Sunday, July 25, 2010

Language Teaching - Tools Worth Checking

Our presentation at the Braz-TESOL Conference and CTJ TEFL (Casa Thomas Jefferson - Brasília) went well with many teachers showing interest in the topic and wanting to make the change necessary to make the learning experience even more exciting.

Here's the slideshow for the presentation. Just click on the images and you'll be taken to the tools and their examples:

We also had the chance to present in the CTJ Electronic Village, a reduced, but highly effective version of TESOL's Electronic Village. The Ed Tech Team shared some resources and hands-on ideas for the language classroom.

Still on the topic of effective tools for the classroom,I just came across this list compiled by the Nerdy Teacher, whom I highly recommend the following.

Related Resources:

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Top 10 + some Tools in 2010 and the Lamest of the Year

Jane Hart is building her annual Top 100 Tools for Learning list based on the contributions of learning professionals worldwide. 

As I'm preparing myself for the Braz-TESOL presentation exactly about learning tools that might be useful for language educators, this is the perfect time for reflection and sharing. 

There's nothing brand new about my list, but really the tools that make a difference in my routine and in the daily tasks of my co-workers and network connections. 

So, my choices are based on the power to connect to others or to ideas, user-friendliness, learning effectiveness, and frequency of use.

I'd also add some other tools that are essential for me as an educator, teacher trainer and presenter:

To connect to others, to meet online with your classroom 
To make word clouds

To edit your photos

To present and connect to others online
To present and connect to others online - free tool

To share photos, videos and make cool presentation

To make bulletin boards, to discuss a subject, to add a mosaic of perspectives
Google Apps

Use them all for different purposes!

To make an online scrapbook
To organize thoughts into maps 

I thought it would be really interesting to point out to the ones out:

My choice of the Year for for the lamest tool of 2010 would go for Ning because of their disrespect to educators and how they approached their commercial ideals. This was a tool that I used to love, but has caused many inconveniences for me in terms of time and content retrieval.

What would be your list? How different would it be from this one?
What is the lamest techtool of the year?
It would be great to make it even bigger and more useful for others.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Say NO to Change

Why bother?
Why leave the comfort zone for the unknown?
Why seek emotion and a bit more of fun into our dull lives?
Why should one work harder just for the sake of changing?
Why even consider the transformation if all things seem to fall into place?
Why innovate if someone else will get the credit?
Why do something different if everything seems to work the way it is now?
Why alter the state of our classrooms if the students are learning for centuries this way, but just seem "a bit bored"?
Why transition to a more proactive view of professional development if I won't get a raise?
Why spend my precious time studying, searching, planning for better teaching if I won't get more recognition from my superiors?
Why the shift?
Why the move?

That's why most of us keep saying NO to the inevitable passages in life, when we have to transition from our well-known, safe routine to a new "unpredictable" mode of thought and act. Though we might question ourselves the WHY, and this is healthy when it doesn't block the possibilities ahead, innovating, moving towards a new direction, finding a more appropriate perspective to learning and teaching is simply part of our own evolution as human beings, as educators.


The word CHANGE is part of my daily job. Every day, there's something new that makes me change the way I see things, a new tool to do things more efficiently. Though resistant at times, I've learned to listen to opposite views, to ponder, and to come to the conclusion when change might be beneficial to the collective.

Say YES.
Give a new sense to your own life.
Bring life to your classroom.
Make it lively.
Laugh, dance with your students, sing a song, create one.
Let breadth and new light enligthen your educational practices.
Learn with your students.
Don't expect recognition, except your own perception of how engaged, motivated your students are.
Consider your own small rewards when you see a sparkling eye, a curious soul.
Laugh again.
Teach with passion. Teach with soul and intuition. Find magic in the small details.
Add bits of tech before you can call yourself a true innovator.
Keep daring.

Are you still considering saying NO to change? Well, you might use 100 lame excuses to avoid becoming a more adventurous, happier educator. Or you might start considering making small innovative changes that will make a difference in your and your learners' lives pretty soon.

Say YES to your very simple changing acts.
Try it.
It can be really powerful!
Let's start right now a Say YES movement.

I'd love to hear what you've done to substitute inertia for hard-hitting transformation.