Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Week 3 of the course

I just finished sending comments to everyone about their work this past week. I'm very impressed with the collegiality that everyone has shown in sharing ideas on Nicenet. There have been some great suggestions for skill-building websites and how to use them.

My only regret is that I didn't make the prompt for discussion quite as clear as it should have been. I was really looking for how teachers would use specific sites in their teaching, whether as a teacher resource, in-class activity, or assignments for students outside of class. I did get learning objectives, though, and they are getting to be more consistently about student behavior, not about teacher goals. That's a positive development.

I was very happy with how well blogging is going for most people. We're only missing three blogs now, and most people with blogs are posting to them regularly. That has worked as well as I hoped. Given the issues with the Internet, especially in Iraq, I was really unsure that the participants in the course would be able to create blogs without too much trouble. But Blogger is quite easy to use, so it seems to have worked. We'll probably use blogs more often in the future, too.

Having the ELT Wiki with all the blogs listed has been very, very helpful. I can go through and view each blog that way. I have set up Google Reader so that I can read posts as they come in, but I still like the overview that I get by going through each blog in turn.

Because Nicenet doesn't allow attachments and I don't see an easy way to add an attachment other than a picture or audio/video here on Blogger, I decided to create another page on our wiki for files called Shared Files (it's only open to wiki members, like the rest of the wiki). I also added a page called Website Resources where people could share their favorite websites. The Website Resources page could turn into a page on the course website later, too.

The discussions for Week 4 are already starting, and they seem more productive from my standpoint than the ones last week. Looks like I may have learned a lesson from last week's prompt and did a better job this week - at least, I hope so.

I am certainly looking forward to the ideas coming this week!


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