Learning2gether with David Winet on teaching f2f writing using WeChat and Polleverywhere

Learning2gether Episode 273

Download mp3 (first 32 minutes of HoA): https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/learning2gether-with-david-winet-on-teaching-f2f-writing-using-wechat-and-polleverywhere-3ggx7ghhtqq.mp3? Dave’s topic was using WeChat and Polleverywhere for live, in-class, corrected on-the-fly student writing Where? Hangout on Air

Live-streamed on

What’s it all about? Dave introduces the topic Writing  is for students pretty much unrelenting drudgery and pain, even in their own language — not to mention in English!  Very few students write for pleasure; this is an undeniable fact (go ahead, prove me wrong.) Consequently students don’t approach writing with any enthusiasm, don’t write much, and generally write poorly. And yet modern society without clear, cogent writing is unthinkable. What is the problem?

In my view the reason is that our students are usually not writing about anything that is interesting, much less compelling, to them — but rather writing on topics assigned from a textbook, topics which do not “grab” them “where they live” and whose purpose is solely to train them, like monkeys, to use correct essay structure, rather than to express their thoughts, ideas, discoveries, experiences, acquired knowledge and feelings.

There is a difference between learning a skill that enriches one’s existence and learning a skill to get a good score on TOEFL or IELTS.  The latter, which is the rule, is the unhelpful triumph of form over content.   Let students first learn to love writing, then hit them with all the fine points of good (academic) writing. Fortunately, and as is often the case lately, modern technology has provided at least a partial solution to this problem in the form of online, real-time, instantly viewable-and respondable-to, writing-based platforms for in-class and out-of-class writing, such as WeChat (http://www.wechat.com) and Polleverywhere (http://www.polleverywhere.com) , just to name two that I have some acquaintance with.

My presentation will attempt to show how the use of these tools has the serendipitous effect of getting students to write, and write copiously, both in and out of class – enthusiastically, and with purpose.  Nor are these tools in any way inconsistent with improving students’ style, syntax, grammar and structure but rather, used skillfully, can enhance all of those skills; indeed willy-nilly, by dint of the student wanting to communicate effectively, he/she will little by little adopt the conventions that make effective, powerful communication easier.

David Winet, Cal State East Bay American Language Program, USA (david.winet@gmail.com) and online at http://Chatonic.com (“studyenglish” and “studycom” rooms).

Why is the recording incomplete? Vance’s Internet suddenly went down at about 24 minutes into the event. I didn’t know immediately what the problem was but I soon found that my modem had gone dark, no blinking lights, so I tried using my cell phone to reconnect to the event. Hangouts would not connect, but I managed to leave messages in the Chatwing. Fortunately, I had a spare modem in a back bedroom, so I went to get it, connected it, but again, no blinking lights. All the other devices in that rack were blinking so it must be the power supply to that modem. I went to the back to get the power supply for the replacement modem, plugged it in, and restored the previous modem to service. This took me half an hour,and by the time I had got the modem functioning again, I guess Google had already terminated the HoA, though when I got back in, people seemed to be engrossed in conversation. Unfortunately, it was not being recorded.




Earlier this week

Thu May 7 1800 GMT Joe Dale – Planning a virtual field trip to New Orleans

https://learning2gether.net/2015/05/07/learning2gether-with-joe-dale-planning-a-virtual-field-trip-to-new-orleans/ This event served at our Learning2gether session for the week of May 4-10

May 8 Maria Colussa on Mystery Location Calls

Maria has agreed to present this as a Learning2gether event on Sunday May 31 … https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cpgpka8onula4k56rk7gmsq2014?authkey=CIS1n5nJpIDXPQ Posted with Permission from Maria Colussa

Fri-Sat May 8-9 Education on Air free online conference for educators

Register here https://educationonair.withgoogle.com/live/2015-may and explore

Day 1 1400 to  1900 GMT will focus on “leading for the future” with sessions from educators, students, and other leaders. On Day 2 1100 to 0130 (next day) GMT Over 100 educators will lead sessions on “shaping the classroom today.” Topics will range from “increasing student collaboration” to “successful device deployments” to “teaching computer science.” I hope that you and your teammates will find this conference valuable. You can register online for the free event, and there is more info here: http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2015/04/google-launches-education-conference-hangouts

May 13 – Elaine Hoter and International Day at theTEC Center


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