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A Piece Of Sky


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A presentation for the 7th Casa Thomas Jefferson Seminar in Brailia-DF-Brazil. Having been teaching EFL for 20 years, after I learned more about Web 2.0 and the use of technology in the classroom I suddenly realized all I had learned throughout the years was nothing but a PIECE of SKy. I used the movie YENTL as the main source of inspiration because its central idea is the fact that NOTHING is impossible.

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A Piece Of Sky

  1. 1. A PIECE OF SKY
  2. 2. Looking back... <ul><li>Where were you this time (around this time) 4 years ago? </li></ul><ul><li>Go back in time – July 2005. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>I was attending... </li></ul>
  4. 4. Who am I? <ul><li>Or better still – who are we ? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s take a look at our place in Franca-SP. </li></ul>
  5. 5. I am here today inspired by...
  6. 6. The Theme <ul><li>To make a long story short, Yentl is the story of a girl who lived in eastern Europe in the 18th century when the world of studies belonged only to men. Understanding her thirst for knowledge, Yentl’s father taught her secretly. After her father dies, Yentl has no other alternative but get into the world disguised as a man so she could keep on learning. </li></ul>
  7. 7. A Piece of Sky...
  8. 8. Nothing is Impossible! <ul><li>This is the central idea of the movie and that is what inspired me. Having been teaching English for 20 years, after I discovered Web 2.0 and started using more technology in the classroom I suddenly realized all the things I had learned so far were nothing but a piece of sky . When it comes to learning, there is always so much more for us to embrace – we just have to be open and eager to learn. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Food for thought <ul><li>“ Though it’s safer to stay on the ground ( our comfort zones ); sometimes where danger lies – there the sweetest of pleasures are found...” </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The more I live; </li></ul><ul><li>The more I learn; </li></ul><ul><li>The more I learn; </li></ul><ul><li>The more I realize; </li></ul><ul><li>The less (the little) I know... </li></ul>
  11. 11. Technology / Web 2.0 Endless Possibilities
  13. 13. Blogs <ul><li>Blogging enables unique opportunities for educators to improve communication with (and between) learners. Perhaps most importantly, they enable educators to connect with each other. Just sign up with an online service, such as Blogger. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  14. 14. They are simple tools for learners and educators to use. * Educators can use a blog to update learners on course activities, post reflections on in-class or online conversations. * Learners can use blogs to reflect, connect with others, use it as an e-portfolio or journal, and comment on important posts made by other learners.
  15. 15. The most common type of blog is kept by one person, who will regularly post comments, experiences of daily life to a web page. Most blogs will allow readers to comment on blog entries, creating an online community around a common topic. Blogs used in education are known as edublogs .
  16. 16. <ul><li>There are a number of free blog sites on the Internet. These include: </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>EzBlogWorld ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>They all tend to be very user-friendly. Simply visit the homepage of the blog and follow the instructions. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Wikis <ul><li>A wiki is like a public website, or public web page, started by one person, but which subsequent visitors can add to, delete or change as they wish. It is not static like a blog and can have multiple authors. </li></ul><ul><li>It has a non-linear structure, and pages may link back and forwards to other pages. </li></ul>
  18. 18. One of the best-known wikis is Wikipedia ( ) . A wiki lends itself especially well to collaborative writing. It’s relatively easy to use. One of its advantages is that if anything is changed or even deleted by mistake, previous versions of the page are automatically saved. A good example of a wiki is: /
  19. 19. <ul><li>Just like blogs, there are several free sites for setting up wikis, for example: </li></ul><ul><li>* </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Again, just like blogs, no specialist technical knowledge or expertise needed. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CCBEU FRANCA - 2009 <ul><li>Main focus – the creation of NING pages:online platforms for people to create their own social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Our main place: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Main idea behind it : have an online space for us to keep sharing interesting things we come across as we surf the net. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Different spaces have been created for different groups. The idea is to keep them open during and specially after the courses so students have the chance to keep in touch with one another,with students from other groups, schools, regions, countries. Show them the great potential of these social networks to help them actually improve as language learners.
  22. 22. Some examples of these spaces <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  23. 23. Interactive Whiteboards <ul><li>We started using some IWB (Mimio Boards) in 2008 – there were 5. </li></ul><ul><li>We now have 12 and the final project is the installation of 3 more so all the 15 classrooms will be fully equipped. </li></ul><ul><li>They do facilitate the teacher’s job since everything needed is available and it can be easily manipulated using the special pen (this make does not allow the use of fingers to touch the screen). </li></ul>
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Social Bookmarking <ul><li>A way to store and organize bookmarks (favorites) on the web. Having bookmarks on the web means they are accessible from any computer with an internet connection and a browser. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>There are different service available such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Delicious ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Stumble Upon( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Diigo( ) </li></ul><ul><li>*Diigo and Stumble Upon allow users to rate, tag and comment on specific web pages (comments are only visible to other users of the service). </li></ul>
  27. 27. I have been using diigo since the Webtools4BrazilianEducators and I follow :
  28. 28. (the one I created and have been sharing everything interesting I come across with my colleagues).
  29. 29. Think before you leap!
  30. 30. Although the use of ICT tools such as blogs, wikis and podcasts can be very motivating for learners, teachers are themselves sometimes fearful of the technology , or feel they are not technically competent enough to use these tools. Be prepared to face/fight resistance – take nothing for granted .
  31. 31. Other favorites <ul><li>Issuu ( )( to upload and publish powerpoint presentations, for example, and have them safe online to be used anytime, anywhere) </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare ( ) (another fantastic tool to upload presentations, documents and save them online) </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Photopeach ( )(great tool to create slideshows allowing you to add text to the images – very easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Voicethread ( ) (amazing tool to start discussions – it allows users to leave comments using video/voice (webcams) or simply by typing texts. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Highly recommended <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> (ICT in my classroom) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo groups: (learningwithcomputers /webheadsinaction) </li></ul>
  34. 34. Final notes <ul><li>Be open and eager to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Technology used well should bring us together, not drive us apart.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Vicki Davis, </li></ul><ul><li> ) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Learning takes place through the active behavior of the student: it is what he does that he learns, not what the teacher does.” (Ralph W. Tyler) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Last but certainly not least... <ul><li>“ Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘WOW – What a Ride!!’ ” </li></ul><ul><li>(Robert Wickman) </li></ul>
  36. 36. Thank you very, very much!