Sunday, 11 March 2012

Week 3: Searching in the Web and Copyright

Current times are so demanding, being efficient with the time management is a must for all professionals and Teacher are not the exemption. In this way, Teachers need to focus in addressing their Students needs by establishing effective aims and making effective lesson plans, based on current information and creative techniques to catch the Ss attention ant keep them motivated while learning. It was stated that internet is the greatest library ever but the most disorganized as well, so Teachers have to be extremely careful when researching and planning classroom activities in the web. First of all, establishing clear aims for the lesson and keep focused in that. Then, in order to save time, Teachers need to master the different tips and techniques we worked on this week, like Google operators, basics, filters and other web tools that help narrow the searching and get faster and easier what Teachers are looking for.

Furthermore, Teachers need to inform and train constantly their Students in the right use of internet, in order to avoid misinformation, misunderstandings and wastes of time (especially during classroom activities). It is important as well that teachers show Students how to identify reliable sources of information from others in the web to avoid misunderstandings. Another interesting learning this week was to know there are specialized searching engines like MetaCrawler, Search-Cube and Dogpile which narrow information from the largest searching engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL, msn, etc.

Finally we were introduced a very sensible issue, Copyright, reinforcing the definition of author’s rights over their original materials. What is more, we had the chance of discussing how copyright could affect Teacher labor inside and outside the Classroom. Basically, Teachers are allowed to do a “fair” use of every material inside the classroom, but it is advisable to ask the permission of the authors to clarify the educational use that their material would have inside the classroom. Outside, is another story Teachers need to model to their Students a right behavior stick to law, so they have to explain in detail the copyright rules to their Students and avoid selling or distributing copyright material to be used outside the classroom unless they have the authorization from authors. Still there are lots of alternatives for Teachers to design homework activities based on free materials or copyright ones but under certain rules. What is more, when working in schools, Teacher need to be aware and totally clear on the School politics regarding copyright issues in order to be aligned and avoid legal or professional issues.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Week 2: Selecting Websites and Integrating them to the Lesson Plan

The second week we started to work extensively on the web. I personally reaffirmed the importance of the internet nowadays almost in every context, and definitively education is not the exemption. On module 3 we started to revise the definition and structure of URLs, to understand their classification by country and by kind of business / organization. This got me to refine better my searches in the web to save time when researching or looking for material for the classes. What is more, we were given a super guide to evaluate websites in a objective and systematical way. It was based on five main criteria: accuracy and acceptance, authority and coverage, audience and relevance, educational focus and ease to use. I personally felt the best achievement of using this system was to sharp my senses when looking for information in the web and be more critical when navigating in the web.

Module 4 allowed us to reinforce the principle that pedagogy leads technology. Despite having thousands and thousands of different materials and resources in the web, I understood that as teachers we need to be always focused in our lesson aims and objectives firstly, and only then evaluating websites to get ideas and activities that perfectly match with our aims. Another important learning was that as usual Teachers need to keep spending quality time planing their lessons before starting to research for materials in the web, and ultimately they need to ensure their Students are able to work perfectly with these materials. Monitoring Students performance and outcomes with the web activities in class is still a must for the Teacher. No one website guarantee success of the class by itself, so Teacher still plays a main role in guiding the activities and ensuring they are making the Students learning what they should, according to the plan.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Learning technologies for education Week 1

The first week of Learning Technologies for the Classroom (LTC) course has allowed me to know its structure,     aims, syllabus, and most importantly the e-moderator and colleagues. Our first activity was a wizIQ session to meet the moderator and the team that will share during this promising online course. This represented my first valuable lesson due to I did not know there existed such an useful free e-platform fully dedicated to education courses in the web. It allows you to held or to attend a class, to upload or download educative resources and ultimately to share education experiences.

Our first wizIQ session let us interact with the e-moderator and other participants while the first one explained in detail what to expect on this course. I confirmed that this was a basic course for beginners in technology and education, so I was so relieved since I am just a prospective ESL/ESP teacher. Another interesting issue revised in that first session was the content and work pacing that participants had to held. This is an interesting point since we have to follow a pace of two complete modules per week with no partial deadlines in the meantime. Finally this session confirmed my expectation on this would be a hands-on  course when the e-moderator guide us to start with the first activities of the week (creating our profile and adding making our introductions in the forums). 

Finally, when working by myself in the rest of the "getting started" module activities, I could get interesting information on chatting policies, interact with my colleagues on our profiles and introductions, acknowledging the correct way of using our "moodle" platform and check it out interesting information from our e-moderator. The final activity of this introductory module was a great challenge since it required to create a blog in the web, in which we would have to write down some reflections on the course. This is my first blog and my second online course and after a couple of days working and interacting with great colleagues I feel this LTC course definitively will overcome my expectations!