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No. 1 (2005年01月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Hello. My name is Marcel and I’m a member of the Kanto Chapter. I guess
many of you like net-surfing and love to use some the web sites or
information you find to brighten up your classes. Some of you may even
be using web sites as the main material for your lessons. But searching
for good sites and good information is a time-consuming job. I hope this
treasure-hunting column series will help us all to share some useful
information, useful sites, and interesting and effective techniques for
using them. For the first few columns, I’ll share with you some of the
things I have found useful. I would also like to encourage readers to
send in their own bits of web and teaching “treasure” to make it
available for everyone. My first column is about content and places to
find content when you have a pretty good idea of what you are looking
for. For those of you who want to jump right into using rich multimedia
content, this column will look at ways of finding such content and
putting it to use.

Finding Good Content
One way to find content is just to use a search engine. Since many good
sites are also large and well-linked sites, your chances of finding good
content are high. Let’s start with a list of some search engines that
can help you find content: http://www.metacrawler.com/ is a good search
engine that uses the power of several search engines at once.
http://vivisimo.com/ calls itself a “clustering engine”, which means
that it organizes results in categories. And lastly,
http://www.school.discovery.com/schrockguide/ which is a portal site for
teachers using the web and not really a search engine, has a lot of good
content linked to it.

Below are some other places you can try looking. Beware: finding content
can be very time consuming.

Interactive Narrative is an archive site linked to a wide variety of
multi-media sites that can be used for content lessons. The collection
is not that large yet, but you might be able to find something that
meets your needs. Of particular interest is the list of Super Sites,
large interactive multi-media sites.http://www.interactivenarratives.org/

MSNBC is another producer of great interactive multi-media sites. A list
of many of the topics they have interactive sites for is available at
the following link. Naturally, being a news company, they feature a
large variety of news background sites. Other things are there as well,
though. http://www.msnbc.com/modules/ifront/default.asp?0ql=cmp

Conversations with History is the name of an interview program on TV and
a web site that archives all the past interviews. It’s a great site for
finding famous people talking about themselves and their work. The site
is heavy with politicians but also features artists and activists.
http://conversations.berkeley.edu/ You can search by person,
year or topic, making this a wonderful resource for use with more
advanced students.

There are also some TV channels that produce interactive sites to
accompany documentaries: History Channel
(http://www.history.com/), and PBS

What To Do With Good Content

Everyone with students who can easily handle native-level materials
please raise your hand. Not many, right?. So how can we use these
wonderful interactive multimedia sites? And why would we want to? Let’s
answer the second question first. These sites with images and up-to-date
information are much more alive for students and visiting them
represents a small trip into another culture. It is exciting for them
and that usually means motivating. It can also very soon become
overwhelming. Instructors with students who are below an intermediate
level need to be very careful about choosing sites and setting tasks. In
general, very specific tasks used with very visual and uncluttered sites
is usually the best approach. One activity that can be used is called a
treasure hunt.

Treasure Hunts

Choose a web site. Search through it for some very specific information
that is accessible to students. Make questions. In class, give students
the URL and the questions and let them search for the answers (i.e.,
treasure). One fun variation on this activity is to create a bingo card
with several questions from several sites. Have the students race to be
the bingo winner. Below is an example of the activity that you can try
to see how it works. Naturally, your choice of site(s) and questions
will depend on what you are trying to teach, but I have chosen to use
the Tabasco pepper sauce site and a few random questions to illustrate
the activity. You will notice that the site does contain Japanese
translations, but not for the parts you need to answer the questions.

Here’s the site: http://www.tabasco.com/main.cfm

Here are the questions:
1. Where is Avery Island and why is it connected with Tabasco?
2. How many drops are there in one bottle of Tabasco Sauce?
3. Which ingredient is not part of the Spicy Marinated Shrimp recipe?
(Olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, basil)

Good luck! In future columns I’ll introduce more sites using this

[Marcel Van Amelsvoort/ Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign
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