Saturday, 31 January 2009

My first Podomatic podcast

One of our Week 3 assignments in BaW09 was to create a podcast. As I have said before, I hate listening to my own voice. Maybe the medium takes a little time to get used to, but I am just not comfortable with audio. I got all confused at the end (plus my microphone is bad), but I decided to post it anyway. So, here it is. Don't laugh.

I know it would be really useful to be able to create your own listening exercises. As I have said, maybe I'll get used to it in time (though i doubt it). Or maybe I'll wait till BaW09 to create my second podcast.

You might also like:
My First Voicethread Message

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I want my students to...

I Want My Students To
View more presentations from lunas994. (tags: week3 slideshows)

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Friday, 30 January 2009

Who am I and what is this blog all about


My name is Natasa Bozic Grojic. Welcome to my blog.

I am a teacher of English from Belgrade, Serbia. I teach adults and I have been in this job for 20 years. My school is called Zaduzbina Ilije M. Kolarca and it is the oldest school of foreign languages in Belgrade. We have recently celebrated our 75th birthday. We are an accredited member of EAQUALS.

I am interested in Web 2.0 and its application in education. I am a lifelong online learner and a proud member of Webheads in Action.

You can find out more about my online activities if you look at my Netvibes page. I find this page very handy, as it enables me to keep everything I do on the Internet in one place.

I am also a wife and a mother. My son's name is Luka and he is 9 years old.


I enjoy reading good books. In case you want to find out about my favourite books, here is the link to my Shelfari profile. I also like watching good films, taking long walks, spending time with my family and writing. I have been passionate about writing ever since I was a little girl. That's probably why I enjoy blogging so much.

This is a personal blog, but it doesn't mean that there is nothing in it for you. As a teacher, I am eager to share my experience and talk to other teachers about what goes on in the classroom. As an online learner, I am on the lookout for new tools that I can use with my students. If you are a student of English yourself, I'll be happy to answer any question you might have or help you in any other way.

If you like this blog, you can subscribe to it via RSS or via email. You can also follow me via Twitter.

I hope that you will come here often. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome.

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Monday, 26 January 2009

Day 4 - A Blogger's Day in Hell

The Challenge was to interlink my archived posts. So, how exactly do you do it?
You go through your posts, old and new, find the stuff that is connected and, well, you link it. Easy?
Not if you want it to be complicated.
I didn't understand what interlinking was. I tried to work it out on my own. I read somewhere that there was a plugin that could make your task much easier. I ended up staring at some hypertext trying to find the exact place where I could put more hypertext.
Don't ask.
To cut the long story short, I lost an hour and a half trying to find a shortcut for something I could have done manually. Of course, I didn't manage. I don't 'speak' HTML and I had no idea where to put my piece of hypertext.
I ended up shouting for help. In the 31 Day Challenge wiki , on Twitter, everywhere. Now I know the task is as simple as tidying your old drawers.
Except that I never tidy my drawers. Or almost never. Which is why I hate this task.
While I was looking at my old posts, I realised I would have to go through a couple of them again. I haven't quite linked everything I intended to link, but not just because of that. There are some posts which could do with a picture. There are some pictures and slideshows which could do with a text. My tagging is strange or non-existent. And I never wrote Motivation, part 2 (although I promised in Motivation, part 1).
I will have to move on to Day 5, but I'll keep working on Day 4, I promise.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My blog is one year old

I have not neglected my Blogging Challenge . I am still stuck on Day 3 . I will return to the challenge soon, I promise. So, instead of doing day 4 and interlinking my old posts, I will do something similar.
My blog is exactly one year old today and I am exactly... never mind that.
I would like to be able to say that I have gone very far and accomplished amazing things. That wouldn't be exactly true. I am still a beginner blogger and still not sure about the direction I should take.
One thing I know - I have had a lot of fun this past year. The posts I have enjoyed most, however, are the ones that don't link anywhere. You know, the personal stuff, the stuff that means a lot to me. I think that some of it wasn't badly written, either. So, those are the posts I would like to tell you about.
In January 2008 I found blogging very, very scary. It made me reveal all sorts of things about myself.
My own personal favourite is Everybody's Dog. I was sitting in an Internet cafe at the time and I was inspired to write this post about this dog... It isn't very useful or informative - but writing it made me feel good.
My second favourite post is My Global Neighbourhood.
In mid-February I was trying to decide what this blog was going to be about.
On 19th February, I wrote about going to Second Life for the first time. In June, visited Van Gogh's museum and made this slideshow.
With time, I started blogging less and less. Now, thanks to the 31 Day Challenge, I blog almost every day.
I would like to finish with this. It was an assignment we had for Images4Education. The question was "Where are you from?" We were supposed to post a picture and a poem. It might provide an answer to where I am from, but where am I going... No idea.

