Sunday, August 22, 2021

Be different - iTDi webinar

Some years ago, I had the luck of participating at a wonderful webinar series wth teachers from around the world.
In my webinar, I have described the work I have been doing using blended learning as well as STEM teaching, but most of all, it was a talk about fulfilling my goals.
Watching myself after all this years, I reaaly miss my enthusiasm and my willingness to set goals and work towards them. 
Working towards my own improvement personal and professional is something I have set aside in order to survive in this crazy world. I think it's time to get back on it though.
More to come

Thursday, July 29, 2021

#8weeksofsummer: Share new knowledge

This post is week 8 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

What have I learned this year?

Working and collaborating remotely. Not, that is not true. I already knew this. It's the other people who learned how to work with me remotely.

People who were hesitant to collaborate online in the past were obliged to do so and guess what? Some of them liked it!!!

Seriously now, staying home has given me the opportunity to study and learn new skills and write about them!

So I am sharing some of my posts hoping to give you some ideas on how to acquire new skills:

I hope I have inspired you even a bit to start learning!

It was a wonderful challenge as always!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

#8weeksofsummer: What specific personal development do you need for next school year?

This post is week 7 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.
 Learning new things is never a bad idea. And it's always great to reflect the past year and see the stengths and weaknesses of your performance.

So you have to ask yourself. 

What were the difficulties that I have faced during the past school year?

Have I taken advantage of all the technology that is offered to me?

What activities could not be performed with online learning and what should I do to replace them with equal online ones?

If I look back on my lessons, following things could change or get improved and this is what courses (or  other kinds of professional development I should take:

  • How should I give my own material a more professional look (a self publishing course)
  • How I can build my own professional website in order to make my work and business  know and accessible to students and parents a.k.a potential clients (tutorial on how to build a website)
  • How to use social media to ahow my work (social media advertising course)
  • How to build / use a platform to create and asynchronous learning data bank for my students (tutorial on moodle or other similar platofrm)
I believe these are the issues I have to focus on. I can't wait to read yours!

Monday, July 12, 2021

#8weeksofsummer Week 6: What will you keep/lose/try this coming school year?

 This post is week 6 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

That's a difficult one. 

A lot of decisions to be made. But not entirely up to us.

How will the next school year begin? Will there be a new lockdown? Will it still be dangerous to go outside?

Will face to face classes begin without a problem?

I don't believe that life will be normal this year, though. Still not a cure to the disease, still not sure of the vaccine works.

So everything depends on the situation actually.

What I personally want to do is defininetly keep online lessons. People (and potential clients) have come to realise that distance is not a problem anymore and you don't have to be in the same city or country to work with eachother.

I have always had clients / studentsaway from my hometown, but this year there were definitely no borders. 

What i plan to do is get to know more on social media marketing and maybe create an online page for my teaching. 

Who knows, maybe all this can have a great outcome!

More to come

#8weeksofsummer Week 5: What improved or challenged communication this year?


This post is week 5 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

1aa process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behaviorthe function of pheromones in insect communicationalso exchange of information
bpersonal rapporta lack of communication between old and young persons
2ainformation communicated information transmitted or conveyed
ba verbal or written messageThe captain received an important communication.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, this year has been totally different that we were used to. New way of teaching and new way of interacting, which was not necessarily bad. Before Covid, things were a bit simpler, since (in my case), I visited students at home to tutor, so I also interacted with their parents as well. Now, since a lot of parents didn't know how to use platforms and were not exactly as computer literate as their children, the effort from the tutor (or teacher has to be double. One way to go is by email, but you are never sure if they have actually read it. Best way is by telephone. I was able to contact everybody, most of the times, so communication was pretty successful.As far as the students are concerned, online video calls were as alike as being in the classroom. Comparing all this with the definition above, I don't believe that communication was lost this year. 
To be continued...

