(MA) DTLT – Week 10 – Social Media in the Language Classroom

Accessing Online Libraries

This week we were challenged with finding an academic article about the use of social media in the language classroom and creating a presentation (in PowerPoint) based on the article. The task helped to develop my skills in acessing and searching the University of Nottingham’s online academic libraries. Knowing that one of my prominent learning styles is ‘musical’, I was initially drawn to the research papers that incorporated music. However, I was unable to access these for free, so downloaded three papers with appealing titles instead: one about video-making, one about video podcasting, and the third about blogging.

Identifying my Academic Interests

Video-making is certainly something I want to do more of, and in a more professional way, in my classroom. I have dabbled with simple video clip making using my iPod, and utilising the playback function for students to identify and correct their own errors. Video podcasting is something I plan to try out very soon for a personal project that I hope to combine with my MA studies. However, I chose to analyse the paper entitled, Blogging to Learn: Becoming EFL Academic Writers Through Collaborative Dialogues (Sun & Chang, 2012) wanting to better understand the benefits in relation to my own blogging experiences. The truth be told, although I had started blogging prior to my MA, I still feel I don’t get the best out of it (something to do with not putting my best into it in the first place, me thinks!).

Analysing Academic Papers

Reading this paper highlighted the main learning benefits of initiating collaborative dialogues through blogging, such as allowing students to ‘scaffold each other in navigating their writing tasks and processing academic writing knowledge, as well as negotiating and understanding their identities as academic writers” (Sun and Chang, 2012:57).  The study itself also provides a framework for initialising a similar project in the future.

Rather than give it all away in this post, watch the Knovio video above, to find out more!

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