Microblogging in the classroom (Paul Collett)
Twitter (http://twitter.com) is an internet-based social networking service where users post short text messages (information on what's happening, observations on current events, news, pointers to other resources; anything up to 140 characters long) which other users of the system can then follow and respond to. This microblogging service is an increasingly popular and useful way to keep on top of current events at both the personal and the global level, and provides myriad prospects for the language classroom. In this presentation, we will look at some easy ways to work with the twitter stream, bringing this rich authentic language source into the classroom in a controlled way. We will also consider the possibilities twitter (or microblogging) offers to the teacher and students. Finally, we will look at solutions to create a personalized microblogging service to provide community-building possibilities for your learners.
Paul Collett teaches at Shimonoseki City University, and is the administrator of JALT's internet services.
Social networking as a language learning activity (Malcolm Swanson)
Social networking websites, such as Facebook and Mixi, have proliferated in recent years, but their use in the classroom is limited because of their sheer breadth of scale. In this presentation, Malcolm Swanson will introduce Elgg, an open source networking solution that is perfect for use with small groups. Swanson will explain how to install and set up the software, and how it can be used within language classroom settings. Attendees will be able to "play" in an Elgg installation in the week following the presentation.
Malcolm Swanson is teaching in the English Department of Seinan Jo Gakuin University. He is also heavily involved in JALT's various publications.