Digital Tools Blogs
We will not have class this week due to the teacher’s strike in the university. When the teachers are on strike I must support them. However, not having class provides you with an excellent opportunity to do the next project contiguous with Units 12, 13, and 14, and also to do some extra studying, since we are getting close to the Module 1 exam, which will take place after Unit 18 (in two classes!).
As a response to Units 12, 13, and 14, you will be creating a project which will be an online version of your Personal Learning Philosophy. When you finish your project, post the link to it on your blog. When you post something on your blog, remember to write a short description about what you are linking to.
You can present your Personal Learning Philosophy as
- a Voki,
- a Fotobabble,
- a Prezi (online active PPT presentation),
- a Voicethread,
- a Voxopop,
- an AboutMe,
- a talking PPT that you find at Knovio.com,
- or any other Web 2.0 tool that you find to share the information in a visual format on your blog.
Include how you best learn, what you most like to do, and include information such as:
Your personal learning style and your multiple intelligences. and how knowing these can affect and improve your teaching. Address the following questions in your presentation in a reflection:
- How can knowing your learning styles and intelligences help you as a teacher?
- How important is it to know the learning styles and needs of your learners?
You may work together to support each other as you work on your projects. Don’t forget to work on the quizzes that Yesy has left you on her blog.
Thanks to my friend +Sara Rodríguez Arias, I share with you a series of webinars I found in the Prezi website about how to get started and create your own Prezis.
Beginner Course: From First Steps to First Show
This two-hour session split over two days is for everyone that wants to learn how to create and show a Prezi.
- May 14, 10:30 -11:30 AM PST
- May 15, 10:30 -11:30 AM PST
- You can use the World Clock Converter to know the time of the webinar in your country.
You can register now! Here is one of their recorded webinars:
I'm thinking about using Prezi with my students in the next semester. This means I have to know all about it and its potential in my classes. I hope these two sessions would be of a great help.
See you there!
1. DrawVille - this is a very simple tool and doesn't require registration. All you need to do is to type in your name and click on Start Drawing. Once you are in, you can send the link to people you want to join the lesson and wait for their names to appear in the 'users' list. There is also a chat room which I used to answer my student's questions. (For this lesson I invited 1 student because he was the only one who had questions about adjectives and adverbs.)
At the end of the session the whiteboard looked like this:
While I was typing in the explanation, my student used a black marker to draw my attention to points that he wanted clarification for or examples of. We also used the chat room to discuss what was being explained. Here's a screenshot of some parts of the chat.
My student really enjoyed the lesson and the whiteboard and to experiment with it he wrote 'Thank you' in a circle, which you can see at the bottom of the whiteboard. To save the lesson we both clicked on "Export drawing surface", which allows saving the surface in JPEG. Now if need be, I can upload or share the lesson with other students in the future.
2. The next tool is Scriblink which again doesn't require registration. You only need to run Java on your computer and the whiteboard loads immediately. This tool has a chat room too. It also has maths formulas so it might be of interest to maths teachers too. There are options for grids and image upload, which is quite useful. I think I can simply make a screenshot of a piece of writing sent by a student, upload it to the whiteboard as image, invite a student to the session and go over mistakes in the writing task. Because this tool has 5 whiteboards in 1, I can also use the other ones to explain grammar in which that particular student made the most mistakes.
I used this tool to explain Present Continuous.
The save option here only sends a link to your mailbox from which you can later access the lesson. So I just took a screenshot of the lesson, to be able to upload or share it.
3. The third one is CoSketch a multi-user online whiteboard. It doesn't require registration and all you need to do is click 'Create new sketch' and you are ready to start. There is a chat room, and it can be hidden if need be. This site is also connected to Google Maps which makes it possible to teach Geography as well. It is easy to write/type or draw on the map. Thus it can also be used for giving directions from one place to another in one city. For a sample map, I created this one:
Exporting is disabled for maps, but a screenshot solves this problem.
However, what I used this tool for was just an English language lesson. But here I asked my students to match normal and strong adjectives by drawing lines.
The board then can be saved as an embeddable image. However, I just made a screenshot of the board again to save it as a JPEG file. This one is also a very nice and useful tool.
