Welcome to my blog!

The reason behind creating this blog is directly connected to the online course I am happy and proud to be part of now. I am honoured to be selected into the group of passionate and professional English language teachers who want to develop their skills and share their experiences. Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web offers a chance for me to go a huge step forward in my teaching journey.

Let this blog serve as a record of my attempts and efforts. Please feel free to comment on anything that is going to happen here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Week 10 - The End and the Beginning

For the past few days I have been trying to wrap up all the things I have gone through since the beginning of the course.

Ten weeks ago I did not have my own blog ... and did not want to have one! Now I am happy to share my experiences with anyone who cares about the quality of teaching languages.

Ten weeks ago I put down all the URLs somewhere in Word files or just in my diary in order not to forget them. Now I have my own Delicious for bookmarking.

Ten weeks ago I considered PowerPoint a tool for displaying teacher's notes with some catchy images or slogans. Now I use it interactively, engaging my students (or my colleagues at work) in the presentation unfolding.

Ten weeks ago used Google only for any kind of web search. Now I still like it and use it, though not exclusively. I grew fond of NoodleTools, Clusty in particular.

Ten weeks ago I began an adventure with technology. So many things emerged meanwhile, so many things changed, but I am still the same person, still a passionate teacher of English who wants to equip her students with the best skills for communication in real world. Now I have tools to use and to achieve my goals.

Thank you all once again for reflecting with me on the ways to make our teaching more effective. The end of this course means the beginning of our journey towards better teaching and learning perspectives in the modern world.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 9 - One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind

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???