Teachers, why not Dvolver?
Have you ever thought about being a director? Look at this fabulous movie, can't wait to have a try, right?
1) What is the technology/ What does it do?
Dvolver is a movie-making tool. The procedure is very simple. Just follow the instruction of the website. Firstly, select backgrounds and sky followed by choosing characters. Then you choose a plot among the provided four kinds. Throw out dialogues. Of course, add your favorite music and don't forget to name your title and leave your NAME. OK, that is all! You are a director now. Notice! you can send links of your movies via email OR copy the code and embed them to your personal virtual space like blogs here ^^
2) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
This tool is a fantastic facilitator of language learning. Firstly, it is a good resource for writing, which requires higher language mastery, compared with reading. In detail, learners are trained to use the language coherently, precisely and appropriately when making up dialgues. Swain (1985) explains this in his Output Hypothesis, stating that output such as writing pushes learners step from semantic processing to syntactic processing, compared with input such as reading. Secondly, this tool provides meaningful tasks which is an essential of learning, supported by H. Jonassen and Rohrer-Murphy (1999). 'Being meanful' here means that the acitivity should have goals, rules and larger community. Pointed this tool, it got a goal of making a movie. The rule is its procodures including adding background and music. The larger community is the potential audience. They can be teachers and peers. They can also be the online larger audience if movies are emebeded in for example blogs.
3) How might you use it to foster language learning in class/outside class?
Teachers could use it as a warm-up and post-activity. Based on the topic of current chapter, invite students to make up their own dialogues as a group activity at the beginning of a class. By this means, teachers could have an overall understanding of Ss prior knowledge both in the content and in the language such as vocabulary. Based on the existed knowledge, teachers could scaffold them by add "1" to their 'i' (refer to 'i+1' in socio-cultural theory by Vygostky). At the end of a class, students could be asked to make another movie, but this time use language point that teachers present in the class for example past tense. The whole class can vote the best movie then!
4) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology?
A limitation of this tool is that the provided scenes are too limited, especially the plot (only 4!). Ss might soon get bored.
H. Jonassen, D. , L. Rohrer-Murphy. 1999. 'Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments'. Educational Technology Research and Development 47/1: 61-79.
Swain, M. 1985. 'Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensive input and comprehensible output in its development' in Susan M. Gass, and C. Madden (eds.). Input in second language acquisition . Cambridge, MA: Newbury House Publishers.