Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here's the complete video of the performance task:
Monday, November 23, 2009
Principle #1: Speaking in public is NOT inherently stressful
Priniciple #2: You don't have to be brilliant or perfect to succeed
Principle #3: All you need is two or three points
Principle #4: You need a purpose that is right for the task
Principle #5: Don't consider yourself a public speaker
Principle #6: Humility and humor can go a long way
Principle #7: When you speak in public, nothing "bad" can ever happen
Principle #8: You don't have to control the behavior of your audience
Principle #9: In general, the more you prepare, the worst you will do
Principle #10: Your audience truly wants you to succeed
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I created a group in LearnCentral that served as a central hub or meeting place (much like any learning management system might, like Moodle for example) where I mainly provided instructions that complemented what we did in class. Since this was a public speaking class, I wanted to focus on two important aspects of public speaking: 1) reflecting on one's performance of giving a public speech, and 2) gaining confidence speaking English as a foreign language. To address the former, I used BlipTV to host videos of the learners' performances in order for them to get used to seeing themselves speaking in front of an audience. A playlist of all their performances follows:
To help learners gain more confidence in their speaking ability, they participated in a weekly language exchange whereby learners connected with Skype and had discussions with American native speakers - college students their same age. Their American counterparts were learning Spanish, so each session learners spent half the class speaking English and half in Spanish. After each weekly exchange, the English language learners were asked to submit reflections to VoiceThread either as an audio or video. Moreover, learners were asked to reflect on their overall language exchange experience in written form by submitting comments to this blog.
In summation, technology was used to complement my face-to-face class as follows:
- primary means for input (asynchronous communication): LearnCentral, Internet, VoiceThread, BlipTV
- primary means for output (asynchronous communication): BlipTV, Voicethread, Blog
- primary means to interact with others (sychronous communication): Skype, Internet
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
English language learners have been asked to reflect a bit deeper on the entire language exchange experience this semester in written form, either in their L1 (Spanish) or L2 (English) - their choice. Their responses are the comments that follow this blog entry.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So, ICC as an emergent phenomenon is viewed as outcomes that cannot be reduced down to their individual parts. Language educators facilitate learners to make their own connections with regard to culture, utilizing technology and their social skills to foster this pursuit. This connectivist approach is quite different than the teacher providing most of the cultural information (mainly through didactic instruction) to the learner which is certainly to be biased in one form or the other. Stated another way, the learner recognizes cultural similarities and differences through a process of discovery that is provoked and supported by one or many language educators, peers, and/or subordinate learners.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The way to foster ICC is to create opportunities for language learners to communicate with others, then provide the means for them to reflect on how others are similar and different than themselves. Instead of generalizing a group of people, learners can articulate individual cultural attributes in an appreciative way. Thus, the goal is to gain the understandings and dispositions necessary to communicate with others, recognizing the influences that culture has on people and how they communicate. Ideally, the teacher's role is to facilitate this recognition process as opposed to supplying cultural information through didactic instruction.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The connections we form produce the visual images we perceive, or allow us to hear others in our "mind's ear". So instead of looking at a "visual learner" as having a particular networked pattern in the brain, an educator, for example, would attempt to create an experience that allowed the learner to pursue the most salient cognitive, metacognitive, and social connections necessary, recognizing that each learner enters this same experience through a variety of "preferences and propensities" (Smith, 1991, 157).
Reflecting on how I achieved this notion (granted, not all that profound), I recognize a variety of connective principles at play. My own personal learning network - PLN - (Downes likes PLE) provided me with the connections necessary to reach this idea (i.e., a connection in itself). There is a social element here which brought me in contact, to a degree, with Miz Minh, Smith, Willingham, and Downes. Socially, I would say that I have more of a connection with Downes simply having participated in CCK08/09, even though I have not personally met any of these individuals. However, cognitively, the information that each of these individuals provides me takes on a different form.
Miz Minh afforded me the means for making cognitive connections between Smith, Willingham, and Downes that is distinct from the social connections previously mentioned. Thus, I can have a stronger social connection with Downes - by taking the CCK08/09 courses - but might have a stronger cognitive connection with Willingham if I agree with his ideas over the other individuals mentioned here, for example.
Inge de Waard asks the question, Do you think Connectivism...should actively take part in society?
