MYLO has been designed with creativity in mind. We want learners to make use of their productive skills as much as possible, by presenting language learning in imaginative and engaging contexts, which then have a meaningful outcome. We want learners to appreciate the value of learning languages by seeing how these skills are relevant to their future lives. MYLO Create, the central creative tool, is the vehicle for this experience.
Pictures, text and sound
Each challenge in MYLO results in a creative task, where learners are asked to solve a problem on behalf of a central character. MYLO Create allows learners to author and record their response to the challenge, but also personalise this output by manipulating the layout and adding pictures. They can change the background, or move and resize the content regions that they have set out.
Adding new content regions is easy, you just draw them out by dragging the mouse. Each content region can then contain a mix of pictures, text and sound.
Pictures are selected from a bank of images, but these can be supplemented with pictures found online or taken with cameras. Once selected, the position and scale of the picture in the content region can be changed as necessary. Some of the images have interactive sections, allowing learners to adjust the colours in order to further personalise their work.
Following this, learners can add passages of text, using standard formatting tools for changing the font, colour, size and position. A language-specific set of accented characters is also provided for easy integration, which is then replaced with a pin-yin entry tool for Chinese challenges.
Finally, the system allows learners to record audio directly into the tool, with the resulting information captured and stored for future playback.
This area contains a scripting tool that allows learners to plan what they are going to say before they record it. They can then break this down into smaller sections that can be recorded in turn, possibly via a role play with a friend.
Thinking of something to say
Starting a piece of creative work from scratch is never easy. MYLO helps learners by providing the key language in context, via a series of multimedia inputs, which learners can then use as inspiration for their own work. These pieces are easy to access from within the tool, with learners being able to read transcripts and translations of the content, and copy and paste material from here into the main work area.
In addition, the phrases, dictionary and culture notes for the challenge are always available, allowing learners to look up specific content, or find further inspiration for their work.
Finally, a sample answer is provided, which shows the expected level of work that could be produced for a challenge.
Sharing with others
MYLO is designed to be a social and collaborative experience, with learners sharing their work with others and gaining inspiration from their peers. Once a learner is happy with their work, they are able to share this with other learners in their class.
To share their work learners submit it to a group that has been set up by their teacher.
Shared work is presented on the challenge home page, so that other learners in the group can browse through the projects created by their classmates. From here, teachers have the ability to publish the best projects, which are then made available to the entire MYLO community.
When a learner has completed their project, it can be viewed in preview mode, allowing them to show their work to others and zoom into the individual sections of pages for easy presentation on an interactive whiteboard.
Building on these social aspects of the platform, we in the process of adding features that allow learners and teachers to give feedback on class projects that will further enhance the quality of the output created, and also deepen the learning experience for everyone that contributes.