Jenny Rose Tobin: Social Networks in Education
September 15, 2009
Jenny Rose Tobin (TESOL '09) spent the summer working with beginning-level ESL high school students at an international boarding school, where she was a writing teacher and activities leader. Having used a social networking tool (Ning) in a CALL course at MIIS, Jenny Rose became interested in exploring this platform for sharing her summer students' writing, as well as a way to host their photos online.
In past years, students had created paper-based scrapbooks of photos, but since they would be traveling back and forth to Asia, this was a less than ideal format. They needed a solution that met the expectations of the 21st century learner.
Jenny Rose reports that "Two students had to leave the program early, and the site served as a very easy way for these students to keep sharing their writing, as well as keeping up with their classmates' activities, even after they were back in Taiwan. All the students took great joy in posting their photos and learning the language of the web page, such as how to comment on a blog post. It was truly learning by doing."
The school administration was so excited by the success of Jenny Rose's project that they will broaden the use of the site this coming school year to include parents and other community members.