Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Week 1 of #evosessions - Orienting

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc

It is that time of the year again - the time I have come to associate with multitasking, long hours at my desktop and loads of homework. Yes, it is time for EVO sessions.

Ever since I joined my first EVO sessions in 2008, I have had a bad habit of signing up for too many. I mean, could you resist this choice? And how do you choose which ones to give up on? So, this year I am taking five.

No, don't get too worried about me. This is not my first time with five (though I usually attend four). Besides, I have done two of the sessions several times before. One is ICT4ELT (formerly known as BaW) and I am really only lurking there. Though, when I looked at the list of this year's tools and saw how many new ones there were... I don't know, I might just jump in and get out of the lurking mode.

The second course I have taken before is MultiMOOC 2014 (#evomlt , #evomlt14). I have spoken about this course in multiple blog posts. The reason why I keep returning to it is that it helps me get organised and manage everything else, by taking me each year through five weekly steps - orient, declare, network, cluster, focus. MulitMOOC is run on multiple platforms and the participants are encouraged to sign up for additional MOOCs and apply what they have learnt. Which is why I have also signed up for Rhizomatic Learning (#rhizo14), but more about that later. Another thing we are encouraged to do in MultiMOOC is write about our experience in multiple learning environments and compare, contrast, summarise and synthetise. Which is what I will be doing in this blog during the next five weeks.

I mentioned Rhizomatic Learning. It is not an EVO session, but a cMOOC. In Week 1 we talked about cheating as learning. I believe that in the online learning environment cheating should be redefined:


The third EVO course I am taking is The Use of Mobile Applications in Language Classes. I know nothing about mobile learning and I only bought my first smartphone a month ago. It has quickly become indispensable, together with my ipod and my desktop computer. I am looking forward to learning about a topic that is completely new to me.

EVO course Number 4 is Wonderful Words: Vocabulary Matters. I have always loved vocabulary and I am looking forward to brushing up my theory in this area and learning new fun ways to present and recycle vocabulary. Even though this is the week when we are only introducing ourselves, a couple of interesting discussions have been started. One is about using journaling for students to improve their language skills. One of the many good sides of free journaling is that it helps students choose which vocabulary they need, by choosing the topics they want to investigate. Another very interesting discussion has sprung around this blog post. I am going to try this technique out, it sounds great.

Last, but by no means least - Crafting the ePerfect eTextbook (#ebookevo). It is a very ambitious course and the number of participants qualifies it as a MOOC. The course is run by a great team of moderators. My dear friends Shelly Terrell and Janet Bianchini are in the team and I am really happy to be learning from them. What makes me even more happy is that I will  be participating in a collaborative project. Four other teachers from my school (Sneza, Milica, Darko and Vlada) will be writing the ebook with me and you can find our project under the tag #kolaracebookevo. Some of the teachers in my group are novices in this type of learning, so my task this year is to provide the scaffolding as well. The concept of interactive ebooks is new to me too, so this is going to be a steep learning curve.

I would like to finish this week's blog post with the 3,2,1 Introduction Animoto I created for #ebookevo:

Tags: #evosessions, #ebookevo, #evomlt, #evomlt14, #2014evo, #rhizo14, #kolaracebookevo

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