Thursday, March 15, 2012

Farewell reflections:Recollection of the highlights of this course through my eyes

This entry will be a test for me: What has remained as knowledge or skills? How has my attitude changed towards the use of technology in my teaching?

 I started with the basics; search engines (noodletoolsGooglescholar, infotopia, DuckDuckGo), good practices of seaching the web both leading to practical, useful, guaranteeing sustainable use of the web.

Then came my acquaintance with Blogger, delicious, scoopit, Nicenet. With Nicenet I had my classroom where I was able to discuss with my colleagues, exchange views, share ideas, questions. With Blogger I had my personal territory to reflect, write, share comments. Delicious and scoop.it to store, save or publish resources that can be of use to me and whoever might be concerned.

I had the tools but what for? I needed a purpose. Vague at start? It takes its distinct form with the ABCD method. How can I put this objective into practice? I had some tools available. Can they help? What literature has to say? Readings on CALL like  The pedagogy-technology interface in Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training or  E-mailing to improve EFL Learners' Reading and Writing Abilities: Taiwan Experience to mention just two and sites such as ESL Independent Study Lab , Many things , one-stop English  gave me a lot of ideas about what is on offer and how to use technology. My students need to be interested, their desire to learn is a prerequisite. How can they be motivated? PBL is a method that keeps most, if not all, students engaged and then I need clear guidelines and explicitly defined  assessment criteria that don't keep the target out of sight!
So much work and I haven't started, yet, poor me! Don't worry,  Rubistar will aleviate the anxiety derived from having to designing assessment rubrics and if a WebQuest can guide students with their research and easily lead them to the completion of a project zunal can be a helping hand and an interactive power point slide show can keep even a big class on edge. However the point is how I will make my students autonomous and independent learners and my teaching should address their different learning styles and give them opportunities to open up and discover the world. Skype, websites, wikis, virtual classrooms can stimulate students to move ahead. And there are resources to turn to if you are in search of activities to match to your students profile like Teacher Tap.

A fruitful journey in the world of webskills. I leave the course wiser, more knowledgeable, and grateful.

I am sorry, Robert, this time I can't answer your questions. I can't say what was most relevant, most useful, or what was missing. There may be things to learn, how else it could be, but I feel the water has taken its course. So I don't feel any awe anymore and I can move to discover many more about technology.

Thank you so much!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Learning styles" the focal point of the week

We are moving towards the end of this ten-week-course and my feelings are pretty mixed. On the one hand, I am quite satisfied with myself as I managed to meet deadlines and complete my assignments despite the big number of responsibilities I had and  kind of relieved from the stress that this endeavor entailed and on the other hand  I feel sad that this marvellous learning experience will be over soon. I have already started missing the interesting discussions I had with my colleagues on our Nicenet classroom and the encouragement I always received from Robert, our tireless and enthusiastic professor.
The main topic of this week's discussion was "learning styles". I was not unaware of  Gardner's theory and I always took into consideration that not all students learn in the same way. However, the readings of this week and the varied technology options suggested practically helped me in specific ways. First of all, I now know of the existance of on-line tests which can be used to discover the learning style of an individual. This is pretty useful for the teacher as they can indntify their personal learning style as well as the learning styles of the students and therefore the teaching can be designed appropriately. Thanks to Luisa,  I took a test to see my personal learning style and I intend to recommend it to my colleagues and students.

As I wrote on  Nicenet after clicking on eduscapes.com and after exploring the site which is so rich, I reached "Build A Project Select a topic and brainstorm outcomes and technology-rich activities that fit all the intelligences".| Verbal-Linguistic | Logical/Mathematical | Visual/Spatial | Bodily/Kinesthetic | Musical/Rhythmic | Intrapersonal | Interpersonal | Naturalist | Existentialist | at the bottom of the home page. I found the classification very useful and practical not only as a guide to designing appropriate activities for a multiple intelligences class but also to check whether a lesson or series of lessons one has designed includes activities that address different smartnesses.

Besides, I found particularly interesting the way the different learning styles were reflected in the postings, blogs, lessons and activities, as well as preferred readings and resources of the participants in this course. It is a common belief among us that we've learned a lot but it is so obvious that we reached the knowledge from different paths and although we all had at our disposal a bank of resources, each of us took advantage mostly of those that best suited their style. However, I saw that we all tried to experiment with new things and develop as many smart aspects of our brains as possible, but the preferences were clear especially in the outcomes or the products of our stydy.

