July 17, 2012

My baggage after ABCI conference 2012 - São Paulo

This month in Brazil, we have three big conferences for English Language Teachers: ABCI in São Paulo, Braz-tesol  in Rio and CTJ seminar in Brasília. Well, as we are human beings after all, with a family and a husband I love, I had to make my choices : ABCI and CTJ.

The conference had over 1,000 teachers and several guest speakers from various parts of the world : David Nunan, Nicky Hockly, Jim Screvener, Jeremy Harmer, Penny Ur, Herbert Puchta, Paul Seligson and many others.

My presentation "Teacher, the dog ate my Homework." HOMEWORK + WEB 2.0, aimed to reflect a little bit about the homework experience and share a project developed with my students last year where apart from assigning traditional homework (workbook exercises) , students had to carry out 10 tasks using different webtools.

With Bruno de Andrade's permission, I share his own notes about my presentation in São Paulo which can be read at Bruno's posterous about the event.

Ana Maria starts by asking participants to talk about their homework assignments when they were studying English.
Most participants claimed that homework was too structured and mechanical.
Then she asked what kind of feelings they related with homework. Answers were: boredom, competition, threat.
Next she asks the kind of hw we assign our students. She talked about the advances in teaching tools in the classroom, but what about hw? Has anything changed at all?
We still tell our students to do the same exercises we did in the past.
There's a big gap between the kind of activities we do in class and homework.
How can we make hw more interesting?
Harris Cooper: the use of HW as a pedagogical tool has had its ups and downs.
Nowadays HW is seen as a possibility for further reading and writing tasks. Some students do their HW minutes before their class.
Technology integration is a process! From user to integration it takes time.
The 3 phases of educational technology 
1 tech to present dynamic lessons
2 tech for sts to have access to information
3 tech for production and the sharing of products developed by sts
Where do you stand?
To reach phases 2 and 3 teachers find some constraints such as one computer for the whole class, syllabus issues.
The project
Apart from assign HW, she alternated with exercises using different tools.
Objective was to provide practice in different skills.
The context involved 3 groups, 35 students who have been studying English for around 2 years.
It's important to point out that these students were economically privileged.
The 10 tasks challenge
She selected the tools according to skills she wanted her students to work with.
Tip: plan and be flexible!
She included the project into the evaluation system.
The space to communicate with her students was Edmodo. There were tutorials and examples included on the guides on Edmodo.
Sharing with parents
Ana Maria, used a wiki to get parents involved.
  • Challenge #1 - Voki
  • Challenge #2 - Write Comics
  • Challenge #3 - Recordr.tv
  • Challenge #4 - Stixy
  • Challenge #5 - Picture description
  • Challenge #6 - audioboo.fm
  • Challenge #7 - GoAnimate
  • Challenge #8 - Livetyping.com
  • Challenge #9 - Voki
  • Challenge #10 - Voicethread

Close to the end of the semester, Ana asked her students which kind of HW they prefer. Most of then prefere the webtools.
A very Nice presentation!

I also had the great pleasure to meet online friends I've had contact with for months and some for years and had never had the chance to meet face to face: Roseli Serra, Nicky Hockly, Bruno Andrade and Raquel Oliveira.

What I'm taking home? Well, lots of insights provoked by the different teachers and speakers I had the pleasure to watch. Very simply put, I'm sure my baggage is a lot heavier than when I landed in São Paulo, with lots of insights, ideas and puzzles to solve.


GilMattos said...

Great post as usual, Ana. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Keep up the great work! You're an inspiration.

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Gilmar, You are one of the people I still have to meet f2f. Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ana Maria! It was a pleasure meeting you in person after having you as a moderator in Digitools in January. As in January we had the opportunity to experiment the tools just as users, it was great to see a project where they were applied with real students! I'll surely be using them more with my students.(Silvia - Cultura Inglesa de Londrina)

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Dear Silvia,
I'm going to look for you in our FB group so that we can keep contact. Thanks for the comment and let me know if you try any of the tools.

Ana Maria