April 26, 2013

Workshop: QR CODES mystery solved

These are the resources I used for a Cultura Inglesa Workshop this Friday, 26/04/2013. This is the video used to invite teachers to join us. I used an app called TELLAGAMI and then exported it to youtube. https://tellagami.com/


The topic chosen was QR CODES.

These are the resources I shared.

April 21, 2013

APP Swap: IATEFL 2013


It's an informal teachmeet where all teachers have the chance to share apps they find useful.

During IATEFL Liverpool, we had a very interesting moment of sharing apps when each one of us suggested apps, explained why we liked them and also used the webpage http://todaysmeet.com/appswap to keep track of what was being shared. 

Photo by Roseli Serra
As most apps suggested on Todaysmeet don't have a link and descriptions, I carefully explored 50 + of the apps shared and organized them into an INTERACTIVE LIST which can be added by anyone who wishes to contribute as well. To suggest an app, all you have to do is click ADD TO LIST and paste the URL of the app suggested, remember to leave a description.

April 20, 2013

TEACHMEET Int'l : Even Beginners Can Write

If you've attended the TEACHMEET International 2013, this post is dedicated to talk a little bit more about the project presented this morning.

Many beginner students of English tend to learn isolated words and sentences and that's all they seem to use for the first years studying English. These students have very little opportunities for expressing themselves a bit more using the target language.

This semester, I'm teaching a group of beginners which have studied English for 5 months only (classes are twice a week). I asked them what sort of writing they did last semester and I was told most of what they wrote was in their workbooks and the few times they wrote short texts the only person who read it was their teacher.

Well, aiming to provide opportunity for this groups of students to develop their writing skills in English to express themselves I proposed the following project using the EDMODO platform.

Each week, I would share a bit more about myself by writing a short text using language learned that week. Students then would try to do the same over the weekend. But this time, they would be writing about themselves, we would be reading everyone's text and would be able to learn from each other. I mentioned to them, my objective was to give them further reading and writing practice , to learn more about them and to see from their language use where they needed further help.

This is how we started:

Then, it was my students' turn to write their own texts.

I tried to respond to the content of the text and not use the replies for correction purposes. This way, I intend to make students feel more confident in using English to talk about themselves.

After reading several texts written by the students, I took notes of the most COMMON MISTAKES and in the following class, without identifying who had made the mistake, I tried to elicit from them how to make the sentence grammatically correct. 

A big challenge I've been having is to get students to keep the conversation going, like I did with Talita, in the example above. They say they don't have enough time to go back and do more reading. Let's see how it goes.


These were the slides used to present.

The LIVEBINDER with resources

Resources TeachMeet 2013

April 19, 2013

PEN + PAPER ? Notetaking during conferences

When I started attending conferences years ago, I normally used the notepad provided by publishers to take notes during the sessions I attended. I used my pen to jot down whatever I thought was pertinent to my teaching practice and kept these notes stored for some time before I threw them out. I also kept the various hand-outs given by the presenters.

This year at the IATEFL conference I noticed a big change in the way people are storing information. First, I could see an ocean of mobile devices being held above people's heads taking photos of slides being shown. 

Many people tweeted throughout the conference.

Others used their fast fingers to blog about the sessions and resources being shared. Check GRAHAM STANLEY's blog posts at http://blog-efl.blogspot.co.uk/
Image by Carla Arena

Others like me, used their ipads for taking notes. I had thought of using the EVERNOTE APP but something went wrong and I decided to give another note-taking app a chance. NOTABILITY was the app I used each day to keep notes and pictures taken during the sessions.

Well, it was pretty easy to type the notes, take pictures from within the app to add to the notes, save them and then share them via e-mail with a friend at the end of the day. It's also possible to share your notes via Facebook or Twitter. 

Another great difference which I've been noticing more recently is the way people have been sharing their ppt presentations and resources after the session. In the past, most presenters would share their e-mails with the audience and promise to send the ppt to anyone who wrote them an e-mail. Honestly, I hate this method as some presenters never send you their slides later on. Nowadays, there are SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS. Some people like Vicky Saumell and Carla Arena,  shared cards with the link to a webpage with resources and their own presentations. Vicky created a protopage and Carla wrote a  blog post.

Others, like Gavin Dudeney shared a QRCODE at the end of the slides so that by scanning it you would be taken to their shared presentation. If you don't have a QR reader, I suggest THIS ONE (for iphones or androids ).