What I feel sorry about is that I didn't manage to explore everything suggested in these 9 weeks. I have promised myself to go back and without the pressure of time I will revisit our discussion topics, sites recommended, resources suggested. And after delving into each aspect of TBL discussed here I hope I'll be able to disseminate this knowledge through seminars to English Teachers in my city and other subject teachers in my school.

I feel more than just grateful for the opportunity to do this course. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The highlights of this week's webskills experiences

This week has been the most difficult of all. I had to finish my draft project report and continue with the weekly tasks. The fact that the lessons for a Master's degree I am doing started two weeks ago in combination with the responsibilies at work which become more and more caused me to miss out on a exceptional experience to fully attend a webinar conducted by Jeff Magoto in the framework of the webskills course. However, I feel quite satisfied with what I accomplished.

Going back in time, I am trying to recall what I learned this week. A fascinating experience was that of the ANVILL virtual classroom I was acquainted with and the fact I managed to connect to the chatroom of the webinar and I, at least, exchanged a few words with the people I have been working with for eight weeks now at real time. I was so sad I was not able to attend the whole event. I would have learned so many things! However, I was impressed by the readiness of the connection. I had been given the http://tinyurl.com/uoregon-march2-webcast link and following simple and clear steps I was in, in a matter of seconds. I only had a 20- minute -break between classes at University. I had my laptop with me, I went out of the classroom to a quiet corner of the foyer and thanks to the wifi connection I immediately had access to the virtual classroom. It was amazing to hear Jeff and greet my friends. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long.

 I also created an account as a teacher and I can use the facility of  ANVILL for my classes since it is free but I didn't have the time to explore how everything works. It is a pity, Jeff won't be with us any longer so if I have questions I will need to figure everything out by myself based on tutorials.

This week I also had to create an online course site or an exercise to use online or offline. I haven't done that, yet. I feel overwhelmed, I used to do my tasks well in advance. I have something ready a wiki I created for my students last semester, but I wish to experiment on something new. I started creating a classroom assistant on Nicenet but there is no content in it, yet. I wonder, is that enough?

What I appreciated a lot this week, is my reviewing of my colleagues project reports. Apart from my hopes of proving to be of some assistance to them, I had a better insight of the value of the assessment rubrics and the importance of giving them to students well in advance. To cross-ckeck your work with the help of the given criteria safely guides a student to self-development and learning autonomy.

I will be missing all my colleagues and my tutors, Robert in particular for his exceptional work with us, when when this course ends. I wish we could continue to communicate and create a network which will design projects, exchanges, webinars and whatever else we can come up with. Maybe we could start discussing projects on a European basis with Luisa, Ricard, Natasa, Sinnika and all the other european partners and then see for funds for international collaborations.

What do you think dear friends?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Learner autonomy vs teacher autonomy

This week I read articles related to learner autonomy like Thanasoulas' article http://iteslj.org/Articles/Thanasoulas-Autonomy.html  and Samuel Sheu's one http://coyote.miyazaki-mu.ac.jp/learnerdev/LLE/8.1/sheuE.html which I found most informative. However, I gave more thought on the interconnections between teacher and learner autonomy thanks to the conversation of Richard Smith with Andy Barfield found on  http://coyote.miyazaki-mu.ac.jp/learnerdev/LLE/8.1/smithE.html and secondly due to the position I hold, that of a headteacher. Convinced that learner autonomy is by far the most important goal for a school, my main concern now is to find ways to encourage teacher autonomy, given that it goes hand in hand with learner autonomy.  
One needs to consider which aspects of the teaching context are objectively against any teacher autonomy and to what extent and secondly to examine the degree to which teachers are willing to abandon these otherwise strict guidelines in terms of curriculum, preselected books and teaching material, time and type of assessment. To my mind, there are opportunities for a teacher to design, make decisions, use alternative resources without having to account for or putting their professional name at risk. I always believed that the set of rules or guidelines given my the ministry are only indicative of what students need to learn. At no point is there a hint by the law that a teacher is unauthorised to use any material or reorganise the content in a way that better meets the learners' needs. What really matters is the learning outcome, and to me, the strict guidelines can be seen not as a recipe but they are given to ensure that all teachers do at least more or less the same things in all schools throughout the country. By no means does it imply that teachers who feel confident and are capable to move forward are obliged to go by the book. I suppose the system is designed to safeguard the learners from the small percentage of teachers who are not highly qualified in terms of pedagogy __and the system "knows"  how teachers enter this professional sector. Besides the system seeks equilibrium and thus tries to be based on the big number of the average teachers and thus ignores or swallows the small percentage of pioneers. But these two marginal minorities make the difference. Isn't it about time to help the weak teachers and give ground to the gifted ones?