4. One of the extras is Twiddla. The reason why I put it into extras is that it doesn't have many options for the free account. However, on the website it says that after registering, if you send an email to them from an .edu account (or similar), they will provide you with the Pro account for free, which is really nice. The tool is the only one among the ones I have had a look at that has a webconferencing (voice communication) option. It also has mathematical formulas and 2 different grid options. The board can be saved as an image and then re-used. Twiddla is really worth looking at.
5. The last one is Scribblar but I didn't test it, because it seems that the free version doesn't allow a lot of freedom. However, you might find it useful.
Like I said in a previous post, most of the sessions I attended were related to the Learning Technologies SIG.
These are some sessions I attended and truly recommend watching:
NICKY HOCKLY - Moving with the times: mobile literacy & ELT LUKE MEDDINGS and BURCY AKYOL - Unplugged and Connected: where ideas meet (DOGME + TECH)
NIK PEACHEY - Evaluating web-based tools for language instruction
RUSSELL STANNARD - Using technology to provide content-rich feedback
GRAHAM STANLEY - Creative pedagogy, language learning and technology
It's a pity I couldn't find the recordings of other SUPERB sessions I would love to share as well, such as : Carla Arena's, Joe Dale's , Gavin Dudeney's , Paul Driver's and some I didn't get to watch such as Shelly Terrell's, Heike Philip's and the list goes on.
Hope you enjoy my selection.
Azhar presenting students' project in the Global Forumheld in Washington, DC 2011
To continue my successful endeavors in the field of teaching, I have to find more lifelong learning opportunities to update and improve my skills. Searching on the internet, I found Coursera that offers online courses for free. I chose "Gamification" to start with. It is a new concept that I need to know more about. The videos were so exciting and the assignments required much time to do and evaluate. However, I didn't get engaged in the forum and interact with my colleagues. I just watched the videos, completed the assignments, evaluated my peers' work and took the final exam. At the end, I received my statement of achievement with 94%.
To be frank, I wasn't happy with it. I don't know why? Maybe because I didn't fully participate and interact with other people. Maybe it was not a completely educational course that cares about teaching in classrooms. Two months later, I found the answer of these questions when I took Designing New Learning Environment (DNLE) 10-week online course by Stanford University. It was recommended by my Facebook friends. Its title attracted my attention as I always search for some learning opportunities that help improve my skills in the field of teaching. First, my reason behind participating was just for fun and meeting new people. Once I got involved learning and helping other colleagues, I felt myself not just a learner, but a partner in the learning process. I felt this more when reading one of our instructor's (Prof. Paul Kim) posts in the forums starting with "Dear co-investigators and co-designers". DNLE was a JOINT experience where the instructor and the students worked together to learn with and from each other.
The Most Valuable Part in DNLE:
- Reading my colleagues' work and leave constructive feedback to them. This helped me a lot to see things from different perspectives.Their discussions enriched my knowledge and encouraged me to research more to let conversations go.
- Meeting new people from all over the world with different background and areas of specialization. Just imagine to work with over 20,000 people in one place! You will gain more information, know new cultures, hear various experiences and make new connections for further communication.
- Watching Prof. Paul Kim's videos and following his contributions. He was a real example of passion and love for teaching and making a difference in other people's lives. His involvement in the forums and giving pieces of advice and encouragement throughout the course was a great touch he added. Modeling is not by words, but by deeds.
- Working with a group of teachers (Ana, Claudia, Debora, Miriam, and Silvia) from 6 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Peru, Singapore, and Uruguay) was another beautiful thing happened to me. There was a very harmonizing spirit spread in the team. Although we had some challenges of time across our countries, we managed to create a great project that can be a starting point for other teachers who want to make a difference in their communities.
- Finding myself unable to give a hand to whom they needed was one of the most difficult moments I spent. Sometimes, I didn't have enough knowledge or ability to resolve problems. This feeling of inability encouraged me to spend more time researching and asking to find solutions or suitable responses.
- To be a good model was also a difficult task to do in such a MOOC with over 20,000 participants. Really, I spent a lot of time and exerted great efforts to do something of high quality.
