Friday, 27 January 2012

Week 3 in Classdigitools

Ipodular Monkey
Photo on Flickr by emilybean

It is week 3 in all my workshops. I have a brand new Podcasting blog and I am really, really busy in Webtools. My Webtools forums are bustling with activity and I am having the fun of my life. Meanwhile in Classdigitools we are doing sites for listening comprehension.

Since it is already the second part of the week, I will do all my Classdigitools tasks here in one place:

Tasks 1 and 2 - Find a listening resource that we could use in class. Review the resource.

I am between terms and there are no classes at my school, but I did this task with my Advanced class in mind. Here is what I have found:

Time 10 questions is, in their own words: "A selection of reader-submitted questions on serves as the basis for a candid interview with each newsmaker." It is really good for adult learners. The questions are often provocative and I really like the journalist. One way to use the site would be to let the students choose a clip, listen to the interview and report about it in class. As I was "in a hurry, preparing for my class", I chose the video:

I don't think I have to explain why I chose this video, but if you insist - I love the man. And so do my students, as most of them are girls. Apart from that, both the questions and the answers are very interesting. I would have the students write the questions down as they listen. They are not implicitly asked, so the task is not that easy. After that I would let them discuss Sting's answers.

Task 3 was to combine the site found first with one more site offered in the wiki and to combine them into a lesson plan. I will not write a full lesson plan, I'll just think out loud here.

The second site I chose is TED. Most of us have watched TED videos and I think they are a wonderful listening resource for adult students.

This is what I chose:

Discussing this video would probably take one whole class, but since I am going to combine the two together, this is what I would do:

After watching the video where Sir Ken Robinson is discussing education and creativity, I would ask the students to find similarities between his talk and Sting's interview. Are they talking about similar things? How would Sting rate in Sir Ken's school? What sort of school do we need for people like Sting?

I would ask them to come up with ten questions to ask Sir Ken Robinson. Then I would ask the students to write 10 questions to interview each other.

As a follow-up, I would ask the students to find interesting TED talks and to present them in the next task.

Task 3 - Listening List

I will not go into the complexities of this task. Let me just tell you that I need to come up with a list of 12 things I could do with these 2 resources. I have already mentioned the first four.

1. Watch a 10 Questions video and write down the questions asked.
2. Come up with 10 questions for the TED speaker.
3. Find the connection between the two speakers.
4. Interview each other, using the 10 questions format.
5. If you had to give a TED speech, what would it be about?
6. Prepare a short speech on something you feel passionate about.
7. Write a letter to the TED speaker, telling him/her what you think about his/her speech.
8. Which famous person would you interview for the 10 questions site? Write 10 questions for them.
9. Write a new set of questions for the person interviewed in the clip. What do you think their answers would be like?
10 If the people from the two videos met, what would they talk about? Would they like each other?
11. Write 10 questions for your teacher and interview her (ouch).
12. Write an elevator pitch for one of the videos. Why should people watch it?

I could go on, but I believe I have just completed my tasks for this week.

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Sunday, 22 January 2012

My 2012 Birthday Special

Photo on Flickr by Jon Large

It is my birthday today. Another reason to celebrate is that on this day four years ago I started this blog.

Normally I would share my last year's posts here (see what I did a year ago on this day). Luckily, I already reflected on my last year's posts in My 11 from '11. I say "luckily" because my Webskills course is keeping me very busy and I am somehow managing to follow what's going on in Podcasting and Classdigitools. So, I am afraid that this is going to be a very short birthday post.

What I have finally decided to do here is to share a single post for every year of this blog's existence. There is a catch, though - the four posts I have chosen are the ones that mean something to me personally. Well, it is my birthday, isn't it? So, they might not be particularly useful to you, but those are the posts that are important to me for various reasons. Ready?

Year 1: I was still searching for my voice here. I wasn't quite sure why I had started this blog or what I was going to use it for. So, the topics during the first year vary. I had difficulty choosing something that would look presentable four years later. I chose the post that describes my first EVO sessions. It is called How to Become a Webhead. It is naive at times, as I had no idea what I was getting myself into and how addicted I was going to become.

Year 2: The blog has now found its purpose. This is now a TEFL teacher's blog. The post I chose is called Park Wisdom. It was written during the summer break and it is mostly humorous, but in the second half I reflect on my teaching and letting go of control in the classroom and learner autonomy and... Well, just read it.

