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Thread: A collaborative website by ALTs for students!

  1. #1
    Member
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    Default A collaborative website by ALTs for students!

    Hello fellow ALTs!

    I've just started working on a new website which will allow students to interact with ALTs all over Japan. The website, ALTs Online, is a revolution in language learning. The idea is that each ALT will have their own self introduction page in the form of a graphic log (glog) and an interactive message board for sharing text messages, music and photos. Students can even communicate with ALTs using their voice. There is also a worksheet for those who are interested in accessing the website with their class through the school computer room. The website English level is divided into SHS and JHS. JHS ALT pages will be at a lower level than the SHS ALT pages allowing for multileveled content.

    The website is set up for the non-tech savvy, so don't worry if you have little to no experience with online software. ALTs who join the wiki simply make a fun interactive poster at Glogster.com (SUPER EASY) and create a message board (Takes 3 minutes) and then send me the links. I will take care of all the rest. Your poster can be simple having just a few pics and information on where you are from, what you like, your hobby etc.



    http://www.akitajet.com/wiki/images/thumb/f/fd/ALTs_Online_Japan.png/800px-ALTs_Online_Japan.png[/IMG]

    Why did I create this website?

    One, many ALTs are required to visit countless schools and teach several classes. This results in infrequent classroom visits and consequently, little opportunity to communicate with students in English. Two, many students are too shy to communicate with the ALT during class time and/or have little opportunity due to large class sizes. Three, even if you are able to meet with your students often, you are probably the only foreigner they get to interact with. ALTs Online allows students who have internet at home to connect with ALTs all over the country, learn about various cultures and practice their language skills in an exciting new way.

    Benefits of the website:

    Experiential Learning:
    Students independently explore pages in a nonlinear fashion and experience real English communication with native speakers.

    Motivation:
    The website is interactive encompassing pictures, sound, video and text/voice chat. Furthermore, it introduces students to local/domestic native speakers of the target language.


    Increased Interaction:
    Students can interact with not only teachers, but other students as well. Such interaction may be done anonymously which helps to lower affective factors.

    Authentic Materials:
    All the content on the website has been created by native speakers of English and all communication is with native speakers. Content is also constantly changing and being updated based on student interaction with the website.

    Individualization:
    Shy or inhibited students benefit greatly as the website is individualized, student centered and collaborative. Furthermore, links to more information are provided and allow for higher level students to learn at their desired pace.

    Cultural Understanding
    ALTs Online allows students to communicate with native speakers from around the world. Each ALT has their own self-introduction poster which introduces their country and culture.

    Increased Computer Competence
    Through using the website students become more comfortable with using the internet and the idea of computer assisted language learning. Such experience will help and encourage students to become independent learners on the internet, a much needed skill for a generation that is becoming increasingly tech-savvy and internet dependent.

    Furthermore, MEXT has stated in its 2013 policy guidelines for senior high school that it wishes to increase "opportunities for students to come into contact with English and make English classes into sites of real communication" and that the teacher make an effort "to incorporate experiential language activities into class". Technology, if implemented correctly, has the potential to achieve the above goals set out by MEXT.

    If you are interested, click on the link below to check it out.

    ALTs Online Website


    Join the revolution!

    Cheers!

    Renaud
    Last edited by casual; February 12th, 2012 at 21:05.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A collaborative website by ALTs for students!

    Impressive. Not sure i want to interact with my students online but nice job.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A collaborative website by ALTs for students!

    Under "Why did I create this website?" you forgot reasons four and five: too much free time in front of the computer at work, and it builds the resumé. :P

    But seriously, nice work. I dig the nineties geocities meets Web 2.0 vibe. I'm not sure how useful it would be for my low-level students without the computer or English skills to really handle it. (A recent survey said less than 10% use the internet at home.) But it could be useful for more motivated students, especially high school students.

    Also, I would suggest not having the video autoplay, the sound is often an unwelcome surprise.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Just want to say thank you to all those who have joined so far. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions regarding your glog or message board etc.. I recently updated the design and added an activity wall. Hope you like it! I'm always open to ideas, so please feel free to let me know here or by e-mail. We still need a lot more ALTs to join!

    Regards,

    Renaud

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