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Synchronous and asynchronous communication tools:  

Text / Audio / Video


(Week 2: Jan 20 - 26, 2014)





Moderators : 

Ayat Tawel (Egypt),  Mbarek Akaddar (Morocco),  Maria Bossa (Argentina), and Svetlana Obenausova (Czech Republic) 


Guest presenter:

Michael Coghlan (Sat., 25 Jan., at 12:00 GMT)


Objectives :


By the end of this week, you will have : 


  • downloaded and installed Skype and created a contact list
  • attended mini Skype conferences with moderators and/or other participants, exploring its features
  • explored different tools for sending audio and video messages
  • attended a live session/listened to the recordings
  • commented on the Live Session using the Edmodo Group
  • commented on the readings using the Edmodo Group
  • explored Twitter and took part in a tweetmeet














Activities :


Task 1

  • Download and install  Skype (see Tutorials below)
  • Create a Contact list using Skype IDs available at our Yahoo Group Database (write your IDs in the "Participants' Information" folder so you can be contacted by other participants); or in our Participants' page (in this wiki),
  • Explore this tool and its features, including voice chat, by joining any of the moderators and other participants for chats or conferences (group chats), and reflect on its  potential in TEFL/TESL 


Task 2 

  • Join Michael Coghlan's live session of the week about "Using Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication Tools in Teaching" at the Webheads Elluminate vRoom on 25 Jan. The session will be at noon (12:00) GMT
  •   Post your comments about the live session to the Edmodo Group


Task 3

  • Add your recording to the Voxopop thread , sharing with us how you would use audio or video tools in teaching listening and speaking.

(From week 3 on, you will be able to make a link to or embed your audio/video recordings in the blog/wiki that you will create).


Please click here  to visit voxopop website and record your  message on ICT4ELT  discussion board  



Addition to task 3

Some paticipants face problems to record their comments on voxopop because of issues related to the latest java update as the website administrators declared. As a plan B for this tool , we suggest a similar tool called voicethread. We are positive many of you have already used it. It's a  powerful tool with lots of potentials for classroom use. Please register on voicethread  and add your comment to the ICT4ELT  thread : what are the main challenges you have so far met in ICT4ELT 2014 session:



Task 4

  • Read this week readings (links to readings are at the bottom of this page) and comment on the readings for the week to the Edmodo Group.


Task 5

  • Explore Twitter and take part in a Tweetmeet on Friday 24 February 2014, at 9 pm GMT. You should be using this hashtag #ict4elt14 to take part in our tweet meet.

          Here is the link to the Tagboard with the latest tweets.


          (Check Twitter tutorials below)


Tools to explore


Audio tools
Handybits The most basic voicemail messaging tool is totally computer-based. "With Voice Mail you can create and email sound messages to your friends. Simply click the Record button, talk, and then click the Stop and Send buttons."


A free web tool to record unlimited audio messages or upload mp3 files to embed in your website or blog. It's easy as no account or software is needed.

"...a mobile & web platform that effortlessly allows you to record and share audio for your friends, family or the rest of the world to hear."


"... upload or record your originally-created sounds effortlessly to SoundCloud in a few clicks....". Leave timed text comments to give feedback to your students on their work. You can have private or public recordings that you can link to or embed in your website. SC also has a mobile version. Although the site is mainly for music, educators can take a great advantage of the "text comment" feature. Quite a unique audio tool.

Vocaroo A very easy and simple tool to record, share and embed your audio messages. No registration is needed.


An excellent tool for group conversations. Voicethread allows you to upload pictures and create voice threaded discussions or conversations. Users can post voice or text comments to threads. 


A good tool for creating group discussions and practice listening and speaking. It has been used for TOEFL practice. It cannot be embedded, but it can be shared in many blogging hosts and social networking websites. 
Podomatic An option for podcasting that allows you to record your own voice from your mic or upload files from your computer. Podomatic podcast can be shared in many social networking websites, blogs, and wikis. It also gives you an embed code to post on your website.  

A tool that allows you to make a free mp3 audio player & embed audio on any website. You can use text to speech, a microphone, or upload mp3 files to play on the Web. "An easy and powerful way to start podcasting. Easy to publish your podcast in 3 steps. No tech to learn." "A Podcast Social Subscribing site: Collect all your favorite podcasts in one place. Discover what other people are subscribing to. Play anywhere anytime, even when you are on the go."

Video tools  


An easy to use video tool that allows you to record video messages and get replies. You can also embed your messages into your website. Another "cool" feature is "Eyejot This!" which "allows you to send Eyejot video messages pertaining to web sites you visit. Your Eyejot message will automatically contain a link to the page you're on, along with the page title".

Mailvu "Unleash the Power of Video with the Simplicity of Email. Upload. Record. Videomail. Download."


Another video messaging tool that allows you to send video messages. Once a video message is created, you can get replies and have a threaded video discussion or conversation. Winkball messages can also be embedded into your website.















Readings :

  • Almeida d'Eça, T. (2004). Online Communication Tools that Promote Language LearningPolifonia.  "The paper is in English though the abstract is in Portuguese." (This article is based on my year-and-a-half experience with the Webheads in Action, an online community of practice... After referring the main features of each tool (Tapped In, Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Groups), as well as some advantages, disadvantages and practical applications to the teaching-learning process and to online professional development, the article ends with advice and conclusions based on my practical experience with the Webheads.)


  • Lai, Chun and Zhao, Yong (2006). Noticing and Text Based ChatLanguage Learning & Technology, Vol.10, No.3, September 2006, pp. 102-120. (This study examines the capacity of text-based online chat to promote learners’ noticing of their problematic language productions and of the interactional feedback from their interlocutors.)


  • Gonzalez, D. & Esteves, L. (2006). Enhancing Collaboration Through Chat in ESP: A Conversation AnalysisIATEFL Poland Computer SIG Journal, May 2006. (Chat rooms are ideal spaces for interaction, collaboration and negotiation of meaning, crucial aspects in language learning. However, they have not been fully exploited in language teaching. This study shows the results of a conversation analysis of 30 transcriptions of chat sessions where architecture students were carrying out collaborative group work. The researchers wanted to discover the discourse patterns and conversational strategies used by the students in this online context to study their possible repercussions in English learning. The results seem to indicate that the students were building the kind of discourse that is thought to lead to language learning.)


  • Peachey, N. (2012). Tech Tools for Teachers: Podcasting. (A comprehensive overview article on podcasting and how it can be used to help students develop their listening and speaking skills both inside and outside the classroom.)


  • Vilà, C. A. (2010). Skype in the EFL ClassHumanising Language Teaching, Year 12, Issue 4, August 2010. (Skype has become a very popular tool for making calls on the web. In this article, Cristina Arnau Vilà briefly explains what Skype is, how it works, and gives some tips on ways to use it in the classroom.)







I have....

  • downloaded and installed Skype and created a contact list
  • attended mini Skype conferences with moderators and/or other participants, exploring its features.
  • explored audio and video tools for sending messages
  • attended the live session/listened to the recording
  • attended a live session/listened to the recordings
  • commented on the Live Session using the Edmodo Group
  • commented on the readings using the Edmodo Group
  • explored Twitter and took part in a tweetmeet




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