Sunday, February 27, 2005

Happy Blogging!

Time flies... We have reached the end of the course. Thanks everyone for sharing your great ideas and 'know-hows'.

A special thank you for Bee, Aaron and Graham. It was a fantastic course with lots of things to learn...Yes, I would be interested in keeping in touch.

I've just read Nancy's post . She writes:

"What I think would be more valuable would be us continuing to post and to read and comment on each others' blogs. That is where the real impetus to continue blogging will come from...What we need to do now is learn to communicate with each other through our blogs. That is, after all, the focus of this session."

I like the idea... I think that we may continue to use wiki. So, if you have a good link to share, or if you start a new project, just pop in and let us know about it.

Happy blogging!

KnowTips Conference, February 25

First time presenting in LearningTimes with Vance Stevens ( Abu Dhabi), Susanne Nyrop ( Farum, Denmark), and Dafne Gonzalez ( Caracas, Venezuela ) as part of a panel on Webheads - Intuitive Chaos Management in Online Interaction . Nice team to work with!

I shared my own experience in coordinating a two day blended event with 30 teacher participants on location in Minsk with a dozen of webheads, guest teachers and instructors who joined the 6th International BelNATE-IATEFL conference “Teaching English as a World Language in the Information Age” online from their local schools, universities and home computers.

Check out Vance's page.

KnowTips Conference

Sue Dumont wrote that Jonathan Finkelstein highlighted "the introductory ice-breaker when participants of the conference were asked to post pictures of themselves and their favourite coffee mugs in the Mug Shot Gallery at the Online Conference Cafe. He described this fun and interactive activity "like an opening cocktail party" that was a key factor in building instant community. "

An interesting wrap-up session about the Iliinois Online Conference Awards hosted by Jonathan is at:

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I started a new project in writing with my students. It's Jonathan Finkelstein's idea.

The introductory message reads:

"Hello and welcome to a new project in writing! This semester it is about coffee mugs.

I invite you to tell the stories of your coffee mugs.
What do they really represent for us? Are they linked in any way to what we are up to? Why do we buy them?

You can start posting photos and commments right away. Take a picture of your favourite coffee mug and post it to To post a photo, email attached images to: or login and hit POST. ( Contact your English language Instructor to get a password ).

Use the description area to tell us why it's your favorite. Feel free to use the"comments" box below others' "mug shots" for some coffee break small talk.

Got it?

Hope you enjoy this new experience."

Week 5 started with a very nice post by Nathan Lowell
and Julie Lindsay's presentation 'Weblogs and Student Portfolio Projects Why and How to Implement Them .'

I missed the session. I could not log in. I read the script of her presentation which was uploaded to the Files area of the weblogging group.

Her students " have developed their online digital portfolios by following the portfolio development process of planning, collecting and selecting, reflecting, designing and evaluating their work with support from both the online and face-to-face classroom communities."

She adds:

'the difference I see with the students is that they 'blog' for their process journal. And they join discussion 'blogs' for required peer assessment and other work as part of their curriculum'.... Students are using for process journaling

.... as part of ICT they must keep a process journal to discuss progress, problems, evaluations, etc...This becomes their 'private' place to store ideas and thoughts to do with their work....'

Sunday, February 13, 2005

new ideas and projects

Barbara Schulz is doing a lot in creative writing with her students. She remarks that recipes have come naturally out of her writing project, so she decided to create a weblog just for that purpose at You have to be a team member on WriteRewrite to contribute a recipe.

Crawley asked students "to research EFL sites on the web and post reviews to the blog thus completing a class assignment which checks their ICT skills in English, their ability to read etext and work in a communicative context".

Phil Whitehead started The Poetry Pizzeria platform for poetry projects on the web. "It is a place where student poets, teacher poets and poet poets can converge to publish, perform and celebrate each other's poetry. It will also be a window into the real life poetic exploits taking place in schools, colleges and communities around the globe."
How about going blogging Phil?

Janet is creating a blog on American English Idioms for her class.

Interesting! Let's see what Week 5 brings us...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Barbara Ganley's project in creative writing is great.
One of her students writes:

"Blogging can be pretty intimidating, frankly it can be scary as hell. As most of you probably know from years of e-mails and instant messages, it can be hard to convey what you mean on the internet, especially to people you don’t know very well. But I can assure you that reluctance to put yourself out there (both in your writing and your comments to your peers) will fade away the more you use the blog. Soon, you will be checking it every day, obsessively, without even thinking about it. And not just your blogs, but the blogs of everyone in your group, and maybe even a couple of people whose writing you just find yourself drawn to. The most important thing is that you get into your blogging habit right away, so that you become comfortable with it faster".

