Producing Cell Phone Video Diaries

Producing Cell Phone Video Diaries

Nicolas Gromik (Tohoku University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-190-2.ch014
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Abstract

This chapter reports on an ongoing project conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. A mixed group of seven advanced EFL learners produced weekly cell phone video diaries that were then delivered online via blip.tv. Participants completed this task as an independent learning project. Using the video recording feature of their cell phones, participants produced videos between 15 and 30 seconds long. As a piece of preliminary research, the aim was not to gather evidence about the linguistic gains that such technology affords, but rather to assess whether or not such a learning approach was feasible and suitable for students. The findings revealed that while the majority of the students found merit in this project, some had reservations. The outcome of this project demonstrates how Web 2.0 is redefining the Internet as a platform for individual content delivery, especially in terms of audio and visual productions.
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Introduction

The literature on cell phone education is developing quickly. While some assert that cell phones can be integrated in the Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) classroom (Levy & Kennedy, 2005; Thornton & Houser, 2005), others argue that technological limitations render such a teaching method inappropriate for the enhancement of language learning development (Wang & Higgins, 2006). Given this ambivalence, the aim of this chapter is to assess the feasibility of integrating cell phone video recording devices in the language learning classroom and to evaluate students’ opinions about such a project and learning approach. Since this is an ongoing project, the objective of this specific research is not to assess students’ linguistic development gains, but rather to explore and document the teaching approach and the learning outcome from this project.

The significance of this type of research provides invaluable reflections on the meaning of the term Web 2.0 and its influence in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom. O’Reilly (2005) defines Web 2.0 as a transformation from a corporate structure to a subscriber platform, whereby services are provided for the emancipation of free knowledge delivery. Such a transformation allows anyone with access to the Internet free services which empower them to deliver content in either a text, audio or audio-visual format. It empowers subscribers to share and exchange opinions, to link and comment on Internet searches, and thus reshapes how individuals interpret information. Grossman (2006) defines Web 2.0 as “a massive social experiment” (p. 23). That is to say, Web 2.0 is a convolution between subscribers who are willing to interact independently online to develop projects voluntarily, not for the benefit of the greater good, but for the simple joy of network socializing with other subscribers who share a common interest. In this way, Web 2.0 is defined by the horizons of the user’s imagination. The implication for teachers is that students no longer need to be passive consumers of third party productions. Language learners are now able to create audio-visual files of authentic speaking materials and access them directly from sites such as youtube.com or blip.tv. These can then be downloaded on personal portable devices and utilized as resources in order to improve the pronunciation of a target language of interest to students (Gromik, 2007a). Compared to computers, handhelds and cell phones are compact, light and filled with a wide variety of features such as text, audio listening, photo and video recording. The presence of cell phone technology and usage is growing, for example in Japan the ratio of cell phone subscribers is 84 per 100 people (Economist Intelligent Unit, 2008, p. 120). Based on this context, this chapter demonstrates how to combine cell phones with Web 2.0 technology to develop student-centered, project-based activities.

The chapter begins with a review of the literature to explain the rationale for investigating cell phone video recording by Japanese EFL learners. The second section positions the research within sociocultural theory. The third section describes the participants as well as the project. This section evidences the in-class experimentation to ensure that students could undertake this project independently, and reports on the observations gathered from students’ cell phone video productions. The fourth section details students’ feedback collected via the end of term examination. Since this project is ongoing, the discussion section attempts to elucidate the findings in the hope of improving future research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student-centered Learning: A working environment in which learners collaborate, experiment, discuss, and create knowledge based on interaction and discussion within a group. Learners organize themselves and define the roles which they are willing to play within that working environment.

Zone of Proximal Development: Deriving from the work of Lev Vygotsky describing the cognitive development of children, the ZPD refers to the area between what a child (or learner) can potentially achieve with and without external guidance from adults or peers.

Cell Phone-Based Education: Technologies which engage learners to explore their surroundings in order to report and record text/audio/visual information based on their observations. Such technology could enhance learning by encouraging learners to become critical reflectors of their environment and the subjects they study.

Cell Phone Technology: Compact portable devices which include texting and voice telecommunication, provide access to music, television, and video, and allow photo, audio and video recording features. Also it includes the opportunities to download software or access educational resources provided on SD memory cards.

Blip.tv: This refers to free video site which allows users to upload video from podcasts or blogs to share with others. As opposed to networked and scheduled television, Blip.tv promotes a highly diverse range of videos from professionals and amateurs on demand.

Authentic Communicative Learning: The opportunity for a learner to express his/her opinion in a safe environment in which mistakes are allowed in order to place focus on the personal expression of content. Thus enhancing the learner’s opportunity to share and contribute to the development of peers’ knowledge and experiences.

