Since the second generation of the web, known as web 2.0, relies on users’ interaction and collaboration, more teachers around the world view these tools as an excellent means to engage learners and enhance learning. In SJS, we strive to equip our students with the values and skills that will assist them in making efficient use of the Internet to learn, develop, and become readier to meet the challenges of the 21st century. With this objective in mind, SJS CALL Newbie, was launched in the academic year 2009-2010 by Ms. Rita Abdelnour, Middle School English teacher and coordinator. SJS CALL Newbie is a safe and private social networking site created in the fashion of an online community where students get the chance to meet around topics related to material covered in class. In 2009-2010, it hosted one grade 9 class whose work is a pioneering sample to following classes. The name of the site, “SJS CALL Newbie”, refers to computer-assisted language learning and to all of us who are still beginners or “newbies” experimenting with the educational aspects of web 2.0 tools. Interacting on this site, students learn values of efficient communication and collaboration as well as digital etiquette to hold discussion forums, post their writings, comment on their friends’ work, and get extra practice. Along with these tasks, the site eventually aims at promoting the use of the Internet as a learning tool that offers students possibilities to use the English language beyond the classroom and to activate their critical thinking. Another grade 9 class will be active on this site this year in the hope that the students’ experience will be rewarding and valuable.
October 21, 2010
Dear Parents of 9A,
Because we always strive at Saint Joseph School to channel our students’ potential in innovative and interactive contexts, the Middle School Division launched last year a site to engage grade 9 students in an online collaborative learning experience. After a successful trial period, the school will go for a yearly subscription making the network even safer for our grade 9A students.
SJS CALL Newbie (CALL = computer-assisted language learning; newbie = beginner) is a social networking site with controllable privacy settings. The middle school English teacher/coordinator, Miss Rita Abdelnour will moderate and facilitate the use of this website. You can access the site at www.callnewbie.ning.com
The site allows a variety of tasks:
hold discussion forums
express opinions clearly
comment on their friends’ work
get extra chances to practice the skills taught
We care immensely for your support as parents in this new venture.
For further questions or concerns, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Abdelnour during her office hours on Mondays from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm or email your questions simultaneously to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mona Nasr Doueiry