Today Beykent University held a conference called “The Use of Technology in Student Centered Learning”. Even though waking up early and trying to arrive at the university on time were eventful, the conference atmosphere was enough restful to make me calm. The first plenary speaker was Nik Peachey whose session was about developing materials and practices for the digital generation. He started his talk giving some statistics on the usage of technology among teens:
More than 75 percent of teens own cell phones.
73 percent use online social networking sites
38 percent share something online that they created, such as artwork, photos, stories, or videos.
Teenagers averaged 3,339 sent and received texts a month!
When you look at the numbers, you again face the reality of digital invasion of all those applications and techy devices, and inevitably start to think how to catch up with these on going innovations. Actually, the way I found on this way is to internalize the innovations/applications at first and then use them in class without wasting time since it is a fact that digital literacy is quite damaged when it is not applied in reality.
The Pinpoints from the Nik Peachey’s Session
During his talk, Nik shared with us amazing Web applications, which can be integrated into a warmer of an activity or a follow up task outside the classroom. Here are the web tools for you, the digital bees:
TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in real time. It is used for Information sharing, audience responses, democratizing the classroom, brainstorming and engagement.
Transl8it is an online SMS converter that changes long texts into a shorthand SMS language. It can also convert any SMS back to normal text. In class teachers can convert long texts into text messages and ask the students to figure out the language/genre/discourse/phonology. without paper, a record of interaction.
Text2Phonetics is an online application that transcribes small English texts into broad phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). It is really a great chance for teachers to create phonology based tasks integrating with readings.
Posterous is a simple blogging platform involving sending emails, with attachments of photos, MP3s, documents, and videos. Nik suggested using it to publish content as writing task, creating online materials and a shared private workspace, to work collaboratively with students.
Storify is an online platform to tell stories using social media such as tweets, photos, videos and the o
ther elements form the web. You can add your headline, interaction or text to create a context.
Scrible is a tool that allows you to highlight or annotate any web pages and share it with others. It is helpful for developing study skills, analyzing text (grammar and vocabulary), pinpointing text comprehension and creating different types of projects and assignments.
Evernote is a kind of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving.
Vyou is a video conference tool, which can be used to create Question and Answer Sessions by the teachers or students.
Mailvu is a video mail service allows you to save your videos. Nik suggested using this tool to develop speaking skills and increase self reﬂection and awareness in class.
Visual.ly is a website on which you can use many types of infographics or visual data such as timelines, flow charts, annotated maps, graphs or venn diagrams.