Friday, 29 May 2009

A Congress on ICT applied to Language Learning in Cordoba city

I was in Córdoba city (Argentina) on May 27th, 28th and 29th because the local university organized a 3-day-Congress on ICT applied to Language Learning. Teachers from different parts of the country attended the event.

The papers were about different topics: use of blogs and forums, webquests, Collaborative Learning, Moodle platform, distance learning, moodle platforms.
I found particularly interesting 6-hour-workshop about "How to introduce teachers to the use of ICT in their classrooms" given by Mgtr. Víctor Sajoza Juric who gave us some useful guidance about this issue.

Now let me tell you about my experience in the city. I had the fortune to be in Córdoba on "El Cordobazo" (See more info in Wikipedia) anniversary. The city seemed to vibrate at the rhytm of the drums played by the workers who marched along streets carrying Argentinian flags in the memory of their lost co-workers who died or suffered persecussion during the military dictatorship.

Some teachers and I also took a short tour to the Jesuits circuit. The Jesuits were one of the first congregations who arrived to Argetnina in colonial times. They were very organized and tried to convert natives into catholicism peacefully. They built the very first university and a national school. Cordoba University was the third one opened in South America after the Mexican and Peruvian ones. It is even older than Harvard University. Unfortunatelly, the Jesuits were considered revolutionary by the King and the Pope, and were expulsed from these lands (More info in Spanish: http://www.vallepunilla.com.ar/jesuitas/) The Jesuit block has been declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
See photos below. If you put the cursor on a photo (don´t click), you will get its caption ;-)
Feel free to leave a comment.

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Friday, 22 May 2009

II Sessions on Distance Education at UNLP




On May 20th and 21st, the Second Session on Distance Education took place at the National University of La Plata (See photo).

University teachers from different colleges gathered at the Rectorado building to interchange their experiences using ICTs.


On June 20th, the first session I attended was the one about intellectual rights on the Internet. The speaker was María Clara Lima. The topic was obviously very, very interesting.


That same afternoon my colleague from the School of Languages, Silvia Enriquez, described her experience using blogs in the course "Language III" in the English and Translation language course. Silvia Enriquez and I had the pleasure to talk and share our enthusiasm for ICT tools with Alicia Tedesco


I spoke about my experience with the Writingmatrix Project and the experience of using blogs as supporting material for the English Intermediate courses of adults and teens.


On the second day, the speaker in the pleanary session was Mg. débora Scheider ( UBA/Virtual University of Quilmes) who presented a number of topics to reflect upon such as the competencies required to be a successful online tutor, how much time a teacher is supposed to devote to an online class, what kind of the interaction is ideal for an online course, etc.


Most participants were very pleased with these sessions and all ask the organizers - Alejandra Zangara and Alejandro Gonzalez, among others- to repeat the experience next year.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Teacher Training Course at ESCUELA NORMAL SUPERIOR N°3 "ALMAFUERTE"-

Yesterday I started a three session teacher training course at Escuela Normal Superior N°3 "Almafuerte"- ISFD 97_Profesorado de Inglés organized by Prof. Patricia Guzmán - Head of the English Area of the Englsih Courses at Escuela Normal Superior N°3 .
I had the pleasure to have as participants some colleagues of mine such as : Prof. Anahí Cuestas (Escuela de Lenguas Coordinator of the English area), Prof. Silvana Barboni (teacher at Profesorado de Inglés) and Prof. Silvana Fernández (Literature specialist and teacher at ICAB)
The session started with an introduction to ICT (Information and Communication Techonologies). Then we started exploring Google tools : mail , chat and calendar.
The audience consisted of digital immigrants with different levels of computer literacy. Some of them were curious about what blogs and wikis are, and the advantages of having an account in Facebook.
Next sessions will be on June 2nd and 12th.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Teaching English Material provided by the British Council


I have the pleasure to announce that The British Council has offered me to publish their material in this blog. I hope it will be useful for your classes.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Interactive Whiteboards


"All that glitters is not gold" may be applied to Interactive Whiteboards (IWB).
Today, I have read an article by Gavin Dudeney which has arisen a debate on IWB. Gavin is not very enthusiastic about this tool ;however, below his post (click HERE) there are some other experts' opinions - Graham Stanley's, among others - who are not so pessimistic and mention the point that "Training is indeed the key to using the IWB".

The big danger using IWB is using this kind of tool only to show Youtube clips (a bit like buying a Jaguar just to take a trip to the corner shop).

Personally , I completely agree with Graham. If schools want to incorporate new technology to language classes, teacher training is essential. Oh, but the teacher trainning should be given by an experienced teacher, not the IWB maker.