Showing posts with label casa thomas jefferson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casa thomas jefferson. Show all posts

Thursday, May 07, 2015

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot: A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot – A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

Just another thing I discovered in TESOL International Conference in Toronto. Actually, my colleague Ana Cristina Gerin had used it and mentioned it in one of our EdTech meetings. I was a bit busy with other projects and did not have time to try it out, though. So, while in the last TESOL conference, I had the chance of attending a 25 minute session in the Electronic Village in which I had a hands on experience with the tool. Back to my routine, I decided to give it a try and my students and I just loved it. Kahoot is free and it is in its own words is “ a classroom response system which creates an engaging learning space, through a game-based digital pedagogy.” To use it you will need internet connection and a device (iPad, smart phone) for each pair of students. So, let me explain to you how it works.

Create your own 

First, you will have to join Kahoot. After you create your account, you can create your own games (called kahoots). You can create three kinds of activities: quizzes, discussions, and surveys. To create a new kahoot, you will have to click on “new” and add your questions. Once you are done, it will be saved to your account and you can play it as many times as you wish. Besides that, you can also share your creations with your friends if you happen to know their user names.

Find other Kahoots

Once you are in, you can also use one of the thousands of public activities you will find for free on their site. To do this you will just have to use the search feature, find the one or ones you are looking for and check them to see if it suits your purposes.

Play the Game

Now that you are in, it is time to use it in class. You should first log on to your account and choose the game you want to play. Next, you should ask your students to open their device’ browser and search for Kahoot. The search will give them two results. Ask them to open the Kahoot it link. Once they do that, the platform will ask for a game pin. This is when you will have to launch the game by clicking on “play.” The next step will involve students choosing their nicknames, which can be a combination of the paired students’ names. Once everyone joins the game you can start playing. After each question, the platform gives a score ranking students as first, second, third, and so on.

A Gift

I have created two games for my Teens 7. So, here they are,

What did she say?   A quiz on reported speech.

What's the correct answer?  A quiz to test will and going to future.

I really need to work on tagging and creating names that will help others finding my quizzes.

A Tutorial

Here is a tutorial to help visual learners to grasp it a bit better.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

IATEFL 2013 - Liverpool - The Future is Now!

IATEFT 2013 – Liverpool

The Future is Now – What Tomorrow’s Schools Will Look Like

     International conferences are a great opportunity to learn new things, debate controversial ideas, and check if you are doing a good job at your school. The IATEFL annual conference is especially exciting because you have teachers from all over the world sharing information on teaching English as a foreign language. So there I was, ready to take part in this international exchange of ideas.
     Being a tech-savvy teacher who blogs and reasonably up-to-date on technological advances, I was quite curious by the title of this presentation by Peter Davidson (Zayed University, United Arab Emirates) on Thursday, April 11th 2013. “The Future is now – What Tomorrow’s schools will look like.” Could this be a breakthrough? Could he have discovered the future of teaching? After all, he was asking questions such as, “What will classrooms look like in the 21st century?”, “Will there be classrooms?”, “Will there be schools?”, “Will there be teachers?”. Looking for answers and for new ideas, in I went.
    Peter Davidson started talking about the factors shaping education at the moment, some of which are economics, globalization, research, and technology. Going on to the topic of curriculum and tools, He mentioned blended learning, online learning (MOOC), laptops, tablets, and phones. After cruising through web tools, he got the audience to discuss the role of the teacher in the future. Will we be facilitators, enablers, guides, mentors, gurus, or just bystanders?
    Finally, the session went onto the future of education. Whether education will be challenging, frustrating, chaotic, fun and exciting, Peter Davidson concluded that teachers need to not only be aware of the changing face of education, but they need to embrace this change and help to shape it. This change needs to lead to more effective learning. According to him, and I fully agree, teachers and educators need to shape the future of education – not Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
    The important question here is, “Did I learn anything new by watching this presentation?” The answer is no. However, what I would like to emphasize is how rewarding it is to know that Casa Thomas Jefferson is one of the frontrunners embracing this change. We, as teachers, have been using web tools for several years. Online and blended learning are already part of our reality. Computers and tablets in class are our daily routine. Even living in a developing country facing a never-ending economic crisis, we are not bystanders. Into the future we boldly stride.

