Saturday, November 20, 2004

Global Learn Day VIII

Global Learn Day starts on November 21st at 0:00 GMT(tonight at 10:00 pm in Sao Paulo, Brazil) and goes on non-stop for 24-hours. This yearly educational voyage around the 5 continents , initiated by John Hibbs from the Ben Franklin Institute, showcases highly innovative activities in education and internet technology.

This year topics will cover:

  • benefits and challenges of international education
  • free and low cost online collaboration tools
  • videoconferencing to support problem-based learning
  • digital story telling
  • global learning implementation models
  • accessibility issues - challenges and solutions
  • gender equity issues - challenges and solutions
  • special education issues - challenges and solutions
  • higher education issues - challenges and solutions
  • online safety and security issues - challenges and solutions
    and more...

You are all invited to join us by logging into the Talking Communities Audio-conference room. Listen to what different educators around the world have to say and make your voice heard by participating in the regional round table discussions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

22nd Tutor Mentor Conference

The 22nd Tutor Mentor Conference took place in Chicago on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th November in partnership with Digibridge (The Digital Workforce Education ), Tappedin and the WiA (Webheads in Action), an online community of practice I belong to.

I had already participated in one of the audio-conferences with Gallistel Language Academy on October 28th, together with three other webheads and the kids in Chicago were so happy to be part of it that we decided to make a small bilingual (English and Spanish) presentation with one of my classes of 9th graders so that instead of adults speaking, the kids could also have a go. Together with Andy Pincon, Karen Garcia, Bruce Neubauer and following Renata Suzuki's inspiration and songs, we created a one-hour show featuring the students. Pictures and Comments

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Clumsy move

Lost my template once again...and had not saved it anywhere :-( so had to choose a new look. All the previous comments are on Haloscan...I wonder whether I can recover them and place them on the older posts. Must insert all my blogroll again, feed andall...argh. It is definitely the end of the year and I am at the end of my tether.
On the positive side, quand même, this will force me to re-organize my links and remind me to keep a backup for the future... :-)

Podcasting: le dernier cri

After photoblogs,moblogs and videoblogs, podcasting is the most recent development to reach the educational blogosphere.

D'Arcy Norman from The Learning Commons imagines a scenario where "students ... subscribe to an RSS feed, and have recordings of every lecture automatically stored on their hard drive or iPod or whatnot for review" or "interviews with external resources".
David Jennings (read DJALCHEMI)is not that enthusiastic. One can read 2000 words of text and image but it it difficult to skim or concentrate on audio for more than 20 minutes.

Yes, David is right there, but for language teachers, podcasting may be a bonus. Mass communication is changing from broadcasting to narrowcasting. This is a free service and opens one more alley for individual expression. Our students can not only self-publish audio files but also have the choice of retrieving/subscribing to the feeds they feel like listening to. An engaging and motivating way of practicing listening and speaking skills. We´ll have to try to create a proper network for our students to interact in.

I can imagine something like an asynchronous audio forum...with someone webcasting a controversial question which podcasters discuss on their blogs and entertain a conversation. How about a podquest, Bernie? Would that be possible?
Aaron P Campbell also brainstorms on a number of good uses for podcasting in EFL.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Belnate Conference

I am running late with my blogging. The previous message had been sitting in my draft for at least a month (had to correct the date)and this one is already past the event. Reporting quand même.

Last week, Sergei Gridyushko (CALL) and Maya Bogova (TEFL Park Coordinator)from the Belarusian National Association of Teachers of English hosted the 3-day (NOvember 3rd to 5th) 6th International BelNATE-IATEFL Conference: "Teaching English as a World Language in the Information Age" at Minsk University.

Among the synchronous events online lead by the Webheads at Learning Times,
together with Teresa Almeida D'Eça (Portugal) and Buthaina Al Othman (Kuwait), I did a 3-hour online presentation on blogs: "We blog. What about you? Do you blog?". The first part consisted in introducing participants to blogs, illustrate the different types and show them how we had integrated blogs into our everyday EFL practice.The second part was a hands-on experience during which we assisted participants in creating their own blogs and invited them to post in the collective blog we opened for the occasion.
Buthaina has immediately collected all the newly created URLs and posted a page featuring them online (cannot find it now...will link it later or else this will stay in the draft area for ages again). This just shows how easy it is to open an account with a blog provider. Posting later and keeping it updated is the hardest part :-)

Other comments on the conference can be found at:
Norbella's E-learning Blog
Susan Nyrop's K Blog

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Using Weblogs in ESL/EFL Classes: New Developments, Uses, and Challenges

Electronic Village Online (Evonline) is a professional development project and virtual extension of the 2005 TESOL Convention.

Together with three other hard-core bloggers, Aaron P. Campbell, Sean Smith (a.k.a Blinger) and Graham Stanley, I will be moderating a six-week blogging session (on Yahoo Groups and Moodle from January 17th to February 27th. Participants REGISTER for ElectronicVillage Online (EVO) 2005 Session from Monday, January 3 - Sunday to January 16, 2005 [2 weeks].
We have also invited a number of expert guest speakers to give you insights on how to develop and better use blogs in the classroom.
Hope you can join us!