Another aspect of this big issue is the teachers'  reasoning for what they do, what they would like to do and they don't and so on and so forth. One should be able to distinguish the real obstacles from the alibis for doing nothing more that the minimum. Lots of excuses for not integrating technology into the lessons, for example. However, with only one computer a teacher can do wonders. They can totally transform their lessons and not only grasp their students' attention but keep that vivid  throughout a whole teaching period. My colleagues in this course suggested beautiful ideas. Ky, for instance, uses this site www.howjsay.com to improve students' pronunciation,   Luisa used just one video clip  My Cubicle in multiple ways and thus taught vocabulary, critical thinking, listening and writing.  And the list is much longer than this.

I 'm borrowing  John Wooden's quote as cited in Robert's post to end this reflective post:

"Don't let what you can't do, stop what you can do".

Thursday, February 23, 2012

7th week in my webskills journey

I have been working on webskills on a daily basis for seven weeks now trying to make the best out of it. That is to say, I am trying to learn as much as I can before this collaborative learning experience ends and I am left alone to continue learning and implementing what I learn. I am curious to see whether, when this continuous challenge, constant trigger and motivation cease, I will be armed enough to continue, in other words, whether I will be autonomous enough to move on.

This week my anxiety for the success of my scheme to integrate technology into my project at school has come to its peak.  Hardly a day passed last week without my checking the blogroll page on our reading club website:
Until one night, to my amazement, the first URL to an all new student's blog appeared. I clicked on it and I was more than happy that the first blog post of a student was long, concise, comprehensive and in good English. I felt as proud as a peakcock. "This is a good sign" I thought. I immediately commented on her post and sent her an encouraging e-mail. The next day during breaks I did nothing but walk up and down the corridors on the school premises to meet as many students as I could to remind them of what they were expected to do, to find out what their constraints or problems were, to advise them, to help them. What was the result? Those who had not even created an email address did so the very next day, and some promised that they would definitely have the requested content to upload on our site during the lesson. They didnot have a computer at home or internet connection or their parents didnot allow them to use the computer during the week days. I had to reconcile with reality.

Wednesday came and we gathered in our classroom. We were lucky! The ICT teacher was on a sick leave so the lab was at our disposal. Some students logged in and started writing on the site. Once they saw their first post published,  their faces lit up. It was more than obvious. They felt proud of themselves. Some others were still at the point of creating their e-mail account and others, not familiar with keeping a note of passwords and usernames, were struggling to recollect them. Anyway it was clear that we had jumped on the waggon. We assigned tasks for our next meeting and a deadline was given. This time their pieces of writing would be on Google docs, they would share them with me so I could make comments.

Again enthusiasm faded away after we split and the deadline expired with no sign of response. I e-mailed them reminding them of their duty and giving an extension to the deadline. A day later I received my first notification that someone had shared  a document with me. I opened it and I started highlighting parts she could edit. She was there viewing and we started communicating on-line. We were both enthused about this process and we kept on working although it was after midnight. That was my first time to give feedback to a student from home and it was so rewarding for both of us.

The next day I called in to my office a couple of students I happened to meet and I showed them what we had done. They were kind of jealous and promised to send me their work. There is still time. I know they will work on their task during the weekend! Let's see!...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reflections on my two first meetings with the students of my school Reading Club

Fascitaned at the idea that a group of 22 students from our school had created a reading club with the intention to reading a modern Greek novel and discuss issues raised in it, I decided to join the teachers who would help the students in the book exploration. My idea was to integrate technology into the students project hoping that in this way their work could be made more widely known to the educational community and a good example for other students to follow. 

When I first met the students, I informed them about my idea and their response was positive. I told them them that we could create a website where we could gather all our activities.  They would need to create an e-mail account so we could communicate more often than our face-to face meetings. They all seemed to be quite interested in trying this out. That was our first short meeting.

The time came for our club to make the first steps into the new venture. We arranged to meet in the computer lab so that students could have access to a computer and the internet. They were guided to open a Google account and an e-mail address. Those who already had one helped the others so in the end everyone had an e-mail address and sent me their first e-mail.

I had already created a website using the  Google sites  and I showed to the students what I had prepared. However, it was obvious that they were not familiar with working on a website. I asked them to create their personal blog where they could post their thoughts, views or reflections about the book and add the URL of their blog on the relevant page on the website. They agreed to do so. However I later discovered that I had overestimated their ability to realise such a task. I should have helped them more or I should have never asked them to do that. That was too much for a start.

