Friday, December 14, 2012

PhD TESOL - to be or not to be?

Hello,

A lot has happened since my last post, so here's a brief summary: I finished my MA TESOL and got Merit! :-), I've been appointed Cambridge ESOL presenter, invited to collaborate as an Online Teacher Trainer with TheConsultants-e.com and decided to continue with my studies into a PhD TESOL! Yes, it's been a busy time and so this is why I haven't posted in the last 5 weeks!

Anyways, this post is on my PhD in TESOL studies because I will be investigating the effects of transmedia literacy on CELTA trainees. The term itself is not new, after all what's new under the sky? However, the idea for my PhD revolves around the how all the technology that I use prior and during course affects (positively or negatively) trainee teachers.  The feedback received has so far been very positive, but researching this topic in detail may help bring up new insights into this field, so I'm really excited about it. 

Bye for now,

Robert

Friday, November 16, 2012

Present me! :-)


I came across this very functional tool recently and I love it. It's easy to use and a wonderful way of talking to your clients, students, etc.whenever you cannot meet them face to face or online. It's like Camtasia, IMHO, with the added value that you can be recorded while you make your presentation thus adding a bit of a personal touch!? You can get a free account, but from what I understand you wound't be able to have many presentations up unless you get a plan :-(. They also use the same referral system Dropbox uses so there is a chance of getting more 'storage' e.g. presentation space.  All the same, I think the fact that you can add yourself to the presentation reduces the distance and detached feeling one may get if only listening to the presentation. If you want to try it out here's the link: http://present.me/

Robert :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Textivate reminds me of Triptico's Word Magnets

I came across Textivate just recently as my tutor on the Games in ELT course I'm doing mentioned it amongst other games with potential for the classroom. I like Textivate because it reminds me of Triptico's Word Magnets. Triptico has many more applications, but this one is also a valid one. Why not try it and see how you can use it with your ss? You can use it in and out of the classroom for HW if you create an activity and then share the link with your ss.
 
Here's the link: www.textivate.com

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gaming is the Way forward!


I just started a new course with The Consultants-E on Play to Learn: Digital Games in ELT and I came across this very interesting article on it. It can be found at http://frugaldad.com/gaming/ . Digital Games are indeed the way forward in learning because of the power they have on people. It is a fast growing industry and so if you can't against them (it is still very much debated whether they have positive effects on people or not) then join them (there is a growing body of research also showing the good sides of it). I have just started this course, but I'm already eager to see what I'll learn from this. The articls and reading materials available on the internet are great and provide a very good base for critical thinking - some are not that good anyways!


Ok, time to go now, but I'll be back with more on this I'm sure.

Cheers!



Gaming is good for you
Source: Frugal Dad

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Freemake Video Converter - ABSOLUTELY YES!



I recently bought RealPlayer so that I could convert all my videos easily to MP4 - iPod format. While it was a good idea - not a cheap one - I came across this freeware open source resource which I wish I had known of before! It does even more than RealPlayer and it's free!

I've tried it already and it rocks. I'll continue to use RealPlayer of course - I paid for it! But, I can see I'll become close friends with Freemake Video Converter. It's super easy to use and there is so much you can do with it. Specially, for those of us in education, where the pay and the resources are low, a freeware resource like this one is a must to enhance our creativity and reach out for our students and trainee teachers through all kinds of formats. I personally use my iPod a lot to listen to lectures, study, review via podcasts or videos from the internet while waiting for the bus.  Why not encourage our trainees and students to do the same?

I'm alive!

It's been just over 2 months since my last post and maybe you thought I had given up. Well, I haven't! Unfortunately, it's been 2 long and hard months with our beloved dog going to doggie heaven after 12 years, all the admin for a YL Extension to CELTA, an intensive CELTA course which finished in July and my MA dissertation coming to an end - should be done in a week's time!

So, now that I seem to have a little bit more time, I realised it was about time I came back and said hello.  This blog has been from the beginning, more than a blog for others - I have very few followers - a repository of resources for myself and my teaching and training.  So far it's been great as it all started with a 'I have no idea how to set up a blog' and now's it's over 3 years since I go it so a very good experience all together!

Ok, that was just a little note to say I'm back.  I'm adding the picture of my beloved friend who left us about a month ago. My dear Sirio.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dropbox is the next best thing!

I've been using Dropbox for a while and after experiencing all the advantages it has first-hand I decided it was time to add a blog post on it.

I've been using it with all of my trainees teachers, colleagues and clients, let alone my own personal stuff, and it's proved to be a success!

