sábado, 10 de marzo de 2012

Reflections on week 3

As teachers, we should be able to interact with the search engines in a useful way in order to save time and be more efficient when the research is carried out.  In my opinion, this module has helped to develop new ways to do this task and take advantage of the support we can get from the search tools while writing words in the query to start a web search. We have to know the “how” search engines work so as to specify “what” we are looking for; then, we need to start using simple language, as well. In addition to that, the use of descriptive words related directly to the search push us to go straightforward to the topic we need to look at.
Before reading the information provided, I was not aware of such tools. As an example, I used to write some words that did not fulfill my real demand of knowledge in the field. There, I wasted time when writing again the query until I found the information needed after so many times trying to grasp it.  On the other hand, when at last I made up my mind to write fewer and more specific words, I didn’t take into account the words more likely to appear on the web page as well as the use of brackets, so maybe a relevant webpage could be missed.
English teachers are familiar with certain editors of English books or ESL material (Oxford, Longman, Cambridge, Heinemann, etc.).  This is an advantage. As a result of it, we can find documents within a specific domain. In my case, it can be very useful to use the colon -into the brackets- when having  the query;  for example:[ elt technology language: oxford ]. It is helpful to do it when looking for exercises to students in English for Specific Purposes in ELT, either in the business or the technological area. To sum up, learning the searching techniques may help us to focus on the search in order to save time and mental/physical effort.
Similarly, it is a need to know the copyright laws that rule the way teachers can use the material available on the web. This is due to the fact that we could be sued for breaking the law without being aware of it. Similarly, we can respect other's work and ideas by not making plagiarism but using them to the teaching/researching process. In fact, it makes sense that we shouldn't violate copyright regulations so that everyone's works can be recognized by society.
      Many people and web editors get their living through the income from their creative work in arts, science and technology.  Then, it is obviously a necessity to contact the webmaster in order to use their material: it includes any change to the layout, letter font or editing of the text. For me, changing these external aspects does not alter their content in the end, but these are legal matters to be considered. We can’t play music in the classroom.  However, music is a motivating resource to learn pronunciation and the culture of an English speaking country. Instead, we can also use videos in its original format for educational purposes so that it can be helpful for learning the language as well.  And videos are powerful resources which can activate the listening and writing skills. It is advisable to contact the editor, author or webmaster to make use of material of their own.
    Then, the knowledge of copyright rules makes us to be more conscious about a responsible use of the material we can find on the Internet, or about the ideas constructed by our students when using different platforms and information available on the URLs. This can also help our students to be aware of using somebody else’s ideas just to create something new and different on the way to learning the English language.
In the end, there shouldn't be any problem about using the songs (lyrics), and especially golden oldies or classics, so that students can learn and enjoy listening to music as well as practising pronunciation. The use of music is a tool of teaching English through literature as lively language for language learners and teachers. Then, the question to be raised is: 'are we using upon the potential market' (making money through selling CDs or videos to students)? the answer is, evidently, no; then, there is no problem, indeed. Anyway, the English classic songs are just that, classics that already belong to the world. What we are doing is making use of the song for educational purposes and that our intention is not to copy such material and get profits for them.

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