Open and Participatory Webpublishing

Presenter (s): 

Barbara Dieu and Patricia Glogowski

Instructions to join the conference

To join our presentation on Sunday at 20:00 GMT, please enter the webheads chat room at the top right hand corner of this page. You should have Skype installed on your computer as you will be invited in the chat room to join a skypecast. (+99001110016740703). In order to be invited to join the slide presentation on Zoho Show,  you need to give us your email (if you are planning to attend, please send it to beeonline(at) beforehand). We will be controlling the slides remotely and projecting them online directly to your browser). If you want to follow on your own you can use the address below.


Feel free to contact us on skype if you have any questions:

beedieu (Barbara)
patricia9936 (Patricia)
eflbridges (Graham)


Interaction in the target language has been traditionally teacher controlled, limited to the physical or virtual classroom (LMS) and constrained by programs and time. Nowadays, blogs and other internet based social platforms and tools have opened the possibility for language learners to engage with different groups according to their interests, create their own media and take ownership of their learning.

In this presentation, the presenters will contrast closed environments to open participatory ones, give specific examples of how some of social tools currently available online can be used to promote a multi-literate approach to language learning, discuss the methodology and how teachers and learners can enter or create communities and social networks.


First, the presenters will define and discuss the concept of closed vs open participatory environments and will argue that working in the latter fosters language fluency, autonomy and engagement. The presenters will sustain that, by being exposed to wider audiences, learners are given the possibility to engage in authentic language production in virtual conversations with individuals/groups who have similar interests to their own. Open learning environments together with social networking allow for a more personalized follow up of students' progress and motivate language learners to become more independent, creative, and better engaged in life-long learning rather than just following a school assignment that needs to be completed for a mark.

In the second part, the presenters will show specific social tools and platforms (e.g., wordpress, rss, mash-ups, flickr, 43places/people/things, community walk, creative commons license) and explain how these are a convenient and highly accessible medium for EFL-ESL multimedia web publishing and networking. They not only allow learners to build their identity online creating their own content and network but also engage in multi-mode self-expression with peers and experts beyond classroom walls. This interaction should also lead all involved to reflect on burning issues such as internet etiquette and values, copyright, privacy and disclosure and bullying.

The presenters will give specific examples of how these tools have been used in their classrooms and made to integrate students' personal e-learning portfolios which can be kept and developed after they finish their formal studies. Presenters will also introduce and invite participants to join, an open learning environment which highlights good practice and serves as a meeting place for language educators and students from all over the world.

The last part of the presentation will be open for questions and a discussion of both the benefits and challenges the social tools may pose for teachers.


Barbara Dieu teaches EFL and coordinates the Foreign Language Dept at the Franco-Brazilian school in Sao Paulo. She has been involved in experiential learning, international collaboration and networking since 1997 and co-runs, a project which advocates open and participatory uses of Web applications in EFL/ESL teaching.

Patricia Glogowski is an ESL instructor and teacher trainer interested in meaningful uses of technology in language learning: in creating open learning environments with blogging and podcasting. She teaches at York University English Language Institute.

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