I currently have a work project to set up a process to send and update links to websites that can help students learn English when they are on their own. It is for the AUA Language Center in Thailand. There are several parts to this project. Earlier I did a post asking for help in compiling a list of online English learning resources such as:
- English learning websites.
- Interesting topic based sites or pages.
However, this is only part of it. The information needs to be sifted for what is useful and what is not. It also needs to be considered in regards to level of language used and that of the learners we have. These tend to be in the elementary to intermediate range. Then there is how to release it without swamping students with a huge amount of links that are too much. And we also have to consider that a list of links is a pretty boring and uninformative thing to look at.
After a bit of exploration and experimentation, I am looking at using some form of curated site to:
- control the information release to manageable amounts.
- release updates at regular intervals, so sources do not become dry and boring.
- create an interesting mix of subjects and kinds of sites/apps.
- control a variety of level of language released at each time.
- create a list that is both visually interesting and which also gives snippets of information or pictures so students can know what the link covers.
The plan is also to link the curating service to a variety of social media. In this way students can be notified automatically when any update or new release takes place. Doing this through social media also allows students to get the information through the medium they use on a daily basis.
At the moment I am looking at Scoop.it and Paper.li as curating possibilities. Paper.li is visually attractive and offers the ability to both manually and automatically add material The automatic route may be useful if it it successful enough in selecting material that we want to use. That needs further experimentation. Scoop.it is visually attractive and has a maybe clearer look. While both can notify of updates automatically through social media sites, Scoop.it seems to have the advantage here in offering more choice of sites to link release of new material or a new issue to.
That is where I currently am on this project, and right now a combination of continued selection of material and further experimentation to decide on the most practical and effective curating choice are needed.
Any comments would be appreciated either here or by the Graham e-mail.