Community Building Tools for Online Language Learning

A presentation by Vance Stevens, Amideast UAE/MLI Project

TESOL Arabia, Abu Dhabi

February 24, 2000, Zayad University, Abu Dhabi

Vance's website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/4631/esl_home.htm
Email vstevens@emirates.net.ae

This handout at http://www.netword.com/vance@tesol2000zu

Overview

This session intends to cover, in a brief hour, several tools found useful in synchronous mode online language learning. These tools have used to great effect in the online class Writing for Webheads This class, is conducted as a hobby by the presenter in conjunction with two other teachers (Margaret Doty and Michael Coghlan, never met personally). The WFW class has been meeting regularly and developing a strengthening sense of community together continually since 1998.

The following has been prepared to briefly overview and demonstrate the freely downloadable online synchronous communications tools we have used over the past year during the course of this class.

Preparations for this session

ICQ installed

3 ICQ accounts were set up and installed on 3 laptops with dialup connections. The instructor is using his own ICQ number 2774215:

ICQ Name

ICQ#

password

Tesol001

   

Tesol002

   

Tesol003

   

 

Email accounts set up and registered with egroups

3 Email accounts were set up at hotmail.

An egroup was set up via http://www.egroups.com. Called zu2000tesol, it is reachable at zu2000tesol@egroups.com

The three email accounts were subscribed to the egroup

Passwords were obtained for the egroup accts by visiting http://www.egroup.com and following simple instructions after clicking on the word: forgot?

The hotmail and egroups accts were all visited, to clear all the subscription offers at both sites.

Passwords for the hotmail and egroups accounts were all set the same (an egroup name is the subscribing email address, and the egroup site is accessible by means of the name and password)

Hotmail and Egroups acct numbers

Passwords (for hotmail and egroup accts)

Tesol001@hotmail.com

12345678

Tesol002@hotmail.com

12345678

Tesol003@hotmail.com

12345678

 

Installations

The following programs were installed on 4 computers:

ICQ from http://www.mirabilis.com

The Palace from http://www.thepalace.com (we had trouble downloading the latest and are using a 1997 client installation)

Two browsers, Netscape and IE. Of the two, IE is likely the most current.

Networds created

To make web access more "friendly" I created "networds" for the following urls:

To make a netword, visit http://www.netword.com

To use a netword, either go to the url above and enter a netword, or the url above slash netword; e.g.

Netword

Netword url

Page description

Realworld url

webheads

http://www.netword.com/webheads

The main page of Writing for Webheads

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/webheads.htm

Webheads_chatclass

http://www.netword.com/webheads_chatclass

The synchronous chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/software.htm

Webheads_textchat

http://www.netword.com/webheads_textchat

The text chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://www.homestead.com/vstevens/

Webheads_voicechat

http://www.netword.com/webheads_voicechat

The voice chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://www.chariot.net.au/~michaelc/hearme.htm

Guests invited

Finally, I invited the teachers and students of the online class Writing for Webheads to join us.

As we get underway

What we will try to do in this session:

Three members of the audience will emulate a class of students.

The "students" can log on to their email accounts. They should have messages waiting from their egroup. They can dash off replies to their egroup.

The student can visit http://www.egroups.com and log in giving their email address and password. They can ENTER the chat.

The students will now visit the Palace. We will try for campus.thecampus.com on port 9998. Once there, let's meet in the Kiosk (if lost: Options / Goto Room / Kiosk 130)

The students can then attempt to meet at the text chat room, http://www.netword.com/webheads_textchat and the voice chat room at http://www.netword.com/webheads_voicechat

The amazing thing about these two chat clients is their simplicity of creation.

Other things we can do:

You can browse around the Writing for Webheads site at http://www.netword.com/webheads to get some idea of how the class is conducted.

You can visit the following urls to try to download the real videos illustrating our attempts to communicate audioVISUALLY via freely available Real products:

We should by now have achieved a certain sublime state of pandemonium tempered with an impression of edification, at which point we can disband.