Welcome to the February edition of the ELT Blog Carnival. I would first like to thank my fellow teachers and bloggers who contributed to this event. The topic of the blog carnival was blogging with students – how, why and where. I appreciate the opportunity to read the reflections, tips and tricks, suggestions, and samples of student blogging my PLN members wrote about.
Introductory post comes from Aleksandra Tasic who wrote about the reasons for and benefits of student blogging. I’m happy that this blog carnival inspired her to explore using blogs in ELT and hope we will soon read her students’ posts.
The big issue in blogging with students is choosing the right platform. I was foolish enough to have had Tumblr as my first choice only because I was familiar with its inner workings. I wish I could have read David Deubelbeiss’s post on the #1 blogging platform back then.
Lizzie Pinard describes her first experience with student blogging in her adult classes and shares valuable lessons she has learned in the process with a great insight into the potential of the activity in ELT. A special thanks to Lizzie for submitting the first post!
Tom Randoph takes a broader view of blogging with students by sharing 3 different approaches from his teaching practice with reflection on problems and limitations of different kinds of blogging. I’m glad that Tom hasn’t missed this blog carnival.
To round off this section, I would like to offer my post on rebooting writing assignments with a class blog.
- Blogging to Learn by Anne Bartlett-Bragg
- Educational Blogging by Stephen Downes
- Instructional Blogging: Promoting Interactivity, Student-Centered Learning, and Peer Input by Stuart Glogoff
The February 2014 edition of the ELT Blog Carnival will explore blogging with students and will be hosted here. I would like to invite you to take part and share your blogging ideas, pedagogical insights, possible problems and solutions, best practices, advice, suggestions, warnings, or simply express your support.
If you wish to join:
- you can use the submission form
- post a link to your blog in the comments below
- contact me on Twitter (@AnitaJankovic)
- post on Twitter using #ELTBlogCarnival
If you don’t blog, I offer you this space for your contributions.
The deadline for submissions is February 1st!
Meanwhile, check out the previous ELT Blog Carnival on Making Resolutions hosted by the amazing EFL teacher and world traveler, Andrea Wade.
It took a lot of time and contemplation, but I’ve finally made a welcome video for my hybrid course on Moodle.
Filmed material that didn’t make the cut served perfectly for this Magisto movie The making of…
This year I will be co-teaching an elective course in academic writing. Besides wanting to design the course to be more than a list of writing tasks and deadlines, I also wanted to attract students to apply for the course. I needed them to overlook the course name and join in. I decided to make a promotional video for the course using PowToon. Will let you know the result in two weeks.
The inspiration for this post came from Heidi Neltner, a school Teacher and librarian, and her blog post. This is my contribution to the growing community of teachers using PowToon and sharing their experiences in the Facebook group
I might have the knowledge that it is a potato, but I need teaching the skills to make mash or sag aloo. Without skills, it is just a potato.
I’m starting this post, and a new weekly series, with this excellent tweet. Below are the tools and resources I found interesting and useful this week.
- I have become a part of this year’s 30 Goals Challenge I’ve learned that language teachers are the most inspiring, supportive and collaborative educators out there.
- ELT Blog Carnival - another excellent way to connect with teachers, reflect on the practice and promote the blog. I applied for the February 2014 edition, my topic of choice is ‘Blogging with your students’
- Blogs on Academic Blogging - a great collaborative list of blogs and posts for HE
- 66+ Interesting Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom
- 10 Google Drive Apps for Teachers
- MERLOT - peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials
- Twitter across Bloom’s Taxonomy
Just for fun
That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say No in any of them.
While Rome Burns (1934),’Our Mrs Parker’.
Burnout? I know burnout. At one point in my life I worked three jobs at 350 km apart. I worked at a private language institute in one part of the country and held two teaching positions at the University in the opposite part of the country. Sleeping on the bus was the most quality rest I had in those days. But I learned my lesson about downsizing. This post is about a different kind of burnout.
Do what you love
According to William J. Reilly, the best way to avoid work is to do what you love. I love being an EFL teacher. Teaching is not what burns out my energy. On the contrary, the creative process of lesson planning is the wind beneath my wings, the classroom interaction brightens me up no matter how crappy my day is, and finally, connecting with teachers on Twitter boosts my enthusiasm to go on. True, the Bologna reform, or at least the way my institution implemented it, has introduced an insane amount of paperwork into teaching, but I buckle up and get it over with.
Avoid doing other people’s work
I’m finally getting to my point. I work as a teaching assistant and as such I am at the bottom of a food chain at the academia. Saying ‘no’ from such a position is extremely difficult. I still haven’t learned how to go about it. My friends used to say about me that whenever I get confused, I say ‘yes’. Doing work for other people which usually comes up at the eleventh hour is what stresses me out and wears me down.
