Friday, September 19, 2014
It is a great honor to have been invited to present at the ABLA (the Association of Binational Centers in Latin America) Conference about our ipad implementation project for the classroom and Resource Centers.
It´s been a long ride since 2011 when we participated in a Latin American grant contest from the American Embassy that would award a certain amount of money for any project in the technology area. We had the idea of having a trifold project in which we would implement the use of mLearning at Thomas, work on the ACCESS students´ digital literacies and use the opportunity to train our teachers, besides keep looking ahead in terms of best practices in the realm of Educational Technology.
We got the grant, we started, we expanded the scope of the project, we learned and we keep exploring. So, this is exactly the story I want to portray in the Conference to help other Binational Centers who want to implement this kind of mlearning project. Also, it will be an amazing opportunity to learn from the ones who have been in the same path.
All the resources and slides I´ll be using in my presentations are available online at http://bit.ly/abla2014resources
Friday, May 23, 2014
Simple Prep iPad Activity: TELLAGAMI - Giving Life to Students´ Avatar and their Language Production
Tellagami is one of those multi-purpose free apps that will give an extra boost to your classroom activity, with lots of student production in English.
Here´s an overview of the app:
In the classroom, use Tellagami to:
- let the avatar tell a story about a specific place (you can change the background there)
- review a concept. Students have to summarize what they´ve just learned
- do a follow-up activity in which students tell their own views on the topic
- drill basic structures in a young learners´ class ( I like; I don´t like; I have; I don´t have)
- practice physical descriptions when students are creating their avatar; then, they record about their best friend´s physical appearance
- work on clothing by changing the avatar´s outfits; the avatar can record why he chose that specific outfit
Students can record their own voices, or even use the text to speech feature (they write the text and choose the accent of their avatar. Warning: this feature only works when there´s Internet connection).
GOING THE EXTRA MILE: there´s an editing feature on YOUTUBE that you can put your students´ Tellagami videos altogether in one single Youtube video. Here´s an example from a training session we had about high performance class. First, we used this poster as a discussion springboard.
Then, the groups created their avatars and recorded their main ideas about highly performaning classes. Finally, I edited them, using Youtube editor, after having uploaded all the gamis.
Ready to begin? We´d love t know what you´ve been doing in class with Tellagami.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I could be here focusing on the interesting ideas that I learned from presenters in the TESOL Conference 2014, but by having the snapshots, quick notes I took during some sessions, you might come across interesting references, links and people that will inspire you.
Some topics that caught my attention:
Many Intersections Sessions that I attended focused on Mobile Learning. It is noticeable that though we all work in different contexts, the challenges are very similar, lack of infrastructure, difficulties with bandwidth in an ipad rollout program. Teacher training is also in the agenda of every Institution who wants to have a successful program. In my notes, I added some apps and resources that were mentioned. One thing that I missed was more presentations on learning outcomes with a more intensive use of mobile devices. Any qualitative and quantitative differences in the results of students who have been using smartphones/tablets and the ones who are not?
Marsha Chan, in her presentation on how to help students improve their oral communication skills, suggested using Youtube Playlists to help students find relevant content for further practice. At the end of my notes, you can find Marsha´s notes with all the links she mentioned.
Nick Robinson´s advice and thoughts on the future of ELT publishing really got me hooked. Many interesting points about possibilities for self-publishing and concrete examples already in the market. I had the pleasure to meet Andy Boon (thanks to Nicky Hockly!), one of the authors in a self-publishing/independent project. We were immediately hooked to the story and downloaded the multi-pathways stories available in Kindle. You can learn more about those great interactive stories at http://atama-ii.com . Learn more about Nick Robinson´s ideas at http://www.eltjam.com/ and https://twitter.com/nmkrobinson
Another excellent presentation that got me with an irresistible thirst for more was one on gamification by Josh Wilson, who focused on the game-like mentality for educators to prepare better, more engaging lessons. Josh´s presentation was much more focused on the strategies and mechanics that we can learn from a game designer mindset to make our students learn in a more enjoyable way, not in the aspects that many consider as the core of a gamified lesson, points and badges. Not at all. Josh consistently mentioned that these are just part of the sum. Here are some key concepts:
Also, the book "The Gamification of Learning and Instruction" by Karl Kapp
Another presentation that was very useful, highly intense in terms of ed tech resources we can use in our classrooms was Lea Sobocan´s digital tools session. I´ve just checked her scoop it, which is a true gem: http://www.scoop.it/t/tech-gems-for-teachers
I could go on and on with my highlights of TESOL 2014, but I´m sure you´ll find your own treasures by exploring my Evernote notes with some great presentations I had the chance to attend. I´d love to know what you found.
Crossposted at http://carlaarena.com/tesol-2014-snapshots
Monday, April 22, 2013
IATEFL was just some days ago, but things get so hectic when we get back that it seems that it was so long ago... The highlights of an international conference like IATEFL is always related to the people you meet and talk to and the networking that takes place everywhere, on the streets, on Twitter, in the Convention Center corridors, during break time. It's always time to connect, talk, discover, experience.
If you ask me about specific things I've paid attention to and took notes, here are they in my Notes:
Learning Technologies Pre-Conference Notes
Notes Day 1
Notes Day 2
Notes Day 3 and 4
Also, there were some amazing bloggers who would post the summaries of the presentations almost real time.
Graham Stanley's summaries mainly related to Learning Technologies.
Chia Suan Chong's summaries
And the grand finale with our wonderful App Swap. In the corridors of the Convention Center, we exchanged fun and serious apps for personal use and for the classroom. Ana Maria Menezes did a wonderful job compiling all of them!
crossposted at http://collablogatorium.blogspot.com.br/2013/04/iatefl2013.html
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
This directory of amazing sites for photo editing - 28 Online Photo Editing Websites to Have Fun With - was shared with me by a dear online friend who lives in Argentina. First, it shows the power of our online communities. Jennifer Verschoor has kindly shared this link because she knew I was into working with images.
I just picked one of the sites, befunky, and tested it. What I loved about befunky is the fact that no logins are required and the effects are really cool. Teens would love to play around with their photos in this photo editing space.
Then, if you explore it, you'll see that you can make fun editing in your own photos to add them to your school digital resources, to enliven classes. Most important of all, you could try out some of those sites to make your classes even more student-centered by
- encouraging your students to remix their photos and tell a story.
- sharing their best remixes and have a class vote
- having students choose a topic, take a photo and edit the photo with text
- students sharing their photos remix and the others asking questions about them.
- encouraging students to remix a photo to match with a reading
- encouraging a photo remix plus poetry (like in this haiku project)
Another interesting resource for image editing,yearbookyourself, is the one Nik Peachey points out in his blog . Really fun to play around with.
Which tool from these resources would you give it a try and what kind of activities do you picture doing with your students?