Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My Blog is Five Years Old

It is my blog's fifth birthday today. What I usually do on this day is create a retrospective of sorts. I look back at the previous year and the blog posts that I believe are worth sharing again.

2012 was a strange year for me. At the beginning of the year I was awarded a scholarship for a course called Webskills. You can read about this here. I had to start another blog for the course and, consequently, I spent less time in this one. I still managed to follow two EVO sessions and even post occasionally. Here's a post about how to use five-card stories as writing prompts. Here's one about using video resources for listening, and another post about online tools that can be used for speaking. For my Podcasting course I created another blog and this post introduces both the new blog and the listening/speaking activities within it. In this post I am trying to summarize my Webskills experience.

Moving beyond the EVO sessions and Webskills, I made a collection of April Fools online clips and turned them into a lesson here. Here I talked about a platform called Nicenet.

After that, strange things started happening. First, in June, I joined DS106 on a whim. DS106 was a perfect summer course for a teacher who is on a long holiday. I used this blog to post, but posts got stranger and stranger. Still, I believe those posts contain potentially good lesson ideas. Sometimes I even wrote about the ways to use a particular digital storytelling exercise in an EFL classroom. For example, here I turned a short clip featuring Kurt Vonnegut into a speaking exercise. This image illustrates an idiom, but it can be a good speaking and writing prompt. I created a lot of crazy images during the course and most of them are CC licenced, so if you find them useful, go ahead. There are some nice ones here and here. The Creative Commons poster from this post can be used to explain the CC concept to students. My Autobiography Cover could be developed into a nice speaking activity. Similar to this are Alternative Book Covers and the post already contains instructions for EFL teachers. In Wrapping Up Loose Ends there are three digital stories, but for use in the classroom I particularly recommend Mood Inversion. The Sound Effect Story  is accompanied by instructions for EFL teachers. Taking Back Spam was one of my favourite DS106 activities and it too has an application in an EFL classroom.

Once the holiday was over, I was preparing for the next school year. Activities for the First Class contains some nice warmers.

In 2012 I attended a Coursera course on modern poetry. It was a life-changing experience and you can read about it here.

If I try to summarise 2012, I would say that I had to step out of my comfort zone a lot. I attended a couple of courses that were not created for EFL teachers exclusively, I blogged about matters that were not TEFL-related, I created new blogs. It was a useful and refreshing experience.

I will finish with one of my DS106 movies. It is appropriate for this occasion because it is about number 5.

Thank you for being a part of my PLN in 2012.


Janet Bianchini said...

Dear Natasa

First of all, many congratulations on your blog's 5th birthday!! What a truly amazing achievement. I love the video slideshow with the number 5. What a clever and inspiring idea :-)

Secondly, once again, let me wish you a very happy birthday. I hope you have a fun-filled day!

Best wishes


Tyson Seburn said...

Congrats on the endurance. That's quite a milestone. :)

Natasa said...

Hi Janet,
I hope you had a lovely birthday. I had a great day on 22nd, I did nothing all day (well, not quite, for I blogged, didn't I?) The slideshow is old, I have reused it here. Seemed appropriate.



Natasa said...

Hi Tyson,
It is a milestone, isn't it? It takes a lot of stamina to blog for 5 years, though i did make long pauses between posts at times.


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