On second thought, I would be satisfied if students started writing on the wiki. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Concerns about the project-based approach

What I always found peculiar about the traditional, conventional, teacher-centered teaching and learning was the fact that teachers ask and the students answer. How reasonable can that be when, by definition, the one who doesn’t know asks the one who knows? This reversal of the natural flow of discovering and learning has in a way tortured many generations of learners. And what was the result? Once an individual left school, there was nobody out there to check whether the accumulated knowledge could be fully retrieved. So what’s the point in spending so many hours to develop a skill which is hardly needed? What matters is what a person can do with the knowledge gained and how one can continue learning out of the school environment.
Coming to the issue under discussion, the PBM is alleged to be the key to the problem. And it can really be if applied appropriately. For classes where both teachers and students are not familiar with this approach, to my mind, small steps are required before one embarks on realizing a long term project. Webquests seem to be the scaffolding to the full implementation of projects as they familiarize students with the new approach. The pattern is clear and the product is specified.
But then another issue rises. Teachers are required to be computer literate themselves as projects imply research and research goes hand in hand with having access to resources. A webquest can be designed as a paper and pencil one but even then computer literacy is presupposed on both sides, the teacher’s and the student’s, plus the need for the right facilities, either at school or at home.
"One of the major advantages of project work is that it makes school more like real life” says  Sylvia Chard when asked about the importance of project work.   And she adds: “ we open up areas during the school day when children can speak about what they already know, when they can ask questions, they can express interests that are different from [those of] other children”. And I couldn’t agree more. However, what if most of the children come of educationally poor backgrounds and what they bring to class as interests or experiences are minimum?
No matter what my concerns are, I am convinced though that the project method is far better than other approaches. I agree that after being engaged into conducting research for several times, students become more motivated for and enthusiastic about learning. They develop little by little a sense of learning for themselves and not for others. Learning changes from an obligation to a personal goal. What can ensure that this is achieved, is the gradual introduction of the method starting from the first stages, that is, primary education.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's customize our rubrics!

One of this week's challenges was to create a rubric or an alternative assessment tool I might use in a class. This task generated to me some thoughts I would like to put into words.

 It is not always easy for teachers, especially when they have to prepare for many different classes, to design their lessons in detail, that is, to write down the learning objectives, choose the right teaching material, design the process carefully and have a rubric in hand to assess the students' performance. However, all these different elements are closely interelated and they are not such a heavy load of work once the teacher gets the hang of it.

The main idea behind this teaching duty is that all studends have the right of equal chances to education and deserve  teachers who are, above all,  professionals. What is more, a learner needs to develop a sense of self-awareness and self-confidence and   be assisted in their attempt to learn how to learn, which leads to their being autonomous and independent learners. The issue raised here is how a teacher can attain such a ambitious goal. What does a teacher need to know, how can they cope with the new demands?

First of all, I think that teachers should not feel guilty for not having been received appropriate in-service training throughout their career. Second, they shouldn't allow any insecurity they may feel, once they are called to implement a new approach, to hinder their professional progress. Refusing to try out new ways of teaching, or even worse, being up in arms against any suggested innovation is like a deadend. It is surprising to realize that among other professionals like doctors, engineers, and so many others, teachers are the least eager to changing attitudes and the most likely to resist. 

Being a teacher myself, after many years of loneliness in my teaching itinerary, I can now say that a teacher needs a community,  a network of teachers that can drag him/her out of the stagnant waters. The wider the community, the more their chances of being inspired and saved from frustration. In modern days, there are many teaching tools on offer that can take some of the burden off the teachers' shoulders and allow them some time to concentrate on  refining the content of the teaching. 

Such a tool can be found on http://rubistar.4teachers.org/. This site offers a helping hand to teachers who need to prepare rubrics in a short amount of time and of course one can start with the predesigned criteria and then move on, little by little, to customize their own rubrics, depending on the learning activity they want to assess. I used a template I found on this site and I created my rubrics very quickly. It was quite a relief! 

So, let's not reject using rubrics because of fear. The pattern is there for us to follow. Let's jump on the train and start building our own patterns!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"CALL" , "CLIL", "TEL" : the key words of the week

This week I have been struggling to find  ways to integrate  CALL, CLIL and TEL into my teaching without having any of them outweighing the others but all working in harmony so that learners have the optimal educational, technological and language learning. Most of all, I wished to conceive an approach that could strenghten my students autonomy and enhanve their motivation for learning. But what do these abbreviations stand for?

