Feb 26, 2012

Week 7 - Reflections

Well this week was somewhat easygoing and relaxing, but I see that this was maybe intentional because all the extra time we had from reading and posting related strictly to this week should be spent doing our final project drafts which are due by Wednesday Feb-29.

 Both this week's discussion and task were related to the use of the one computer inside the classroom. (At least I have opted for this discussion thread instead of "Learner Autonomy, simply because the use of one computer in class is closer to my heart, so to say)
I have exploited one of the lessons from the week 5 since it was a typical one computer lesson and I have posted it, with certain revisions both at the discussion and the task conferencing topic of this week, so that is where I invite you to go and to check it out, since I believe it is a good lesson and widely applicable when it comes to proficiency levels and I have tried it recently in several of my classes and the response is great and what is even more important, the acquisition of new vocabulary is outstanding.

This week also saw us group for a peer review of our final project drafts and I am happy to say that I have a very cool group with Rade Petricevic and Fernando Beconi (three of us characterized above) :-) and I hope that we will contribute to each other in the formation and creation of great final project papers.

So this week is typical for seeing us finally apply and connect all the "bits and pieces" that we have learned in this course, first into a final project draft for the peer review and eventually into the final version of the final project, so to say. I hope that we will know how to grasp all the knowledge gained at the course and pour it onto a decent final project paper.

Week 8, wish us luck, here we come!

Feb 19, 2012

Week 6 - Application

This week I have slowly introduced the changes I plan to make, technology-wise, into the class of medical technicians, as described in my post from Week 5 under the conferencing topic Week 5: Project Task: Describe a technology-related change. So far I have only done the introduction and I have handed the texts to students which are divided in groups. So there is not much to report about at this early phase, but I have explained them the rules and what will they do and the interest seems high at the moment, so I have given them time to examine the texts, find unknown words and come prepared for the final in-class "showdown" which will happen this week, so I will report on this topic more after the completion of the "game".
Further information will be posted on this same blog topic.

Stay tuned! 

Week 6 - Reflections

This week the main word was INTERACTIVE, so we learned lots of interesting methods of creating interesting lectures and making them interactive, student-involved and oriented.

We could all learn what a great interactive solution Blackboard is, what possibilities does it offer, testing, grading, following your students' progress, and all this done with such speed and ease. I would definitely like to work with Blackboard one day.

I have also discovered Quandary and what great tool it can be and how versatile its application can be made, whether we use it in its original form, or afterwards as a source for speaking and writing skill exercises.

We have also learned how Power Point can be used to make various interactive games and exercises and I have made a Jeopardy game for a class of medical technicians about human body systems. You can check it out at our class wiki.

So it has been an interactive week, I might say, and I sure liked it and I bet my students will like what I bring into the classroom too, based on this week's course curriculum.

Come on Week 7!

Feb 12, 2012

Week 5 - Reflections

Now was this week interesting or what!? I sure did find it to be such, because I learned lots of new things and more importantly the knowledge we acquired is really applicable, it is not just some theory, but something we can really use and bring into our classrooms.

First to be mentioned are Rubrics, PBL and WebQuests.
I don't know where to start. Each of these methods has left such a huge impact on me and they will definitely find their way into my classroom. I found out what a great assessment tool rubrics are and that they should be introduced slowly, perhaps with checklists at the beginning as their predecessors. I am particularly fond of rubrics when it comes to class debate grading since I believe it can make the teacher's job much easier and the students also know what is the value scale and how they rank on it. This rate of introduction goes for PBL too and projects we might hand out to our students should be on a small scale at first before moving onto a more complex ones, but nevertheless they are such a great method. WebQuests are also the story of their own and I find them to be a great way for self improvement and a great way to hand out interesting homework and stimulate self education.

Next we got to create a rubric of our own and I we did this using a perfect website for the job, http://rubistar.4teachers.org/
I have created my rubric with ease for the class debate on the topic "Abortion; Pro Vs. Con" and you can check it out at http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php?screen=ShowRubric&rubric_id=2154788&

Finally we had to describe a technology-related change that we will implement to help with one or more of the issues we have mentioned in Week 4 and I thought of a little competition which would raise the vocabulary level and motivation in the class and you can check it out in the corresponding topic in our nicenet classroom.

All in all, I really liked this week and its tasks which were put before us because I sure learned a lot, and perhaps I was delighted most with knowledge gained from this week in particular, but who knows what is hiding behind the corner in the upcoming Week 6.

Let's find out!

Feb 5, 2012

Week 4 - Reflections

This week, like all weeks before, had offered its share of useful knowledge from which we will benefit.

First we were "digging" for useful web-sites  that would work for us in our class and I have indeed found a web-nugget called PIZZAZ and it can be found at http://pages.uoregon.edu/leslieob/pizzaz.html although the other sites will do their share of work too and they will definitely find their way into the classroom.
With the web-sites we have found we can now develop our students' skills far more easily and also in an interesting and fun way.

Second, we have learned how to make technology-enhanced lesson plans.
This knowledge will also bear its fruit, because our lessons will be more organised and goals and objectives will be set from the start and students will be familiarized with them. All this will definitely lead to higher level of language and vocabulary acquisition. 

And last but certainly not the least of this week's assignments was to locate issues in our class, define them and try to find a way to address and resolve the same.
I have noticed that a number of my colleagues from the course have stated motivation to be one of the issues in their classroom, and so did I. Hopefully once we incorporate all of the knowledge gained in this course that won't be the case any more.

Week 4 is "setting" and Week 5 is "rising" slowly bringing us precious new knowledge.

Frankly I am looking forward!