Learning Language, Content, and Collaboration through Group Projects

By Paula Korsko, Kate Lyons and Carlos Guevara.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on the use of various online technologies to facilitate group-projects at a community college serving a multilingual population in a large metropolitan area. The paper explains why and how wikis, podcasts, and audio-editing software were selected and introduced to and by second language learners to carry out a multi-task project on the historical figure, Thomas Jefferson, an American founding father. It describes features of wikis that not only foster the acquisition of academic language and content, but also help students develop teamwork skills needed for college and workplace success. In short, this paper presents an on-going curricular project to integrate online technologies into ESL content-based instruction (CBI) using student-directed, small-group project work.

Keywords: ESL, Social Learning, Collaborative Learning, Cooperative Learning, Ubiquitous Learning, Content-based Instruction (CBI), Language Acquisition, Thomas Jefferson, Teamwork, Accountability, Wikis, Podcasts, Web 2.0, Scaffolding, Best Practices, CALL

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.69-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.549MB).

Paula Korsko

Hostos Community College/ CUNY, New York, NY, USA

Paula Korsko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Cognition at Hostos Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), where she teaches academic English to adult second language learners. She holds a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Saint Michael's College, Colchester, Vermont. Not only has Paula taught ESL/EFL in the United States and Portugal, she has also taught graduate courses in the United States and been involved in teacher training initiatives in Portugal.

Kate Lyons

Assistant Professor/ Reference & Information Technology Librarian, Library, Hostos Community College/ CUNY, New York, NY, USA

Kate Lyons, Assistant Professor, is the Reference and Information Technology Librarian at Hostos Community College, City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a Master of Science in Management from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in the intersection of libraries and technology. She is especially focused on the impact of social networking and Web 2.0 applications on library resources and services.

Carlos Guevara

Coordinator, Instructional Technology Department, Instructional Technology Department, Hostos Community College/ CUNY, New York, NY, USA

Carlos currently works at Hostos Community College as Coordinator of the Instructional Technology Department, where his role is to train and encourage faculty to effectively incorporate technology in education. He has been actively involved in the implementation of ePortfolios at Hostos, and is always looking into new ways to enhance the learning / teaching methodologies using technology as an effective resource. As coordinator of the faculty development program, he provides training on interactive and rich media tools like blogs, wikis, ePortfolios, podcasting, Blackboard, and mobile technology. His research interests are ePortfolios, social networks, online interactive learning, and Web 2.0 for education. He has also been presenter and coordinator of educational seminars in conferences around the country in a variety of topics like Technology Awareness, Security Awareness, Technology in Education, and others. Carlos holds a B. S. and M. S. in Computer Science, and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Instructional Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University.