Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post-itING - Make Post-Its a Living Learning Object in your Classroom

Think of three ways of using post-its in your classroom to enhance learning.

Write them down in three different post-its. Then, try to come up with two more ideas based on the first three ones and add them just below the three first ideas.

Do you feel how they can come alive for learning?

Post-it Note Faces

So, how about starting a post-itING movement. Adding the idea of action and movement to very special, gluing pieces of paper?

What if you took this idea to the teachers' room and shared it with your colleagues, challenging them to keep adding more ideas to the three original ones? Endless possibilities, right? And if you try it, how about adding in the comment area your ideas or an image with your post-its coming to life?

For inspiration, check these 7 ideas to transform Post-Its into learning centers.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Professional Life Changer - Welcome to The Electronic Village Online

This is a video I prepared especially for Moldovan teachers about the Electronic Village Online, which is dear to my heart. By taking part of it, I've become the professional and person I am today.EVO shaped my view of education, interaction, and online learning. It taught me about openness and network generosity.

Here's a post I wrote about EVO:

In December, the Call for Participation for EVO 2013 will be available at

Choose your EVO session and join us in January 2013.

If you have any questions about EVO, just leave a comment and I'll be more than glad to keep the conversation going.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Our Vulnerability and Strengths

Today I don't want to talk specifically about the classroom, our teaching practices or ideas for our academic world. I 'm with this thought marinading over and over for the past days, and it all came to full circle this morning after watching and feeling deeply touched by researcher Brene Brown. The main point of her talk with Jonathan Fields was about understanding our own stories and putting vulnerability and fail into perspective. There are just so many powerful ideas and thoughts in this video...

Only those who are able to put themselves out there in a state of emergence and a bit of trust in themselves, even if it means to be in a position of vulnerability, will  be able to add value to every endeavor they pursue in their lives. Only when we let ourselves say that, "I don't know, but just let's  give it a try", will we get to something bigger and probably above us, something with true meaning, innovative, inspiring. We, Brazilians, come from a very rooted catholic ethos in which we need to be humble, and whenever we do something good and people praise us, it is unholy to fill up our breasts in pride of our achievements. Generally, we do the opposite, we hide our greatest conquers into diminishing their true value, saying, "Oh, no. It was nothing. Oh, no I did nothing." How many times have we hidden ourselves into inaction just because we just didn't have a little faith in our own skills and knowledge and talents, considering the others around us to be the most competent, the most suitable for that job or position, the most qualified professional we know? How about us? Don't we have anything worth it? I know many very talented people and professionals who would answer no, thinking that they are just ordinary people, when, in truth, they are a treasure box of genius. 

Our main challenge, then, is to inhabit our own world and take action, having the guts to seek a meaningful, whole-hearted life that feels fulfilling. As Brené Brown says, it is really sad when the world misses the chance to engage with people because they've just decided to be part of the audience, sitting in the breach, observing the crowd, but not taking the risk to be out there.

As teachers, we are more lenient to the vulnerability scale, for we put ourselves out there every single day, but, are we really doing that or just faking it through the same old safe routines, same beginning, middle and end? It is about time we started taking a certain number of risks and letting our learners perceive our imperfections not as flaws, but as spaces for collective explorations and growth. 

Vulnerability. Action. Emergence. That's what we should be considering right now to bring the best of us to the ones whom we care for, for a better world. So, can you shamelessly name five of your strengths and with a prevailing trust that, yes, we are good at something that is worth sharing with others? Can you do something to your life that will impact positively on how you live with your life and how you connect to the ones around you?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the Ed Tech Radar - Online Moderation

I've just had a very enjoyable time, looking through resources and exploring, a powerful curatorial tool for educators. It is like "Pinterest for Educators", but the layout is cleaner and it has more sharing capability. Plus, it can become a very interesting way to encourage students' autonomy, giving them choice to go through the resources in a linear or non-linear way. The comment feature can also be used for threaded discussions on a certain topic. Added to all that, you can also have a collaborative board in which all the members share their resources.

What a digital treasure this is!

And here's a board you might find useful. It is about Online Moderation (loved the embed code!)

Join me in to share, connect and innovate.

Edit Teaching - Homework

Oh, this is a very touchy aspect of our teaching...

When have we innovated in homework assignments? We generally have the same language structure for homework instructions, "do pages x and z, ex. A, B and C for next class".

In our edit teaching mode, what if we did it differently for a change?

Some ideas:

  • Ask your students how they could practice what they've learned and make a list on the board; decide as a group for two or three options the students can choose from. Give choices!
  • Find exciting ways in which students can practice, but still have fun and create things, not just reproduce! Here's an article I wrote a while ago for the Young Learners and Teens IATEFL SIG that can give you some clues. 
  • Create a google docs with a situation (based on the topic or language structure the students have been studying) and invite students to add their thoughts, sentences, solutions, images. Make it a learning mosaic. 
  • From time to time, include parents and family members as part of the homework carrying out. It must be something simple and enjoyable for the family. Check this article

How about moving from boredom to creation, engagement and a smile in our students' faces?

Any other ideas to shake the homework world and still make it meaningful and effective?

Other ideas for small changes in the classroom:

#editteaching 1: Music Playlist 
#editteaching 2: Box
#editteaching 3: Color
#editteaching 4: Dice
#editteaching 5: Word Harvesting