Year 3: I had no doubt here. The post I chose is called I Have to Be Who I Am. It could easily be my favourite post ever written by Yours Truly. When I forget who I am, I go back and read it.

Year 4: I wrote What is Your Computer Metaphor for my Multiliteracies class last year. I ranted a little, reflecting on the life on the other side of the digital divide and the general state of digital literacy in my country.

And that's it. I am happy to be here with you four years later. My dear PLN, thank you for listening to me and for sharing with me.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Five Card Story - The Wall

It is Week 2. I mean, it is Week 2 everywhere - in Classdigitools, in Podcasting and, of course, in Webskills.

In Classdigitools we are doing tools for writing. Our task was to choose one tool and review it. I chose Five Card Stories. My intention was just to review it, but as I chose my pictures, I knew I had to write the story. The story was screaming to be told. So, here it is:


Five Card Story: The Wall

a Five Card Flickr story created by Natasa Bozic Grojic

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by D'Arcy Norman

flickr photo by bionicteaching

Mike was waiting patiently as his son Tom took photo after photo of the same brick wall. Earlier that day his son had given him a small sea-urchin that he had brought back from the sea-side. Mike felt the urchin's tiny needles press into his palm, the bittersweet reminder that the two of them were soon to part. On his way back home, Mike was thinking about his last conversation with his son. Mike had tried to explain to Tom that the fact that he was divorcing his mom didn't mean that he would disappear from Tom's life. Daddy still loved him. Yet, he couldn't forget the expression on Tom's face as he turned away to go. "You have betrayed me", the boy's eyes were saying. "You have abandoned me."

Then Five Card Stories offered me the option of telling a different story with the same set of pictures. I couldn't resist:


Tom never forgot that day. His father had given him a brand new camera and he still remembered how he kept taking picture after picture of the same stupid brick wall. He had given his father a sea-urchin earlier that day. The needles pricked him, but he was a big boy now, he could handle it. His father kept talking to him for a long time. He couldn't understand a word, except that his father was going to leave him. He wanted to shout out" "You have betrayed me. You have abandoned me. I don't want your stupid camera and I am too big to keep taking photos of this stupid wall." He wanted to shout that out, but he didn't. He didn't say a word.

I really like this tool. The way you 'draw' your pictures is fun. I tried it a couple of times more and each time I had a story in my head. As students are often reluctant writers, having something inspiring to get them writing is great help.

You can embed your story, link to it, or tweet it. It would be interesting to give the same set of pictures to several pairs of students and see what they come up with.

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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Rocketing Into 2012

Blue Skies
Photo on Flickr by Steve Jurvetson

The beginning of a year is always hectic for me because of EVO sessions. I usually sign up for too many and then I have to deal with the stress of trying to juggle between them. This year, however, I have a real challenge to face.

I was awarded a scholarship for the online course called Building Teaching Skills through Interactive Web, or Webskills as we call it. One of the requirements for this course was creating a new blog, so please welcome Natasa's Webskills Journey. If you want to follow me along this 10-week online adventure, please feel free to keep reading. I will post there at least once a week.

Elsewhere on the web, I enrolled in only two EVO sessions this year - Podcasting and Classdigitools. I was trying to convince myself that the wise thing this year would be to skip EVO sessions completely, but I just couldn't resist. I decided to do as much as I can in these sessions, go into the lurking mode if I have to and even (oh, horror) drop out completely if I am forced to.

I was also thinking of putting this blog on hold while I am busy updating the other one, but I just couldn't resist. This blog's fourth birthday is approaching fast and I'll try to be here then and afterwards... We'll see. I post so rarely that people will probably not even notice if I am absent for a while.

So now just a quick update:

Week 1 is usually all about introductions and in Classdigitools we were asked to use a web tool to introduce ourselves. One of the tools on offer was Animoto and you know how much I love that particular tool, so here is my introduction:

If I had a bit more time on my hands, I would develop this video into a full lesson plan, but I think you can see its potential even without my explanations.

In Podcasting we used Glogster to introduce ourselves. From what I understand we will use that same Glog to add a podcast later. Inspired by that I used an old Glog of mine and added the Animoto video:

I never thought about Glogster as a tool for creating a mini-portfolio, but it's an idea.

What is great about most web tools is that, once you master them, you can combine two or three into one and get something completely different. You can add a podcast to Animoto (as an "audio" from your own computer), you can add the Animoto to a Glog, you can add the Glog to... you name it. But if there is One Tool to Rule Them All, please let me know.


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