Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week 10 (7- 11 JUNE): Wrap-up

Like all my colleagues, I feel sad about the end of this course. However, we are happy with what we are taking with us: a plethora of rich knowledge and innovative ideas to imp[lemet in our EFL classes around the world.
In this short week, I was very impressed by learning about the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LoTi) Framework! My happiness to know about them reminds me of the minute I knew ABCD model. The fist helps in planning my objectives and the latter show me where I stand. As I wrote on my post,now I know the level of technology integration in my classroom, which is Level 4a (Integration: Mechanical) My students learned how to explore some, but not many, real-world issues and tried solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources. I did experience, internet delays, lack of support from colleagues due to ignorance of the know "how" issue. I do need assistance from other colleagues, professional development workshops that can help me in sustaining engaged student problem-solving.Lucky, I am not far behind, but still, I need to take my students further on the scale, especially after having a more clear vision about how to use technology and the web to enhance my teaching. In a year's time, I would like to be in Level 4b – Integration: Routine. To achieve this, I would use project-based and task-based activities to facilitate my students learning, collaboration and lifelong learning. I would also design a one-class computer tasks and activities to help in engaging my students in learning about the real world around them.
As I said on my Nicenet post, reaching the end of this journey of a rich course, I feel overwhelmed with all the knowledge and information waiting right in front of me for more exploration with my students and implementation in my class. I would have never found this opportunity if I was not nominated by the USA embassy in my country. Thanks to them!

All of the topics in this course were most successful. All the topics in my opinion were very well chosen to match our needs as teachers who are starting their career in teaching English with technology and the web. In my situation, the most useful ones were: Writing class objectives in the ABCD format , technology-enhanced lesson plans, WebQuests, learning styles, learner autonomy, creating class sites and making exercises with online tools, teaching large classes and the one-computer classroom.

For me, this course  was a great opportunity to share experiences, knowledge, thoughts or plans with teachers with the same interest from aroudn the globe.A big 'Thank you" goes to Deborah, for all she did with us during the course. Another big "thank you" note goes  for the USA embassy in my country for the nomination!
I hope I will meet all of you around in the cyperspace, or maybe, just a maybe, I will meet up with you f2f!!!
Wishing you all the best in the beginning of our journey: Teaching EFL/ESL through the Interactive Web.:-)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sharing my joy with you: My chapter in an International book

Dear colleagues,
Today, while I was working on completing my tasks for week 9, I received an email telling me that the book "CALL in Limited Technology Context" is being printed!!I have a chapter in this book which entitled "Bleeding edge challenges in Sudan: Limits on using CALL in EFL classrooms at the tertiary level".Yeees!
This is the link for the screencast sent to me.Or you can click here to see the title of the book of the sidebar.
Unfortunately, I can not access in Sudan. It's a problem with Sudan IPA address. Anyway, I hope  I will be reading a copy soon. It’s a book by authors from different parts of the world. The main focus of each chapter is helping teachers figure out what they can do despite all the barriers and problems they encounter when using technology in classrooms.It a book full of practical ideas and inspiring experiences. It a book which  is recommended for all teachers  who live in limited technology context and who are using/will use technology in their EFL classrooms.

Week 9 (31 May- 6 June): Teacher Resources Online

I am so tired :-) My energy is starting to go away! I've submitted my final exams and the attendance sheet yesterday. FINALLY! No teaching load. But, unfortunately,  I have to work laying on one side and the laptop on a table. Pregnancy and an aging woman! But, I WILL make it! I will for sure do!!I am almost there!
 This week was more practical than the previous ones. We completed the final course survey. I created a class site using Nicenet, a class blog , and, later, I will be using Google Docs, Rubristar, Snapagrades.I will start using the course site with my third-year students next October, inshaa Allah. I designed the first lesson about learning styles, as the first topic in the Study Skills course,  and applied the online tools above. I used proprofs to create the online exercises. I had troubles with HP before and I don't want to go over them again. Proprofs is great especially when I can see how many time the Ss have tried taking the quiz and how well they did.
I am working now on the final version of my  Project Plan report. The timeline is not finished yet. I just felt I want to reflect on this week first.
I was amazed with how easily; I could put my ideas for the site and the lesson. The minute I thought about an objective, the suitable tool pops up to my mind. This course has definitely helped me putting together all the "loose ends" that I had been struggling; with during the previous two years. I am also amazed by how I could write a lesson plan using the ABCD model.
After the course, the first thing is to add what I’ve learned here to my coming workshop sponsored by the British Council, Khartoum, planned in August to train teachers using ICT in teaching English. Teachers should be aware of the fact that, ALL students in Sudan are exposed to technology-even on a rudimentary scale. So, we can’t avoid using it anymore. THEY should be the change agent to their teaching styles, and not vice versa. I hope we will have Internet so I can invite all of you to say some words for teachers in Sudan.
The second clear thing that will take place after the course ends is that my continuity to using technology with my students. I will add what I’ve learned in this course and which I haven’t been doing before. I am thinking about many ideas and suggestions, but for now, some of which are:
-Designing my lesson plans using ABCD objectives.
-consider my students learning styles.
-All activities and tasks should be directed towards enhancing learner autonomy.
-Assess and send grades to students weekly, not after the course finishes.
I am already missing here!