Open Source LMS and Web 2.0 in Mobile Teaching

Open Source LMS and Web 2.0 in Mobile Teaching

Elisa Spadavecchia (Provincial School Authority, Italy)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-613-8.ch012
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Abstract

Can students learn a foreign language at school meeting their real communicative needs? Is it possible to exploit the potentialities of the 2.0 Web tools and the advantages of the Open Source software to guide students towards effective linguistic competence and autonomy? The chapter describes an experience of using simple Web 2.0 and teaching support online tools for learning English in an Italian secondary school, pointing out the achievements and the drawbacks of the integration of e-learning 2.0 with classroom teaching.
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The language activities were developed with a pragmatic approach, starting from the students’ needs and suggestions. The technology and resources already available at school were used together with tools and materials freely available on the Internet and some personal materials to enrich on the basis of the learners’ needs.

The initial idea was to give the students enough motivation to use the web as an alternative to the textbook to attain specific learning and linguistic objectives. That was a real challenge because students are generally difficult to involve in school learning activities. Normally, after the first curiosity produced by the novelty, a passive attitude prevails, particularly in the classroom. The only interest that really drives them, even though it has much to do with an extrinsic motivation rather than an intrinsic one, is their eagerness to know the marks they get at school. This was exactly what the teacher played on at the beginning of the experience to encourage them to enroll and involve them in the online activities, relying on their curiosity to attain other educational kinds of objectives. If the students wanted to check the web activities their teacher had prepared for them, or to know the marks they got during their learning activities in real time, with the total respect of their own privacy, first of all they had to learn to use the platform and do the activities well. The teacher’s hope was that they would do them not only at school because they had to but above all at home. In that way, they could start to consider the positive impact of the use of technologies in their learning, while sitting in front of their home computers downloading music, chatting with friends, playing videogames, and texting messages at the same time.

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