Activity Picture Prompts for Discussion

Here are some slides which show a variety of activities to elicit conversation in your language classes. Ask your students about what they see. Use these slides to talk about clothing and different kinds of equipment needed for the activities. (Are they count or non-count items? Describe them.) What different kinds (and levels) of skills are needed to participate in these activities? How are these skills acquired? (Are there any similarities to acquiring language skills?)
Are these activities common where the students come from? Did they participate in them “back home?” Have them talk about an event they participated in. (This is how I found out one of my students was actually an Olympian!)
What about now? Do they engage in these activities in their adopted homes? Why or why not? What are the benefits? What are the difficulties? Are there health benefits to participating in these activities? What are they?  Would they recommend that other people try them? Are these skills for careers or hobbies? (What’s the difference?) Are there opportunities for professionals and amateurs to participate?
Your students can bring a picture of a hobby, sport, or activity that they enjoy participating in and meet in groups of three or four to discuss the different pictures. The group can then select one of its members to present it to the class. Or, turn this discussion into a writing (blogging) activity or an oral demonstration presentation to put into a vlog. Students can tweet the links with an image to their online presentations. The possibilities are endless!

10 Reasons Why I Blog

Why do I blog?

1)  I blog to reflect on what I’ve done with technology in my ESL classes.

2)  I blog to record what I need to remember the next time I try doing something similar.

3)  I blog to share with my colleagues across the country and the globe what has worked for me as well as what hasn’t.

4)  I blog to let those who are attempting to incorporate technology into their ESL classes know that we don’t have to be  technology whizzes or experts to use it; we just need to have the will and the determination to see it through and make it work.

5)  I blog to make my school colleagues aware that all of this doesn’t come as easily for me as they seem to think it does.  I spend a lot of time trying to learn about what is available and how to use it in ways that are beneficial for my students.  I also make a lot of mistakes as I’m starting.  If I can figure it out, they can, too.  It’s not a special talent; it’s a desire.

6)  I blog to let others know that there are ESL and IT teachers worldwide who are willing to answer our questions if we just send them a tweet!

7)  I blog to share with my friends and colleagues something important that I have learned about using technology in my classes; I’ve learned that asking my students a technology question or allowing them to come to my rescue from time to time is not a sign of weakness. Yes, I go to class prepared, and yes, I work out the glitches I’m aware of before getting in the classroom.  But, if something does go awry, and a student helps me out of my jam, allowing that student to shine is a wonderful thing, not a sign of weakness on my part.  Also, by my students recognizing that I believe in lifelong learning, risk-taking in my learning, and forgiving myself my mistakes, I hope I am teaching them something even more important than English.

8 )  I blog because I want my students to write, and I want them to teach their children to write and their grandchildren to write.  I want my students to know that what I ask them to do is important enough for me to do it as well.

9)  I blog to remind myself and others that we are not islands in this field.  There are always new ideas, new tools, and new challenges, and that by encouraging new and seasoned teachers to work together, sharing ideas, developing new methodologies, and improving our craft collectively, we make our profession stronger and our students, wherever they are, better prepared.

10)  So, why do I blog?  Surprisingly, because I have learned to love blogging!  It is as fun as it is challenging.  I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction when I complete a post.  It provides closure for me in one area of my teaching and learning, and allows me to go on to try something new.

So this is why I blog.  Why do you blog, or… why don’t you?

How has the way you work changed over the last ten years?

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker asked today how the way we’ve worked has changed over the last ten years.  My answer is with regards to teaching is… in almost every single way.

1.  Ten years ago, I was making audio cassettes for my students to purchase through the bookstore.  Now I give them links to free sites on the Internet.

2. Ten years ago, I collaborated with very few faculty in my department because our schedules didn’t mesh.  Now we collaborate via the Internet in a variety of ways, email, instant messenger, Facebook, Skype, and a new favorite, Google Docs, as needed or desired.

3.  Ten years ago, if I collaborated at all, it was with teachers in my own school primarily in our shared office.  Now, with all these new technologies, I  collaborate with people all over the world 24/7 .

4.  Ten years ago, two-way video conferences needed to be scheduled well in advance in order to get the equipment.  Now many of us have the equipment at home.  I’m videoconferencing on Skype almost daily.

5.  Ten years ago, people weren’t very willing to share their work.  Now we put our projects, both big and small, on sites such as YouTube, TeacherTube, Facebook, Twitter, SlideShare and on blogs and wikis to share with the world.

6.  Ten years ago, our work used to be saved on our hard drives and always backed up on a floppy.  Now our work is primarily saved in the clouds and backed up on a flash drive.

7.  Ten years ago, teachers got nervous if there were no overhead projectors in their classrooms or transparencies to use (colored ones had to be purchased by us since they were too expensive for the schools to purchase).  Now we have multimedia systems in our classrooms that project right from the computers.

8.  Ten years ago, nearly everything was printed on paper.  Now we are endeavoring not to use paper in order to save our natural resources, not to mention our budgets. Now we are encouraging our students as well as ourselves to design and create using technology rather than paper and pencil.

9.  Ten years ago, I had to carry extra handouts with me for students who had been absent, or the students had to go to my office for them.  Now these handouts are posted online for the students.  Likewise, students submit their work online so there is less chance of conflicts regarding if and when the work has been handed in.  It is also less likely to be lost by either the student or the teacher.

10.  Ten years ago, I worked equally hard, but had access to much less information.  Ten years ago I had to wait to get answers to my questions until I could get to the library or at least to a computer.  Now the answers to most of our questions are at our fingertips wherever we are via our cell phones.

What can you add to this list?  It’s fun to ponder.  It’s even more fun to ponder how our work will change over the next ten years.

SU 2010-2011 Edtec4matc in Review on Animoto

Here’s a brief video summary of what we looked at in this summer’s ER&D course, Educational Technology: Exploration & Implementation. I enjoyed having class with you the last five weeks and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me.

Have a great vacation everyone followed by a wonderful upcoming school year full of creativity, collaboration and sharing! I’ll be reading your blogs and watching for your updates!

Peace.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A Brief Audio Post from Rita!

Twitpoll

twtpoll :: Do you think an eportfolio presented via a blog would appear less professional than via Powerpoint or a webpage? (via @jhengstler)

Posted using ShareThis

The 12 Days of Technology-Day 2: Blogs

On the second day of technology, my PLN gave to me…Blogs.

Twitter (The First Day of Technology) gives me access to a global personal learning network with interests and expertise in educational technology.  My PLN gives me links via Twitter to blog articles recommended and written by educators for educators to share knowledge and discuss topics of interest and importance in the field.  Blogs being a social medium provide for interaction between the producer and consumers of the blog.  Readers of the blogs are able to comment on the articles and continue the discussion by adding their take on the subject. What better way is there to grow as teachers than by networking with educators globally, sharing information, and working to improve education in our own departments, schools, states, countries, world?

I’ve also realized that I can blog to document my own learning and share my progress, growth, and experiences with others who are interested in growing with me.  Readers can learn from my successes and avoid the same pitfalls because they’ve been forewarned about them.   Or, perhaps they’ve already done something similar and can share their experiences. Whichever way it goes, it’s a win-win for all of us including our students.

Student blogging in all grades is a hot topic in education and is proving to be an effective way to develop student literacy.

Here’s a great article by @suewaters from Perth, Australia to get you and your students started blogging.  http://suewaters.wikispaces.com/Blog Enjoy!