I think society provides the basis for making cognitive and biological connections. It's not just about networking with people, it's what you do with the information you obtain from those people that makes the difference. For example, I could set up a language exchange for language learners where they talk to native speakers in their respective target languages via Skype. This alone might give the impression that this is a good social connection because they have contact with native speakers. But this is just an affordance. The potential is there for them to learn from a native speaker (through the development of cognitive connections) but it does not mean they will automatically do so. Perhaps, the language educator will need to guide the learners through the experience in order to facilitate their learning, that is the social and technological dimensions of this experience provide an opportunity for action on the part of the language learner to cultivate cognitive/biological connections based on individual "preferences and propensities" (Smith, 1991, 157).
The social and technological dimensions of connectivism provide the affordances necessary to develop the cognitive and biological connections required for continued growth.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Always looking for collaborators, feedback, suggestions, comments, etc.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
...knowledge is IN the connections: This to me has more significance in that it's not just that there is a connection, but recognizing the tie (strong or weak) within the connection as well.
...knowledge IS the connections: This has less significance to me because it seems that the connection is all that matters, not so much the tie within the connection.
Regardless of the language, I think the point is that connectivism is based on the notion that what we know is a complexed arrangement of connections that is particular to the individual at a particular point in time. The arrangement of connections (e.g., knowledge) is in a constant state of flux; that is, it's either growing or diminishing on a continuous basis (it never stays the same). I equate this to learning a musical instrument. Back in the day, I used to practice the upright bass for hours, whether preparing for a concert or some music event somewhere. I was well aware that if I was playing - putting forth my best effort - I was improving. If I wasn't playing, I was becoming a worse bass player. I can say that I´m sure that no one in the rest of the world played the upright bass exactly the way I did (which is a good thing). The same goes for connective knowledge. My understanding of Paris is the capital of France is unique and unlike everyone else's understanding of the same.
This is why knowledge is not a thing. If it were, I could have found other upright bass players who played exactly the way I did. Wow, what a group that would have been!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
I´m essentially dead even on the Apprenticeship, Developmental, and Nurturing scales (40, 41, & 40 respectively) while a little lower on the Social Reform scale, 36 points. As an English as a foreign language educator, much of my philosophy has to do with taking learners from where they are and building on prior knowledge and experiences. This typically involves the notion that "doing and learning are synonymous" (Larsen-Freeman, 2003, p. 14). In the same vein then, learning a new language also occurs at the same time that one is increasing understandings and individual dispositions or habits of mind.
Scoring slightly lower in the social reform scale, I recognize the importance of social context within language learning. But this can lead to a complicated pursuit in determining how much time to spend on the multitude of social contexts that a particular language learner might be exposed to in the future. I am careful at how much of my time is spent on instruction and assessment as they pertain to sociocultural discourse unless the learners request it, I see a particular need, or the situation presents itself whereby discussing such discourse leads to an interesting and motivating teachable moment.
Language learning within the principles of connectivism for me is quite interesting. Content as well as language is changing constantly, so I definitely see a need to focus on both ontology and epistemology within language education. I see great flexibility in what language learners are given the choice to learn, above and beyond just the language. Typically, syllabi are stated as behavioral objectives that typically are limited to language objectives embedded with "shallow" themes (i.e., health, family, etc.). My interests center on how understandings (for cognitivists) or connections can be formed as language and knowing about language are learned as well. In other words, understandings, knowledge, skills, and dispositions all become means and ends, which are typically stated in terms of expressive outcomes - that is as an "educational encounter" (Sergiovanni, 1999, p. 81).
I agree with Siemens when he states that connections are formed at the neural, conceptual, and social "levels". I think this serves the language learner well, especially in terms of the social aspect of network creation since now technology allows language learners from around the world to interact with each other to a much higher degree. This also opens up the "playing field" in that language learners now have at their disposal a wider range of "experts" to draw from.
Larsen-Freeman, D. (2003). Teaching language: From grammar to grammaring. Boston: Heinle.
Mortimer, A. (1982). The paideia proposal. New York: MacMillan.
Sergiovanni, T. (1999). Building community in schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The reason I´m taking this course is to pursue related research interests, specifically as they pertain to English language learning. As I´m finalizing my doctoral coursework, I am now in the process of narrowing down a topic that by year's end will be the basis of my dissertation. My hopes are that this "second round" at CCK09 (previously CCK08) will shed more light on the practicality of the theoretical concepts being covered.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Churches (2009) answers the following question:
I don't think it is. The learning can start at any point, but inherent in that learning is going to be the prior elements and stages.