- Leading my team took a lot of my time and energy. To bring out the best of all those innovative teachers wasn't an easy job. We used a lot of channels and tools to create such a great masterpiece. Of course, this needed more time to organize and collect. What helped me a lot was that they had a sense of commitment and devotion to the work. Really, I was lucky to have such amazing group members whom I enjoyed working with.
- It can be shorter. 10-week course is a little bit long learning experience. Teachers are always busy doing extra work most of the time. I suggest dividing the DNLE into TWO levels. The first level is to introduce the participants to how they design new learning environments using their innovation and to design a prototype of their project. The second level can be a Follow-Up short course to implement their projects on reality and discuss the problems and challenges they face.
- Introduction to some new theories and approaches to teaching would be great for those who are interested in mixing pedagogy with technology. I suggest preparing some webinars in which Prof Paul Kim can talk and interact with participants lively.
- Recording some Google+ Hangouts to train participants how to evaluate their peers' work. Their feedback was not constructive enough to reinforce and support learning. Evaluating is one of the higher-order skills that need to be taught and practiced.
- Venture Lab would be great if its technical team took into consideration all what we suggested during DNLE.
- Creating more clear rubrics is another strongly recommended suggestion. I spent some hard time to know what was exactly required of me in some assignments.
- In the next run, we need a section for former participants. For me, I love to enjoy learning new things.
Click Connect is a project designed by a group of teachers for those teachers who are reluctant or unmotivated to integrate technology into their curriculum. It is divided into TWO stages. The first stage is LOCAL where teachers (from each country) meet together in one place to learn more topics about pedagogy and how to mix these pedagogical approaches with technology. We will prepare some webinars to teach them how to use tools or ask them to create tutorials to each other. It is a stage that breaks the ice between the reluctant or unmotivated teachers and their fear to get started. Once they get some confidence, we will start the second stage that is the GLOBAL collaboration where groups of teachers from these "6" countries (We welcome other countries to participate) work together to create collaborative projects using what they learned in the Local level. Teachers can also participate in the Annual Global Forum by Microsoft to share their products with other educators from all the corners of the globe.
Last week, I created a post in the Partner in Learning Network by Microsoft to get started. We are discussing the content with teachers and educators who are interested in teacher training. We need to know what they would like to find in our course. We chose Microsoft because it offers some professional development modules for free, in addition to the tools and the huge community where you can meet a lot of teachers. You know one can't work a lone. We need a help from these companies to create a vast step towards change and innovation.
Last Words about DNLE:
This course really enabled me to Discover Myself. Yes, I mean it. It helped me discover some characteristics and abilities that I already have but I don't know about them. I used to say "I'm good at accomplishing difficult tasks as a member not as a leader." During the collaborative project that we did, I practiced the leader role very well as my colleagues asserted. I can admit that DNLE brought out the best in me. It raised my awareness of what I have and what I can do.
What makes my participation in designing the collaborative project different is that my role has taken a new direction. It is not just a teacher who wants to make her students' learning enjoyable, but it has become a coach to other colleagues to design new learning environments in their classes. It has also become a publisher of innovative and successful experiences shared by others from different places. My main concern has been directed to my community not just the school where I work.
Last but not least, DNLE showed me the way to high quality learning opportunities. After the completion of DNLE, I signed up for many MOOCs to enjoy learning and extend my knowledge. I didn't complete a week and dropped most of them because DNLE taught me how to select learning opportunities of high standards.
Sometimes, people can't express all what they have because it can't be described adequately using words. This is what I feel while writing this post. Very valuable learning experiences can't be described because it can only be felt. Talking about what someone gained from a course, it doesn't only include the knowledge constructed. What about these inner motives and personal capabilities that have been implicitly developed?
Yesterday I was invited to one of our Grade Five classes by the teacher to observe the students take a look at using a back channel for the first time. It was exciting to watch what happened and also participate. We were going to be using Today’s Meet and excellent and easy to use backchannel program as you do not need to have an account and can be used on computers and the iPads.
I was invited to share a bit about what a back channel was and how I had used it. We also reminded the students about the importance of good citizenship being used in this new adventure. Some of the students got the concept immediately and helped to share with the other students but there were a lot of questions. They were told not to worry that everything was under control and they would be guided through the process.
