Home > ■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 93

■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 93 (2013年05月07日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 93
May 2013 Treasure Hunt
Twitter as a PLN / PLE
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and
Culture Studies

A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) (sometimes called a Personal
Learning Network (PLN)) is a collection of connected resources (
people, blogs, journals, etc.) through which a person manages his or
her own learning online. In other words, it is a set of online
connections to help a person learn whatever they are interested in.
Recently, most people seem to be connected via some social
networking services (SNS), usually including Twitter, along with
blogs, webzines (such as http://paper.li/), or curating sites (such
as http://www.scoop.it/). This has created a level of connectivity
and quick transfer of information that is surprising compared to
even five years ago.

But creating a PLN, while it seems natural for many teachers, is an
intimidating challenge for others. Many teachers do not feel a
strong need to have a SNS presence, and some teachers who are active
online, have not taken advantage of the benefits of social media for
learning for professional development. In my job as a high school
and junior high school teacher trainer, I meet many teachers who
need to be convinced of the benefits of a PLN. I always suggest
people create a dedicated professional development Twitter account,
follow a few people and organizations, and see if it works for them.
In order to convince people, I usually just show them some of the
wonderful resources that have come to me via Twitter in the past
week, which is what I'd like to do in this column.

First up is another comic strip maker, Make Beliefs Comix, that
supports English and several other European languages. The art is a
little limited, but it's very professional and the interface is easy
to use. http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

Next is Textivate, a site that allows you to manipulate written
texts to create worksheets or materials for other activities. You
input your text and then choose the type of gap-fill output you
would like. You really need to give it a try to see what it can do.
For those times when you need a cloze exercise, this site can really
save you some time. http://www.textivate.com/

If you would like to have your grammar checked, GrammarBase can do
it for you. Just input your text and hit the button. It's not
perfect (no grammar checker ever seems to be…) but as a free tool
it's pretty good. http://www.grammarbase.com/

Looking for some short factual texts to help you practice listening
and/or reading? Then this site by the California Distance Learning
Project can be a good resource for you. There are hundreds of
listening texts here across many topics, and this site would be
great for self-access study.

And finally, here are two websites where you can create those fancy
quotation images that are so common on Facebook and other SNSs these
days. Just add your quotation and choose the styles you want. Then
share. Quotes Cover
(http://quotescover.com/#sthash.4jm97967.MZgFAEcH.dpbs) and
Quozio http://quozio.com/

This is just a small fraction of the suggestions that came to me
this week via Twitter. If you want to get started and are not sure
what to do, Russell Stannard of the wonderful Teacher Training
Videos website will walk you through the whole process in his series
on how to set up and get running with Twitter.

That's it for this month. You can find me on Twitter at @Marcelva.
For public junior and senior high school teachers, my institute is a
great source of bilingual tweets: @AcademiaEFL