Monday, May 22, 2006

My last day in blue Hawaii - also the name of a rather toxic alcoholic (so i'm told?!) beverage available for sale in the local ABC stores (convenience stores). Tonight I fly out to Montreal for the CADE conference - looking forward to meeting some more like-minded people there.
i did my presentation at this conference (CALICO) on Friday & as I had a live internet connection I opened up my students' blogs & our wiki page & was very pleased to see so much activity going on - & Kazu's new webquest published!
Way to go guys!! :-))
It was wonderful to be able to show some of your hard work over here to people who apprecite all your efforts.
Now to finish preparing for this next presentation at CADE on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sitting here in my hotel room in Waikiki, Hawaii preparing my presentation for Friday & wondering how my students are going ... 4 of them still haven't posted their Webquests. A bit worrying ... I might have to (shock, horror?!) resort (no pun intended!) to sending individual email messages to remind them of the Friday deadline help them get their focus back ...
I'll post more later when I get a more reliable internet connection & maybe hear from my students :-]
This connection has already dropped twice since I've been typing this message & i'm sure I don't type that slowly?!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thought I'd better finally add my photo to my profile since my students have & have shown me where to find out how to do this :))
No more excuses!!

The last workshop went really well - everyone I expected there turned up all enthusiastic and ready and willing to work hard. They have produced some interesting WebQuests and are now starting to work on learning the skills for the final asignment: to put together a unit of work using online activity templating tools. This assignment is going to require quite extensive reading and they will have to put in some intensive practice in using the various tools and experimenting to get it how they want it.

We had an illuminating discussion of the purposes of blogs vs the class wiki - they were confused about what they could or couldn't post on the wiki - so very few people had posted anything?! I then created a Community Portal page so that we could all post our hints & tips for modifying blogs and creating WebQuests. Some students had come up with very useful tips which have now been posted - yay class! :-)

What became clear to me for future offerings of this unit is the need for some form of instant messaging (a push technology rather than a pull form) or maybe even a class-wide sms-ing system to notify everyone about reminders. This would help keep everyone on track as well as serve to notify everyone when new information was posted on any of our venues - I could use it as the default & then the more self-directed ones (or people who have been organised enough to set up automatic notification of some form) could opt out if they wish ... something for me to think further about ...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Tomorrow is the last workshop for this unit & things are starting to fall into place. I've lost one student - she just let me know yesterday that she's decided to downgrade from the Masters to the Certificate courses and so will not need so many units - so she chose mine to drop. I still haven't heard from the other students whether they'll be coming or not - or what stage their projects are at ...
It will be interesting to see how they are going - whether their lack of communication is because they are working so hard (on this or other units), whether they are too embarrassed to contact me because they are falling behind in terms of getting things done for the semester deadlines, or whether they just don't feel the need to contact me ... or maybe they've been in contact with each other?!
I've managed to organise logins for an online e-portfolio site for them to start experimenting with digital storytelling with media - I hope they get as fired up about this concept as I have been. It seems like a wonderful tool for language learners -
and teachers!
I'll have to post some more discussion questions on the LMS, but I'm putting off doing this until they respond to the last one I posted ... I think the discussion forum has been lost in the flow of other forms of electronic communication. At least most of them are using their blogs actively, including posting comments on each others'.
And I've been seeing far too many dawns lately ... I'm sure it's not good for me! :-)