It appears to me that people make different choices when it comes to how they spend their time waiting for things. In the waiting area at a doctor’s office, you might see people reading magazines, chatting in person, staring at the ceiling or their toes, watching the door that the nurses come out to call names — or on their phones, playing Angry Birds, talking, using Facebook or Twitter, text messaging, etc. A few days ago, I saw a photo online showing a popular food stand at a university campus. Not knowing anything about the food, my attention was drawn to the little lights line with the people line—every single student was looking at their cell phone while they were waiting. If phones, especially smartphones have become such an important part of students’ lives, perhaps phones could help them academically also?
People always ask me how long I have been studying English. That’s a good question. Since my father is a professor of English in China, I was exposed to the English language when I was a baby. My parents have pictures of me “reading” the English dictionary not long after I learned how to sit. When I was six or seven years old, my father started teaching me English seriously, but that didn’t last long; we gave up the “private lessons” because of the frustrations we both developed throughout the limited lessons we had. Our lessons came to an end with my tears and doubts of my ability to learn a different language. I associated language learning with bitterness, not knowing I would soon taste something very different.
I want to start my first contribution of this blog by saying thank you for visiting this site. You will find some information about this blog to the left, under about this blog; under contact ITS staff you can find my contact information. Please feel free to get in touch with me to share your comments, suggestions, or ideas. I hope this blog will become a communication platform for us, thus, to help us create a good learning community—-not only at Reed College, but also with colleagues outside Reed campus.
Today, I want to introduce a web tool called Todaysmeet. This is a free application that is available on the internet. What it does, is that it creates a virtual classroom/chatting room/space for you and your students during/before/after class. In this post, I will walk you through the steps on setting up your own Todaysmeet, and I will brainstorm some possible ways of using it in your class.