Monday, June 28, 2021

#8weeksofsummer Week 4: New tools I discovered this year


This at the start of your post: “This post is week 4 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

This year had to do with technology. Since we couldn't be in our face to face classrooms, we had to find ways to communicate, work, teach, interact.

What I found particularly useful this year was Google documents and Edmodo.

Before covid, I only used dropbox or Google drive only to upload my students' homework or a PDF document for reading or Grammar rules my students had to study. Nobody had told me until then that I could use it as a board for my lesson! 

I know that in platforms like Zoom or Webex, you can write or draw on your presentation bord, but it sometimes complicated to give the control to other participants. Sometime the participants don't have e good internet connection and cannont write or anwer on the platform. 

A word document on Google documents can be the solution. Every person invited could write on it, solve exercises, write comments, do corrections.

It can also be uses as a chat room in a much simpler version. 

The other thing I used and learned some features was Edmodo. 

I found out that Edmodo is something like facebook for learners. Easy to use, the teacher can upload his/her exercises, create quizzes online and offline, give grades and feedback to the learners and all this in a closed and protected enviroment.

I am sure that as time goes by, I keep learning more things I can use as far technology is concerned. 

As teachers we have to keep up yp keep going!

Until next time.

Monday, June 21, 2021

#8weeksofsummer Week 3: What learners need

As I have posted before, this past year has been different.
My teaching became different and the skills my students had to acquire were somehow different than before.
Of course we had to focus on the foreign language as always, but computer literacy has become a "must" for everybody in order to continue learning.
So before the school year started I organised small tutorials for parents and students on how to:
  • use skype and other platforms like Zoom, webex etc.
  • download and upload documents and send them by email
  • use Edmodo and get advantage of its features
  • communicate with me (the teacher) via viber / what's up
Also I have started a new blog series for my students (and fellow teachers) with relevant subjects:
Until the next time!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

#8weeksofsummer Week 2 Peer collaboration

 This post is week 2 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators

This year has been very different for me since I was not working at a school. I started the year freelance and then found a job at a publisher, so I didn't have to get in touch with other teachers.

Remote working was a thing all winter long, but that was the easy part. I communicated with my boss and my colleagues through phone, messenger and emails. Dropbox and Google Drive were essential of course, but I have to admit that absolutely nothing changes either I work from home or from the office.

Getting back to my teaching colleagues, the only thing that has changed was the meet-ups and the conferences.

Everything is online. I have attended a lot of webinars and events, but to tell the truth it is not the same thing.

I mean, you still get the information and the knowledge and the new ideas, but connecting with people is not there. During a virtual convention, you cannot mingle, you cannot exchange opinions and knowledge and you cannot feel the "convention vibe".

But, I believe that everybody has tried to make the best of the situation.

A lot of things will change. Many of us will continue online work and communication, others will get to their old ways. 

Short post this time...

To be continued...


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Teacher - Student relationships in Covid times #8weeksofsummer week 1


This post is week 1 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

Who could imagine our life this year?

Things have definitely changed in every field. More work from home, people stopped going out, some of us became more introverts than usual, some others acted like they were in prison.

A lot of people got sick. A lot of people died. A lot of people survived.

What about education? This has changed as well.

Remote teaching and learning has existed for many years now, although some people never thought of it as "real education".  As I write in my last post, a lot of people, especially in my country are afraid of technology. 

As a result, there were teachers who refused to learn new things and their work suffered. There were also teachers though who kept learning and adapting with wonderful results.

How about human communication though? 

Some people insist that the connection they have had with their students has been lost. Especially with the younger students.

The truth is that kinaesthetic activities were somehow limited. Though the communication was never lost.

What I did to keep in touch with my students?

