents. With the involvement of the parents, the course can actually go smoothly and parents will imitate the activities to practice with the kids after the class. I would say as long as the internet goes well, the experience will be the same as the face to face class and it’s even more functional and resourceful.

    The question part, I wonder that in the following 10 years, will the online tutorial classes take the place of the dominant face to face part in language learning?

  37. Hi, everyone! I am Coco Li! I hope that we can all stay safe and positive under this specific circumstance. At first, I felt quite upset that we could not have face-to-face classes. But after using zoom, I found that learning online can also be effective and interesting. So I am looking forward to studying online in the following couple of weeks.
    As for my experience of using new technology, I remember I used an app like zoom before to have cloud meetings when I volunteered to be an English teacher in a rural village in Shandong province. I discussed with my partners about how we could prepare English classes before we left for the town. The app did help us improve our teaching efficiency as it enabled us to help finetune other people’s teaching plans although we could not meet each other in person. It’s basically the first time when I was quite impressed by a new technology.
    In this class, I want to know more about how we can integrate digital literacies into the traditional teaching more effectively. Because I am really unfamiliar with these new teaching needs since I wasn’t literally taught on this sort of knowledge by teachers before. So I am quite excited about exploring how tech and language teaching can be combined effectively in this class!

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