Recent courses and conferences

In the last few months I haven’t been idle. I’ve been trying out and expanding my knowledge about web2 tools and trying to share the word. For the record, here is a summary of some of the things I’ve done.

Publishing: As a newly appointed coordinator of the ETAS ‘learning technologies SIG I’ve begun writing a column for the ETAS journal about blogging. I’m going to expand the topic, including other tools such as openweb bookmarks, wikis etc. all in due time.

Workshop: This has received some interest so I wanted to give people an opportunity to use some of the tools hands-on. Therefore, I gave a workshop at the ETAS SIG day. As soon as I figure out how to integrate the Powerpoint into a slideshow, I’ll integrate it in this post. The day went well, but I tried to do a bit lot! more than time would allow. I also made my expereinces with the problems a computer-based workshop can bring. Certainl points such as e-mail addresses should be clarified and alternatives ready before hand. However, I feel this is a learning experience and will continue to promote web2 tools for teachers (thank you webheads!!! too many to name, but oh so important :-)) and I’m sure next time will be much better!

ETAS blog: I’ve put up a blog for the ETAS as well (if you are interested in what exactly ETAS is, then just have a look here: http://etasblog.wordpress.com/ This is a place for sharing with other members and the occasional visitor. I also hope to link up classes in Switzerland and get them blogging and collaborating together, a mini Dekita, if you will (thank you Bee!)

Santec blogging seminar: This was an interesting, if short, experience. The seminar was on a blog-basis and is now in the archives along with a podcast seminar. The next one will be about wikis in the end of July , see: http://santec.uwc.ac.za/ and register with a short hello message to follow what’s going on there. Have had some previous experience with blogs at different ends, it was interesting to see what happened. Once the participants were asked to make their own blogs and carry on the discussion there, the discussion seemed to dry up. I suggest that even competent educators need some guidance, even more importantly so if the area is new. This was the most valuable part of the experience for me since it made me reflect on the amount of guidance a learner of a new language would need to cope with a new communication tool. Very good food for thought!

Webheads in Action Convergence: More than a conference, this web-based meeting brought together people from all over the world from different secors of education. There were many interesting presentations about different aspects of learning, internet tools, collaborating, etc. The archives are open to the interested here: http://www.webheadsinaction.org/ What I learned most here was by observing some excellent models of use of these tools. The moderators were very professional and just by taking part, I felt I was not only getting a lot of ideas, but coming to understand the reasons for adding these tools to my repetoir of teaching – much more than just gag and interest of the new!

Now that all that has been said, I see that what I’m doing here is a kind of portfolio, unintentional, but never the less documented statements of my growth in this area. I will continue to follow what’s going on and keep up with what others are doing. And I will continue to reflect and record my experiences here .

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