Wednesday, 27 January 2010

British Council Teaching Material for Kids

Luckily some new material selected by 
the British Council is available in this blog.



Let´s start with a very interesting  short topic-based videos where our young students can listen to children talking about their lives on the British Council’s NEW LearnEnglish Kids site
for young learners.


As you can see the window is visually attractive and user friendly for kids.
When you click on the photo of one of the kids that appear on the screen, a video starts running.

You can exploit the video extensively and/or let your students explore other
listening material at their own pace:



You can also print the script of the video and full colour activities with
corresponding answers in pdf format.
Don´t forget to make your students vote for the video!




Students can answer to the personal questions in comments,
introducing them to online participation.

I hope you and your students really enjoy this online website!
Further ideas to exploit the website?
Click HERE

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Friday, 22 January 2010

Educ.ar

educ.ar  is the educational portal of the Argentine Nation created with the support of the Martín Varsavsky Foundation in 2000, but after the economical and political breakdown which took place in Argentina in 2001, the portal needed to be reorganized. In 2003, the re-launching took place in the hands of Alejandro Piscitelli who considers his experience in educ.ar as the most challenging in his life.


The aim of educ.ar re-launching was to work for and with Argentine teachers on digital literacy. An initial team of 23 specialists helped teachers and heads of educational institutions to get familiar with the use of ICT. Thus, the portal became one of the most respected online providers of educational contents and was the first educational national portal in Latin America. Actually, it has about 1,450 million of users and about 2,000,000 hits per month.

 
Educ.ar Mission

 
  • To generate opportunities for all the inhabitants of the Argentine Republic to learn no matter their place of residence. (Argentina is quite a big country very different geographic areas) 
  • Offer the teachers the corresponding tools to teach in the knowledge society.
  • Collaborate in the reduction of the digital gap. 
  • Create networks between the government and the private institutions 

 
Educ.ar Pedagogic Project (2003-2008)

  
Taking the idea of in a constantly changing world, he who stays in the same place goes back, educ.ar team was conscious of the urgent incorporation of the digital and mass media literacy to education. They considered that TV, Internet and other mass media should be related to school.

 
Results

 
To mention some of the achievements, by the end of 2008, educ.ar developed 20 different titles in CD-Rom format, offered e-learning courses, trained 13,000 teachers to use different Web2.0 tools (weblogs, wikis, webquests, forums, podcasts, collaborative tools, etc.), 800 computers were recycled and redistributed .

Friday, 15 January 2010

Nativos Digitales- a book to read

Last November I had the pleasure of attending a presentation given by Alejandro Piscitelli at Virtual Educa Congress. His presentation, massively attended by specialists on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), was about digital literacy and the Argentine Education system.

It was really moving, sometimes ironic and sarcastic. Alejandro showed some acid humour when he opened his presentation with a slide showing an oven and the phrase “We are in the oven” (1) and continued describing with rich vocabulary the educational system resistance to put the use of ICT into practice.

(1) It stands for the Spanish local colloquial expression “estamos en el horno” which means we are in a really difficult situation.

Piscitelli’s book


Alejandro wrote, among other titles, "Nativos Digitales" (2). Although I had already read quite a lot about the topic in English, I decided to buy his book to know more about his opinion after having heard him at Virtual Educa. Luckily, I was not disappointed at all. I found Piscitelli’s style energetic, powerful, to the point, controversial; it not only gives information and describes conflicts, but also inserts questions to reflect upon. Nativos Digitales is, in fact, two books in one because the author enlarges facts and statements with very complete quotations to support his ideas making the text hypertextual.


(2) “Digital Natives” in English


The prologue was written by Francis Pisani and the text divided into three sections and 12 chapters is absolutely not for newbies due to a lot of technical language and references presented in a frantic rhythm.

Briefly, Section I states the reason why new generations’ (born after 2000) way of learning is different from their elders. Nothing escapes from the author’s attentive eyes which analyze all audiovisual media manifestations from video games, TV series, movies to the net, of course; Section II is really enlightening and challenging when Piscitelli clearly describes the teachers’ skills necessary to be a good professional in the XXI century, and Section III describes how digital technologies have affected society, economy, philosophy, art. Nativos Digitales ends with a complete bibliography referring to material in Spanish as well as in English.


Who is the author?




Alejandro Picsitelli is a university professor who thinks that in a constantly changing world, he who stays in the same place, goes back. Consequently, looking at the future and with the coming of digital technologies, he has become well-experienced in the use of ICT in education. Since 1996, he has been in charge of the course of studies Taller de Procesamiento de Datos, Informática y Telemática (Workshop on Data Processing, Informatics and Telematics) at the School of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, where he and his students work on the Facebook project.

In 2003, he was in charge of the re-launching of educ.ar  – the educational portal of the Argentine Nation – which had been created with the support of the Martín Varsavsky Foundation in 2000, but after the economical and political breakdown which took place in Argentina in 2001, the portal needed to be reorganized. Piscitelli considers his experience in educ.ar as the most challenging in his life.