Thursday, 11 December 2014

AMAZING JOURNEY .......EXPLORING THROUGH THE WEB WORLD!


AMAZING JOURNEY THROUGH THE WEB WORLD
When I look back through the past 10 weeks of the e-teacher course, my mind is flooded with all memorable experiences ..... every week studded with exciting tasks pulling me to Nicenet, Blogger, Delcious, Our Wiki and   pushing me to explore many, many awesome websites and then to impatiently wait for Ms. Courtney’s feedback on Blackboard......all are wonderful moments.
 
Stress of work did not deter or diminish my zeal in completing the tasks and the assignments  .... you know why? It is just because of the interesting course contents, challenging tasks, fullest support and round-the-clock help and the encouraging feedback and generous appreciation from the instructors, especially from Ms. Courtney and above all the enthusiastic participation of all my dear friends and their wonderful comments  
A huge ‘thank you’ to all the instructors.
A special big ‘thank you’ to Ms. Courtney.
Many , many thanks to all my dear participants.
 
 
 
Let’s continue to stay in touch.....and grow together and change the world the way we teach.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sasi Raj
 
 

Week 10: A great milestone in my professional development!

Amazing 10 weeks ....an exciting journey takes a new turn .......a new start with technology!  

 
 
 
What shall I say now? .....the course has come to an end so fast without even our knowing it. The e-teacher course has been a superb professional development program for me.


There were many, many new things (teaching methods, techniques, innovative ideas, tools, etc) to learn! The course presented wonderful web tools which would make our teaching innovative and interesting.

All the topics that the course offered for our learning were very successful and are of great use to me. Among the many things that I have learned from the course, I would like to mention  a few which have made a tremendous impact on my teaching strategy and style.

1. ABCD model objectives – it was an exciting task for me as I have learned it for the first time. Now I know how to write teaching or learning objectives according to ABCD model. And I have learned the significance of this in my teaching.
2. Aural/oral skill-building was another important and successful teaching task the course offered. I enjoyed this completely technology based task and learned to use a lot many powerful audio tools from the websites.

3. Creating technology –enhanced lesson plan that I learned in Week 4. I consider it a great learning experience for me. Now I know how to create technology-enhanced lesson plan.

4. Understanding Project Based Learning (PBL) is yet another milestone in my teaching career.
5. Making Interactive PowerPoint presentation was also another important teaching tool that I learned from the course. Now I have begun to use it in my class.

6. In week 7, I learned the importance of using mobile devices for teaching and learning. This was a completely new idea for me.  

The topics such as ‘Learner Autonomy’, ‘Teaching Strategies’ , ‘Learning Styles’, etc gave me profound insights into the very process of teaching and learning. These are all eye-openers for me.

Finally, above all, implementing the technology related change in my class and the submission of my Project Report were the most interesting learning experiences offered by the course.

 I will love using the following technology tools in my class:

 Blogger
WebQuests
Padlet
Google drive
Crossword Puzzle Maker
delicious.com
vocaroo.com
RubiStar

 
Sasi Raj

Sunday, 7 December 2014

WEEK 9 : THE MOST MEMORABLE WEEK!

