venerdì 27 febbraio 2015

My mini-action research project presentation

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What you can see now is my mini-action research project.
I teach English in a secondary school in ITALY: I teach general ENGLISH  and also  ENGLISH for BUSINESS and  for BUILDING and CONSTRUCTIONS.

The project is aimed at my 5th year class of students of  BUILDING and CONSTRUCTIONS.
Their level of English is lower intermediate but they are required to  make presentations in English and they are used to working together for school projects in many school subjects.

They are going to be guided by me in making presentations on line about  architecture and great Masters of Architecture of the XX-XXI century.

The teacher sets rules about   TIME for on line presentations and WHO/WHAT they are going to present by using  Google.
They need to have  an internet access from home and  a Gmail account.
They already know how to use e-mails and  GOOGLE-DRIVE.
They will have to work in groups  by collaborating and using  Google for their presentations. They need to be able to use 
GOOGLE Drive, GOOGLE Docs and  GOOGLE presentations.
The teacher will follow their  activities on line : 4 people in each group . In my class there are only 16 students and so it will be easy for me to monitor them and how they are making progress. I might have to make  a lot of suggestions and help them  with their English descriptions in the slides.
Google Presentations is good : you can write texts, use images for your  presentations by using  Google and  also adding  VIDEOs from the YOUTUBE.

The research will be guided by the TEACHER who will provide them with websites to use while they are searching on line for more information.

Possible problems:
-  internet cannot  be  fast and not everywhere in my area  they can work well and they are expected to work from home in the afternoon
- not everybody can work well with schoolmates
- students need to know how they will be assessed 


What's next?
If the presentations on line can work well I will continue working by using  presentations on line so that they are more engaged and like what they are doing, maybe next time I will make  presentations by using   Thiglink or Prezi and teach them how they work. Since  Google is free and  quite easy to use  I decided to use it.  As a teacher I like the way it can integrate a lot of  tools.

My presentation on line explains  how I have started to work and what type of problems may come to my mind in the next weeks. For sure I would like to have their presentations on line and presented in my blog or  in the school website.  
           

giovedì 26 febbraio 2015

More about WEB 2.0 TOOLS


Some Interesting   Tools you might  like to use when  working on line to make your lessons better and create a better learning  environment for your  students  :

An interesting  Tool for  Collaboration and  also  Brainstorming  ideas and   organizing  activities     PADLET

  





Visuword  for  languages: you have a dictionary on line based on a visual presentation. A  great Tool for teachers of Languages!!! 




















SYMBALOO FOR  ORGANIZING  YOUR  CLASSROOM AND MORE  FOR YOUR PERSONAL LIFE  . You need to register and have an account      





Meetingwords for  writing and collaboration. The best Tool for helping your students write and  create texts on line 

http://piratepad.net/front-page/
A great  Tool for collaborating on documents!
The same can be done with this  tool: you do not need to sign up!!
https://titanpad.com/

https://quip.com/about/tour 
I have just come  acroos  quip, it is something similar to Google doc but it is easy to use as you do not need an e-mail and  people can collaborate ............ it can be used with pc, smartphones but not all the smartphones.......   just have a look at it ...
Another interesting Tool:

http://www.plotbot.com/

With Plotbot, you can create private screenplays to work alone or with invited friends, or you can create public screenplays to find new friends. All changes are tracked to each writer, and you can revert to prior versions at any time.

A nice Tool for creating  a journal on line , or your diary on line, you just need an account  and then  you can write............just think about the many possibilities for your  students........  You need to register and have an account.







This tool enables you to write nice word clouds ...... and  you can use your imagination ..........   

WORDITOUT


Another  tool : this  one  helps you create word clouds and you can share  them thanks to a link.   You can choose the size and the colours of your word clouds.                                                     
More information can be found on line or  by following this  link                                                                                                     
 http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/02/word-it-out-like-wordle-with-more.html                                 
ZAPTION
https://www.zaption.com/                   
This tool enables you to create video-lessons by choosing videos and  then creating a lesson  about the topic/or a listening/video activity   based on what you  have   presented. Videos can be  shared  thanks to a link or embedded .  
This is my first presentation :    this is the link 

To create such videos you need to have an account : you need an  e-mail and  then a   password which you can choose.
Have a look at what I  created... it can be  better ... but I liked it.                                                                                                     


                                              

GOOGLE  HANGOUTS   : an interesting Tool for chatting and  having   discussions on line.............you  just need to have an account with  Google +and   then you  start.......  and get connected with everyone from anywhere in the  world.                                                                                                  

A tool which enables you  to create webpages and add videos, it can be used for presentations and for photos.                               
Once more  look for information  and see how  useful it can be :

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2014/04/tackk-create-webpages-for-announcements.html                                         


MORE ON  COLLABORATION ON LINE....................


These are  just  a few   tools, but  you will fall in love with  them because   they make your life as a student much  better ...................and  also teachers will be  much  happier.