CALL, to start with, stands for computer assisted language learning, CLIL stands for content and language integrated learning and TEL for technology enhanced learning. Viewing each approach in the light of the Greek education reality, I can't help but consider the existing pitfalls for both teachers and students. Suppose a language teacher is computer literate, which is not always the case with Greek teachers, are there the necessary facilities  in their teaching settings so that they can put their knowledge into practice? I am afraid not. Most state schools have nothing more but a computer lab equipped with old computers, some of which are out of order, slow internet connection and in addition to that a not at all flexible timetable which makes the use of the lab by the language teachers hardly feasible. On the other hand, and from the students' point of view, they cannot imagine in what way they can use a computer to meet any learning  needs in the framework of the various subjects they have at school. This is due to the fact that each subject is seen as a distinct, separate learning area and none of the subjects are taught with the project-based method. All the knowledge they are expected to acquire is by default hidden in the books they are given the content of which is interrelated with the content of the educational syllabus. 

Coming to CLIL, to my knowledge, it has not been implemented systematically in my country and a possible reason can be the homogeneity of the language spoken, which is Greek. If it were to be tried out as a method, it would not serve the purposes of enhancing the language competence of people who come of a bilingual family background or live in a country with two official languages. In our case, I regard this approach as a key to increasing motivation for learning a foreign language and improving the insight to both the foreign language and other content areas.

From an economic and social standpoint, the above mentioned approaches seem to be too much of a luxury, since especially this year and for the years to come, the schools are going to be all the more under-funded and families do not seem to be able to afford any update of their technological equipment. 

Under these circumstances, I am to conceive a plan of how I could possibly overcome these difficulties and have my students take advantage of the benefits of these methods and not let them fall behind compared to more economically developed countries. I hope I will come back with a suggestion soon.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Startled at the abundance of bargains

     The third week is coming to an end and I have learned quite a lot. What my colleagues have achieved are so amazing! How could I possibly have managed to do so many other things? Some of their blogs seem a lot more attractive than mine! And I also keep thinking of how I can implement what I learn to my teaching situation. Which tools do I really need?

     I stop for a while! Masses of information, huge numbers of sites offering me what I need and what I hadn't thought I might need. Lots of sites willing to offer me their products and services for free. They compete to amaze me and they do. Is there enough time to consume them all?

    I feel as if I am in a huge mall full of stalls of colourful products. I feel overwhelmed with the number of options. I wander around for hours and sometimes I lose track. Then tired, I withdraw. I look for the way out to clear up my mind and reorganize my work!

    I am all the more convinced that there are two ways to deal with the web. One is to discover it and another one is to use it. I need to remain critical before I become a "modified" consumer.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is Technology panacea?

      Some very important issues have been  raised this week during the discussion among members of the webskills course. We are all technology enthusiasts but not so carried away that we could neglect examining various factors teachers should consider when embarking on integrating technology into their lessons.

       To start with, a question that is posed is whether there will come a time that teachers will become obsolete. I personally doubt that and I agree with those who claim that it is the teacher's role that will change. The teacher is  all the more expected to guide students into their learning adventure and "pave the way" for their mental and social development. However, this entails that the teacher should be able to "pave the way" that every single student can potentially take - "the way" that best fits his/her personality and learning style. How feasible can that be and how can we expect a teacher to achieve such a huge goal when he or she has to cater for more than 25 different individuals' needs in most cases? Technology can at this point prove to be a helping tool. A computer and appropriate for a learning situation software can help a teacher with the designing of an individualised lesson. This does not necessarily requires a language lab, but only computer corners in an ordinary classroom. This will allow students who need to practice a particular language area more to do so at their own pace while other students are being engaged in a different activity. It can also be a solution for students who are fast learners and easily get bored when the teacher slows down to help struggling students. Thus, the teacher is still there like a conductor of an orchestra or a director of a performance.

      Another point raised is whether students learn better when using a computer than having a teacher in a face-to- face setting. No doubt, the latter strikes as being more interactive and more humane as a teacher can tell whether the student is in good mood or in good physical condition. Computers, on the other hand, can increase the possibilities, by the means of the Internet and tools such as Skype, for students to interact with native speakers of a foreign language and thus become genuinely motivated to use the language. So the artificial at first sight classroom can be an open window to the world. Let alone that students who live in remoted areas can benefit from sources and learning communities and social networks, otherwise totally missing in their location. 

