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Language Learning Links of Lore: A Links Management System around Y2K

Based on GossamerThreads’ Links Management systems (one of the best open source PERL-CGI resource web database systems of its era), this language learning links system that I first implemented in Canada in the late 90s and took with me to the US.

Benefits: The system went beyond the usual “visit a website” foreign language elearning exercise of this pre-LMS day by allowing students to publish online, thus introducing a Web 2.0 collaboration element that shared meaningful exercises in the German learning  community. We had contributions from Kingston, Toronto, Detroit and Des Moines.

cc-blackboard-yippee-links-drake_4

The system was both reasonably easy to use for teachers (How_to_add_a_links_assignment_in_90secs) and productive for students who could improve their language skills by interacting with, reviewing and presenting authentic target language websites, while having quick access to other computerized language learning resources, like fledgling online dictionaries (also stored in and searchable from the same interface).

Example output:

Highlights included reviews of websites dedicated to online shopping, travel booking, mapping, live webcams, and much more…
See here is an example of an Yippee! assignment conducted during one of the face-to-face classes in the language center:

Limitations: All links needed to fit into a pre-tagging strictly hierarchical categorization tree. A GUI, but no batches – I preferred to write myself PERL scripts to batch update the underlying database files.

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