I still remember the day I got an e-mail for the US Embassy in Cracow which passed the good news about me being accepted for the course. However, at that time I could not even imagine how things would develop... and I cannot imagine my life without this course!
Being busy with lots of everyday duties, we often forget about the need to continue professional development. Although we try new things, radical changes are still resisted. I must sincerely admit that this course allowed me to make a giant leap in my teaching technique. Encouraged through readings and practical assignments, I began to look at my profession from a new perspective. Even my colleagues noticed that something has changed. I strive for the new, experiment, play with the new tools. It has been such a long time since I had so much fun preparing for work. Obviously, it does not mean my teaching used to be boring, but I started to perceive it as a mission rather than job. And, what is even more important, I really feel that without my passion and my devotion, my students will never be able to learn to the most of their capacity.
The course aimed at familiarizing the teachers from all over the world with the possibilities that technology, and Internet in particular, offer. In just nine weeks I created my first blog, a delicious page for my bookmarks, attempted to develop a WebQuest (which is not finished yet), created a rubric for oral examination, made a Jeopardy game (actually even two! and tried both in class – the students loved them). I also worked on my first class wiki which will be used next semester.
The great advantage of this course was the participants who proved to be passionate and creative teachers with friendly and open attitude to the world. In the case of problems emerging (and there were lots of them!), there was always someone ready to help. The community which has been established, though diverse in terms of cultural background, shares similar strategies for fulfilling teacher’s duties in contemporary world. I would love to keep the contacts made for the future. And perhaps one day some of us will meet face-to-face somewhere on the globe?
The time and efforts cannot be wasted. And although the semester at my university has finished and there is only the exam session ahead, I have already began to think about my objectives for the next academic year. Technology will definitely be present in my course programmes and will become a vehicle for passing knowledge as well as teaching life skills.
Finally, I am hungry for more knowledge and skills concerning the use of the interactive web so I will look out for further opportunities to develop these. Self-development is one option, however I would love to be given another chance to become part of a similar enterprise. Shall I use Google of NoodleTools to find something interesting???