André Netto

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 Ways You Can Use the Web for Professional Development in 2013


                                                                                                    www.photo-dictionary.com


It`s the end of a long day. After 2 plenary talks and 4 carefully chosen workshops, you are geared up with a set of incredible activities and ideas that will give a boost to your lessons and keep your students motivated and engaged throughout the next couple of  months. Then , after a while you inevitably start wondering when the next event will take place and whether you will be able to attend it or not. Well... does that ring you a bell? It certainly does if you have been a teacher for a while! Events such as one-day seminars, national and international conferences have ,for ages, been considered heaven for those who seek professional development. For the future generation of teachers, though, local workshops and international conferences will no longer be seen as the ultimate source of inspiration . A massive  movement towards the web is changing how people acquire knowledge and share it.
Well, let`s face it, it is undeniable how much technology has gained space in our lives and how virtually impossible it is to ignore it, specially in the professional scene. As a matter of fact, the academic year has just started in Brazil and we are still living that classic period  in the beginning of the term in which everyone  feels inspired to make a list of professional resolutions.  These lists are no secret to anyone, we actually enjoy sharing our aspirations and aims and sometimes even add a few more resolutions to our own lists based on what we hear from other colleagues. The lists are as colorful and diverse as the number of teachers, there is a myriad of goals, but from I have recently noticed, most resolutions, in a way or another, go around a common denominator: technology. Sometimes their resolutions are explicit as wanting to learn how to use a tablet in class effectively, which new web tools to be used for upcoming class activities, or as elementary as how to make and upload a slide presentation to the school`s wiki or  make a profile in a social network to interact with workmates and students. Some teaches have resolutions that apparently have no connection to technology itself, but sometimes they don`t realize that the answers to their worries might be found through technolgy.
As it has been aforementioned, there is a massive movement towards the web for both sharing and learning. Little by little teachers realize that the web has more to offer than just diversion. I have learned that the web has an unequaled power to re-design one`s academic and professional perspectives and it is my intention, here, to offer you a few suggestions I have tried  myself. This post is dedicated to those who want to learn more about educational technology, those who want to learn how to take more advantage of the web for academic and professional purposes and to those who apparently believe this post does not relate to any of their personal list of resolutions and are waiting for the next seminar in  town in the hope of attending a session that will  address their favorite issues.

Here are a few suggestions how you can revamp your carreer in 2013:

1.  Join a Facebook group
Did you know that besides keeping you connected to your friends and updated with what is going on in their  lives , Facebook also offers great opportunities to interact with  other professionals who share similar interests? Just go to the search area at the center top of your profile page and type in an area or topic of interest. Facebook will instantly show you many options of groups, pages and profiles that relate to your search. Visit a few and join in the one you like best. In these groups, teachers share interesting links, articles, news about upcoming events, great Youtube vídeos, etc. Here are five great suggestions to get started:

Mobile Learning
Online Teaching and Learning



2. Use Twitter to follow well-known successful professional and institutions

Nowadays top notch professional and institutions have a profile on Twitter. There, they share articles and blog posts, give tips,  advertise courses and inform  us on upcoming relevant events. So, go to the search space and check if those professionals you`ve always admired have a Twitter account and start following them. Tip: don`t forget to take a look at the list of users who follow and are followed by that profile. You might  even discover profiles that are more interesting than the ones you were originally looking for!
Here are 10 profiles worth following:

ShellyTerrell
@edutopia
@MyWeb4Ed
@Marisa_C
@VanceS
@hopreah
@NikPeachey
@carlaarena


3. Attend webinars

Also known as virtual conferences or online workshops, webinars are a fantastic way to invest in your professional recycling. They are usually free, last between 30 and 60 minutes and are delivered by the same incredible speakers you usually meet in important events. Webinars are highly interactive: you can write messages and questions in a chat box and some even allow you to speak using your microphone. Many sessions are recorded, allowing you to view them later as many times as you wish and presenters usually make their slides available for downloading. Isn`t it awesome? Give webinars a try , you shall be positively surprised!
For EdTech lovers:

Upcoming webinars delivered by Shelly Terrell every Friday (6:00 p.m Brasilia time): http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/292127
(Don`t forget  to check the recordings of past webinars. Fantastic material!)