How to say ‘no’ in three steps
Elizabeth Scott, stress management guide, recommends the following:
- Instead of saying ‘no’ which might seem too straightforward, say ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that now’
- Avoid over scheduling by saying ‘Let me think about it and get back to you’
- Negotiate by saying ‘I can’t do this, but I can …’
This is my long term goal and a way to avoid burnout. Will let you know how it goes. What about you? What are your strategies for saying ‘no’ in impossible situations?
Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.
Here I am joining 9000 educators in the fourth cycle of 30 Goals Challenge. My practice so far was to lurk in the shadows of Twitter and silently read the amazing blog posts. This year I joined the Facebook group where four awesome women encouraged me to step outside and take active part. Thank you for your inspiration, Shelly, Vicky, Sylvia, and Rose.
I started by sharing my defining moment on the Paddlet wall that Shelly created to kick off this year’s challenge.
Time off work has given me a chance to step back and take a long and hard look upon my unsystematic, but very enthusiastic use of ed tech in my language classroom. In addition, my work on Tempus BLATT project armed me with knowledge, skills, and invaluable insight into other people’s practice in the field of blended learning.
It’s my moment to act on it now. As the first goal is described, here are my promises for the next semester:
- I will create a learning environment for my students infused with enthusiasm for learning by setting myself as an example.
- I will promote reflection in learning/teaching through blogging.
- I will make the learning interesting and meaningful to my students whoever they are.
For OER to really make an impact on mainstream education the resources need to be packaged together in related groups of resources or forming a learning path towards a particular learning outcome.
From: OER – from resources to mainstream practice by Alastar Creelman
Join us for a webinar on finding and using open educational resources with Alastair Creelman, distant learning coordinator at Linnaeus University, at 10.00 CET on Monday, June 3rd. In this webinar, the presenter will tackle the following issues:
What exactly are OER and where to find them?
What are the benefits of using OER in teaching?
Are there any disadvantages of using OER?
How to protect rights as an author?
How can a university work with OER?
Suggested background reading
- A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) by Asha Kanwar (COL) (Editor), Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić (UNESCO) (Editor), Neil Butcher (Author) Publishers: COL, UNESCO (July 2011)
You can register for the event here
The rise of web conferencing is evident. Web conference technologies provide a powerful tool for a wide range of activities. They offer an innovative framework for educational programs as well as networking possibilities. Web-based seminars, also known as webinars, have arisen from this new technology and are proving to be an increasingly indispensable tool for training and collaboration. Knowledge and experience in the field of new synchronous technologies are increasingly becoming prerequisites for professionals in higher education.
This webinar seeks to provide easier access to these technologies and through practical experience. It consists of 2 sessions each lasting 75 minutes. The live sessions will be complemented with further material as well as asynchronous discussions. The objectives are to familiarize with the functions of Adobe Connect and to lower the threshold for participants to organise webinars and online meetings themselves.
- Technical aspects, requirements for Adobe Connect
- Features and functions (slide presentations, video/audio integration, session recording…)
- Extensions for Adobe Connect (e.g. maps, Twitter, Youtube…)
Formats, implementation and good practice
- Flipped Classroom
- Learning by Teaching
- Mobile web conferencing (Android, iOS)
- Alternatives to Adobe Connect (e.g. Google Hangouts)
- Moderation Do’s & Don’ts
Further synchronous tools
- Interactive whiteboards
- Synchronous text editing
The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, May 29th-30th at 9 am. You can register for the event here
The LMS is dangerous for good teachers that aren’t also good pedagogues. It determines too much in advance by presenting an interface that asks the user to approach it in very particular ways. What’s on the upper left when you enter an LMS determines what you do first, what you do second, and what you don’t do. It’s very very difficult to resist the cunning pull of a web-based interface. No matter how hard we try for creativity, randomness, or chaos (all of which drive classroom-based teaching), we are repeatedly lured in by the carefully-controlled design of the standard LMS.
Taken from: Hacking the Screwdriver by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel
(As seen on Hybrid Pedagogy)
Training teachers in using the Moodle platform is not enough to equip them for designing a blended course and delivering it. As the quote suggest, we need to think about teaching regardless of the learning platform and its interface.
Pedagogical Use of Moodle by Peter Diedrichs is a open webinar suitable for all teachers with basic experience in using Moodle in teaching. The aim is to give examples of how you can use Moodle to enhance your teaching and increase student interaction. The webinar will cover the following issues:
- A Social Constructivist approach to learning
- Holding it together and be clear – the structure
- The teacher’s role
- Focusing on what’s problematic or difficult
- Engaging the students
- Maintaining the students’ engagement
- Training the students to interact and take responsibility for each other’s learning as well as their own
The webinar is scheduled for Monday, May 27th at 13.00 CET. You can register for the event here.