COLLABORATIVE PROJECT DONE!

from: wildbridgestudios.com


Finally, the last and final hurdle to officially finishing my EDC601 course is done!

Wiki Name: PINOYMATTERS
URL: http://pinoymatters.wetpaint.com

When I began with this project some three weeks ago, I thought doing it in Wikispaces made sense since I’m using the same programme for my Research course. However, when I thought about my goals and the content which will need to go into the pages, I’ve decided to scrap the first one and do over a new one using Wetpaint.

MY GOAL:
My goal with this wiki is to basically have a space with which to compile and consolidate all things Filipino.In my search for materials to enhance my lessons, I found very few websites that cater to the academic needs of people learning Filipino as a foreign language.Most are geared toward native speakers or badly designed or chockful of errors. I intend to use this wiki not only as a proper resource but also as a medium to communicate and oversee writing activities with my students and fellow teachers. Every member is, in a sense, a welcome writer and contributor.This will hopefully be a nice addition to Filipino sites out there which are limited in scope. I hope to include everything Filipino in this wiki and expand its use beyond the classroom.

CONTENTS:
To set things up, I created several pages that are topic-specific:

-WELCOME — is where I have a welcome message for new members.
-CALENDAR — is the place to find important Philippine holidays
-CULTURE — is where articles about Philippine culture is to be compiled and shared.
-LANGUAGE LESSONS — This is the place to get tutorials and explanations for grammar points as well as practice exercises.
-IN THE NEWS — This is where current news of interest will be uploaded.
-USEFUL WEBSITES — where you can find links and information about certain Filipino websites.
-PINOY TRIVIA — A section for Pinoy trivia.
-PINOY MUSIC — You Tube videos of Philippine music and current songs.
-FILIPINO 1 –a place for my Beginner students to write and edit their first compositions, upload their videos and share presentations.
-FILIPINO 2 — A place similar to that of Filipino 1 but geared towards my intermediate level students. Here we will find their writing samples, audio and video recordings, and supportive comments of their postings.

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WHAT A JOURNEY IT HAS BEEN!

from:qzabteachers.wikispaces.com

I simply cannot believe how two months have passed so quickly! From setting up our blogs and wikis to making presentations and video tutorials to working on collaborative projects– what a journey it has truly been!
Looking back,when I wrote wanting to:

“.. how to create effective podcasts, presentations, embedding video and audio, editing videos, writing wikis, collaborating with Googledocs, etc.‚Äďjust because I am starting to realise that the best way to reach students is to deliver essential content in a format that they identify with and understand best…”

I believe I have achieved all that and more. I remember wishing I had some time set aside to concentrate on learning some new educational tech applications to “catch up” with my students and this course was the answer to that wish.I didn’t have the luxury of worrying whether I would be good enough to learn so many new skills as we were plunged straightaway into the business of creating, collaborating and doing.
Before taking this course, I was learning about different applications on my own whenever I had the time (mostly during vacation) and the inclination. I had the vaguest idea of a widget, and a wiki.Garage Band was a programme I never bothered trying out in my Mac Notebook but something I ask my students to use for their videos. That all changed from DAY 1 in our class.

PODCAST – was a hoot and a half! Using GarageBand was challenging at first but thanks to Classmate Brandon and Steve along with the abundant good humour of my groupmates Anissa and Jinkee, we were able to deliver more than what was expected.I finally learned how to edit audio and video, yey!

PECHA KUCHA– oh the dreaded presentation! The hard part was finding a topic and then paring it to the barest essential of talk. I know I could talk forever but gladly this programme exists to ensure I don’t do just that. Something my classmates and teacher are probably thankful for!

SCREENCAST O MATIC -is interesting and useful as it is another version of a video tutorial that is straightforward but merciful to errors (that you could correct) and bloopers (which I had plenty of during production).

TWITTER –Never thought how this app could be so helpful when I’ve already got an FB account.However, from my most recent experience, its advantage is its accessibility.I could embed it in my blog and find out what everybody’s been up to and I could also use it to get other people’s say on what I plan to do. I haven’t got it down to a science just yet being Blackberry-less but in time….

EMBEDDING- I think I’ve gotten a lot better at my embedding skills since taking this class, especially for use in my blogs. I’ve learned to embed not only audio and video but also pictures, files, charts, tables etc which is extremely useful in working with wikis and blogs.