      Finally, a point that sounds alarming for teachers is the time management and the possible mingling of working time and personal time. I personally feel that there is a likelihood of being addicted to spending most of your time in front of the screen of your computer but still it is again a matter of personal capability to develop and keep distinct limits between professional and personal life. No matter what, this is a new world and has come to stay. It is up to humans to take advantage of the benefits of technology and control their lives properly.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

An acrostic for teachers

       For some teachers to write objectives is a real pain in the neck. They usually have a rough idea of what they want to teach but when it comes to assess what their students have learned, they end up to be either too strict or too lenient. Why does this happen? Obviously because they haven't clearly stated their objectives from the very beginning not even to themselves.
     According to the relevant literature, a teacher should know that the learning objectives can be cognitive, psychomotor and affective. A long list of verbs are suggested as appropriate to use when a teacher wants to write an objective of any category. And then a whole theory about the reasons why certain verbs should be avoided.

     The ABCD method of writing objectives that I've learned  this week seems to be very practical. Acrostics are always helpful as they remind you what you shouldn't forget.

     ABCD works as an acrostic that reveals the most important elements of an objective. A for Audience (the learners), B for Behaviour (what learners will be able to do after the teaching), C for Condition (how or the context in which the learning will take place), D for Degree (to what extent, in how much time,  how well?).

A (Audience) helps you consider the students' profile, skills, starting point.
B (Behaviour) helps decide and design where you want to take your students
C (Condition) helps you consider the teaching tools, the teaching approach, the time required, the learning      environment
D (Degree) reminds you that you must set the criteria against which the students' performance will be evaluated well in advance.

Clear though the method it is, it requires a lot of practice on the part of the teachers until they become absolutely able to put all four in one. After reflecting on how well I can apply the ABCD method to my every day teaching practice, I decided to replace the highlighted verb above with the verb "I've been taught". I feel I need to practice more until I meet the target.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ariadne's thread

what I found frustrating ever since I started using the internet was that I couldn't easily find my way back. As I was wandering through the numerous paths and alleys of cyberspace, I usually stopped for a while on  an interesting site which suggested various links all potentially worth clicking on; and from one link to the other, amazed by what I discovered, I  usually lost track and subsequently the initial target. Lost and tired, I usually felt like giving up and so I did  most of the times comforting myself with the thought that I could start over the next day.
How disappointed I was every "next day" when I realized that I was not able to retrieve the sources I had found. The amateur  method of copying and pasting on a word document bits and pieces of certain articles didn't help me. I am now in the position to say that I need to hold tight Ariadne's thread and this is http://www.delicious.com to me. It doesn't "taste" delicious but it works effectively for my work like a delicious dish for the body. I have stored all the useful sites my classmates have suggested and at my own pace I will explore them when the time comes. I have already visited some and I have created some stacks of links that I'll need in the near future.

I can now travel more safely with this roadmap in hand.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012


I could never imagine that what I might learn in a course could be handy the next moment. This happened to me this week and I feel thrilled about that. To be specific, my class is doing a project this term and we needed a questionnaire for our research. The problem was that we didn't have much time to design, hand it out, collect the filled- in copies and draw the results. So I used for the first time an on-line questionnaire and this is something I learned once I set out on this course.
Second, I created a blog which seems to be friendly and I almost overcame some constraints I had about blogging.
These two things strike me as being very challenging learning experiences and very useful teaching tools. I will now start thinking about how I can use a blog for my teaching since I already know what I can do with an on-line questionnaire.

I feel really lucky I attend this course and share all these with you.

See you on-line!

Saturday 14 January 2012

Week 1. My first post 

I have been in front of my computer for some time now not knowing how to start. To be honest, I created my blog yesterday but I didn't post anything.
"This is not my first blog", I thought, "but this time I feel kind of strange".  "Why?", I wondered.

After giving it some thought, I realised that the blog I had created a couple of years ago (http://blogs.sch.gr/mkollatou/ ) was a "blog" in the form but not in essence, meaning that I didn't use it to write about my views, my impressions or my worries. I used it only for professional purposes and I kept some distance. I could feel that it didn't resemble to the blogs I followed but some kind of unexplicable constraints kept me back.

So, here it is! I will start using my new blog to talk about what I learn, how I feel about what I learned, what difficulties I may have! And the fact that I have all of you, though scattered in the world being so close, experimenting like me, helps me liberate myself from the fear of being exposed.

It is so nice to meet you all and you Robert in particular for being so encouraging!