But in practice, I wonder how much of the lower levels of the taxonomy are explicitly being taught in the classroom, and how much the learner actually brings to the learning experience on their own (either through prior experiences or through the classroom experience itself). Also, is it possible to develop "prior elements" (i.e., "remembering" and "understanding") at the same time as developing "later elements", such as "evaluating" and "creating"?
An alternative that is more conducive to learning as an emergent phenomenon, based more on chaos theory is Wiggins and McTighe's (2005) notion of building understandings, a term quite different than the way the term is being defined in the new taxonomy. Understandings are expressed in terms of "six facets":
With this alternative, objectives are stated in terms of understandings whereby the teacher facilitates the development of these six facets according to the teaching context. In other words, learners gain understandings (i.e., information and ideas that relate to the learner) through their own personal journey that is certain to be unique for each individual.
Take the following understanding for example, often seen in a thematic unit on friendship in a foreign language class: Learners will understand that friendship requires give and take. Imagine how learners can provide their own understanding of what constitutes a friendship without working typically through a hierarchical process that adheres solely to the cognitive domain. The empathy facet, for example, includes an affective aspect of learning and is seen as just as important as being able to explain, apply, interpret, etc. Understandings thus become the cultivation of six, equal, aspects of learning that emerge from the learning experience as opposed to being dictated to the learner on the first day of class.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
OLDaily>Critical Thinking blog post>I think critically, therefore I am - original blog post
Who says we don't learn differently than we did, say 20 years ago! In less than 24 hours, this single idea has been exposed to four different readerships: Times Higher Education, elearnspace (George Siemens), OLDaily (Stephen Downes)> and of course to the Collaborative Understandings blog!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
What's more important is the course design in that there are many entry points to choose from as an active participant. The level of participation can vary as well, that is it's open as each person can decide how much time to invest. Except for a few credit-seeking students, the only thing that resembles a "course" really is the fact there are beginning and ending dates. Actually, a MOOC is more like an open, online workshop, and this year it appears that it might even resemble various workshops in that various online conferences are planned to be implemented. Thus, a "MOOC" ends up becoming a different thing for different people which bears the question, Is there a more accurate name for this type of learning experience?
Other interesting notions that come to mind in getting started with CCK09:
- How many participants who signed up for CCK09 also signed up for CCK08?
- How many participants who actively participated in CCK08, also actively participated in CCK09? (however one decides to define "active participation")
- How many participants continued their learning of the content from the end of CCK08 to the beginning of CCK08? What content in particular did they focus on and how was this achieved?
- Is a 12-week presentation and discussion of CCK-related content the best way to conduct interactions? Another option is to create an infrastructure (say Google Wave when it's up-and-running) that promotes ongoing dialog on the topic.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I also will be feeding my blog to my twitter and friendfeed but am not sure really how helpful these two will be yet. Time will tell.
Oh, and I will use NetVibes as my main aggregator as well as the The Daily in order to attempt to organize the huge amounts of information that this type of course generates.
Well, this is what I have in mind at this point.
Here is how someone else plans to develop their PLN for the upcoming course.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
To stress his point he said to another guest: “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest, what do you make?”
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness, replied: “You want to know what I make?” She paused for a second, then began…
“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a 6.0 feel like the Congressional Medal of Honour. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an ipod, Game Cube or movie rental…
You want to know what I make?” She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.
“I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize, I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in maths. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to sing the Mexican National Anthem, because we live in Mexico. Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.”
Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.
“Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?”
By Taylor Mali
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Read over Morford's blog pertaining prescriptive and descriptive English. Reflect on your own CLIL teaching and
Listen to the following blog talk radio episode on Keys to the classroom: Navigating your way through challenging moments
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
- Name of your class (teacher perspective)
- Brief description of your class (teacher perspective)
- Class objectives (teacher perspective)
- Your expectations for your class (teacher perspective)
Student perspective (source):
- Personal Details:
Date of Birth:
Contact telephone number/email address:
Current Job Title:
Number of years you've studied English:
Rate your skills in the following (1-10, 1 being poor, and 10 being excellent)
Which of the following would you like to improve:
What is your main goal in studying English?
Is there anything that you'd like to focus on specifically?
Feel free to adapt this needs analysis as you see fit! Submit your needs analysis by responding to this post (comment section).
