Monthly Archives: February 2012

Another reason to love Twitter

Being here and there at the same time. Today is Saturday. I’ve just been out to the buy some vegetables, had my shoes mended and I’m now doing the laundry. Oh, also, I’m attending a couple of conferences. On Twitter.

As I type, I’m watching Professor Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth)’s keynote live from the Computer in Education Society of Ireland conference (#cesi12). Various participants are tweeting from the conference, making it possible to get a feeling of what’s going on, see people’s slides, get soundbites, etc. Thanks @DeputyMitchell, @catherinecronin and others!

At the same time, I’m catching up with content from the ICT Links into Languages (#ililc2) conference organised by Links into Languages, with participants such as Joe Dale (@joedale) and Rachel Hawkes sharing content on the twitter backchannel.

Twitter is such an amazing tool for staying tuned into what’s happening – yet another reason to love Twitter.


Session resources: ‘Working with Video in the Language Classroom’ – 28th Feb 2012


On this page you will find all the resources you’ll need when attending the “Working with video in the Language Classroom” workshop on 28th February 2012, organised by FILTA and MMU.

Session objectives:

At the end of this session, you should be able to:

Convert a section of a DVD into a digital file

Edit film clips and share them online

Use Web 2.0 to create online discussions around film clips

Activity 1: Extracting video clips from a DVD

For this activity, we will be using Xilisoft DVD to WMV converter 6 (PC) or Handbrake (Mac). If the software is already installed on your machine, simply run it. Otherwise, install it using one of the links below:

Xilisoft DVD to WMV converter 6 (PC)

Handbrake (32 bits – Older Macs)

Handbrake (64 bits – Newer Macs)

VLC (Mac – required to run Handbrake)

Activity 2: Editing video clips

For this activity, we will be using Windows Live Movie Maker (PC) or iMovie (Mac). If the software is already installed on your machine, simply run it. Otherwise, install it using one of the links below:

Windows Live Movie Maker (PC – Windows 7 and Vista)

Windows Movie Maker (PC – Windows XP)

iMovie comes pre-installed on every new Mac and is not available for download.

Activity 3: Embedding video clips in in PowerPoint

For this activity, we will be using Microsoft PowerPoint. Please run the application on your computer.

Activity 4: Uploading and sharing video clips

For this activity, we will be using a free online service called DropBox. If you do not have an existing DropBox account, click here to create a free account.

Do not forget to make a note of your username and password so that you can access your account again at a later date.

Click this link to activate file sharing on your DropBox account.

Activity 5: Using film clips with Web 2.0

For this activity, we will be using MMU’s Languages Web PortalClick this link to create a new member account or to log on to your existing account.

Once a member, you may access the FILTA working space directly.

Downloadable video clips

PC format

De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (The Beat My Heart Skipped) (Jacques Audiard, 2008, France)

Parlez-moi de la pluie (Let’s talk about the rain) (Agnès Jaoui, 2007, France)

Mac format

Brassed Off (Mark Herman, 1996, UK)

Further reading and weblinks:

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Online Learning Task Force (The), 2011. Collaborate to compete: Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education. A report to HEFCE.

Warschauer, M., 2006. Laptops and Literacy: learning in the wireless classroom. New York, Teachers College Press.

Create your own Web 2.0 online space using Ning.

Xilisoft DVD to WMV help and full licence purchase ($30)

Handbrake help (Mac)

Windows Movie Maker help (XP)

Windows Movie Maker help (Windows 7 & Vista)

iMovie help (Mac)

Dropbox help

Upcoming presentation – HE staff engagement with digital tech


Just got news from the LLAS that my presentation proposal for the Edinburgh conference has been accepted. Couldn’t be happier! Now I’ve got to start collecting that data.

The conference is organised by the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) and is entitled ‘Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education conference 2012‘. It will take place in the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh on 5th and 6th July 2012.


A review of staff engagement with digital technologies on an undergraduate language programme

It is often unsurprising to notice a mismatch between theory and practice when it comes to implementation of digital technologies in education.

This presentation presents the results of a review of staff engagement with digital technologies on an undergraduate language programme in a British higher education institution. It is based on a series of interviews aiming at highlighting issues such as barriers to technology uptake, perceptions of usefulness, and discussing incentives and constraints with regards to policy and curriculum.

Looking at technologies such as virtual learning environments, interactive whiteboards and social media, this study concludes by suggesting elements contributing to the design of a Digital Literacy strategy for languages in higher education.