Monday, April 26, 2010


 That mouthful is the title of a course I started to take last week--it's an internal AU course being offered by George Siemens a leading expert in the field. it's totally online so that we are practicing what we preach. Last week, Week 1, was an introducation to some learning theory through the following readings: 
What is Connectivism? : A short overview of different theories of learning
The Unique Idea in Connectivism: Title sums it up - a comparison of theories of learning.
There was an Elluminate session to get us all up to speed with that technology and to help set the scene for the next seven weeks. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

TESOL 2010

It was a month ago I was there. It was an energising experience largely because the webheads are such a fantastic group. The conference itself was over 7,000 people, so there is no single event that brings people together the way we have with either ATESL or TESL Canada conferences. In this huge conference, it is really nice to have a "home" to go to. "Home" is the Electronic Village; it hosts various displays of technology--hardware and software--with a lot a show and tell exhibits; it is also the place where the webheads from around the world meet up. I volunteered for two hours at the EV, and it was great to meet up with some old friends I had met in Seattle three years ago and also meet others that I had only met online before. The best way to give you a flavour for the experience is to direct you to the blog, Webheads in Action (WIA) in Boston, in  that many of us participated in as a way to record and reflect on our experiences--the professional and the social.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Below is an e-mail I received from Bill Zimmerman, Creator, 
"If you could not attend my workshop on Creating Comic Strips Online to Encourage Writing, Reading and Storytelling at the TESOL Boston 2010 conference you can find a handout on my website that lists 21 ways to use in the classroom. Go to:
Some examples:
.At the beginning of each new school year have students create a comic strip online talking about themselves and their families or summarizing the most important things about their lives.  These then can be read aloud.
.Have students create a comic strip story using new vocabulary words that are being taught.  Or have them create a comic based on a book they are reading.
.Create comic strips in which students can practice such real-life, practical scenarios such as looking for a job or dealing with a school bully.
On the home page you can click on a demo to show how the site works. And click on the Teacher Resources button for a video of ESL students at City College in New York talking about how creating online comics helps them learn English.
I hope you will try the free educational comics website with both younger and older students to help them improve their English and literacy skills. MakeBeliefsComix allows users to create their own comic strips online; it offer 80 fun characters with different emotions, blank talk and thought balloons to fill in with words, story prompts and printables. Google and UNESCO selected MakeBeliefsComix as one the world's most innovative sites to encourage literacy and reading. It is now being used by educators in 180 countries to teach English and other languages. Your feedback and suggestions are very welcome."