How I Use It
I used this website in a couple of different ways. One way that I used it was by setting up a private discussion and having students submit practice pronunciations. After students submitted them, their classmates would reply and offer feedback to each other. When students did this, they were practicing sentence stress, so they were saying sentences and in the feedback other students would state which word was stressed and what the added or implied meaning with the sentence stress is. This worked well, and students were able to practice a lot and receive lots of feedback. I could even join the discussion. Another way that I used it was to try and create a classroom oral vocabulary notebook, where students could post new words and phrases that they had learned. Although students seemed to like the idea of it, and initially enjoyed sharing on it, after awhile it seemed to be forgotten unless I required more posting on it. Overall, I would say the website performed well for the uses I had for it, but I had few students so that may have made it easier. The website was easy to use, but the layout/design could be distracting. Also, there doesn't seem to be any censorship so students may see or hear foul language in public discussions. Finally, with more students access to necessary equipment could be more difficult, but since this is asynchronous sharing is possible.
First of all, although it was easy to set up an account, if Java is not installed on your computer initial set up can actually take a long time to get it installed and all the settings correct to record. Usually, I work on mac, and Java is not installed on it. This is recommended due to Java being a security risk. This website is not the risk, but this website needs Java to work, and Java is the security risk. If Java was not required, I would recommend this website. I think it does have a lot of potential, especially for English language learners. Teachers can set up a private discussions to collect homework, student collaboration areas for class projects, peer-assessment areas for class work, have debates and more. However, because of the security risk of Java, I'd go with an alternative.