Once the students had the iPads and were situated they were shown the URL for the Today’s Meet room and told to log in with their name. It was exciting to hear the reactions as the students were able to see their names appear and some started a conversation immediately. There were the students who had difficulty but again other students helped support them and finally everyone was into the room. There were the usual comments written and then their attention was pulled back to the teacher as she explained that they were going to do another experiment. Ears, including mine, perked up immediately. She held up a QR Code. A lot of questions happened but after a few seconds everyone settled down and followed the instructions on what to do. I was very interested to see where this QR Code was going to take us.
The Grade Five classes have spent the past several weeks studying the development of Civil Rights mostly focused on the US from the 1880?s to the present. This time they were going to read an article about women’s rights in Kenya today and compare it to women’s rights from the 1800?s. Interesting idea. They found the article using the QR code reader and just that easily another skill had been introduced to the class. A quick review of how Safari works on an iPad and the students were ready to move back and forth from the article to Today’s Meet discussion.
After reading the first couple of paragraphs the teacher asked the students to share a question that the article had made them think of and to write it in Today’s Meet. It was interesting to read what was coming up on the screen. I didn’t respond in this section but kept an eye on what was appearing. For the most part the students were focused on the task. Continuing on throughout the article a couple of more in depth questions were asked and the students responded. You could tell immediately who was grasping the concept and who was struggling or possibly not paying attention. I wondered if the students were going to be introduced to using @ when they want to talk to some directly but the teacher decided maybe the next time so as not to overwhelm them. A few minutes later she responded to a student directly using @ and we waited to see what would happen. A few questions were asked about what it meant and there was the quick opportunity to explain what it meant. Very soon we started to see the students use the symbol.
There was a bit of time for the teacher and I to reflect on what she had experienced and what I had observed. It was good sharing. She is going to spend some time figuring out how this will best work in her classroom to enhance learning. I was thrilled to see it work so well.
It is certainly an approach that can and should be used in the elementary classroom. I am not sure at what grade level we can start using it but definitely with Grade Five. Because you are able to safe the transcript of the discussion in Today’s Meet it enables the teacher to revisit what actually happened and reflect as well as get a handle on who participated and who struggled. I think this is something that should be shared with the students as a way for them to reflect upon what they wrote.I have been researching a bit this morning about a couple of things and came across Silvia Tolisano’s Blog Langwitches on her experience with Back Channeling with students. It has some excellent ideas and points. Her blog is amazing about everything to tell you the truth. I have learned so much from her. Two blog posts really got my attention. Stepping up Back Channeling in the Classroom Backchanneling in the Elementary Classroom After reading this article I had a couple of questions that I need to figure out. 1. Based on some of the comments in the elementary classroom article do you think the whole process of back channeling should be taught in the IT classroom to give them time to play and experiment and then moved into the classroom? 2. If some students have difficulty focusing because of other students comments as also mentioned in the article should those students have the opportunity to take their notes in a different way (paper and pencil or using another app) and then turn them in to the teacher? One of the things that was mentioned a lot at the iPad Summit was using different approaches for different students. Hmmmm…. How much freedom do we give them in their choices and how much do we need to “force’ them to use the tool we want them to use in order for the opportunity to experience a new approach? Got me thinking. I don’t have any answers at the moment but am very much pursuing the topic.
Le projet environnement primé aux Journées de l'Innovation de l'UNESCO ! BRAVO aux élèves !!!!
Lamentablemente ha estallado la huelga del SPUM en la Universidad.
Aviso: POR EL MOMENTO NO HABRA CLASES DE TKT. When the strikes are by the teachers, I am not permitted to give classes. SO……..
According to your responses I will assign the following homework that you may start to elaborate as a result of Units 12, 13, 14.
En el momento que sea levantada la huelga en la UMSNH les estaremos avisando ya sea por este medio.
Meanwhile, based on what we looked at last week, on how we learn languages, either our first or our second, here is a great opportunity to listen to NPR Public Radio’s TED talks on how children learn language.
Our next class will deal with Units 23, 13, and 14. Please make sure you read ahead in these units so we can interact more easily in the activities which we will be doing next. More information will be coming through this blog.