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

An Annotated Bibliography on Weblogs and Blogging, with a Focus on Library/Librarian Blogs by Susan Herzog is at:

Embedding Audio in a Blog

Michael Coghlan has been doing it in various ways. He records the sound file using Audicity, "saves it as an mp3 file and then uploads it to a server somewhere"

He adds:

"...if you go to VIEW > SOURCE, or PAGE SOURCE in the menu at the top of your browser you can see the code for this page. Look for the bit of code that starts with 'embed'. Cut and paste that bit of code into your blog, and change the URL so that it points to the sound file that you have uploaded, and you should see your sound file embedded in your page."

Yesterday Teresa mentioned Handy Bits in her presentation for the EVOnline 2005 Weblogging Workshop.

Here is a link to Handy Bits:

Teresa's blog Have Fun with English is at:

Thanks to CybeRecruiter for a couple of good links about the RSS thing.

What is RSS? by Mark Pilgrim


Well..., the first article is a little bit complicated. I got lost reading HTML. Hope to read it again to find some cool tricks. The second article lists the most popular feeds.

A complete list of InfoWorld's feeds is at:

Have Fun with English

A presentation for the EVOnline 2005 Weblogging Workshop

Have Fun with English: A beginner EFL blog
by Teresa Almeida d'Eca

Vanue: LearningTimes

Slide Sequence:

What is Have Fun with English?
How did it start?
Why a blog for absolute beginners?
Blog provider or custom-made?
What sort of layout?
What type of content?
Unexpected but welcome add-ons
A european Exchange projects
Voice Mail
Photo stories: the latest trend
A final curiosity: the need for flexibility

Well done Teresa! I like your Hotpotato exercises. :-)

Monday, February 07, 2005

a culture of feeds: syndication and youth culture

... quite a different point of view... the guy quits using RSS / syndication readers. RSS is for the infogeeks, while youth culture is into IM and things like LiveJournal.

RSS: The New Killer App for Educators

What is RSS? This webcast recording about Rich Site Summary (RSS) led by Will Richardson (the person behind the "Weblogg-ed" blog) provides a comprehensive overview of RSS and how it can be used by educators.

If you are interested, the recording of this session can be found at:

To access the recording, click on 'Enter Now'.

Jam Session in TappedIn: Using Weblogs

Week 2 focused on contrasting and comparing various asynchronous tools, different weblog categories and uses. It started with a great presentation of James Farmer on Monday. Jam session in TappedIn featured Yu Hua Chen ( Changhua City, Taiwan) Dana Watson ( Michigan,USA, ) and Watson Jason Reagin (Suzhou, China ). They started blogging not long ago and shared their personal experience in using blogs in their classrooms.

Dana started blogging to avoid emailing. Stella majored in CALL and blogs were part of her research work. She created her personal linguistic blog and a Taiwanese community blog. She has been blogging since then for about half a year.

Warren adds:

After reading the article "Introducing your students to blogs" in "IATEFL's Issues," by Graham Stanley, I felt that it would be worth looking at blogging further. At the same time I was planning to attend an ELT conference in Beijing, China. The organizers asked if I would consider writing and presenting a paper. I saw the excellent opportunity to do both. I started my own personal/professional blog and then started writing.


Why did you start blogging?
What advantages and inconveniences have you three experienced in using blogs until now?
Do you see any cons of using blogs in your classes?
Do you check your students' personal blog?
How do your young learners take to blogs?
Do you integrate blogging in your assessment?
How different is blogging from journal keeping and logging?
In the long run, do the students always maintain interest?
Do you ask your students (young children) to blog at home?

Main points:

Using technology is exciting for learners.
Blogs are a form of publishing. Blogs give the learners confidence and pride in their work. Students can be very motivated at the idea of owning a site on the internet.
People who are shy in class feel more comfortable to express themselves on the blog after class ( lots of teachers are very happy about! ).
Checking students' blogs takes a lot of time especially if you have a big class. Feeback is important and it can be also part of their assignment.
Teachers are experimenting with what works and what doesn't. The idea is to find an activity which makes students active and productive and where they see the benefit or interest of it.
We all suffer from mistake-oriented tradition in teaching which stiffles creativity and voice.
Structuring class assignments is very important.
Some teachers integrate blogging in their assessment.