Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wrapping up...some self e-valuation

Despite the endless hours it was all worth it. I think I fully realised this when I trialled my Arctic Activities Website with my 10 year-old ESL daughter. She actually wanted to take it to school to share with her classmates.

Prior to this unit all I really did was surf the web, send the occasional e-mail and use the computer for word processing. I felt comfortable with technology but I had never thought about incorporating it into my English language teaching. Greece tended to be behind the times as far as technology was concerned and general resources within the educational system were scarce. The majority of my students didn't have their own computer nor did they have access to one. Here in Australia it's a different story...

As I plan to eventually move into mainsteam teaching, this has been one of the most valuable units that I have done. I now realise that it is essential for a good teacher to have an understanding of pedagogy and the relationship between teaching, learning and technology. The ability to match the varying needs of the learners with the capabilities of technology and the interplay of teacher, student, context and tools should be a priority for us all. I believe that as teachers it is our responsibility to prepare our learners adequately to use technology.

The biggest hurdle I had to overcome in the creation of both my webquest and website was settling with something that I considered second best. I was bound by the limited experience I had with the use of the software. I had certain images in my mind that I wanted to create that I just couldn't. Many times I had spent hours and hours trying to find out how to do something, then finding it and doing it and of course ... it just didn't happen! As a result, I want to know more and be able to do more. I want to make my own templates!

I thought my website was pedagogically sound and as Helen pointed out, it would also be appropriate for the mainstream not just ESL students. Future versions in fact could have varying levels of the activities consequently catering to the individual needs of all students within a given class. The Arctic is such a rich task that it provides endless possibilities for the use of technology across the curriculum.

Another addition I would like to make to the Arctic Activities website is sound. Audio would have added another dimension and created greater interactivity for the learner. Julie commented on the need for clearer instructions. Point well taken. As for the distracting use of colour, given the age group of the children I'm sure this would not be a problem.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Teaching WELL and loving IT"

Taylor and Gitsaki (2002,p131) titled their article in New Perspectives on CALL for Second Language Classrooms "Teaching WELL and loving IT". I can really relate to this having completed CLN618. I even feel as if I would love to become more involved in this area language learning.

Once again I have been too busy checking out and commenting on other people's work rather thatn writing on my own blog! I even managed to do some simple tidying-up of our wiki. What I really wanted to do was to put some pictures on our wiki but its just not working. They are uploading but I have no idea where they are or where they have gone. If anybody can help out please do. I have uploaded a welcome sign animation that would look great on our opening page.

Thank you to Helen and Julie for your prompt comments re my website. I must say that I was really impressed with myself and if you had have asked me 13weeks ago if I could have produced that I would have definately replied no. I am embracing technology and feel very comfortable. I intend on moving into primary school teaching in the future and I can see that it will be most benefical. I must admit if I was thinking about going back to Greece to do EFL it would be extremely difficult to implement CALL. I guess I would be considered a bit of a pioneer if I did!

Anyway, just wanted to say that it was a great semester. If I didn't get a chance to personally say goodbye to you please forgive me. That last week of lectures I was really preoccupied. I am intending on doing the grammar unit that starts next Monday so maybe I'll see some of you.
All the best!

Monday, October 16, 2006

So near yet so far

The end is in sight. It is only about 6000 words away! Three major assignments all due on the same day. Okay. I can multitask and I have excellent organisational skills. This is what I tell potential employers anyway. Now's my chance to prove it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Time flies

Time goes by when your having fun. I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to reflect mentally let alone on my blog. Between work, uni and school holidays there is not a second to spare. I've just finished a major assignment for functional grammar. I was so absorded in the area I even discovered functional grammar websites and an online course. I now have to do a seminar presentation for the same subject. Debra will be pleased to hear that her powerpoint presentations have inspired me and I'm now trying to create my first ever!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Half way

Time goes by fast when you are having fun! Mid-semester already. Unfortunately there is no time to take a breather. I'm now thinking about my final piece of assessment for technology. It doesn't seem that impossible anymore. There are still many things I don't know about Dreamweaver but at least I'm not scared of losing my work with the press of a button. Hot Potatoes sounds interesting as does the task at hand.
Functional Grammar is my next big priority. It is like learning a new language. After having taught grammar from a more traditional perspective in an EFL environment it is often difficult to see how it can be used in such circumstances.
Assessment is proving to be a worth while subject. The amount of research and readings that I have done for it have really enhanced my appreciatiion and understanding of an area I had taken for granted.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Some catching up to do

I can't believe I missed such a productive day. It seems that a lot was accomplished and now I'll have some serious catching up to do. I've finished fixing up my non-linking links in my webquest and I will re-post on Monday. I had some problems going from home to working on the QUT computers. I am now pleased with the end product. There are still things about Dreamweaver that I don't understand but at least I feel more comfortable using the software than I did initally. I hope it will be possible to use it in our next task so I can refine my skills. The Richard Kern article that Debra is refering to is worth reading. Kerns discusses the key issues arising from technology-related literature. He also gives a comprehensive synthesis of research findings in computer-mediated communications, electronic literacies and telecollaboration. The most relevant part of his article is however the implications for teaching.

Monday, September 11, 2006

WebQuest Success

Well, I really didn't think that I could complete this massive task. Now the hardest part seems to be the actual posting of the webQuest on H drive. Every attempt I make has been unsucessful so far. I hop those friendly IT people can help me on campus.