Week 9 is the most important and memorable week, I should say. You know why? Submission of Final Project Report and receiving the feedback.
As soon as I received my project report draft with peer evaluation and suggestions from my project partner Mr. Sergio, I started revising the draft of my project, based on the wonderful suggestions given Mr. Sergio. It took some time to give final touches to the report. I read and re-read the Final Project Report and kept it ready for uploading on Our Wiki.
I would like to appreciate Mr. Sergio for his insightful reading of my project and his useful suggestions. I like this peer evaluation task and it is a great experience.
Then, on Monday and Tuesday I focused on the reading material. I learned a lot about the learning styles and strategies of learners from Howard Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences” and “Learning Styles and Strategies” by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman. After reading these two articles, I was trying to examine the kinds of learning styles of my students and made a sort of introspection as to what kinds of teaching strategies I use to match the learning styles of my learners. It was really a great experience for me. Then I participated in the discussion on Learning styles and Technology Connections in Nicenet. It was really a rewarding experience to have Mr.Russell Moon in the discussion. He made me think about my teaching styles and the techniques I use in my classroom. Mr. Russell’s suggestions were of great help to me in my classroom teaching. Many times he challenged us to think deep into the various aspects of the learning strategies that the learners may use in their academic tasks. His insightful comments really motivated me to read more about learning styles and how we can use technology tools to help students become independent successful learners.
On Thursday I uploaded my Final Project Report in Our Wiki for evaluation. Today morning , I received the Final Project feedback and rubrics from Ms. Courtney. I was thrilled to read the wonderful comments and the feedback. My heart ‘leaped out of joy’. It was really a great moment in my life !  
Today I visited ‘Shaping the Way We Teach English’ website and I read the articles on ‘Learning Strategies’. I got more elaborate ideas from these articles which I used in my second post in Nicenet discussion.
This week taught me one important principle of teaching which I will never ever forget in my life and I will tell every teacher I come across:
Effective learning takes place when the learning style of the student matches the teaching style of the teacher. So, teachers, design your teaching strategies according to the learning style of the student.  
There is one more week to go.....the e-teacher course is coming to an end. There is a sense of achievement on one side but on the other there’s fear or sadness of losing or missing the joy and excitement that I have had throughout all the weeks ......amidst academic work and official assignments, always like a curious child impatiently waiting for new things, ready to take ‘the road not taken’, and listening to the wonderful voices of all the participants, and Ms. Courtney and other instructors.
Special thanks to Ms. Courtney and Mr. Russell Moon for making this week a great one.
Sasi Raj

Sunday, 30 November 2014

WEEK 8 : WHAT A WONDERFUL TECHNOLOGY WEEK!


It was again an important week – Week 8. It was full of rich learning and practice, putting into practice what I have been learning – all the new technology tools that have the power to change the way I teach.
Getting ready with the Project Report (draft) for peer evaluation was a good start for me. I was delighted to go through the reading materials and have glimpses of the various wonderful websites and technology tools. Preparing online worksheets, PPTs, Padlet Page and other  teaching and learning materials and tools made me realize how fortunate I am to learn all these new things which are already changing the way I teach English.

Going through the draft  report of the Project of my project partner, Mr.Sergio, was a great experience for me.  Preparing the checklist for peer evaluation helped me learn and understand some very important things I should follow in the project.

I really felt like a curious child when I was making my class Padlet page. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Though I was running short of time as I was busy with academic schedules and official trips during the week, I was happy that I was able to finish the tasks.  
I was glad to register with  ANVILL, which is again a new exploration for me into the technology realm.

On the whole , Week 8 was an awesome one, filling us and pouring on us all that we need to know and all that we can learn about the use of technology in English language teaching.
Thanks again to the instructors for their meticulous plan and efforts in their mission to make me a complete E-Teacher.  

SASI RAJ 
 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Week 7 : A Challenging and thrilling Week


It was really a challenging week for me. Right from day 1 I was completely busy with my academic schedules and official trip to some places. I was sometimes hard pressed for time. In spite of my hectic schedules I was able to complete the tasks for the week. It is due to the fact that the tasks were quite interesting and they were quite new. So with the new found joy, and with the energy and zeal born out of curiosity, I raced against time to complete the assigned tasks.
'Learner Autonomy' though I knew a little bit about it, my reading of the article “Emerging Technologies  : Autonomous Language Learning by Robert Godwin-Jones  was an eye opener for me. I also read some more articles such as David Nunan’s “Nine Steps to Learner Autonomy” to get a complete understanding about this very important component of teaching-learning process. I am happy that  now I have a better understanding of this important concept which would certainly help me in making my classroom teaching more interesting and effective.
Then the tips about the use of one-computer classroom are also very useful for me. Though I use one-computer class most of the time, these tips taught me how to use one computer class in an efficient manner.
I was amazed at the limitless scope and the innumerable ways in which mobile phone can be used in and outside classroom. I prepared an activity for use of mobile phones in learning vocabulary in the classroom. I was greatly delighted when I posted it in Nicenet.
Another important and interesting thing that happened was the pairing for peer review of our project report. It was really a great opportunity to interact with our friends asking or agreeing to be project partners. I am happy to be paired with Sergio for my project work. This was a nice experience.
Then continuing with the implementation of our project in the class, though challenging, was very exciting. Guiding my students to continue with their reading, writing and commenting on their blogs and giving feedback on their tasks filled me with a rush of new enthusiasm and energy of a person who has invented something new. The whole week offered me, I should say, a lifetime experience in the field of teaching and learning of English.
A challenging and thrilling week – Week 7!  Now marching towards Week 8......... for more challenging tasks!
Thank you instructors for equipping me with new tech skills every week.
 