The power of Rita Pierson's words still echo in my mind. What a wonderful, powerful, inspiring talk in which she pours her heart in a call for educators to make a difference, to connect and to be part of their learners' worlds. I can't think of anything more brain-friendly than that.
Are you doing your share to make a difference? How? firstname.lastname@example.org (Carla arena)
Serendipity is always the best resource.
I was looking for some resources to the online course I'm teaching right now, Web Tools for Educators, when I came across this MOOC - Teach the Web. Just as I was browsing through their resources (Mozilla guys know how to make it simple, exciting and connected), I came across Popcorn Maker. a remix video tool that I had heard about, but just very recently it has been released.
Glued, hooked immediately. That's how I felt when I started playing around with the tool. Very intuitive, user-friendly and with tons of possibilities for collaboration through remix.
So, here's my call: I want to show my students the power of the Web, and I need your help.
Could you access the video and remix it, adding your view of what the Web is all about?
I can't wait to see what the results will be and what this remix tool will lead us...
Just click on the link and start playing around.
Feel free to take risks, to change, to edit, to add your voice to this collaborative experiment. Invite others to join the remix movement.
email@example.com (Carla arena)
These are some of the bookmarks I saved this week and would like to share with you.
This is a QUIZ SCORER which I've learned via a colleague, Georgia Teixeira. You enter the names of teams and quickly can start keeping the score on the screen. Great for IWBs.http://www.curriculumbits.com/prodimages/details/misc/mis0014.html
I've always been worried about helping students become aware of the digital footprint they leave behing and this blog post I found this week offers wonderful resources.http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/04/a-great-guide-on-teaching-students.html
WHAT'S A DIGITAL DOSSIER?
Another post I enjoyed reading was one about PLAGIARISM and how to avoid it.
I've also collected some more INFOGRAPHICS to my infographics board at PINTEREST, such as one about the history of smarphones and another about the evolution of the internet.
I read Isabella Villas Boas' blog post about her IATEFL presentation where she talks about her experience turning a f2f course into a blended one. I loved the way she described the path she followed. http://isabelavillasboas.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/going-blended-if-i-can-do-it-so-can-you-part-1/
Another video I found useful was one created by a chemistry teacher before the beginning of the semester explaining to students about the FLIPPED MODEL which would be adopted that year.
Oh, last but not least, I've bookmarked with stars an article about Avatars in Education published at the excellent website MINDSHIFT. I was contacted by them a few weeks ago about my work using VOKI avatars. http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/05/a-new-role-for-avatars-learning-languages/
Well, these are just some the bookmarks I liked the most. If you're interested in exploring more resources you might want to check out my PINTEREST BOARDS.
In the end, MOOCs and online programs primarily help those who are self motivated to learn, and the vast majority of these people would have figured out how to educate themselves, whether in college or on their own, regardless of whether or not online courses are available.
Ellen Graber‘s insight:
I am one of those self-motivated learners and I can vouch for the fact that low cost online courses have a high drop out rate.
Last year I took a series of Moodle of Teachers courses, a fantastic series with ( Integrating Technology for Active Lifelong Learning (IT4ALL) that provide a hands on approach to creating, designing, and using Moodle platforms for educational courses. There were 149 people in an orientation course, and only I finished the series of 4 more courses.
However, I also studied my Master’s online and felt community, structure and lots of support. It can go both ways.
See on pandodaily.com
Your diplomas are ready for you in the office at the Languages Department. If you can go in the morning, ask for Cuiteli. I am there from 7-12 and am always happy to see you and help you out. If you can only go in the afternoon, then ask for Eva. She can help you out after 3.
It has been a pleasure to work with you and I hope that you achieve your goals. I hope you keep up on the blog and perhaps even post into the new people’s blogs with positive comments.
The iTDiBlog Connections & Influences Issue http://itdi.pro/blog/2013/04/29/connections-and-influences/ — with James Taylor, Malu Sciamarelli, Tamas Lorincz, Michael Griffin, Josette LeBlanc and Barry Jameson.
Connect with iTDi Mentors by joining the iTDi Community. Sign up for a free iTDI account to create your profile and get immediate access to our social Forums as well as trial lessons from our English for Teachers and Teacher Development Courses.
The topic chosen was QR CODES.
These are the resources I shared.