SO MANY USES!
You can use it with your students as a hand-in tool for homework and assignments. That way you won't receive lots of emails with attachments which will fill up your inbox. It can also be used to give HW and share any extra resources between you and your students. Oh, and it doesn't have to be just you giving! They can also share files of all types with you! 

Dropbox is also great for pre-course work and preparation. I'm using it to share pre-course work with my trainee teachers and with colleagues. I think that Dropbox is like a wiki-like folder which you can share with others and where all the info you have and share stays there for everybody. Something important to take into account is that you should only copy files INTO or OUT OF it and not drag or cut as the files leave the Dropbox folder if you do it as opposed to copying from one file to the other in your computer where it automatically duplicates the file for you. Although this has it advantages it can also play against you if you're not careful!

All the same, nothing to worry about if one of your students takes a file away! If you are the creator of the folder, you will be able to go to your online Dropbox account and UNDELETE the files needed. 

REFERRAL POLICY
One really smart thing about Dropbox is that you can increase your storage by  sharing it with other people. If they download it to their PCs then you will get extra free storage! 

Here's a link to it: https://www.dropbox.com/ Now, what are you waiting to go and check it out?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CEO Pronunciation Site!!!!

One of my ex-CELTA trainees came across this website and sent me a link a few hours ago - Thanks Steve! I've fiddled with it for a while and I think it's just plain F-U-N! I've spread the word amongst our teachers and will be using it along with the McMillan iPad/iPod/iPhone application (SOUNDS) in my coming teacher training courses! I think it's a great way to get students (of all ages) interested in and working on their segmentals.


Do check it out!  Here's a link: http://cambridgeenglishonline.com/Phonetics_Focus/

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Triptico Word Magnets for your IWB


I had already posted an entry about Triptico on 20 March 2010, but time has gone by and now David has come up with an IWB Toolkit which is very useful. There are 23 resources to use although one of my favourites is Word Magnets. You can also use Find Ten (where you create ten categories amongst other distractors for them to find). Another good feature of this application is that there is always a demo so that you can SEE how it works before you start planning your lessons.

If you have access to an IWB this is a toolkit you really want to have. It will definitely help you add variety not only to your YL classes but also to adult ones.

Here's the link - http://www.triptico.co.uk/ You will need to download it onto your computer but it takes seconds and it is worth it!

As with all technology used in the classroom remember that PEDAGOGY should lead TECHNOLOGY!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Screenr - Your own screencasts for free!

I came across this app just recently and I think it's fantastic. I've been using PodOmatic to create short podcasts for my trainees with guidance for assignments and planning, etc. and although the podcasts are great and very useful, I think this app has a little bit more to offer - the visual element. Why not give it a try? I think it's really good not only for teacher training but for teaching in general. Students/trainees can be at both sides of the table: they can create their own screencasts or watch the ones you prepare to help them with their own leanring and studying!

What I like most is that you don't have to download anything and it is FREE! What else do you want?
Here's a link: www.screenr.com

Friday, February 3, 2012

WorksheetWorks.com - Oh yes!

Well, it's been a month already since my last post so I thought it was about time for a new one. I've been really busy with my MA work so that's why. Anyways, I came across WorksheetWorks.com and I think it's really good. Of course, I suggest that before printing any worksheets you do check for the accuracy of the information in it as the info is in there already and all you have to do is tick boxes choosing what you need. I checked a few and they were fine but don't take things for granted!

I really like the fact that it's free and that it's not only for English but for maths and other subjects too so really good stuff!

Bye for now and enjoy this site!

Here's a link:  worksheetworks.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

New year more studying!

Happy New Year Everybody! I've been away for a few weeks but now I'm back. This time I'm not blogging about web applications, but about Sheffield Hallam University. I'm finishing my MA in TESOL with them and so I just wanted to also take advantage of this blog to talk a little about my very positive experience with them.

I'm in the final module of the MA, the dissertation module and so I'm busy reading and researching for my thesis. This is a distance learning program so the online web-based content is present - and thinking of this, it's not a totally irrelevant entry in my blog anyway! I'm really enjoying this module as the support given asynchronously is very good. We're using Blackboard for the online interaction and discussion boards and although I have not been as present as i would like to in the last month, I'm using every single application available through it. I think that the Library gateway and the possibility to have access to so much information on the web e.g. only articles and even books is just fantastic.  Likewise, RefWorks is a truly wonderful tool for compiling your bibliography and not only! I've been using it for that but also to make and keep my notes on my reading and I can clearly see how this is going to make my life easier when it comes to the final writing.

Anyways, if any of you are interested in growing professionally and are thinking about doing a post grad course, it does not have to be an MA!  You can do lots of post grad work which is not as demanding as an MA.

Do take a minute to check SHU out! It's worth it!

Robert