However, the most enjoyable part was the blogging.In the process of writing for my blogs, I have read numerous academic and professional blogsites and articles including those of my cohort’s that have really motivated me to do better as a teacher. It was also a great experience to comment on their blogposts as well as receive their feedback on mine.On a personal level, through my classsmates’ blogs as well as through our class interactions, I have the opportunity to connect with them that I would otherwise never get to do because we’re all so busy with school.I feel like I somehow know them a bit better as real people and not just co-teachers.

All in all, this course has been a real godsend in so many levels. I am coming away with a whole new set of sharper tech skills, more confidence, and feeling more knowledgeable and more motivated to teach and learn with my students than ever. Thanks very much, Steve for your guidance and patience and your endless supply of good humour!

SCREEN CAST TUTORIAL

Finally got around to doing my screencast tutorial. (-:

PECHA KUCHA

From: groupalive.com


Oh, I am so glad that the PECHA KUCHA presentations are over and done with.When they said that you’re supposed to experience liberation through restraint doing pecha kucha, all I got out of it was mostly restraint! ūüôā The liberation part came only after I did my presentation.(Free at last!) In contrast, my classmates were cool as cucumbers, easily delivering their presentations like it was second nature to them. (Excellent prezies by the way, you guys!)I was a bundle of nerves thinking whether my topic was too pedantic and worried that I was overrunning my slides with my chatter. As I was reading my notes, I looked over to our teacher Steve and seeing that he looked mostly amused and politely smiling as the rest of the class , I was able to relax a little and finish my three minutes and twenty two seconds with little or no glitch.
Seriously speaking though, Pecha Kucha is not for the faint at heart. It was a bit challenging to do given the time limit and having to synch what you’re saying to the right slide. No wonder they performed it in bars! You would need to be inebriated enough to gather the courage to go onstage and share your deepest thoughts to a bunch of strangers who fortunately are under the influence of several good “Cheers!”(or “Kampai!” as they would say in Japan.)
However, I’m glad I did it. Looking back now, my trepidation was due to a lack of practice at home and the way it took my brain forever to cooperate with me. It finally relented, near the end and in the nick of time. Of course, it could not have hurt to have a class field trip to nearby Serendra (The Fez or Murray and D’Vine’s) for a genuine feel to the Pecha Kucha.
Here’s a link to my SAULO PECHA KUCHA.

PODCASTING 101

I first heard about podcasting in 2003 and thought of it as a possible educational backup tool for when a pandemic strikes as it did with the SARS then.In the unfortunate event that schools should close forcing students to stay at home where it is safer, lessons hypothetically could go on uninterrupted because teachers could create podcasts of their lessons and thus make it possible for lessons to continue. All the students needed to do was to access it via iTunes. In this way, students need not make up class time on weekends as some have all around the world especially in Hong Kong.Around that time, what we had were voice recording software in our computers. To do podcasts, we would have to change the audio input from .wav to the .MP3 format by downloading a .dll file. This would be possible using the Audacity software application. The only limitations was that it was all audio.It’s interesting and useful but for how long? Now, eight years later, this application is still relevant and I heard, better and easier to use.Now, you no longer have to change formats; all you need is to record, choose a format and upload to a webpage that supports podcasts.It is also possible using Garageband to add images and sound effects to make it even more interesting and then upload it to your webpage. Of course, eight years later, we can do much, much better. With the arrival of Skype and video applications like iMovie, teaching and learning could be asynchronous or live.It really just depends on your creativity and how far you were willing to go beyond the call of duty.
In our tech class, I think that my groupmates and I were so taken with the idea that we went full out and decided we would make a podcast with images and sound effects even as none of us has ever used Garageband before.Working far away from our classroom in another part of the school, we even consulted our groupmate’s five-year old daughter who assured us that yes,her mom’s MacBook Pro had that software and told us exactly where to look in her laptop. Seriously, from a five year old baby? Of course, you had to be there… Oh, alright! We were desperate and quite in a bit of panic so we took our chances.
So, armed with a lot of good humour (read:madness) and determination (read: stubbornness), we never gave up.We worked all day, pestered our techie classmate Brandon for help (Thanks, Brandon!),finished up and uploaded it during class the following Monday. And yes, it was a podcast complete with images and sound effects and it ran for nearly 5 minutes.
Boy, what a crazy and exhilarating experience it was!
Here then, is the product of our collective effort. Hope you and your kids find it useful!