2013 TESOL virtual seminars (paid for non-members). Check out the schedule:

Serendipity and Fine Focus Webinars
 There is no list of upcoming session topics once many of them are decided by the users the moment the webinar starts. I tried it once and I was very surprised that the whole session was on the topic I had suggested. It was a very nice experience and learning took place through the interaction among participants and moderators.

4. Take an online course

If you are looking for a more in-depth professional development experience on the web, consider taking an online course. You don`t need to be a tech expert to take these courses but they require a good deal of self-discipline and dedication, specially when you do it for the first time.  So, my tip is to start with a free course that lasts for a few weeks only and then, after you get the hang of it, go for the ones that are paid or require commitment for longer periods.

Coursera
You may have heard of MOOCs before: Massive Open Online Courses. In a partnership with top universities around the globe, Coursera offers many courses for anyone to take for free. Unique experience for those willing to take courses offered by prestigious institutions , such as University of Michigan, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, just to name a few. Check out the link for courses in the area of education:


SEETA
SEETA stands for Southeastern Europe Teachers Association and gathers several professional from around the globe interested in professional development. It is a very active association that, from time to time, starts forums and discussions on relevant themes and offers webinars and online courses, all for free!  In order to have access to everything, SEETA requires that you sign up as a member ,which, by the way, can be done at no cost. 

TESOL
TESOL is one of the largest and widely known associations for English teachers with ramifications all over the world. This means that what they offer to the teaching community is definitely reliable and of good quality. Their courses are not very cheap but are delivered by the top professionals in the field.

For those who are not willing to spend cash but still want to take courses supported by TESOL, the Electronic Village Online (EVO) is a great alternative. The free courses are offered every January and last for 5 weeks. Take a look at what was offered this year! Don`t forget to join their mailing list so that you can get a reminder for next year`s sessions!

The Consultants-E
Nickly Hockly, Shelly Terrell, Gavin Dudeney and Lindsay Clandfield  are some of the names that you will find in this stellar team of professionals. The Consultants-E probably offers the best online courses in the field of educational technology. If that is your area of interest, then you must know about these guys and take one of the courses they offer. They are definitely worth the investment! 
Here is a nice tip: for some courses, you can apply for a full-tuition scholarship!

5. Browse through the web

In the past , if you wanted to read articles or learn content in your areas of interest, you had to buy books or subscribe to journals and magazines. Now, you can go to a search engine, type in a few words and discover  a whole new world. There are excellent  blogs, pages and online journals with fantastic reading material. If you can`t find any blogs in your area of interest, how about starting one? Here are a few of my favorite picks for your appreciation:


As you can see, you don`t need to wait days, weeks or months to attend the next seminar or  spend lots of money to invest in the next move towards your carreer development. The web offers countless opportunities for continuing learning and sharing experiences like never seen before.  These five suggestions cater to  different professionals with different interests. If technology itself is not your goal, you can still use it to find people, groups, communities, blogs, pages and  networks of professional with similar quests. As a matter of fact, most of my own PLN (Personal Learning Network) comes from the sources mentioned in this blog post. How did I learn about their existence?  By chance while networking with different professionals in Twitter and Facebook.If you are thinking about ways of revamping your professional life in 2013, consider taking advantage of all the web can offer! 

