Image courtesy of Sean Winters
This is week two of my #444ELT personal challenge. Here is a link to week one.
This week I spent time digging through articles on the use of portfolios in the classroom. This is something I already do and have done for a while, but I wanted to see what others were doing and to see if there was anything I could do better. I learned a great deal this week and I may keep on reading about portfolios as I feel there is some real value to it beyond what I am doing at the moment.
I invite all comments, suggestions, and even criticisms. Share below in the comments section or on Twitter.
Continue reading Collecting
Image courtesy of DRs Kulturarvsprojekt
Over the past few years now, I have been working on and refining my use of e-portfolios in my classroom. For those unfamiliar or only knowing a bit about what they are, e-portfolios are essentially an electronic archive of things the student does in the course of their learning. It can be made up of projects from inside or outside of the classroom and is primarily divided into two parts: the sandbox and the showcase. Continue reading Archiving
Image courtesy of Lorraine Santana
One of the things I love about Twitter is the online chats that occur based on areas of interest. This is a great way for anyone to have a say, regardless of class, position, or status. While I would love to participate more, time restraints and scheduling conflicts make it impossible for me to participate in the chats that I would love to take part in. As a result, I try to follow up by reading the tweets after the fact and the posted summaries as well.
Yesterday, I got to work in the morning and quickly read over the #ELTchat transcript and was pleasantly surprised to see a topic discussed that is close to my heart, that is student-generated content. Even this past weekend, I was discussing this very area of interest with other teachers during my session at the BC TEAL regional conference. While yesterday’s chat discussion predictably centred around the creation of content, I was mystified to find that little was mentioned about why this content is created and for what purpose. On top of that, not much at all was said about the use of student-generated content by other students as listening or reading material. The result of reading over that transcript has prompted me to take a deeper look at what student-generated material is and what is its ultimate purpose. Continue reading Creating
Image courtesy of TESL Canada Conference 2012
As I have mentioned before, my first ‘real’ job was working in a camera store. This was in the days when we had to use film and get it developed at the photo lab. I worked for a long time in that field before I went away to Lithuania for five months to teach English. Upon my return to Canada and my old job, something new had arrived, the digital camera. It was spectacular and horrendously expensive. We had two models: one with zoom and one without. Both took 0.3 megapixel photos and both went through batteries like water. But that didn’t persuade me away from showing them to customers. I KNEW this was the way of the future.
Fast forward a few years where I am now the manager of the smallest shop in the chain. A money losing store with hardly any customers. Being the youngest manager in the company, this was to be my training ground. I knew that there wasn’t a lot I could do to change the business in regards to location, advertising, and so forth, so I needed to do what I could within the shop. And then it hit me; sell digital cameras. Make it a destination shop for all things digital imaging. I had already become fascinated with them, so with the long hours of no customers, I read and learned all I could about how they worked, the models, and so on. One day, the general manager called and said the head of the digital department was supposed to give a presentation on digital cameras at our annual open house and he came down sick. He asked if I would I be able to do it on short notice. I jumped at the chance and the rest is history. From that moment on, I travelled around giving training sessions on digital imaging and my job changed to training specialist.
I enjoy giving presentation. After giving so many of them, it isn’t so scary anymore. That initial twinge of anxiety I have just before starting quickly disappears once I get going. I know that I am not the norm here. I wasn’t always that comfortable in front of people. I have tried to take some of what I have learned over the years and used it help my business English students with their presentations. Recently, I have started to wonder about how valuable presentations are in the language classroom. We have all used them, but do we really know how helpful they are to the students? I took some time think about the features of oral presentations in the language classroom and this is what I came up with. Continue reading Presenting
Image courtesy of Alexander Baxevanis
Note: This is in response to the post I did yesterday about the ELT Research Blog Carnival. Some of you asked about another option rather than blogging since some of you don’t blog. I wanted to respond to that and to provide some options. Also, I recently read a post by Rose Bard about her blogging experience. You can read it here. I also read a post by Vicky Loras about PD and blogging. You can read it here.
In January 2012, I made a resolution that I was going to start a blog as well as join Twitter as a way of sharing what I was learning and to learn from other ELT professionals. Knowing how successful resolutions tend to be, I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but I was at least willing to make an effort to try and make it work. I was pleasantly surprised (and still am) that so many people would be open to reading, commenting, and sharing what I wrote. I was also able to meet some amazing people who have added to my growth as a teacher. With the amount of information that was out there, I never expected to be noticed. All of that is great, but what does blogging do for me and for those I keep in touch with? Here are some reasons to blog as a teaching professional: Continue reading Blogging