Thursday, 13 December 2012
Yesterday Sabrina and I presented our Pecha Kucha for the final exam.
It was a very rewarding experience since we could learn from each other´s work and what is more, start thinking about our future group of learners we would adapt common activities for by making them more attractive and appealing.
As we said in our presentation: "... the role of the teacher is of paramount importance in the process of incorporating ICT into the lesson. There should be an appropriate balance between hands - on and other work. The attitudinal aspects of using ICT will be effective only with appropriate planning and guidance from the teacher".
We learnt that groupwork and collaboration, indeed is crucial to achieve success and WE DID IT!
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Our last lesson!
After working so hard during the year, Pecha Kucha was presented. Some groups showed their final works which were really, really appealing to the eye, interesting productions!
I learned a lot during the year and now I start familiarizing with technology much more! ha ha.
Thanks, Letizia for your support any time I needed and for "rewarding" me ;)
See you around soon!
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
I would like to comment on the last assignment based on lesson planning (uploading it in Edmodo as teachers) and creating activities using web 2.0 tools.
To begin with, we were asked to create a "teacher platform" on Edmodo and plan a lesson taking into account the different web 2.0 we have been working with along these 2 weeks (or more) and the material (a reading text from a coursebook) given.
After having a look at the material we began thinking about HOW we can turn those activities proposed by the coursebook into a more motivating ones incorporating the web tools : Hot potatoes, Educaplay among others.
As we are not "techno- geeks" students, it took time to find a page that makes the activities we thought of. After we familiriazed with those web 2.0 tools, we uploaded the lesson in the "new" platform we created as TEACHERS/ CO- TEACHERS.
Finally, after so much effort we are satisfied with the "final product".
I think that a good and correct use of EDMODO will help teachers control the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Bearing in mind various classmates´projects in their teaching practice, we were supposed to adapt web 2.0 tools either to "change" future plans or to reflect upon past ones : how we could have done lessons differently keeping students engaged and motivated.
Here is what Marcia and I thought about based on her last teaching practice. Instead of " writing letters"( students exchanged letters from 1 course to another), we adapt it by using LINOIT tool. We believe that it will be even more eye- catching and motivating to students.
We thought of grouping students in pairs and sent them a link in which they can have access to LINOIT. There, each pair can send and receive letters from each other and at the end of the final project, all students´work will be seen by the class.
Thursday, 6 September 2012
Though students are already motivated to use digital technologies because they belong to the "thumb" or "digital" generation, they think they are only going to play interactive games at the computing lab. They associate internet with having fun: chatting with friends and playing interactive games since some school have not incorporated computers as a learning tool. Besides, teachers are still "digital immigrants" and they are, in a way, reluctant to include computing and the use of Internet in their classes. Some of them are completely technophobes and others are a bit interested but they do not have a clear idea of how to use the web 2.0 tools and are "tied" to ready made material.
Web 2.0 tools enable connectivity and make it easier for students to connect with and learn from one another. With the help of such supporting resources together with appropriate activities,it will empower learners and allow them to exercise their creativity, enabling collaboration.
I strongly believe that integrating Web 2.0 tools into EFL teaching and learning is worthy of considerartion since it helps students become autonomous, more self-motivated and responsible and this, ultimately, leads to more effective learning.
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Last class we started working simultaneously with 2 tools related to web 2.0: WORDLE and VOKI.
As regards the first one, it is used to generate "word clouds" from text we provide.
The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. We can tweak the clouds with different fonts, layouts and colour scheme.
This is an example of how I used WORDLE. First I chose a word from our teacher´s example related to web 2.0. After that, I made a research on it online of that expression. It is really easy to work with it because you just have to write the definition of that word and then the programme does it everything for you! Finally, I provided the solution by using Voki.
Moreover, when you make changes to your Voki these are automatically updated. These various options make Voki ideal for engaging students in any subject at any grade level.
If you click on the following link, you will see an example of VOKI which I used to provide the definition of the word / expression I have chosen previously.
PS: For those who haven´t guessed yet, the word I chose is PERPETUAL BETA
Sunday, 26 August 2012
There are certain things we have to bear in mind when assessing our blogs. I found the following criteria of paramount importance when evaluating them.