Vinicius Lemos


Friday, November 16, 2012

Writing - From Dread to Love

http://www.flickr.com/photos/perfectsonnet/2344595296/


Being a writer used to be one of my greatest passions when I was a child. I always looked forward to having writing classes at school and put great effort on the stories I wrote. Unfortunately, as I grew older, things changed. As pressure over writing became greater and greater, my willingness to write dwindled. Matters became worse when I was asked to write essays in English, for I had never really had a formal education on how to write an essay in that language. As a result, I gradually stopped practicing and, consequently, I found writing to be my weakest skill to the point of feeling really insecure. That was until I took the Teachers Development Course – Writing (TDCW). Taking that course brought my confidence back and taught me much more than I had expected. Reasons for that abound, but I will focus on the ones I consider to be the most important to me.
                
When people take up the TDCW, they expect to be writing a lot during the course, and that is precisely what happens. Part of the learning process is made through extensive writing, which makes people feel more comfortable and the process more natural. Much of my insecurity came from the fact that I had never really taken the time to practice my English writing. Once I started making that a routine, writing started to become a familiar process until I was accustomed to the methodologies. Moreover, I was taught the nuances and peculiarities of the different kinds of essays, which refined the various aspects of what is expected from a good writer. Therefore, through continuously writing, questioning my results and rewriting, I was able to polish and strengthen my skills.
                
Since the course is aimed to teachers, one of the most important aspects of the subject is peer correction, and I do believe it to be one of the most amazing facets of the TDCW. Peer correction in writing consists of students reviewing their classmates’ essays and giving suggestions and advices to the writer so he can improve his work. This is such a phenomenal way of learning, for you not only practice through your own essay, but have the chance of reading different styles and points of view on a similar subject. Also, you are able to check your peers’ content and structure, which allows you to work on your teaching skills. Hence, being able to analyze other essays is a superb manner of enhancing both your learning and teaching skills.
                
This course played a pivotal part in my personal development for so many other different reasons. Being in a blended course, I had to learn how to be more inquisitive and question the subjects I learned instead of being a passive learner who just received the information the teacher gave me. Self-study was essential for me to learn about independence and responsibility. I learned that writing is a personal process, there are different ways of generating ideas and I can find the best way for me to produce my work. A well-structured course and a present teacher who always showed commitment were essential for my development.
               
It is interesting to notice how my points of view changed in so little time. Two months in the TDCW were enough for me to realize how writing can be a very pleasing experience. I started the course feeling insecure and uncertain of how my development would unfold. I thought I would have so many overwhelming problems and difficulties. I am not saying that I have learned everything. I know that if I want to keep growing, I will have to continue practicing. For this reason, I have recently decided to start my own blog, where I can write about my work and other subjects that I find dear. That was the approach I found to do something that gives pleasure and, at the same time, learn and develop my capabilities. There is still a lot to learn, but there is no fear anymore, only enthusiasm.




Monday, September 12, 2011

Saying the Unsaid - Silent Movies and Reported Speech

Teaching reported speech is certainly not that difficult. When I teach it, I always explain to students that it is used to retell stories, translate conversations between a foreigner and someone who does not speak his or her language, or even engage in a conversation with three or more people in a noisy environment such as night club or a rock concert. I also try to recreate communicative situations that make it as authentic and genuine as possible. If I could take them to a rock concert or a night club, it would be great. Despite my efforts, my students cooperation, and the wonderful ideas teachers always have when planning classes , I am not always happy with the size of dialogues or the quality of language produced by students in follow up activities. You know, we teachers always think that there is room for improvement.
This semester while I was planning one more class to teach reported speech, I thought that silent movies would just be the perfect means to create a situation for having students reporting a third party utterances and actions to each other. How did I do it? I did it in two phases and two places.
In Class
I first showed them a short silent movie (I used a silent version of Star Wars available in You Tube- It lasts only a little more than a minute). Next I paired students and asked them to take turns reporting what was being said right after I paused the movie. So I played a bit of the movie and paused for reporting. It was quick and fun and they really enjoyed doing it.
In the Computer Lab
While we were still in class, I gave them instructions. I told them to go to Youtube and type the search term silent movies. I also told them to choose movies that lasted three minutes or less. Besides that, I instructed them to do as we had done in class: they should first play the entire movie and then play, pause, report. They did it in 25 minutes and posted their reported versions along with the movie straight to our posterous class blog. We later corrected and the posts.The first drafts, however, were amazingly quite accurate to my surprise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to tell a digital story using Voicethread

