Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WEEK 14 Final Reflections

My Final Reflections

During this last semester I had the chance of taking a course on ICTs. I must declare that at first I had no idea what this meant. Before this, I must truly say I knew nothing about it. In fact I didn’t even know what the word stood for.
As the course started I remember the first meeting we, as a group, had with teacher Evelyn. As she started to mention all the things we were going to do during this course, I thought I was not going to be able to do any of them. Everything she was saying sounded as if she was speaking in some unknown codified language.
Glogs???? Blogs???? Wikis???? Podcasts??
I kept asking myself what she was talking about. So as it always happens to me, I panicked and freaked out. I honestly believed all that was an impossible mission.
The course started and I began reading about Digital literacy, I searched in the net to find out a little bit about Glogs, Blogs etc.
Our first assignment was to create an e-portfolio so I asked another course mate to work together, more for confidence than for knowledge, for I must confess, we were both rocking the same boat. I indeed created an e-portfolio and I as it was coming out, I became thrilled. I Then I went home feeling very proud of myself, and even bragged about it. As my other classmates started posting their e-portfolios, I got horrified because theirs were awesome and what I first considered to be great, was in comparison, lame and extremely basic. But no, ….. I wasn’t going to let that happen. So I started all over again, until I finally got it the way I wanted. After that first task, I thought things were going to become smoother. Oh! Silly me!. If I had known what was awaiting me…. I don’t know what I would have done.
On the contrary we started working with the podcasts and I got on pins and needles.Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one going nuts. I have to admit that being able to share these feelings of frustration, despair, and impotence with my classmates, was what made the difference, between keeping on, or quitting. Little by little I started becoming more confident about what I was doing.
One of the things that really pushed me to keep on, was imagining my students faces when I introduce all these amazing resources to improve my classes. I absolutely fell in love with the Glogs. Now, I not only know what they are, byt I know how to use them, and I will definitely include them in my classes. I am sure that my students will love this and I will take the most of what Glogs have to offer.
Another Web 2.0 tool I fell in love with, was the Windows Movie Maker. With it, I was able to create my own movie. I felt very enthusiastic about the idea of using it with my students. Proof of that is that I have included one in my final project.
Finally, I must thank teacher Evelyn for all her efforts to make me a better teacher, for being patient with my tantrums. Yes, I had some of those …. and now I laugh. But I specially want to thank her for being there and guide me through this difficult journey I decided to take, to become a Digital Literate person, catch up with the world, keep the pace of my students and of course……..Bragg a lot about it with whomever is around me.
Thank You Evelyn!!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WEEK 13 Intregating ICT in the EFL Classroom

Key Words: Literature, EFL, Web 2.0, Skills,Wikis

The purpose of this project is to use the Literature in the EFL classroom, by taking advantage of the Web 2.0 tools.
The use of Literature has represented for many English teachers a resourceful tool to gain familiarity with many linguistic uses, language improvement, and especially because it represents a powerful instrument to incorporate cultural information of the target language.
“Literature can provide students with access to the culture of the people whose language they are studying”. (Lazar, G. p16.1993)
Literary works undoubtedly enable students to understand the language better by providing them with real world experiences, relationships between society and people where the target language is spoken, even if they are fictions. Additionally, literature promotes unlimited opportunities in the EFL class to teach the four skills; listening, reading, writing, and speaking, either individually, or together.
The growing acceptance of technology within the EFL class as a motivator for students; has lead many teachers to include Web 2.0 tools in their contexts as valuable resources. So, it is not difficult to understand why EFL teachers have decided to take such an interest in using them and taking advantage of all they have to offer to the educational environment. Therefore, while teaching in the EFL through literature, is the main concern of this project, the incorporation of Web 2.0 tools will surely contribute to the completion of it with a great success.
The Web 2.0 artifacts designed for this project are a Wiki page, and a video created with the Windows Movie Maker.
The Wiki, Mater English is a working space created for the purpose of providing a direct link between the students of 1 st. year of high school of Colegio Mater Salvatoris de Caracas, and their English teacher, Professor Maite Sangroniz. The main objective in creating this Wiki is to encourage the students to actively participate in the building of this space, by completing assignments, reading articles, stories, texts, etc. It will additionally provide ample space for students to collaboratively participate on it.
The students will also be able to access through this site to videos, which will be used in the EFL class.
By using a Wiki we can take advantage of the tools technology offers in this learning community, and move on in the never ending world of technological advances. Moreover the addition of such a novel resource in the classroom environment, will undoubtedly be an inspiration to my students and a space for creative work.
The Video was created for follow up purposes in this initial project, and will be extensively used in a later time. This movie was created with in the syllabus objectives of 1st year of high school, and its contents are closely related to the Short Story Theme, included in the Wiki. It was developed for its invaluable visual input which will help to convey the purpose of the reading, and it will further be of  great service to promote more communicative skills, creative thinking, as well as to explore some elements of language such as vocabulary.