Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blogging Services Compared

I've just come across this post by Richard Byrne in his Free Technology for Teachers Blog and I felt compelled to share it through my blog too as I think it's very clear and informative besides the fact that I'm a blogger too! Thanks Richard!

I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions after reading his post and table. I'd say it is rather straight forward as Blogger offers far more possibilities and options to you as a blogger, and the only fee incurred in would be if you wanted some custom domain mapping which sounds fair as it would require extra work.

I've been using Blogger since 2008 and my experience has been very positive. As you may have read at the top of the main page this blogging experience started as an experiment, grew and continues to grow as a personal repository of tools I come across, try and experiment with, and then mention here reporting on what I found out. I now have 19 followers and so I think it's no longer just a repository of tools I find but I somehow feel obliged to them - thank you so much for following my blog! 

Ok, I'm sure you'll find Richard's post interesting and informative, and that if you want to get into blogging then that you go for Blogger!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Methodology Pills for Induced Reflection No. 18 Language & Skills Lesson Planning Guidelines

One of the most common complaints on the CELTA course is that of trainees finding it difficult to plan coherent lessons. Thornbury (1999) says that this is due to the fact that novice teachers lack experientially-derived lesson schemata. Although this is more often than not the case it is also due to the fact that many teachers come to the course with different levels of experience and as such they need to both learn and unlearn behaviours which may not have been the most appropriate to address their students' needs.
With the above in mind, I decided to make a screen cast on lesson planning while on the University of Cambridge CELTA course for which I am a tutor and assessor. The idea is that of giving trainees general guidelines which will help them get started with their planning of receptive skills lessons or language lessons by looking at the PPP and Guided Discovery frameworks. While on the course trainees also look at Text-based, Test-Teach-Test, and Task-based Learning frameworks, but focus on PPP or Guided Discovery for their Teaching Practice as 'it is better that they become proficient at executing and automating a limited repertoire' (Thornbury 1999).

Please note that these are guidelines and therefore I do not claim them to be the only frameworks available, the best ones or anything along those lines. The idea is to provide trainees with the basics for lesson planning while constantly underlining the fact that whichever framework they choose should always revolve around their making of informed decisions while planning to address the students' needs. This screen cast is designed to support trainees before, while and after the course by providing a checklist they can refer to until they feel confident enough to unleash their creativity by adapting, meshing, re-creating, designing whenever necessary these frameworks.

Methodology Pills for Induced Reflection No. 17 Lower & Higher Order Thinking Skills

Lower and Higher Order Thinking skills have been a recurrent theme in all my conversations and reading lately and so I thought it was a good idea to create a PowToon on it. I drew on different sources from the internet and so all the content is traceable and obviously not mine! This video has helped me consolidate and what I knew and also think more carefully about LOTS & HOTS so I hope you find it as useful!