Jan 29, 2012

Week 3 - Reflections

Week 3 has been somewhat more relaxed when it comes to the quantity of the assignments but the quality was definitely there.

First I must single out our oral skill building assignment and all the readings and sites related to this assignment were really eye-opening given the quality of the facts that I have acquired, and I think that my colleagues from the course will agree when I say that this will definitely help us make our classes better and most importantly teach our students in an easier and more efficient way, all at the same expense. And I do have to say that I am mostly looking forward to developing missing oral skills of my students mainly by various listening exercises found at http://www.esl-lab.com/ since listening exercises are mostly suitable for the equipment we posses in our school, but nonetheless I think that benefits of such exercising are paramount!
Second great "acquisition" of Week 3 was a bookmarking website http://delicious.com/ and I think that the main advantage is that one can access his/her bookmarks from any computer and this goes for students too. I believe that it is a really cool site and I am looking forward to exploring its possibilities when it comes to in-class usage. Feel free to "drop by" to my Delicious URL http://delicious.com/smolicdavor and see if there is a bookmarked website you might like at this moment, since it might be bookmark-poor at the moment, but I will be adding more and more bookmarks as the time goes by and as it slowly "gets under my skin".

Finally we had to read one of the final project reports from past Webskills classes, comment on that report in our nicenet post, briefly describe what the person did in his/her project, and discuss what we liked about the project.
I have chosen to comment on the project by Aleyda Linares from Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
You can check out what I wrote in that comment in the corresponding nicenet conferencing topic Week 3: Project Task.
The thing that I liked about this task was that we were given the opportunity to see the samples of past final projects and I will speak for myself and say that this has definitely chased away the last speck of the unknown factor about this course which was, sort of, intimidating me that I won't understand how to complete the course successfully.

All in all, Week 3 brought lots of useful skills which we can now take into the classroom.

Week 4 here I come!

Jan 22, 2012

Week 2 - Reflections

Week 2 was a handful so one might not know where to start and might be afraid of missing to write something.
But I will try to recollect everything.
First task during this week was Web searching and as I described in my post on Nicenet all of the search engines listed at http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html  are, if nothing, worth investigating and some of them might prove quite rewarding and they might bring something that Google failed to present as relevant, as was the case with the site found on Intute (www.nonstopenglish.com), because it was not offered by Google although the search topic was the same. So benefits are definitely there but they need to be explored and found.

Second, we had to make an objective which we would see through in a certain class using ABCD style (Audience-Behavior-Condition-Degree).
I certainly hope that my ABCD style plan is OK and I will share it here with you as well, besides Nicenet, and I will color it as seen on http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/learningdesign/objectives/writingobjectives/

Given the definition on perfect tenses and sentences with auxiliary verbs have, has, had and will have and with the main verb standing in the brackets in the infinitive form(C), the students(A) will be able to put the verb from the brackets in the past participle form and after that observing the auxiliary verb determine which perfect tense are we reviewing, present, past or future(B), without making 4 mistakes out of 24 sentences(D).

Third task was to describe one class where we teach and how it would benefit from making a technology-inspired change and we had to describe our students and class setting, and also to list the technology we and our students have access to now, both in and outside of school. 

For this task I described a class of medical technicians (nurses) as you can see on Nicenet under the topic Week 2: Final Project - Describe a Class.

Having listed all tasks correctly, hopefully, I can say that this course will definitely bring a lot of positives to us teachers and through us to our students, since it tries to utilize computer technology as a tool for teaching English which is great because it might prove to be an excellent and above all efficient way of teaching.
Having completed the reflective blog on Week 2 as the final task of this week, I am looking forward to the next week and its challenges.

Jan 9, 2012

Week1 - Creating a blog

       While creating this blog and exploring the possibilities of blog usage I learned that blog can be a very powerful tool when it comes to teaching EFL as well as teaching in general.
       As I have learned at http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/blogging-elt i.e. from Aaron Cambell there are three types of blogs for use with language classes, The Tutor Blog, The Class Blog and The Learner Blog. I have to say that I am mainly attracted by the characteristics of The Tutor Blog and The Class Blog and I can see myself utilizing their possibilities to create better learning environment in classes where I teach EFL. Using a blog is something I did not do so far to work with my students namely because not all of them have constant access to the Internet and not all of them have computers at home but I will try to make the best possible usage of the computers available at school and introduce blogs and blogging as a new method where I will provide students with some extra reading and writing practices and many other practices, and generally try to increase students' activity as well as their will to learn EFL. With these types of blogs students could interact more freely between themselves and also this would provide a significantly relaxed method of communicating with the teacher as well, maybe in a way of Q&A between the students and the teacher where they wouldn't hesitate to ask everything they didn't understand during a certain lecture.
      To conclude, one has to say that the options are limitless and it is upon the teacher to make new and interesting ideas of using the blog with his/her students and in that way making them achieve their main goal, learning EFL in an interesting, new, modern and maybe even funny way.