Monthly Archives: April 2009

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Language Lovers.

You should always think about what sites you sign up for- and if you don’t think you’ll use a site listed here, don’t sign up for it. These posts are not meant as an endorsement of any singular site or tool, but they are meant to alert you as to what may be out there to make your life easier. It’s your decision to follow any of these links.

Many of us would like to learn another language- or brush up on a language that may be getting a little rusty. There are a lot of tools out there that range from traditional classes to pricey services like Rosetta Stone. The tool we’ll be taking a look at today has some flaws, but is and interesting and potentially powerful 2.0 tool to aid those who would like polish up their language skills. Let’s take a minute to talk about:


Photobucket

From Live Mocha: “Livemocha is an exciting e-learning Web 2.0 startup founded by a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs based in the Seattle area. Livemocha addresses a $20 billion worldwide language learning market fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. Livemocha is a first of its kind web based language learning solution integrating online instructional content with a global community of language learners. Livemocha is a venture funded company backed by Maveron, a leading Seattle based venture firm with tremendous consumer and e-learning expertise.”

They go on to talk about how globalization led them to create a dynamic 2.0 site designed to aid people involved in international business. Traveling always dictates a basic understanding of a native language, but in order conduct business a deeper knowledge is required.

One of the most interesting things about Live Mocha is that hooks you up with people globally. If you are learning French, you will be matched up with native French speakers. And likewise, those learning English will be matching up with you as a native English speaker. As a member you can learn a language as well as help others learn yours- it’s a really dynamic and interesting tool.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll see if you decide to take a look at Live Mocha. Logging into Live Mocha is easy and will look like this:

Photobucket

Once you have logged you will be taken to your home screen. Here you will be able to see an overview of your Live Mocha activity. Live Mocha assigns you points for each activity done, meaning if you complete a reading assignment you will be assigned points for them. Also, when you critique someone else’s work you also receive “teacher points” to show that you have helped another member. It will look like this:

Photobucket

You will also have a box that will show you which language you are working on, how far along you are in that lesson, and will provide you a button which you would click to resume the lesson. It looks like this:

Photobucket

Below these displays you will see your language connections on Live Mocha. You will see people you have already “friended” as well as suggestions from Live Mocha. These are the people that will be helping you learn your chosen language- you can chat with them and exchange messages. The display looks like this:

Photobucket

Towards the bottom of this image you can see how many assignment submissions I have made, as well as those waiting for correction from my friends. I can click on those numbers and see what they have submitted for correction. If you choose to do this, you will go to a page displaying the submission. You will be able to rate the user on spelling, grammar, and content. You can leave a comment detailing the corrections needed, or you can leave it blank only rating the submission. It will look like this:

Photobucket

What I would like to do now is share with you a brief video tour of Live Mocha. I am currently taking their Mandarin course, and this is my actual assignment and lesson.

In closing, most of us realize that our world is getting smaller- we share a global space but not a global language. Learning new languages is an important step in becoming a global citizen and understanding the thousands of cultures that exist across this planet.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under 2.0, Business, Education, Tutorial, two.oh!, web site

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Educators and Students

You should always think about what sites you sign up for- and if you don’t think you’ll use a site listed here, don’t sign up for it. These posts are not meant as an endorsement of any singular site or tool, but they are meant to alert you as to what may be out there to make your life easier. It’s your decision to follow any of these links.

The next tool we’ll be taking a look at for Tuesday Two.Oh! will be of interest to teachers and students alike:


Photobucket

This tool will bring to mind notions of Blackboard for those familiar with that tool.  A small difference is that Engrade is a free tool, provided free on the web.  Once you have signed up for the account you are asked to set up your classes, and I will walk you through what that will look like below.

A tool like this could be very beneficial to you as an educator.  When we teach classes there is a lot of information to keep track of- attendance, assignments, tardiness, and general student attitude.  Engrade offers a seemingly instant update for all of these items.  There’s even a comment section for an educator to keep track of their opinion of a students daily attitude.  I think that if this site can maintain privacy, it has the potential to be extremely useful to educators, students, and their parents.

If you choose to set up an account, the first thing you’ll be asked to do is set up your classes.  You can name your class any way you would like, but most of us would likely choose names that makes sense.  For instance, if you teach 3rd grade math, name your class as such.  It will also ask you to name each of the students in your class.  This is so that all the names will be entered in automatically when your grade book has been created.  It will look like this:

<img src=”engrade 4

Once you’ve entered that information, Engrade wants you to choose how your students are graded.  You can decide the grade scale as provided by Engrade, or it’s also possible to create your own grading scales.  It will look like this:

engrade 5

The customizability doesn’t end there.  Once you’ve chosed your gradescale, move on to choose how you would like the grades to be weighted.  You can set the weight, or opt to not weight the grades at all.

engrade 6

After you’ve finished entering your class information, there are a lot of other options.  Engrade has a calendar which can be shared with your students once they log on.  There are also sections to manage comments and attendance.

engrade 7

Directions for your students to log on can easily be found on the home page, as well as much more information for administrators and teachers.  Students will be able to log on, see their grades and comments, but will not be able to manipulate the information.

Photobucket

If you think that this is a tool that you might be able to use, I encourage you to watch their twelve minute tutorial video. There you will find more detailed information about the site, and how to manage your classes.

1 Comment

Filed under 2.0, Education, two.oh!

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Business Students and Small Businesses

You should always think about what sites you sign up for- and if you don’t think you’ll use a site listed here, don’t sign up for it. These posts are not meant as an endorsement of any singular site or tool, but they are meant to alert you as to what may be out there to make your life easier. It’s your decision to follow any of these links.

For our first Tuesday Two.Oh! we will be discussing the community site:


Photobucket

From the site: “LittleEngine is not so much a web presence as it is an online community that is driven by the very people that take part in it’s experience. The goal of LittleEngine is to simply replicate the very actions that people demonstrate on a daily basis: locating small businesses that can provide them with the products or services they need. We facilitate this by providing the resources to find and check out businesses that might have been unknown to consumers and business owners alike. LittleEngine provides the tools for business owners to reach out to consumers and consumers to find businesses that satisfy their interests.”

One of the interesting aspects of this site will surely be the local listings.  An easy search for “74403” lead to several listings of local (Broken Arrow) businesses that have joined the site.  You can search for any nation-wide zip-code here.

An example of a zip-code search:

little engine 4

Here’s what the results page will look like:

little engine 5

If a business has signed up to be a part of this web community, you can look at their profile page. If you are the owner of a small business you can sign up for an account and display photographs, a map to your location, your address, and many other tidbits that will entice new customers. Your profile page will look something like this:

Photobucket

A search from the homepage can also hook a user up with local businesses within a zip-code. These businesses do not necessarily have to be “member” businesses. These non-member entities will only have a listing similar to what you might find at YellowPages.

A search for businesses involved in food in the 74403 zip-code will look like this:

little engine 2

And the results will come back like this:

little engine 3

In closing we might want to think about the networking potential with a site like this. Entering your business’ profile could potentially bring in new clients interested in patronizing local shops and stores owned by people in the area. This might also provide you with the importunity to meet other people who own small businesses.

Websites all depend on their users- if you join a site, make sure you are being represented in a way that is desirable to new clients.

3 Comments

Filed under 2.0, Business, two.oh!, web site

Update!

Next week I will begin a series, yet to be named, bringing the students of NSU Web 2.0 tools that may help them with their studies and careers.

These posts will not be a endorsement of any specific site or tool, but merely a way to share new and interesting internet goodies.

See you next week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Class