  • Using Viber, What's up, e-mail , Facebook messenger, my students and I could exchange opinions, I was able to help them with things they could not understand and with their homework, we even chatted a bit, especially with my teens and adults
  • Communication with parents was more frequent. I sent them emails with their childrens projects and evaluation and talked on the phone almost every week to solve technical issues and give them advice on how to help their children at home.
  • Organised online meetings with them to do projects.
  • Organised meetups in person to go for long wallks and talk about problems they face with their learning
  • Organised meetups to feed the strays in our neighbourhood (and also working an a language project on that. 
  • Still keeping in touch with most of them through the social media, planning small projects for Tik Tok.
  • Students from other places still got the chance to participate in all of the above through skype.
You see, things are not that bad. Was it tiring to be in front of a camera all day? Yes. Was it exhausting to keep up with technology? Yes.
Did all this give us the opportynity to widen our audience and communicate in a more meaningful way. Yes again.
So, personally speaking, my communication with my students got better this year. 
I can't wait to read other teachers' views.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Online teaching - a blessing or a curse?

According to Forbes, distance learning was introduced in 1892. The University of Chigago created the first college level distance learning programme and lessons and materials were sent by post. 

A little be later somewhere in the 1900s, Australian children were home-schooled - with the help of the School of Isolated and Distance Education, since their farms were too far from cities and villages and they did not have access to normal schools.

Online programmes have started around 1989 by the Uviversity of Phoenix and 2011 we had the first MOOC. 

Since then, people have been learning online, no matter what subject or skill, gaining valuable knowledge, as well as university degrees from the comfort of their own home. 

Nowadays, there are various plattforms free and paid, which give you the opportunity to learn with professors and proffesionals from all around the world. 

Of course there have always been the traditional schools and universities, which are the most common and when somebody thinks of education, these will be the ones that will come to mind. 

So, to speak about my field, has online learning improved language education? 

I would say yes. We have the chance to use so many online software and apps, create exercises, watch videos, use authentic materials, have access to so much information and use it to our students' advantage. 

A lot of teachers, though, insist that this is not the way to learn. That human communication was lost. 

Well, if you ask me, it depends. Some teachers around the world have classes with 50 students. Was there any human communication when they were in class? Does the teacher know everyone by name? Their preferences, their struggles? Most of the times, no. So why should online teaching be worse? When all students have the chance to participate, to ask questions (in writing most of the time), even the shy ones?

In small classes, where you know your students a bit better, especially if they are young, what's missing is movement. Having studied a lot about kinaesthetic teaching and having presented in various conventions and schools, I can see that kinaesthetic activities do help children learn better and create a more pleasant atmosphere. 

But, when you are in the middle of a pandemic, when people die every day, then you have to compromise, I guess. 

I am not talking about on to one lessons. There is NO difference whatsoever if you are teaching face to face or online. For me, absolutely nothing has changed.

What has changed?

Maybe the role of the teacher? More preparation, more coordinating, less problems with dicipline.

The role of the student? They have so many opportunities to research, get to know more things, like technology, which will help them later in the world of work. 

What do we need to do from now on?

I believe that online / blended/ hybrid teaching is here to stay. No matter if we face a new pandemic again or not.

Teachers have to get the proper training on how to use platforms and create materials. Be prepared to face any difficult situation that will come.

I hope the world changes and teachers with obsolete beliefs will come round. For everybody's shake.

*inspired by the webinars of Pearson Spring days webinars

Monday, April 26, 2021

Learning Italian Week 6

6th and last week of the Italian course. I have learned a lot of basic structures and vocabulary, but still if I wat to learn the language, I have to study more vocabulary and get proper instruction. 

  • How to describe the place where you live. Click here to find some relevant vocabulary/
  • How to invite someone to do something, and how to respond to invitations (ti va una pizza, perche non andiamo a sentire un po'di musica?- Mi dispiace ma non bevo vino / perfecto)
  • How to discuss your reasons for studying something (per lavoro, perche mi piace , per viaggare)
  • The use of c’è (there is) and ci sono (there are) -->   c’è la cusina, ci sono due bagni, negative forms of verbs (non+verb, i.g. io non vado als cinema), 
  • Places to go out:

  • and the verbs dovere and volere.

Italian is a beautiful langauage.

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