TO BE  CONTINUED....................................

venerdì 6 febbraio 2015

#ADBledMOOC Weeks2-3-4 and final considerations


"ADVENTURES IN BLENDED
  LEARNING "
  MOOC Course : what  I  learnt  this year

Reflecting on my learning path as a life long learning  teacher................. into the modern technologies

The Mooc took place in the first part of the year 2015 but what I did in the next months was also based on the interesting ideas I came across while doing this Mooc.First of all I did more Moocs on  new technologies, web 2.0 tools and digital skills.

I  followed the course " ADVENTURES IN BLENDED LEARNING" but it was  so rich in terms of news, links and special guests meetings on line that I could not  cope with all the deadlines.  Working at school and  doing a Mooc with  lots of  deadlines makes your life very busy, with  6  classes and  more than  100 students you feel that  it is too hard to follow what has been  going on.


What I liked : the interesting  videos and the people  who shared their ideas about  a different type of   work for teachers and  also  students.   There is a new  world that  is  going to change the world of  education as we have  seen it so far.

Most of the experiences are based on an American  situation and the context that was  different from mine. First of all, they have more technology in schools  and more money is invested in education.

However,  I have learnt  that  also  in Europe and  in most  countries the great  shift has  begun.

                      INTERESTING VIDEOS  ON LINE
I liked  Catlin Tucker's interview and her enthusiasm for  making lessons more engaging.   I feel that  as educators we should all bring more into our Learning environment and  she has done  great  work.
Her motto : " THINK   BIG , START  SMALL!"


Carri Schneider - Director of Policy : interview on 26  January  2015


Dr. Anthony  Picciano : someone who   knows a lot  and  can   suggest something for  studying and  getting  into   BLENDED  LEARNING   
Good ideas about  collaborative  Learning and  use of  blogs for   sharing   ideas  
                                                                                                                            (14 January 2015)                                                                                                          


      Moocs    and Blended Learning    
                                                                        
Jeff  Sandefer: an interview



Self-Blended Learning?  Towards a new  route



The end of the journey: I was a bit late  but I managed to post two activities online and got 100% for each one. I think I should say  we have now reached the beginning of new learning   time where  students and  learners are   more important.

What am I going to do in order to face the new year  ?  To look back and see what nice  experiences there are  and try  to  build the first step for  new projects  for my  students.  This year I am working in a more difficult situation and my expectations are not similare to the ones I had two years ago..............                   
I am sure that the new technologies will help me to develop  learning paths where my students can be more engaged and where  Learning  does not only depend on me but on their  interests and choices   to be  better learners .
Thank you  to the people who  shared their  ideas  in the course and to  Dr. Bernard Bull......................    I will continue  my journey into the new planet of  education!!!     



"...... if educators can instill in students that learning is about the process of doing the work and not about the grade, they are sure to hold students’ attention. "

Jeff James - assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Montgomery County Schools in Troy, NC.











giovedì 5 febbraio 2015

USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN TEACHING - MY REFLECTIONS ON TWITTER used for communication with students

video




I am following  an interesting  MOOC on line  dealing with the new WEB 2.0  TOOLS.  You can find more information about it by  following this link: 
https://www.coursera.org/course/newtechtools

The course which is organized by  COURSERA  has  just started and it provides us with more information about  the WEB 2.0. 
I must confess that  I am eager to learn more because  students need to be engaged while they are learning and   teachers should try to be  good  facilitators and follow their  interests!!
This week  I had to think about  one of the many web 2.0 tools which can be used for getting in touch  with  students, families and also when working  with classes. ( MODULE ABOUT  TOOLS FOR COMMUNICATION)

I had to analalyze a lot of interesting tools but some seemed to be too " difficult to use"; the topic was  how to communicate and  I thought that my  TWITTER account could help me to be connected with my students and to provide   them with help in a fast way. I must admit that  I  use Twitter  to be in touch with people  who work in ELT and  for some webminars which I am following on line. In some way it is good for  self-development and professional development on line.
Also the MOOCS  that I am doing  have a TWITTER  account and I usually check their tweets.

I was right  when I thought  about  this  idea of Twitter  and when I  saw last week's conference on line  with young and  good students who  presented their  activities while using  twitter, I told myself  that working with students needs changes also in Italy:  please follow this  link

http://studenttechnologyconference.com/page/recordings2015

All the  webminars were run by students and  I was able to follow an interesting  presentation  
by  students who  clearly said that  SOCIAL NETWORKS like  TWITTER  can help classroom activities.

I have uploaded my  video presentation for  COURSERA this week and   I would like to know which other tools can be used by  students and teachers.  For sure  you may mention  Face Book and also  GOOGLE.
Twitter is nice and good because you  need one account, an e-mail and a password and then you  can tweet or follow  hashtags(#). A good teacher needs to know that  Twitter can be followed by most of his/her students since they just need a  computer or a smart phone.