October 2008

Allyson just recommended word clouds describing each of the candidates as discussion points for the upcoming election day events. You can find this info on the blog for the Pew Research Center, where they give the results of a survey where registered voters were asked what one word best describes their impression of the candidates for president and vice president.

Words that were most commonly used to describe the candidate

Words that were most commonly used to describe McCain as presidential candidate

Wordle creates “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

I’ll have to admit that I was rather surprised at the number of people that didn’t specifically write out objectives, or that said they have them in their head.  If I didn’t write out my objectives to a workshop, or a course, or a curriculum, how would I ever remember where I was supposed to be at the end or how to evaluate?  How many times have I heard, “I’ve taught it so many times I don’t need a lesson plan.”  Is that really true, I wonder?  What about all those things you could change, or keep track of, if you thought it out well before you walk into the classroom?

I think that NETs would be nice to add to the overall program curriculum, but I also think that the program curriculum should be more in-depth, more connected to the CEF, and include learning strategies and cultural aspects.  Maybe it’s not something I think about every day, or even every course, but that it’s there in my mind that my students will need to be able to use technology and English together.

The Dynamic Instructional Design model for me is simply a reminder of what I need to take into account at each level of planning a course, a unit, a lesson, an activity…I wouldn’t use it all the time, but off and on to get myself to think more about what I’m doing in the classroom.  The documents we looked at, including the DID designer, lesson planner, and action planner, don’t point out anything new, but remind me what I need to do. The last step of the DID designer, describing the summative evaluation process that I’ll use to evaluate my design and how the results will be used to revise caught my attention.

Found this article and thought it was interesting.  Didn’t know about the windows + D to minimize all windows. Check out  Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User.

Pogue’s Posts: Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User
Published: October 2, 2008
Last week, I wrote an entry on my blog that began like this: “One of these days, I’m going to write a book called, ‘The Basics.’ It’s going to be a compendium of the essential tech bits that you just assume everyone knows–but you’re wrong. “(I’ll never forget watching a book editor at a publishing house painstakingly […]

To kick of my third ELFship, I’ll be presenting a series of workshops on educational technology at the Colombo Americano in Manizales.  Hopefully I’ll be able to revive this blog to use with these workshops, since I’ve left it alone for a little too long!

This series of workshops will focus on exploring teachers’ beliefs related to using technology to enhance the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language (EFL) and building new skills related to the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning of the English language. Opportunities to reflect and analyze teaching beliefs will occur across the experience. Each workshop will focus on a topic of personal and professional interest. These topics will be based on needs and ideas of teachers. Possible topics from other course experiences include:

• Exploring teachers’ beliefs about technology;
• Creating a digitally-enhanced classroom;
• Using the Internet for professional development;
• Creating materials for the foreign language classroom,
• Designing project- based EFL activities;
• Evaluating Internet resources;
• Using virtual environments for foreign language learning and teaching;
• Identifying strategies for teaching with video in the foreign language classroom;
• Identifying strategies for integrating authentic audio in the foreign language classroom;
• Creating traditional non-electronic resources as well as digital resources for learning and for professional development.

The workshops will also include a wiki and individual blogs.