The chaos begins (NOT) - jumping into the deep end with my ESL students

Well we're taking the journey further into the world of Ning in my class.

Today we went through some different features of our class Ning and we jointly composed a response to a Forum topic and a Blog post (before I deleted it when I accidentally pressed backspace - Memo to self - teach students about saving drafts). The shared writing gave them a much needed foundation. It seemed to help them when they were in the computer lab.

As they're learning so many new multimedia skills in the class, it's not really like an English class as they know it. So I'm including various aspects that remind them of a traditional class so that it has some credibility in their eyes. I've come up with a list of tasks that they need to work on and tick off as they complete. It worked pretty well today and gave more order to the class (especially as I had the list on our Ning page)

One of the more powerful tools on the Ning is the Video. Last week we started shooting practice videos which they then uploaded to our Ning. It proved a really good way of teaching today as we reviewed what they'd done and worked out how to improve them further. I could introduce them to the terminology of filming and they're starting to use this language themselves through my encouragement.

As a way of introducing the Blog and giving it a focus. We worked out what our key interests and passions were - making that the initial focus of the blog. I'm wondering now though -should I be correcting all their written work in the blog - or as I'm doing replying using their terminology to show correct spelling and grammar. Hmm, open to ideas here. Might throw this into the forum.

It was all rather calm in the computer lab as they set about completing the various tasks. There's so much learning as they go - so many opportunities for incidental learning. The emphasis on helping each other is really paying off already.

Looking forward to Friday...And if you'd like to join our class...I'm keen to have some other teachers dropping by...please let me know.

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