I just returned from IALLT 2009. There were several good presentations, but the highlight for me was poster session on games and simulations by Edie Furniss at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She has started a wiki on the use of games and simulations in the foreign language classroom.
Most of it was already familiar to me, but the section on Global Simulations was almost entirely new. You can read about it yourself, but the very brief summary is that students blog, post pictures to Flickr, etc as if they were spending the semester abroad. The professor prompts them each day with a scenario, “Today you met your roommate for the first time.”, and students describe their imaginary encounter. Since the students will also describe the actions of other students in the class, they have to read each others stories to be consistent. The students end up creating a sort of mini-drama/(non)reality tv show by the end of the semester. With the new version of the Mixxer, we’ll be able to invite native speakers into this extended role play as well.
It sounds like fun, and there are countless ways to add Web 2.0 utilities as well. If you’re interested, let me know.