Unit 2: Exploring & Implementing Online Tools


Today's Students

Before exploring online resources and tools, let's take one more look at who are students are and what they need. Watch the following video A Vision of K-12 Students Today and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the vision? What will students do while using engaging technologies?
  2. What is a 21st century learner?
  3. How do students today spend their time? What technologies do they use?
  4. Are teachers using these technologies for learning/projects? What percentage never does?
  5. What do out students want?
  6. What kind of education would you want for yourself? Your son or daughter?

The video gave the following meaning for WWW--whatever, wherever, whenever...

This is a key idea to our modern day technology and gives us insight to what learners today want and crave. They want to be engaged and active in the learning process and technology gives us methods and tools that make this type of learning possible! Technology can be used to create projects, guide learning, and as a means of communicating with others.

Communicating Online

With the ideas of what our 21st century learners need and crave, let's explore some of the different online tools we and our students have at our fingertip. In the past we wrote to pen-pals, and if we were lucky we were able to write to a native speaker a half-a-dozen times in a school year, but now e-mail, message posting, and online chat can make communication almost instantaneous. In addition to the increased frequency, online notes and messages tend to be less formal than traditional letter writing and allows students to be more relaxed and have something more similar to a real conversation.

While exploring the different web tools, be sure to reflect on what today's learners may think of each site or activity and how each can be used in the classroom!

Electronic Pen Pals

[EPals] the name explains it! This site is meant to link classrooms and even families with others around the world in order to become "e-pals" or collaborate on service projects. The site inspires great ideas and shows the types of opportunites that are available vie the Internet.

[People to People] People to People has many programs working to promote a global community, and that includes a school program for letter or e-mail exchange. The program is based on connecting people, promoting diversity and understanding, and developing friendships.


Social Networking Sites

Next Steps

Continue on to Unit 3: Possibilities & Benefits

Go back to the main course page Foreign Language 2.0: Benefits and Implementing Online Communication

Visit Lindsey Alongi's Portfolio

Visit Foreign Language 2.0 Resources for a list of resources used in this course and for further exploration suggestions.

Go back to the KNILT Main page