Sunday, October 9, 2011
Week 2 Reflections- part II
Hi my dear colleagues, how are you doing? This was such an intense week, wasn`t it? I have to say I`ve learned a lot with all the discussion throughout the week and I`m pretty sure we are all enjoying every bit of it! Learning about Bloom`s taxonomy and the ABCD method has clearly helped me look at my lesson plans with a different eye. Your actions will always depend on what your aim is and if you have a clear checklist of what needs to be done, you can spot the areas that need more work.
After reading carefully the text "Taxonomy For The Technology Domain" I realized that there is this movement towards standardizing instructional strategies in educational technology. According to the text, there are six different stages in the taxonomy classification. Abilities can go from simple recognition of tools and awareness of basic specific terminology, to mastery in technology-based creation and
the study of technology and its implications in the educational scenario.
As a matter of fact, as I read the description of each level I trying to see in which level I would fit. It was not easy because I kept changing levels according to my judgement on my skills. In the end I concluded I might be in level 4: Technology for Learning. In this stage, the teacher is able to apply existing technology to his or her classroom setting. To be in this stage, the teacher must have knowledge of basic jargon and programs, must be skilled at interacting with other users and must feel comfortable at judging and analysing the use if technology with the students. I can say I feel pretty comfortable being in level 4 although I am pretty sure I am not a whiz! I don`t consider myself in level 5 because I don`t know how to create softwares or materials (I`m not considering recording and posting of Youtube videos or Vocaroo listening files or blogs as creation of materials. But who knows? maybe that is an example of level 5! But since I`m not sure about that I feel more comfortable to say I`m a 4.) and I also don`t feel I`m level 6 because I don`t think I can give a lecture on the implications of technology in the classroom. I still need to learn many concepts and study a great deal of information related to the area.
This past Friday I was lucky enough to participate in a Braz-Tesol (our national and local TESOL association) day seminar and the theme of the event was "Connecting with our learners today". It was so exciting because the approach of the event had to do with what we are studying in our course! I mean, isn`t the use of webtools one of the most effective ways of connecting with our students in the era of digital natives??
I attended some sessions dealing with projects using web tools (and little by little I am going to share some nice tips with you all!)and had the chance to discuss and learn some theory. In one of the sessions, teachers Fábio Ferreira and Makoto Yamamoto showed how reading a book could be fun. Their class had to read the Phantom of the Opera and a brilliant idea they had was to blend technology with the reading experience. What did they do? First, the "phantom"left a message on his cellphone (voice mail) and everyone listened to it. Then, the "phantom" created a VOICETHREAD in which students could log in , leave messages to the "phantom" or ask him some comprehension questions about the story they were reading. The outcome, according to the presenters was fantastic because students really engaged in the activity and felt like reading that book was fun. In Cleide Nascimento and Daniela Lyra`s session, they showed a lot of web projects they worked with their young learners and how parents were pleased to see their kids`production via email and links to different sites. They talked about many tools and one that called my attention was Glogster. Yesterday I opened my account and decided to make a poster summarizing a little of what I learned in the event. In the end of the event we had a plenary talk with José Luis Morales, an ELT specialist, and he talked about engaging students in the 21st century. He emphasized the idea that there should be a partnership between the student and the teacher and one of the most effective ways of doing so is through technology. As teachers, we should realize that students know a lot about tschnology and we can take advantage of that to establish a bond. We should never disregard their knowledge!
So guys, it was a great event for me because I could relate to many of our discussions in the course! Right below you can check a web tool I used called Glogster. Basically, it`s a tool for making posters. It is very easy to use and there are many things you can add to the poster, like videos, pictures and texts. I think they work beautifully for mini-projects. You could ask students to make posters about virtually anything they are learning!
My Glogster is my personal view on the event, based on the sessions I watched and some of the things I discussed with other English teachers. I also added an interview I did using my cellphone. Carla Arena is the one who taught me everything I know about technology and she is actually one of my bosses! She is well-known in the virtual teaching community and she answered a simple question I wanted to ask her! If you have never heard of this tool, I think you are going to love it!! I`m in love with it!
* You can click in "full size"to view the poster in the original size! click on "Glogster" to find it.