Needs analysis 2
Monday, July 20, 2009
Visit the following three websites and add what you learned, what you already knew, and what you would like to know more about as they all pertain to CLIL:
Respond to this blog entry, one post per each of the above sites (three total).
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here are some blogs from teachers at UVM-Aguascalientes:Jorge Gallegos
David Arellano's blog
MiSs GaBee'S bLoG
Agustin Padilla takemyclass
Luz María Carrillo
Leonel Gonzalez Blog's Site
Eduardo Guerrero M.
Hector GarciaEveryone's doing a great job getting their blogs up and running!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
ze: medium;">Article: Reading recommendations for the low-skilled
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Top 100 educational blogs
The Education Podcast Network (EPN)
Podcasts Videocasts Wiki
Zunal (examples of webquests)
Collecta (real-time search engine)
UVM RedNova Summer Course blog created by Sam Mace, RedNova consultant in Lomas Verdes
UVM RedNova Monterrey blog created by Steve Edmunds, RedNova consultant in Monterrey
As we learn together as a group, so too do we learn from what others are doing. In a learning community (as a community of practice), participants openly share ideas and experiences in a way that suits both the individual and the group.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
In a prior class, we videotaped ourselves:
Here are the notes generated by each group:
Session 6 Group Feedback Notes
To embed this video to this blog, I did the following:
- Downloaded the video to my computer
- Converted the video to flash (I used Free Studio Manager)
- Uploaded flash video to BlipTV
- Copied the embed code from BlipTV
- Pasted the embed code to the blog
- Discuss the following by responding to this thread: a) your content course, b) synchronous, non-technological ways to deliver information, c) asynchronous, non-technological ways to deliver information, d) synchronous, technological ways to deliver information, and e) asynchronous, technological ways to deliver information. Which of these will be use the most and the least? Why?
"Instead of focusing on self, [focus] on the beauty of the audience and the whole event..."
"I never let that leave me. I would start with that. I would start with loving my students. And it's striking how much my teaching has changed in five years, as a result of that. It's basically about shifting form getting people to love you,. to you loving them. It has four parts (Fromm, 1956):
"Interesting example: compare the 'expert' (me, 34 years of life experience, been to 10 countries) and my students (4000 years of life experience, been to 50 countries). You become a learner among learners, just a part of the community. Kevin kelly: "Nobody is as smart as everybody."
These quotes really stuck with me when I read this summary of a talk by Michael Wesch. Enjoy!
Monday, July 13, 2009
- This blog
- Sites from your colleagues (to be listed in our wikispaces site)
- Blogs: Blogger, Wordpress, Edublog
- Wikis: Wikieducator, Wikispaces, Wetpaint, Teachers First Wiki Walkthrough
- Presentations: Powerpoint in the classroom, Slideroll, Slide
- Videocasts: Youtube, Youtube Proxy1, Youtube Proxy2, BlipTV, UStream, Procaster
- Podcasts: iTunes, Podomatic
- Social networks: Ning, Facebook, MySpace
- Aggregators: Google Reader, NetVibes
- Course management systems: Moodle, Ninehub (Free Moodle Host), Sclipo
- AASL Best Web Sites for Teaching and Learning
- How do you feel blended learning can improve instruction and assessment within your own teaching context? What technologies would and wouldn't work? (include your name when submitting post.)
- Go to our wikispaces and add any links to websites that you currently use, both as a learner and educator.
- As a separate post, but posting to this same thread, answer the questions to the project found in lesson three, exercise six (unit 1).
Friday, July 10, 2009
Considering your content courses, what ways have you or could you implement a similar technique in your own class. Start off by explaining the context of the course and then a detailed discussion as to what this activity would look like (at least 250 words).
In reflecting on what you learned this week, discuss what you knew before, what you learned, and what you would like to learn in terms of English skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking), grammar, teaching techniques, strategies, activities, and key concepts.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Think about the content course that you teach and how teaching this same content now in English will change your teaching approach. Describe this change and explain how you will promote creativity in your class.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Teaching content courses to English language learners will require a great deal of differentiated instruction.
Question: When reflecting on your own experience in the classroom, how have you differentiated content, process, or product, taking into account the learners readiness, interests, and learning preference? As content teachers, how might this change when teaching content language as a foreign language?
