This post is part of "The First ELL, ESL & EFL Carnival"
It is frequently said that the Web is full of teaching and learning resources.
Therefore, a first distinction can be made between materials, which provide contents, and tools, which let us process those contents, create our own materials or interact and collaborate with other people in learning environments. The type of web resources to be used will depend on the kind of activity to be developed.
As we know, when we search for contents in the Net, not only can we find text documents, also images, videos, audio files, presentations, conceptual maps or documents with a diverse kind of interactivity and graphic or multimedia combinations. Whatever their form of presentation, in my view, there are three general types of web materials for educative use:
- Teaching materials. They are usually created with a curricular didactic aim and may include different kinds of documents and activities: practice exercises (grammar, vocabulary, skills), tutorials, simulations, games, etc.
- Authentic materials. Their communicative or social function is authentic; they haven't been modified or adapted for teaching purposes. They can be used as a resource in discovery based learning activities and web tasks for language learning.
- Reference materials. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, manuals, concordancers online.
Web tools used as a teaching and learning resource can be classified according to its function:
- Office online tools
- Social Bookmarking
- Content syndication
- Content and learning management systems
- Social networking
- Multimedia edition
- Didactic materials authoring
This could be an initial sketch to be completed and developed. Internet as a language learning resource is not only an immense network of contents with multimedia facilities, but also a communication technology that promotes interaction with other people and the media, providing the conditions for a more socio-constructive, cooperative and student-centered kind of learning, which takes into account the learner needs and fosters her or his autonomy.