September 27, 2011

WEBINAR recording (teachers in Chicago)

These are the recordings of the Webinar I presented to teachers in Chicago. I used screencast-o-matic to split the recording into 3 parts.

PART 1 - Developing the 4 Skills 

PART 2 - The 10 Tasks Challenge

To see the examples I mentioned throghout the talk, click on the LIVEBINDER below:

This is "The 10 tasks Challenge" WIKI where you can find explanations, examples, links and tutorials.

September 23, 2011

What involves organizing a WEBINAR?

I always face everything in life as a learning experience. I've just finished a webinar hosted by Camila Sousa with some teachers from Chicago and loved the chance to put together many different ideas we 've had .

Camila Sousa , who is responsible for helping teachers  (Lincoln School in Chicago) integrate technology to their classes, invited me to present a webinar about webtools and the projects I've been developing.

Teachers had to enroll for the session online at their school site and then were hosted by Camila Sousa in a certain classroom at the school in the U.S. First, we thought of presenting using skype and sharing the presentation file, but then we ended up choosing WIZIQ instead. Using wiziq, the presentation would be recorded automatically and other teachers from the online course I facilitate would have the chance to attend as well.

Organizing a webinar is not an easy task, specially because you're dealing with technology. You have to foresee several technical problems that can happen. We tested our equipment (microphone, webcam, internet connection), a few days before the presentation and little by little we came up with solutions for the little problems we imagined. First, we tested different microphones, which one was clearer? Then, as I intended participants to see and hear examples of the project I was talking about, instead of screensharing which sometimes produces lots of delays and bad images, I created a LIVEBINDER which would be used to show the examples using THEIR computer.

This would be the scenario: we would meet in skype a few minutes before the session, test our webcams and microphones one more time and I would set up a classroom at wiziq. Then, I would send the link to Camila Sousa to join the classroom. We would have two kinds of participants: some teachers in one specific classroom in Chicago, watching the presentation on a big screen and participating with a microphone attached to Camila's laptop and teachers from different parts of Brazil participating online via the chat in the wiziq classroom. Participants would be invited to contribute with ideas at different moments. Camila would mediate the participation in Chicago and I would mediate the discussion with participants online.

Well, everything went just fine.
  • The equipments ran smoothly.
  • The platform worked beautifully. I only ended up forgetting to pause the recording while we were organizing the room (first 7 mins).
  • People participated giving suggestions.
  • The livebinder idea proved to be a very good one as they could hear the recorded examples perfectly.
Although I was a bit tense with the whole thing and worried about observing what was going on, checking the chat area , my slides and my presentation, it was ok.

Presenting online, has its advantages, you present from your own space (your bedroom, your office), you don't have to face a huge crowd even if you have 300 people participating from different places, and can always rely on your notes. A big disadvantage I still find is missing the reaction of the audience. You can't make eye contact with anyone and have to rely on the webcam to get a hint of what's going on at "the other end of the line".

 I'd like to thank my dear friend, Camila Sousa, for the invitation and the opportunity to learn a bit more about presenting online. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more I'll be sharing the recording of the presentation as soon as it becomes available.

September 20, 2011

A collection of TOOLS for EFL teachers (Part 2)

For this post, I'll be sharing sites with which you can create podcasts and different wordclouds.
It's always nice to know different alternatives for a tool you use a lot. Say, the tool you're planning to use is not working properly on the day you need it. Then it's time to look for similar tools.



September 16, 2011

A collection of TOOLS for EFL teachers (Part 1)

There are several tools available for the same purpose, however, each of them offer different features that can meet your specific needs at different moments. The ideal thing is to ask yourself what you would like the tool to do for you and then see which one meets your need.

For the next posts, I'll be arranging different tools according to categories: such as: interactive boards, poster, wordcloud, podcast, image editing, video editing, slideshow,  presentation, screencast and  taking screenshots.



September 11, 2011

Using EDMODO with Students: 20 IDEAS

I've been using EDMODO for some years now and every year I discover different things you can develop with students using the platform. I work at Cultura Inglesa Uberlândia and the coordination team has managed to involve the whole staff in using EDMODO as our virtual staff room, a space where we share material we've prepared, ask each other questions, help each other and so on. It's become a bank of resources to the whole school.

Last week, at our TDC (Teacher Development Course) I decided to talk about other interesting ways to use Edmodo with students. Now that most teachers are fairly familiar with the platform, it is a logical step to take advantage of all of its potential for language learning.

This is the presentation I shared with the teachers:

September 10, 2011

Webheads meet in Buenos Aires

Some weeks ago, I was in Buenos Aires for a conference when I had the incredible pleasure to meet some Argentine Webheads who are very dear to me. Before the trip, we arranged to have dinner together and meet f2f for the first time.

We decided to meet at the hotel where I was staying in the center of city. First, came Vicky Saumell, all smiles, and full of stories to tell. I was anxious to talk to her about how she started using PBL with technology at a school in B.A. Then, Andressa and her husband arrived. A few minutes later, Jennifer Verschoor came into the lobby saying Claudia Ceraso was on her way and  would meet us at the restaurant. We chose a restaurant nearby to enjoy some time together. Andressa and I shared a delicious bottle of red wine and we all had a great time. Once again, I was SO HAPPY to meet these teachers with whom I have so much in common but still had lots to learn about. I learned that Vicky has been teaching online for a University in Colombia . Jennifer is very busy with her M.A. in Technology and we both talked about our dream to attend the M. A. offered by Warwick University with Russell Stannard. Claudia told us she loves dancing tango. Girls, thank you so much for taking the time to come and meet us.

Their Twitter Accounts:

September 8, 2011

KNOVIO tutorial - add video + voice to your ppt presentation

Some weeks ago, I posted about KNOVIO, a tool which allows you to add a video narration to your ppt presentation. It's the simplest tool I've tried to make a slidecast. All you have to do is upload your ppt and start recording your video/narration.

It's a fantastic way to practice for presentations to come.
You can record yourself presenting and then watch it so that you can improve it.

It's also a great tool to record grammar and vocabulary explanations to students.
Another idea is to use the site for storytelling purposes. Students can narrate their stories.

This is how it looks:

This is how you can make your own:

The only thing missing is an embeddable player. (NOT ANYMORE, they provide an embed code)
However, I've been told they're working on one which will be launched  soon.
Anxious to use it more often. FANTASTIC TOOL.

September 3, 2011

CULTURA EDTECH - new group starts in September

Dear Life Feast readers,

In 2009, as some colleagues of mine were asking me to share what I'd been learning online with them, I also noticed separate workshops would not be enough to help non-techy teachers get acquainted with webtools and their potential in education.
For this reason, I created CULTURA EDTECH, an online course which has already helped the development of more than 60 teachers, not only from Brazil, but from the USA, France and Spain.

I have the pleasure to announce the start of GROUP #8 which will be taking the course from September to November. During these three months, teachers will have the chance to experience learning using internet tools, be contact with other EDtech members, participate in virtual classes, take part in discussions, read interesting articles, learn about interesting webtools and reflect about the integration of technology and education.

How is CULTURA EDTECH different from other online courses?

  • The pace of activities is gentle enough to meet the needs of busy teachers 
  • There are several tutorials giving step-by-step instructions. 
  • The facilitator (me, Ana Maria Menezes) gives full support to participants via skype and screencasts if needed.
  • Participants become a member of a community of teachers which constantly share ideas.
  • Participants will have the chance to try out webtools with all the guidance needed.

Listen to what some of the CULTURA EDTECH members have to say:
 Check out their COURSE PORTFOLIOS
 More information about the course, can be found at ABOUT THE COURSE page.