Paper.li is an online service for creating your own online paper. You filter the content you are most interested in and is then automatically produced for you to enjoy it yourself, or share it with others. It is mainly used for curating content, but after I have had my own for over a year One Click Closer Daily Paper.li I can think of various posibilities for the English language classroom, too.
CREATING A CLASSROOM JOURNAL
At the beginning of the course one of the initial activities could be to create the classoom’s Paper.li, which would become their own personal, tailor-made newspaper. Deciding the contents, design and other features would be a task to be carried out.
These are the steps I would follow to get that done.
- Making students aware of what it is by showing them a video and an example.
- Organise the classroom so that they can choose (a) which topics would they would like to have featured on their newspaper, (b) the title (c) the sources -which could be twitter accounts or media they are familiar with.
- Have it embedded or linked to our classroom blog, so it is easily accesible to all the students . Similarly, if students had a twitter account, the media they tweet could be shared, as well.
The idea is to involve the learners in discussion and negotiation with the aim of setting up a newspaper that will be used during the course in many different moments. There are quite a few things that can be done, mainly involving them in reading and speaking through game and problem-solving activities.
Here is a selection of some ideas I have had.
- Paraphrasing and summarising. Ask students to pick an article and tell their partners about what they read.
- Guessing games. Ask students to describe a piece of news without saying the title so the partner has to guess witch item it was.
- Topic based activities. Whenever we are dealing with a new topic we can quickly log into our paper.li to find out if there have been any news related to it.
- Information quest. Ask students to skim through a given content area -environment, tech, etc- and find a particular article or piece of information which talks about something the teacher proposes.
- Invite students to post their comments on the debate section of paper-li.
The limit is our imagination. But I think it is a straight-forward tool, which does not require a huge amount of time to set up and that may give place to some interesting outcomes.
My idea is to create a blogging community with my class, so paper.li would be a great platform to share their posts within our group and with the rest of the blogosphere. If a student wanted to, they could even create their own, with the content they are interested in, which is something I really like about it, as learners have the chance to customize their English learning experience.