Criteria for Evaluating Research Blogs
Do successive blog posts demonstrate the developing thinking of the writer? Does his/her main idea take more distinct shape over time in response to 1) his/her ongoing research; and 2) comments from others? Are blog posts frequent enough to suggest ongoing, incremental, and interactive development of ideas?
Does the overall research blog have a clear focus? Do individual blog posts keep their focus (like paragraphs within conventional writing), partly through relevant post titles and tags? Would blog visitors have any trouble ascertaining, from any post, the writer's overall research agenda? Do successive posts restate and sharpen a specific train of thought? Is the principal research question returned to, deepened, and clarified? Does the writer make interim assertions or claims summing up research to date?
Do the posts relate well to one another (through reference and intralinks)? Or do the posts seem "random" (a series of observations or general commentary not explicitly tied to the research agenda)? This relates to the criteria of focus and of development, above.
Has the writer employed a variety of posts, including some that are more exploratory in nature and some that are more expository? Does the writer narrate and document his/her discovery process, as well as assert positions based on analyzing and synthesizing? Are there some of the following types of blog posts?
Does the blog design, blog components, and writing style together create a clear sense of the writer's personality? Are there informal and personal elements as well as more academic or professional qualities to that personality?
Currency and History
Does the writer use blog posts to relate to relevant and current issues? Does he/she refer to current online discussions (other blogs, discussion boards, etc.)? Does the writer also ground his/her writing within historical contexts, interpreting the present in terms of longer patterns and traditions?
Does the writer make use of outside sources in both referential and analytical ways? (Does he/she not just link to sources, but analyze them?). Are some of these sources more formal, academic, or authoritative? Are some of these informal or more general? Is there a variety of sources? Are some sources quoted? Are sources appropriately linked to? Are some sources primary sources and some secondary?
Does the writer engage others who are researching similar topics (as evidenced in part by others commenting on posts, in part by reference to how the author is participating in private or public discussions of this topic elsewhere). Does he/she show an openness to and responsiveness toward challenges to his/her ideas? Does he/she respond to comments on posts, or refer to comments in developing later posts? Have other bloggers (including classmates, but not exclusively) written about the writer's blog or quoted/linked back to it?
Does the writer demonstrate making contributions to communities of learners or researchers (evaluated in part by the active use of social bookmarks, in part by documenting participation in social networks or other online communities focused on the issues he/she is exploring)? Does the writer avoid isolated expression or research by demonstrating connectivity with other researchers and projects, including those of their peers and those outside of their normal social circles?
How has the blog author invited contributions of others (such as guest blog posts, invited comments, reviews of posts)? What evidence is there of the author joining his or her work to larger, ongoing projects? Has the blog become a launching point for creating other online assets or content valued by specific communities, or for using collaborative tools online?
Does the writer use posts not just to give general opinions or commentary, but to analyze texts, events, or media (including effectively summarizing, appropriately quoting, and applying criteria of evaluation)?
Does the writer create focused blog posts that are more likely to attract readers due to concision and clarity (rather than long or rambling posts)? Does the writer break up longer discussions where possible (to make possible more frequent and specific comments from readers)? Are longer posts broken up with appropriate headings? Does he/she avoid quoting other sources at too great of length?
Does the writer include links 1) to appropriate secondary sources for the topic (scholarly or scientific); 2) to current online content from professional or academic sources; 3) current online content from informal or mainstream media? Are links effectively embedded with semantically relevant linking text ("...a topic discussed by Dan Cohen in his Digital Humanities Blog...")? Are links presented in side content relevant? Does the writer backlink to his/her prior posts (see cohesion, above)?
Has the writer used images to complement blog posts and provide interest and insight (whether produced personally, or found online)? If videos are employed, are they relevant to content (not just entertaining) and either implicitly or explicitly related to blog posts? Do media enhance readability and design and not clutter or distract? Any use of personally produced media? Are images or media appropriately credited (and obtained through creative commons)?
Does the blog design fit the research topic and the personality of the author? Is there an "About Me" segment or profile, with photo? Are the photos or color scheme appropriate to a research blog (not overly informal). Does the author include relevant widgets or side content? Are the writer's other content streams featured in the side content (social bookmark stream, photo stream, other blogs, etc.)? Does the writer avoid too much clutter or distracting media in the side content?
Has the writer created sufficient content (including blog posts, ancillary media, and links) to enable visitors to explore the blog's topic meaningfully?