WEB 2.0 IN EDUCATION

web2.0.jpg. CC hello.eboy.com/eboy/?p=549

Web 2.0 or the Read/Write Web as World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners Lee prefers to call it has created such a profound impact in all our lives that as a result, there is no more turning back from the way we were.It has changed the way we communicate, relate to people, view the world and even the way we live. It has become very much a part of our online lives. Posed with the question “Does Web 2.0 change teaching and learning?” the answer is quite obvious. It has and continues to do so. In line with how technology has changed the way the present generation thinks and experiences the world,it is also actively changing the way we view education and the ways with which we “educate”. Technology has become a vital part of the way we acquire ,handle, and present educational content in more relevant and engaging ways that promote creativity and collaboration.
No longer are teachers purveyors of educational content, we have evolved to become facilitators, moving the spotlight and the stage from us to our students.No longer are students passive learners. They too, have evolved to become skilled consumers of technology from which we can learn.

A FINE PLACE TO BE

I’ve always thought how fortunate my peers and I are when it comes to the timing of our arrival on this planet especially with the myriad of technological advancements we have seen in the last 30-40 years. People call our cohort Generation X. We’re¬† old enough to know what it was like to live analog yet young enough to not be overwhelmed by things digital..for the most part.

And so here I find myself in EDC 601, anxious to learn more about properly integrating technology in my teaching repertoire and eager to reach more of our digital native students in a way that they understand best. However, some caveats loom in the horizon. I need to remind myself that technology is just the vehicle that delivers the goods, so to speak, and not the goods in and of itself. I need to remember that using a variety of tech applications does not make me better than any teacher if I still teach the way I learned. I need to accept the fact that our students speak a whole different language now and learn very differently –in fact even their brains are wired differently!¬† I think it would be smart to take my cues from them, to teach in their language and style. To do this,¬† I also would need to reconsider adapting my methodology and course content. Adaptation, I believe, is the key. And this is what being in this class is all about– to learn how to adapt, to learn the tech skills needed to¬† maximize student engagement and hopefully, close the gap that divides our generations a little bit more. That is why this is a fine place to be.

NOW TO BEGIN…

In our EDC 601 class, we were asked  to answer the following questions:

Q:¬†¬†¬†¬† What do you intend to learn from this course? (Specific enough that you may know if you’ve achieved your goals…)
A:      Basically improve on what I already know of educational technology, learn more practical applications that I could use in the classroom right away.

When I started teaching, I thought how cool it was to know how to properly use the  ditto machine, the slide projector, the microfiche, overhead projector with coloured transparencies because it really added a zing and pizzazz into how I presented my lessons to my students. I felt ahead of my time and really quite excited that I was teaching in a school that could afford the latest educational tools. Over the last ten years, I find myself not finding any more use for these things except maybe for the OHP which  is now replaced by the multi-media projector and the Smart Board.

Which IT skills (or which teaching skills) could help you (use IT better to) improve your students’ learning?
Knowing how to create effective podcasts, presentations, embedding video and audio, editing videos, writing wikis, collaborating with Googledocs, etc.–just because I am starting to realise that the best way to reach students is to deliver¬† essential content in a format that they identify with and understand best. Of course, one has to first consider the content and its relevance¬† because no matter what gizmo I use, if the content is irrelevant , then it’s going to stay that way. As a language teacher, the more I understand how to facilitate collaborative activities and encourage creative and original thought through the proper use of these applications, the better I could “reach” my students.
Which IT skills could help you improve your own learning?
All of the above! (-: And I wasn’t being simplistic! I believe all IT skills can help enhance learning although each one has its own place and proper application. I am finding that the more IT skills I learn, the better I am able to handle information. Even the simplest thing as knowing how to use the best search word/s¬† while¬† looking up a topic of interest has become an invaluable skill in speeding up my researches or topic of interest.¬† Being able to use websites such as Facebook has made me aware of the power of social networking and has kept me closer in touch with friends and family scattered across the world, knowing how to take advantage of You Tube¬† tutorial videos has saved me hours and hours of theoretical study and provided much entertainment. Skype has saved me tons of money otherwise spent for expensive phone calls to loved ones abroad. I can’t wait to learn more about¬† Googledocs¬† and¬† wikis to collaborate with others .In a nutshell,these websites and the applications they offer have made it possible for me to explore and expand my world and really brought my interest for learning to a whole new level. . and to think that this is just the tip of the iceberg…!

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