Video-Based Education: The use of audio-visual recording technology that enables learners to explore and expand their knowledge while at the same time expressing their opinion in the target language.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Mark Warschauer
Preface
Michael Thomas
Acknowledgment
Michael Thomas
Chapter 1
Michael Vallance, Kay Vallance, Masahiro Matsui
The grand narrative of educational policy statements lack clear guidelines on Information Communications Technology (ICT) integration. A review of... Sample PDF
Criteria for the Implementation of Learning Technologies
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Chapter 2
Mark Pegrum
This chapter discusses the application of a range of Web 2.0 technologies to language education. It argues that Web 2.0 is fundamentally about... Sample PDF
Communicative Networking and Linguistic Mashups on Web 2.0
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Chapter 3
Bernd Rüschoff
Current thinking in SLA methodology favours knowledge construction rather than simple instructivist learning as an appropriate paradigm for language... Sample PDF
Output-Oriented Language Learning With Digital Media
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Chapter 4
Infoxication 2.0  (pages 60-79)
Elena Benito-Ruiz
This chapter reviews the issue of information overload, introducing the concept of “infoxication 2.0” as one of the main downsides to Web 2.0. The... Sample PDF
Infoxication 2.0
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Chapter 5
Margaret Rasulo
The aim of this chapter is to discuss the effectiveness and the necessity of forming a community when engaged in online learning. The Internet and... Sample PDF
The Role of Community Formation in Learning Processes
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Chapter 6
Tony Mullen, Christine Appel, Trevor Shanklin
An important aspect of the Web 2.0 phenomenon is the use of Web-embedded and integrated non-browser Internet applications to facilitate... Sample PDF
Skype-Based Tandem Language Learning and Web 2.0
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Chapter 7
Gary Motteram, Susan Brown
Web 2.0 offers potentially powerful tools for the field of language education. As language teacher tutors exploring Web 2.0 with participants on an... Sample PDF
A Context-Based Approach to Web 2.0 and Language Education
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Chapter 8
Lut Baten, Nicolas Bouckaert, Kan Yingli
This case study describes how a project-based approach offers valuable new opportunities for graduate students to equip them with the necessary... Sample PDF
The Use of Communities in a Virtual Learning Environment
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Chapter 9
George R. MacLean, James A. Elwood
Prensky (2001) posited the emergence of a new generation of “digital natives” fluent in the language of cyberspace and familiar with the tools of... Sample PDF
Digital Natives, Learner Perceptions and the Use of ICT
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Chapter 10
Steve McCarty
In a cross-cultural educational context of TEFL in Japan, the author sought to enhance the integrative motivation of students toward the target... Sample PDF
Social Networking Behind Student Lines in Japan
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Chapter 11
Antonie Alm
This chapter discusses the use of blogs for foreign and second language (L2) learning. It first outlines the suitability of blogs for language... Sample PDF
Blogging for Self-Determination with L2 Learner Journals
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Chapter 12
Revathi Viswanathan
Training ESL students in soft skills and employability skills with the help of Web 2.0 technologies is the current trend in Indian educational... Sample PDF
Using Mobile Technology and Podcasts to Teach Soft Skills
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Chapter 13
Andy Halvorsen
This chapter looks at the potential use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) for educators and second language learners. It views SNSs broadly through... Sample PDF
Social Networking Sites and Critical Language Learning
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Chapter 14
Nicolas Gromik
This chapter reports on an ongoing project conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. A mixed group of seven advanced EFL learners produced... Sample PDF
Producing Cell Phone Video Diaries
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Chapter 15
Thomas Raith
This chapter explores in how far Web 2.0, Weblogs in particular, has changed foreign language learning. It argues that Weblogs, along with Web 2.0... Sample PDF
The Use of Weblogs in Language Education
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Chapter 16
Nat Carney
This chapter gives a comprehensive overview of blogs in Foreign Language Education (FLE) through reviewing literature, critically analyzing... Sample PDF
Blogging in Foreign Language Education
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Chapter 17
Pete Travis, Fiona Joseph
In particular, this chapter looks at the potential role of Web 2.0 technologies and podcasting to act as a transformational force within language... Sample PDF
Improving Learners' Speaking Skills with Podcasts
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Chapter 18
Volker Hegelheimer, Anne O’Bryan
The increasing availability of mobile technologies is allowing users to interact seamlessly with a variety of content anytime, anywhere. One of... Sample PDF
Mobile Technologies, Podcasting and Language Education
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Chapter 19
Jenny Ang Lu
This chapter aims to investigate how podcasts can be made to fit into the repertoire of resources utilized by teachers, especially in language... Sample PDF
Podcasting as a Next Generation Teaching Resource
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Chapter 20
Matthias Sturm, Trudy Kennell, Rob McBride, Mike Kelly
Web 2.0 tools like blogs, Wikis, and podcasts are new to the vocabulary of language acquisition. Teachers and students who take full advantage of... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Implications of Web 2.0
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Chapter 21
John Paul Loucky
This study describes a task-based assessment (TBA) approach to teaching reading and writing online. It then analyzes key factors emerging from the... Sample PDF
Improving Online Readability in a Web 2.0 Context
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Chapter 22
Jaroslaw Krajka
This chapter contrasts the use of corpora and concordancing in the Web 1.0 era with the opportunities presented to the language teachers by the Web... Sample PDF
Concordancing 2.0: On Custom-Made Corpora in the Classroom
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Chapter 23
Darren Elliott
This chapter looks at the ways in which teacher training and teacher development are taking place online. It seeks to address the ways in which... Sample PDF
Internet Technologies and Language Teacher Education
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Chapter 24
Sarah Guth
This chapter discusses the potential of social software and Web 2.0 tools to enhance language learning in a blended learning context. It describes... Sample PDF
Personal Learning Environments for Language Learning
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Chapter 25
Shudong Wang, Neil Heffernan
This chapter introduces the concept of Mobile 2.0, a mobile version of Web 2.0, and its application to language learning. The chapter addresses the... Sample PDF
Mobile 2.0 and Mobile Language Learning
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Chapter 26
Euline Cutrim Schmid
The first part of this chapter discusses the transformative potential of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), by analyzing the opportunities of using... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Potential of Interactive Whiteboards 2.0
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Chapter 27
David Miller, Derek Glover
This chapter summarizes the work underway to chart, critically evaluate, and systematize the introduction of interactive whiteboards (IWB) into... Sample PDF
Interactive Whiteboards in the Web 2.0 Classroom
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Chapter 28
Samuel Holtzman
The process of technological inclusion begins with an analysis of the features and functions of the specific tool in consideration. Pedagogy should... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 and CMS for Second Language Learning
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