Thursday, April 16, 2009


Welcome to the Web Safari.

We are going to spend the next two hours exploring some online learning resources and blended learning activities. This is your online course about online learning. We will all do the chat together at Chatzy (see the post below).

Once you leave the chat, please read the learner comments about online learning (see post below) and leave your own comment. Or visit Jottit (see post below) and add to the wiki.

After that you can use this time as you wish.

You can use the entire time to explore the links, activities and lessons and reflect you thoughts, ideas and innovations in the comments section.

You can spend about 20 minutes checking out some sample lessons and then use the links and resources to create a lesson to post here on the blog for your class and any others who want to use it. If you choose to post a lesson, please let me know and I will sign you up as a contributor on the blog. I will need your email address.

Or you can spend the time making a video like the one above.

Please explore the topics that interest you most. These are all activities that I have used with literacy learners. I have set them up here in a way that you can use them with learners straight from this blog if you wish.

You can see the topics by looking for the Blog Topics box in the sidebar down the right side of the blog. You can see an index of Labels as well. I have labelled all the posts for this workshop April 16. If you click on April 16 in the Labels box, you can view the whole workshop at once.

I will be here to help out and answer questions. Please leave comments here on the blog when you explore a topic so that others can learn from your explorations.

The blog will remain here so that you can revisit it any time you wish. If you would like to keep the blog going as a way to keep in touch with each other about online learning let me know. Right now I am the administrator for this blog. I can sign people up as administrators or as contributors and you can use this space any way you like. If people who wish to keep this blog going would like a little Blogger support to get started, I can do that for a while.

If anyone would like to start a blog to use with learners and would like a little help getting started, let me know.

Now... join the chat and say hi to everybody.
*All the links are going to open in a new window so that this window will always be open. You can see which windows are open by looking at the toolbar on the bottom of your screen. You can click on them to bring them to the front.

Notice the listen now above each blog post. Odiogo is a free service that adds audio to a blog and creates a podcast for each post.

The video in this post was created at Xtranormal. You can make these easy peasey little videos by choosing one of the free scenes and adding your text. You can fancy it up with expressions and camera angles if you wish.


The first thing we are going to do is say hello to each other.

Click here* to enter our Chatzy chat room. Chatzy is a place to have free online chats. I have set this up as a virtual chat room that anyone can enter without a password ... be discreet. I will clear the room at the end of our session so and erase all of our messages.

You can use Chatzy to set up private rooms that you can use with students. Students or instructors can host discussions or "chat parties". In chat parties, people play word games or answer trivia questions on a theme. Some students really enjoy using chat rooms to connect with other literacy learners. Some students seem to feel less inhibited about writing to an audience of other learners and writing online.

Click here to set up your own chat room at Chatzy. Click here to learn more about how.
Or you can try TinyChat, another free chat room site.

AlphaPlus has chatrooms and forums for students who are enrolled in Alpharoute. Any LBS student can be enrolled. Contact Nancy Friday to find out more: nfriday [at] alphaplus [dot] ca. AlphaPlus also offers Moodle training for practitioners. Moodle is a system for online learning where you can post resources and activities, learners can submit assignments and participate in forum discussions, and instructors and learners can track progress and record success. Many of the activities posted in the April 16 workshop were first developed as part of AlphaRoute online courses using Moodle. If you are interested in learning more about Moodle, contact Nancy.

Learners talk about online learning

Here is what some adult literacy learners said about online learning in course evaluations at AlphaRoute.

You can see more online learning experiences and outcomes at the AlphaRoute Learners Blog.

What have learners told you about online learning?
Click on the comments link below and let us know.


Here is a video about wikis.

(**If you cannot see this video because You Tube is blocked, see below).

Jottit is a place where you can set up an easy peasey website that works a little like a wiki. You can post text and anyone can edit that text or add to it.

1. Go to the Literacies Jottings Jottit page. Click on defining literacies. Click on the history link below the definition (on the right) to see how this definition was edited.

2. Click on
  • online learning :(
  • online learning :)
and add your thoughts. Click on edit to write. Click on publish to save your jottings.

3. Would you use Jottit with adult literacy learners? How? Click on the comments link below and let us know what you think.

*You can see more Commoncraft Shows here:

** If You Tube is blocked: You can use Zamzar, a free online video conversion service. I entered the URL for the You Tube video, chose avi as the type of file, waited about 20 minutes, checked my email, went to the web address and then uploaded the new video onto this blog. You can also download the videos directly onto a computer (MPEGs are probably best -- check with the TDSB tech people) and watch them without using the internet at all.