March 27, 2008

POWNCE experience - microblogging with Beginners

I´d like to share a project Camila Sousa and I have started with our Basic 1 students. As you all know, basic 1 students know nearly nothing and can hardly communicate in English. After a month of classes, we set up a Pownce account and helped each of our sts to do the same. It´s supposed to be a closed group where students communicate with their classmates and their teacher.

Each week, they´re supposed to follow a writing task after having received a model from their teacher. Our objective is to have sts start writing in English for real communication since the beginning of the course, starting off with very simple texts and hopefully by the end of the semester they´ll be writing more complex ones. We´ve discovered that students are more open to using internet for learning English when it is proposed at the beginning of the course, the enthusiasm is super. The picture above brings some example texts written by my sts during the first week of the Pownce experience.

Oh, the weekly tasks will cover structure and vocabulary students have learned that week.

What I´ve observed so far is that everyone is reading what all students are posting, they are learning from each other´s texts. They´ve been daring to use structure they haven´t seen in class yet and have been interacting not only with me (their teacher) but with each other.


Ronaldo Lima Jr. said...

Very interesting idea, Ana. I have forwarded it to a friend (you probably know her, Erika Cruvinel) because she has a group of basic students this semester and she loves technology too.

ALICIA REY said...

I'm glad you've found Pownce useful for your lessons ;-)

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Thanks Ronaldo and Alicia for the comments. Yes, I´m so enthusiatic about it specially because students´ enthusiasm was a total surprise to me. They´re writing much more than I had anticipated and have been interacting naturally, daring, asking and learning from each other! I had never seen that happen!

Erika Cruvinel said...

Hello Ana Maria
I have a group of Basic 1 too. Most of them are teenagers and there is one adult in the class. I loved your idea. Is there a way I can join you? Maybe my students could follow the same writing tasks and communicate with yours.

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Sure, What I could do is add you as a friend and you can ask your students to open their accounts too in Pownce. My username in Pownce is Teacherana. Then you and your students can go to my page and add my contacts to your list of contacts and we can have the groups interacting. You can also group sts into separate sets if you look at the left sidebar. I´ll be writing weekly tasks for them and they can start interacting. GREAT!!!