Sasi Raj

Sunday, 16 November 2014

WEEK 6 - REFLECTIONS :LEARNING ABOUT ENGAGING STUDENTS IN LEARNING TASKS


More learning .........more about more web tools for engaging students in learning!

This week took more momentum towards my learning more about more web tools that will help me in engaging students in learning tasks.

The links provided in the reading section were really wonderful .Those links introduced me to different kinds of web pages having useful instructions, tips , case studies, reports and projects about the effective interactive use of technology and techniques, especially  the use of PowerPoint as an interactive teaching and learning tool. I have learned a lot of useful tips and minute details about the use of PowerPoint in the classroom teaching. My visit of   http://tep.uoregon.edu/resources/largeclasses/usingtechnology.html
was an enriching experience.
 
For the first time I have come to know about making interactive PowerPoint. It was a new discovery  for me  when I read the articles/materials on using PowerPoint and improving PowerPoint  to engage the students and motivate  students to actively participate in the classroom learning.And then making an interactive PowerPoint and posting it to our Wiki was also a great learning experience for me. I learned to make it. This EXPERIENCE is going to make a big change in my classroom teaching.
 
I learned more about how I can use engagement triggers and tasks in my classroom teaching. I have learned now how to use cartoons, photographs, images, pictures, video clips, etc to make my class interactive. I learned more about short pair activities and group activities to be used in my class. Knowing more about ‘Think-pair –share’ and its extended activities like ‘write-pair-share’ activity was really interesting.

Week 6 was a really a great week in the sense that it helped me to anayse the techniques that I use in my class and some of the new techniques that I learned from the websites which were provided by the instructors and choose which ones would be suitable and useful to my class.  

This week offered me an opportunity to put into practice what I am learning from this E-teacher program - the implementing part of the technology related change in my class. Yes. I was able to start implementing the project in my class. It was a delightful experience helping students create their own blogs and getting their blogs links by email. Seeing their blogs and them getting motivated beyond my expectations was a rewarding experience for me and a great achievement. This experience made me realize that technology does wonders in the field of teaching and learning if we know how to use it .

There is no limit for joy and wonder.........during this week. It should be only experienced..... learning and using technology and techniques to engage students in their learning tasks!

IMPLEMENTING THE TECHNOLOGY RELATED CHANGE IN MY CLASS

In my technology related project, my main objective is to use technology to motivate students in reading and writing tasks/activities. I would like to find out whether technology and internet resources would provide high level motivation and interest in reading and writing tasks.   

I made some changes in my original project step in order to get more focused. First, I got my students create their own blogs and send their blog links to me by email. Keeping in mind the course objectives of my class, I wanted my students to read their lessons on their own. I asked them to read the lessons from their e-textbooks available online in the text books publisher’s website. To start with, I asked them to read three lessons (two short stories and one short biography) from the online e-text book. Then I asked them to write a short summary along with a brief comment on each of the three lessons and post them onto their blogs. Most of the students have completed the reading of the lessons and the posting of the summary to their blogs. Once all the students have completed this task, each one of the students will visit at least five blogs of their classmates, read the summaries and write comments on each of the posts in the blogs.
 
I have visited their blogs and I have found them awesome. My joy finds no bounds when I see their marvelous blogs in terms of design and content. I have already begun to feel the change that is happening because of technology. Students who are not at all interested in reading these lessons using the text books and would not be interested in writing tasks in the classroom are showing a lot of interest and are writing wonderful reviews in their blogs.

Writing comments in the blogs would certainly be another interesting activity for them. This will be their next task, which is an impossible task in the classroom, given the nature and the size of the class.

There is more to do, peer evaluation and introducing the students to rubrics for evaluation, reading more online and making more posts......during the next week. They are writing their mid-term exam conducted by the school next week but I hope they will find time to do their reading and writing tasks.