Monday, July 6, 2009
Here are a few sites that you might find useful (courtesy of Sam Mace):
A resource bank for CLIL
Site where you are to complete your online work for the course
Blog for CLIL trainees
Don't forget to complete the following homework for tomorrow (July 7, 2009):
1. This course will be a success if…
2. Something I would not like to experience in this course is…
3. Something I would like the trainer to know about me is…
4. Something I am particularly worried about is...
5. By the end of this course, I expect to...
Please also include your full name and username and password of MEC and either email (email@example.com) it to me or hand it in to me personally.
I´m excited to be your facilitator for the course and look forward to hearing your insights as we all learn together!
Here is my Wikieducator user page should you want to know more about me.
And here is our class Wiki that we'll use later on during the course.
Question for you: What websites are you using or would like to use that you feel would help you in your classes? (I encourage you to post a comment to this thread!)
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can." –
George Bernard Shaw
This quote by George Bernard Shaw, I think, sums up how most of those who participate in WE and their commitment to OERs. In an attempt to do something for the community, I’ve
created the beginnings of an open course in English language learning
with the intent of bringing together English-language speakers (of all levels and
ages) in a way that fosters interaction. Although it may appear a bit
structured, the idea (as I have it at the moment) is to bring those
along the “long tail” into the heart of a discussion that brings about various cross-
cultural perspectives. In other words, I´m interested in not only
bringing together English language educators and ELLs, but any English
speaker that has an interest in interacting with big ideas, understandings, etc. as well as guiding ELLs
through the language learning process.
Recognizing that I will never develop such a project as well alone as
I could with others, I invite you to the wiki in order to have an
idea as to what I´m proposing. If it is of any interest to you
(regardless of your education, experience, or English level), please
feel free to leave comments in the “discussion” tab or contact me
directly (I prefer the “discussion” tab over putting comments directly in the
page itself, please). If anyone would like to discuss this in real-
time, we can certainly do that as well. I´m actually more interested
in receiving comments that explain why a project of this type would
not work, or how in its current form the course would fall short in
achieving its objective (i.e., constructive criticism).
Thanking you for taking the time to read this post, I am.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Web 2.0 Classrooms Versus Learning?Here´s an interesting discussion about using technology as a tool and the process of learning. There are many for and against this issue, two videos in particular are mentioned: 1) Networked Student and 2)From Questions to Concepts. However, I don´t see this as much of a debate. I think most would agree that technology has a place in most educational experiences, but that it depends a lot on the course, teacher, student, and technology available. These videos show a variety of ways that technology could be used or adapted to different types of classes, but the real issue has more to do with pedagogical development and less to do with technological development.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In gathering evidence to measure student achievement, classroom teachers, course designers, and administrators have a variety of ways to incorporate validity. Popham (2008) describes three types of validity evidence related to “content, criterion, and construct”.
Content related validity is especially important for classroom teachers in assuring that formative and summative assessments are aligned to curricular aims. Once assessment evidence is determined, instruction should align with assessment through a “backward design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005) so that all classroom activities remain on target. Besides classroom teachers, instructional leaders can use “walkthroughs” (Downey, Steffy, English, Frase, and Poston, 2004) as a means of bringing alignment of curriculum, assessment, and instruction to the forefront as well. That is, content related validity involves all stakeholders working together through a community of practice in assuring that the taught curriculum aligns to the written curriculum.
Criterion related validity deals with using assessment to predict future behaviors. Aptitude exams are a good example. When students take the ACT or SAT exam, they are measured on how likely they are to succeed academically in the future. Although assessment experts carefully consider criterion related validity in these exams, “only about 25% of academic success in college is associated with a high school student’s performance on [these exams]” (Popham, 2008, p. 301). Perhaps a reason why it is difficult to use assessment measures to predict future behavior is due to the uncertainty of how people will apply themselves under new circumstances (e.g., attending college, a new school, etc.). Criterion related validity typically involves assessment outside the classroom setting.
Like content related validity, construct related validity entails all stakeholders, classroom teachers particularly taking on an important role. Interventions, differential-population, and related-measures studies (Popham, 2008, pp. 63-65) are three types of content related validity that assessment designers use to hypothesize, test, and infer information and behaviors. For example, assessments should measure a progression of improved student understandings, knowledge, skills, and dispositions (i.e., intervention study). Assessments should be free of bias based on the student’s social-economic status, background, etc. (i.e., differential-population study). And assessments should be consistent between teachers teaching the same level of content (i.e., related-measures study). Like content related validity, the efforts of all stakeholders are needed in order to address construct related validity within a school in order to create assessments that are as accurate and fair.