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Monday, 19 January 2009

Images4Education - Week 2 Assignment

The Place I am from

The place I am from

I am from the earth

Where my feet were planted

On the day I was born

Where I was watered

And sang to

I am from the birch

Whose juice can quench your thirst in summer

Where I was rocked

In a hammock

I am from the hexagonal house

Built by a surgeon with gentle hands

I am from the garden

Where you can rest in summer

I am from the little wood

Where my ancestor chose to be burried

I am from the river

Which can get really angry

And flood the fields

Otherwise it is nice,

Especially in summer.

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Day 3 - Join a Forum

I am already a member of several forums and groups which deal with teaching English and Web 2.0. You can see the Webheads in Action badge in my sidebar. I am very proud of it. Being a Webhead is like belonging to a large international family. Most of my groups and forums are 'spin-offs' of the WiA forum.
When I started using Twitter more actively, I started meeting warm and caring people outside the Webheads group - and that's what led me to the 31 Day Challenge. And now I know even more people and the conversation goes on and on. Once or twice I came across hostile people on the net (and some forums can be rather hostile - they call it 'discussion'). I never stayed long in such forums. There was nothing I could learn there.
Now I have joined two more: Betterblog and Edubloggerworld . Both are blogging communities, which is what I was looking for. I need to belong to a community which will encourage me to keep blogging.
And, once I finish with this blogging challenge, I think I'll start another one right away. I haven't had so much fun for a long time.

You might also like:
Day 5 - Conduct an 'About Page' Audit

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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Day 2 - A 'First time Reader' Audit

My husband is going on a business trip tomorrow, yet he found some time to look at my blog.
He first looked at the sidebar. He read the About Me column and, though he didn't say much, I think he liked it. He said he would have prefered the sidebar on the left, but since it would mean changing the template, he agreed that I should leave everything as it is (he likes the colours). Yet, he insisted that I should tidy the sidebar (and he is absolutely right). He wondered about the purpose of the Voki. I explained that everyone had one, so I decided to get one as well.
Next, he moved to the main body of the blog. He started from the top and scrolled down. I have to admit that this wasn't his first visit to my blog and he had read some of the posts before, but now he was looking at them in his new role of the critic. He asked whether the posts were supposed to be this long. When I started blogging, I wrote very long posts which took me a long time to write, but I believed that was the right way to do it. Since then, I have blogged less often, but I have spent a lot of time reading other people's blogs and I can see what he means - we are all very busy and there is a greater chance that someone will read a short post than a long one.
I asked him who he thought I wrote the blog for (i.e. who my target audience was) and he said I wrote it for myself. Again he was right. He knows me, you see. I write this blog for myself, because I enjoy the process of writing and it really helps me think.
Just watching my husband fidgeting in front of the screen while his suitcase was open in the other room made me realise that was what a typical blog reader looked like. A blog is not a novel, you don't spend the whole evening reading it. You are there for a few minutes and that's it. If the blogger grabs your attention with something, good. If not, you'll move on.
P.S. If anyone else would like to do an audit on my blog, I'll find your comments very useful.

You might also like:
Day 5 - Conduct an 'About Page' Audit

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Saturday, 17 January 2009

The 31 Day Challenge - Day 1

Well, the first challenge was to send an email to a new reader. Sounds easy, but I was really worried about this one. I am quite shy and I felt that emailing someone who didn't know me personally would be intruding. I even felt that the other person might feel I was spamming them.

However, when Magical Bill said in his comment that he was taking the Challenge as well, I was relieved. That meant he knew this was an assignment and I wasn't spamming him at all. His address was in his profile, so I sent him a quick 'thank you' email.

Maybe the way I feel about this is completely wrong. I have never received an email after posting a comment so far. When I do, I'll tell you how that felt.

I also completed the Day 2 task for Beginners - I created the About Me page. Or rather, it is an About Me column. If you know of a way to create a separate About Me page in Blogger, please let me know. Your comments on what I actually wrote in the About Me section are also welcome.

You might also like:
Days 6 and 8

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009


My blog has been hibernating for some time. Time to wake it up.
I work better when I have actual assignments. That's why I am starting the 31 Day Challenge . I have decided to start the Beginner program, because I would really like to complete the five Beginner assignments before I get on with the rest of the challenge.
So, this is my assignment number one: Write a blog post.
The title of my post is Multitasking, because I am also attending three EVO sessions at the moment: , Becoming a Webhead , Images4Education and Conflict Resolution for English Language Learners . I'll be really busy during the next six weeks, but at least it will give me something to blog about. I am planning to post some of my assignments here and to interact with other participants, while working on my 31 Day Challenge assignments.

You might also like:
Days 6 and 8

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