Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bookr - Blog the Book!

Is your students (or if you are a student) love to photograph? Then this is a great opportunity for you to integrate that particular interest into the magical of ICT to learn English!

Bookr is a tool to create and share your photo book using Flickr image. You can choose your favourite themes or topics and start to search for your favourite photos to be published in your photo book. All the images come from Flickr therefore there are a lot of images to choose from. When the photo book is ready, you can publish it for other people to view.

This website can be used by teachers to design tasks that can be more fun and less threatening for the learners to learn English. English language learning can be integrated into this task by asking the learners to write a description for each and every photo they have included in the album. This is the opportunity for the learners to express their thoughts and practise their writing in the target language by describing the photos.

Another task that teachers can do with Bookr in the classroom is the speaking activity. When the learners have created and published their own photo books, teacher can ask them to present their photo books to the class. Teachers should provide learners with the idea of what they have to say in their presentation such as why they choose the topic, what photos they have chosen and are the photos related to their life. By using the guidelines, learners can brush up their speaking skills as well as enjoy learning the language through a slightly different approach.

This website is absolutely free and all the images come from Flickr hence there will be no copyright issues as all the photos will be directly link to the original post. It is also very easy to handle this tool. Learners only have to choose a topic, search photos by typing in the words related to the content, select their favourite photos, write a few brief descriptions, click the publish button and voila it’s done!

However, in my opinion this website is more suitable for the speaking activity as there is a limited space for them to write the description for each photo. They can choose to write longer but the description will cover up the whole page and you can no longer see the photo! Therefore I recommend teachers to use this tool for speaking activity which the photo book can be a good stimulus for them to speak. Other than that, the photos may take time to load so it may take a longer time for learners to create one photo book and later present it to class. Teacher might not be able to carry both activities in one period.

In my personal point of view, Bookr is a fun website to vary the activities used in the classroom but it is suitable for a more leisure activity rather than teaching language for academic purposes.

Below is a print screen of several comments on the used of Bookr taken from Wallwisher.

Footnote: Wallwisher is a website which can be used for people to post and share comments or notes with other people. The wall or room is usually created by a person and others can join the wall to post and view all the comments. It is an alternative way of expressing thoughts when a group of people are having online class or so called the connected classroom.


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