Friday, June 11, 2010

Week 10: Great experience

Dear all,
The last week of the course has come to an end but as Eve wrote on her blog, it's a new start for us. We're parting taking with us plenty of new ideas to try and expermint with in our classes. I believe it's going to be the start for a new era for me.
This has been the first course I do online and it's been a great experience I'd like to repeat. What I've learned on this course will definitely make a difference in my teaching.
One important thing I found out towards the end of this course is that I no longer dislike computers and technology. I used to hate the time I have to start my laptop to do some work. Now my laptop is on almost all the day long, I became very passionate about exploring the various digital tools and websites, whether to use in my teaching or for my own personal needs.
I am contemplating of planning a workshop to communicate what I've learned on this course to colleagues in my institution as I came to realize how important communication is and how much is still out there to be learned. The journey of learning never ends. I"ve already recomended many tools and websites to some colleages and they all asked about the course and how did I find out about it.
We can implement technological changes despite the constraints that we might face, but it should be one step at a time to reach our goal. Teachers should keep trying innovative ideas and not fall in the trap of repeating the same routine and sticking to the textbook. Textbooks guide us, but we have to be selective and make what we choose interesting for the students.
I intend to keep visiting our class on Nicenet from time to time and our blogs page. I'd love to stay in touch with you and hear your news and what you're doing with technology in your classes. I don't want our communication to end with the end of the course and this post will not be my final one.
Best of luck for all of you

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 9: Internet Tools

Dear all,

I believe each one of you has been quite busy this week, creating a class or a site, and exploring the different websites for making materials. It was so exciting for me. I wanted to try every thing and didn't know where to start from.
Our task was to create a site using Google sites; or a class on Nicenet; or an exercise, but we ended up doing as many as we could of those choises. I enjoyed looking at the impressive class sites created, and trying some of the interactive materials and worksheets uploaded on our wiki.

I've decided to create a class on Nicenet and a blog, then I tried HotPotatoes to make an interactive matrial. I did it successfuly and it was my first time. I wished I had the time to do more than that but it was the final week of classes and we were preparing for the exams. However, I have about a month before traveling to Syria for the summer vacation and during this time I will try all of these tools and master working with them. The class and blog are plain without any posts or uploads. I'm going to use them the next accademic year and I don't know which level I'm going to teach yet. I want to try to create a site and I know it'll take me some time to do so, therefor, I left it for now and I will come back to it during this month. Is it as easy as you made it seem, or it's hard as some have mentioned?

I will start my teaching on September with many new ideas I want to try and I hope the students would be as enthusiastic as I am. What I learned this week is that we can make teaching very interesting and exciting for both students and teachers with the use of Internet tools. I realize now that what I've been doing for my students was not good enough and keeping updated with the latest trends in teaching is part of our responsibility as teachers.

Have a good week