How many times have you written a composition about a vacation you've taken? Many, right? However, how many times have you written a digital story about a vacation you've taken? Never, right? Guess what? Now you can do it. Better yet, you can ask your students to do it! Isn't it great! And this is only one of the things you can use Voicethread for. Having said that, take a look at the Lesson Plan I've prepared to my students. What are you waiting for? Pretend you are one of my students and try to write your own digital story. Please, after doing so, post a comment to tell me how your experience using Voicethread was.

Lesson Plan

Title: Sharing your vacation using Voicethread

Objective/ Overview of the lesson plan: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to create their Voicethread accounts and use this webtool to talk about their vacation. Students will be asked to comment on at least two of their classmates' work.

Level: This lesson plan was designed for intermediate and advanced teenage students.

Time frame: Students will be given 7 days to talk about their vacation using Voicethread.

Procedures and Steps:

1 - Tell a digital story about your vacation using "Voicethread". The tutorial below will help you. Please, watch it carefully. Also, as soon as you finish your digital story, don't forget to allow public access to it. All you have to do is click on the "menu" icon on the bottom right of your digital story, click on "edit" and then click on "Publishing Options". Finally, click on the first, second and forth boxes and then click "save".

video


2 - In case you need extra inspiration, click on the links below and take some time to watch two of the digital stories I've created a while ago. One is about one day of my life as a teacher. The other one is about my last vacation, which was also my honeymoon. Have fun!













Monday, September 28, 2009

Social Networking with Basic Levels


If we ask our students if they are part of an online community, probably ninty nine percent of them will say they have an account in orkut. Orkut is a wonderful social networking site and is a way to connect students with things they love doing and with people they like to share things with.
However, orkut as social networking has its limitations. It works more like a message board and it lacks features that can really connect students in a more meaningful way. Not only that, it is also public and does not allow you to control its features and decide who joins the community, what questions you can ask joining members, and so on.
I have been using ning for some time and have found out that my students really enjoy using it.Up to now, I had used with more advanced levels. However, most recently, after unsuccsessfully trying to set up a wiki in pbworks for my Juvenile 2 students (aged 11 to 13), I decided to give ning a try. To my surprise, it worked really well and students loved it. I also got rid of the problem I was having with pbworks that seemed to heavy to load.
Let me summarize some of the features of ning that in my opinion make it the perfect social networking site for learners from basic to advanced levels.
- Chat - ning has a chat feature that can connect the whole class. Besides having a group chat with your class in the computers lab, you can also schedule a chat session with your students at any time. Not only that, but you can also have a guest to join in and chat with you class.
- Videos/photos - your students can add videos of their own or pictures to their albums.
- Forums - you can create forums to discuss any topic.
- Music - the music feature allows your students to add their favorite music.
- Customization - Your students can choose colors and pictures of their favorite soccer teams to customize their pages.
- Blogs - you can create blog posts and have your students to create theirs with pictures, tags, etc.
- And some others that you can explore by yourself.
How am I using ning?
I am now using with my 12-year-old juvenile 2 students at Leonardo. I always write step by instructions in Portuguese on how to join the community and how to customize their pages. I first set the community sign up and open to anyone and public so that the ones joining in do not need any approval. I later change the settings on that to avoid unwanted members.
I take the whole group to the computer lab for the sign up and they generally get very enthusiastic about it. I also let them have a group chat. The chat feature is the one they like the most. I frequently catch them chatting with each other in the evenings from their home computers.
I have just started and now I am teaching them to blog.
If you decide to give Ning a try, I would be more than happy to help you set up your community.