Others, like sharing LIVEBINDERS with their links ( I learned this one from Shelly Terrell).

And some others, still use two very powerful technologies: PAPER + PEN.

Now, is there a best way to store information? I don't know, I think the most important thing is to keep some sort of  information so that you can retrieve later for further reflection.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? How do you take notes during presentations and conferences nowadays?

April 18, 2013

IATEFL Liverpool - It's all about people

I was planning to write blog posts while attending the IATEFL conference but I'm glad to say I  HAD NO TIME for sitting down on my own to write a blog post; so many people to meet, to talk to and to learn from. Face 2 face interactions definitely won over the magic of blogging.

Well,  people who also follow me on Facebook and Twitter know that the beginning of the journey was not  as smooth as I thought it would be (check my furious tweet).

After getting to Liverpool one day after I had expected, the days went by very quickly. There were lots of sessions to choose from but I decided to follow a tip given by someone from the IATEFL committee: to focus on one of the Special Interest Groups. Therefore, most of the sessions I attended were related to Learning Technologies.

Now, it's funny that lots of people say the virtual environment is cold and the relationships which take place online are superficial. However, as this group is always in contact via twitter, facebook and blogs, I dare say it's one of the warmest groups EVER.

During these days in Liverpool, I had the wonderful privilege to meet so many e-friends I had never met f2f and others I've met only a few times.

I shared a room with a wonderful friend from Recife, Roseli Serra, who I met online last year during an online course but have kept in contact ever since. The first session I had the pleasure to attend was Vicky Saumell's. I first met Vicky f2f two years ago in Buenos Aires and loved giving her a hug before and after her wonderful presentation on E-publishing in the classroom. Getting to know Michelle Schwertner, another award winner, was also a pleasant surprise. I met Michelle online via two common friends and we decided to meet in Liverpool. We laughed so much together! Meeting Carla Arena, my mentor and inspiration for many years, and being able to learn more from her was a precious gift. I also had the chance to meet for the first time some people with whom I've exchanged messages and tweets FOR YEARS, such as Joe Dale, Nik Peachey, Burcu Ayol, Beyza Yilmaz, Marisa Constantinides. 

The learning surpassed the room walls and whenever we got together there was some kind of sharing taking place, "there's this app......", right, Joe Dale? Another informal learning moment was the APP SWAP  proposed by Carla Arena where each one shared interesting apps and explained about it. The app sharing can also be followed at the todaysmeet page below.

Networking made the IATEFL experience rich in learning and warm in connections.

Plans for the future? I've heard it through the grapevine that we could have a LT (Learning Technology) event in Brazil this year. Graham Stanley, I'm crossing my fingers about this one.

April 5, 2013

Testing BLOGSY for IATEFL Diary

Bags packed and thrilled to be visiting Liverpool for the first time, attending IATEFL and meeting so many wonderful teachers I've had contact with via web.

I wanted to test an app I learned about for easy blogging with the Ipad, BLOGSY. Let's see if it delivers what it promises.

While in the UK for the IATEFL conference, I'll be trying to post as often as I can using my iPad, so I was looking for something practical which allows me to add several features to the posts.

From what I've noticed, while writing your blog post you have access to you iPad images, Flickr, picasa, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo .

This is a list of HOW-TO videos to get started. http://blogsyapp.com/


April 3, 2013

How to use the IATEFL app: a quick guide

I've already been to big International conferences and I know how hard it is to choose what sessions to watch. In big conferences in Brazil, we might have about 15 sessions taking place at the same time. However, IATEFL presents a bigger challenge to people attending it, sometimes there are about 22 sessions taking place at the same time, and HOW TO CHOOSE?

Well, the first thing I did was try to find the programme. It can easily be found at the IATEFL website

Another great idea, MY FAVORITE in fact, is to download the IATEFL app from here http://www.iatefl.org/mobileapps.html for your iphone/ipad or android devices.

Then, explore the programme, bookmark sessions, add them to your planner and you'll have a better idea of what to expect.

I've used two different apps to create quick tutorials of how I've organized myself for NEXT WEEK at IATEFL 2013 Liverpool. 

Check out How to Use the IATEFL App by Ana Menezes on Snapguide.

The second one is a SKQUEAK which allows you to draw and record your voice as you talk about the images you've selected.
 Now, if you're attending the conference for the first time (like me ) it is interesting to watch the WEBINAR presented by Susan Bardhun HERE.