Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 10-We only part to meet again!

So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again,and all would change to dull reality--the grass would be onlyrustling in the wind, and the pool rippling to the waving of the reeds--the rattling teacups would change to tinkling sheepbells, and the Queen’s shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy--and the sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all thy other queer noises, would change (she knew) to the confused clamour of the busy farm-yard--while the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle’s heavy sobs.
Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Week 10-9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 the mission is done!

Dear fellow passengers and our guide Donna,

Here we are at the end of this amazing journey. As sad as it sounds it’s not the end of the road. Our paths may meander differently but are goal in becoming better teachers offering our students the most of their learning is the same. During these 10 weeks we had our ups and downs, good and better days.  We were racing for time but all of us ended up successfully! We managed to get the most out of this supportive learning community that we created.

Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the people who made this course happen. I wish to say thank you to my marvellous colleagues from all over the World and friendly teacher Donna who made this environment supportive and positive. I learned a lot form all of you and I feel that all of us supplemented each other each and every minute of this amazing course. This experience will stay in my mind forever!

When it comes to evaluating the week’s tasks and readings, I found all the topics in this course useful. I loved the way methodology and technology were linked together throughout the weeks. All topics, regardless of their purpose were both vital to me. On the other hand, it is clear that I’ve mainly broaden my knowledge on the tolls for educational purposes. Although, I was familiar with some of them, during the past weeks, I’ve brushed my skills around them.  Well known tools, I now utilize in more effective way, using shortcuts and generally making the most out of them. For me, the precious was ANVILL and I intend to implement it among my students during this school year. My wish would be to know more on Collaboration Platforms such as Blackboard collaborate in order to use them in teaching.

To finish with, I simply loved this course as it teaches you the importance of the journey not merely the destination! I also have to commend this experience that confirmed my thoughts on how we should try to shift from teacher’s role to student's role more often in order not to forget how our students feel and what they needs are. This way we change perspectives with the purpose of understanding our students better. We walk in their shoes!

I wish to wrap my last post in my dear colleague Afika’s words how the end of the course is actually just the beginning itself! 

And just one small-BIG thing:  Dear colleagues, your learners are lucky to have you! I wish you and your students all the best! Thank you for making these ten weeks unforgettable!

Hope to see you soon at some of our favourite spots in our building Web society!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 9

This week we had few tasks to do but the biggest one was finishing our Project, in my case Project Plan. I felt the same as the last week in relation to bringing things to an end. While writing it many ides crossed my mind and I felt like each part of my Plan could be broadened and enriched. I believe that this course made such a strong impact on my teaching and left me with the idea of a true reflective teaching. I would interpret it as a cycle that goes around and each time it gets more balanced in its path. I wish to share this idea with my students so they can experience the true value of learning and transfer it on any other aspect of their life. I now can really understand the meaning of a saying that the learning never stops! 

Concerning this week’s readings we discussed different learning styles and became aware of various students and their preferred ways of learning. Although it may seem like a big task for us teachers to accommodate our students, we’ve came to a conclusion that one tool can cover various different styles at once, as my dear colleague Afika noticed.  We just need to be wise when choosing the right one. Students are like different colours in a colour palette while teachers need to facilitate them with their complementary pair.
All in all, week 9 is already over. I am at the same time proud of the work done and sad because everything is slowly coming to an end.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 8-Who said that curiosity killed a cat?

I don't know where to start but I have to say it’s much easier than to finish. Why? Because when you think that you’ve finished doing something another door opens and there you go walking through them! Oops!

I started my travel through magical Webland on my bike when I fell of it this week and started walking that led into running and now I am swimming in this rich sea of opportunities. This week was so rich in organizing, creating, reflecting and changing few starting points of view.

The big step was creating a rough draft of our final project. Mr. Jeff Magoto is one to be ‘blamed’ why I want to implement ANVILL in my project. Shaping around this amazing tool feels like getting an extra hand or maybe two. We all know how this feels, don’t we? Thanks to him and my ever developing nature I‘ve realized that I have 5 more days of hard work in order for my Plan to be successful. I’ve started creating my own ANVILL course. Oh, boy what a fun!

Given a great variety of links to creating tools I started exploring them. Some of them I am already using in my teaching while most of them were new to me. I tried to play with as many as I could. I like the idea of how everything is linked in the brilliant Google World concept.

Another thing that inspired me this week were all the great teachers presenting at The E-TeacherScholars’ Conference as a part of their E-TeacherProfessional Development Workshop. It was a great pleasure to be among them.

 I’m already starting to be Webskillsick though there are two more weeks to go! :(

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 7-Making our mission possible!

Another excellent week is behind us!
At the beginning of the week I had to choose the path. Even though my choice was on One-computer classroom, I had a chance to broaden my knowledge on Learners' autonomy. My reflection is that the accent is on the learner but the essential role of a teacher who is there to guide and shape this process of learning shouldn’t be forgotten. One computer classroom can assist us on achieving this goal.
Furthermore, the Web is the inexhaustible source of materials that can be recycled in one-computer classroom. There are plenty guidelines on how to start implementing changes in teaching using one-computer while supporting our students’ autonomy. I've ended up brainstorming on the ideas in order to adapt them for the specific needs of my students.  
The tip of this week is to keep our heads up while maintaining the positive attitude on our one-way in forming our learners' autonomy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 6 - Press an action button for interaction!

We're moving forward on our way to becoming true representatives of new tools in teaching!
This week’s topic we shifted from action to interaction in hope that we'll stop boring our students who are more than familiar with our gift of speech. Our task is to stimulate them to do things on their own with their own hands and brain, together, in pairs, teams and working groups. From this week on I believe that interaction is the best action! Nevertheless, when using modern gadgets we need to be careful not to overdo their use as less is  more!
After Week 6 I’ve realized that I need to improve and reinforce my knowledge on the tools I'm already using rather than shifting onto a new tool without brushing up on the familiar ones.
The saying is practice makes perfect and I agree with it! I’ve chosen this idea to be stepping-stone in implementing new tools into my teaching!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 5 - Following the right path through our Quests!

From all of the paths that we can possibly come across in the World of Web we found the best one that nourishes our needs.
Our modern students now choose to learn how to learn and why to learn. They design their learning themselves and reflect on it. We offer them great tools, set the goals they need to accomplish and point out evaluating parameters. We basically remove all the obstacles that may get in their way so they can focus on their ride and their finish!

This is perfect for our innovative society of team builders and team leaders who constantly create in this ceaselessly transforming World of ours!