Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"EFL Blogging School" Final Conference

EFL Blogging School Final Conference Agenda,2016






Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Blog Designing & Maintenance: from A to Z

Dear EFL Blogging School Participants, 

Now you all are at the final stage of our project when each of you successfully passed the instructive Modules and enthusiastically started integrating the own designed EFL blogs into the English classes. 
For this reason, at this point, we would like to offer you a set of final recommendations on how to efficiently design and actively maintain your blogs as a teaching-learning-assessment tool. 

In addition to to this, each of you will get a feedback from your mentor and an EFL blog expert in the Comment space on how to improve your blog, particularly.

Enjoy reading the posts and maintaining your blogs alive! 

A Good Teacher’s Blog
Recommendations and Descriptions:

   A good blog – is a network, a journal or an evidence of events. It should look as a journal with notes. And these notes are permanently updated, information is added, images  and multimedia are here as well; you regularly add some  new  commentaries, pictures  and opinions.
Blogging  (web log, a journal of events) as well – is a 21st-century approach to teaching a foreign language. 
       Blog’s general purposes:
·       Communicative (to share, to talk)
·       For self-presentation (as a diary)
·       Entertainment (mothers, housekeepers)
·       For getting together and keep social network (to support each other, to keep friendship, be  better colleagues)
·       For memoirs (like paper diary/self-communication)
·       For self-development and reflection  (one can create his/her own image and structure personal thoughts.

2    Blogs dedicated to education are:
·       Blogs of certain institutions (schools), where participants discuss the Process of Studying and Educational Problems.
·       It stands between:
-Objective & Subjective Opinions,
-Rational & Sensitive Attitudes,
-Scientific & Devine Involvement,
-Mathematics & Literature Approach.
·       The interaction on the blog can be a tool we use to facilitate the teaching of students' skills

3    Pedagogical Purposes  of Teacher’s Blog are:

   - to make the process of acquiring the subject easier, more comprehensive for children/students
           -to get together Teachers and Students/ Teachers and Parents;
·       -to share positive experiences of other teachers;
·       - to ease the process of communication;
·      - to get new information;
·      -to give additional materials to students;
·      - Blog incorporates several subjects and makes English an interdisciplinary lesson.

Blog’s  benefits for students:
  •  they can read, write, watch, listen, post, reply and communicate with teachers and peers;
  • get and prepare for the assignments/tasks;
  • get the results on-line from Teachers;
  • use dictionary on-line;
  •  to listen to native speakers.

There are the links to examples of good and living Teacher’s Blogs:

Standard 2 of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) standards for the 21st-Century Learner states that Learners use skills, resources, and tools to draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.” 
As members of a democratic society, it is essential that our students know how to think critically and make informed decisions. It is also important to teach them how to participate ethically and productively (AASL standard 3).

Teacher’s Blog should:

      1. Be very clear from the very first sight when  one accesses or opens  it  (be it your student, 
            colleague or  any other  visitor);
2.      The pages and rubrics you form should look comprehensively and structured;
3.      The words that you use to entitle one or another page should reflect exactly what it comprises;
4.       Each Blog should have a design that will be pleasant for the reader’s eye and correspond the 
             teaching aims;
5.       The words, phrases, and images  you use should be eye-catchy and inspiring;
6.       Blog Etiquette Tips:
-Be polite and respectful always and with everybody;
-Remind participants several days to a week prior (people forget stuff);
-Have a back-up plan in case they forget or for some reason;
-React to the blog you visit when you are in a role of a guest;
-Write something you would publish on your own blog;
-Help promote your guest post and respond to comments; and 
 -Be respectful to those who disagree with you.
7.       Your Teacher’s  blog should have all the facilities for your students  ( a dictionary on your page, 
             a calendar, an additional tutorial if needed, data of the task, a simple and detailed explanation for 
            students with special needs);
8.       The Assignments that you create should be clearly structured so that your students could
              understand the Task, especially those who missed the class;
9.       Each Instruction should be explained simply and consequently;
      10.   Provide the examples and enough facility information for the topics you consider to be the most 
           difficult ones;
11.   Use the  information (audio, video, any on-line techniques) that is relevant for your students’
             language level and development;
12.   Mind the aims of the Teacher’s Blog when you create a Task or organize an activity: to develop 
              certain skills and abilities;
13.   Involve all the students from your classes through the tasks you create, so that they could share
             the experience with each other and peer educate themselves;
14.   Be open to reflect and respond to all their questions;
15.   Be aware of the anxiety your students might have referring to using new on-line methods, show
             them you are there to explain and assist, if necessary;
16.   Appreciate all the work that they do, each assignment, task and even a little try—that will inspire
             them for further participation;
17.   Keep in mind that evaluation of students work should be present as well, as it reflects their 
             involvement and shows learning results (both short-time and long-time ones);
18.   Include into your Blog’s  pages  all the extra-curriculum  activities you do with your students or 
             at school and some other things your students are interested in. That will encourage them to do 
            both what they like and the assignments as well;
19.   To show that your Teacher’s Blog is an active one, be sure to use most of the on-line techniques
             and tools you learned and acquired during the study course;
20.   Each blog post or assignment should also provoke communication and a desire for knowledge 
             from your students. Try to present  fresh  news, events, activities that will prove your connection
             between modern life, your students and you.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Preparing for the Local / Regional Teacher Training and Final Conference Presentation

Dear EFL Blogging School teachers, 

 To have a better idea of how to prepare the local/regional training, 
please  follow the recommendations below.   

1. Investigate all the assignments and topics you covered through the entire EFL Blogging School course;
2.  Look through the topics and extract the three you personally liked the most;
3. Decide upon the reasons you are attracted by these topics  (make notes of each reason);
4.  Think and ponder over how well you have already integrated them into your teaching  process;
5.       Look through the topics you covered with your students, examine how well they were involved in the activities and home tasks they received;
6.       Analyze the entire process of your students’ work  and decide what you can share with your colleagues from other schools;
7.       Be sure you are fully aware of how you implement new tools into traditional way of teaching so that you could share it with the others;
8.       Collect as many positive examples of integrating new techniques as possible; collect the examples you would like to show;
9.       Take several challenges and negative experiences or obstacle the teachers might come across and include them into your teaching seminar;
10.   After you examine the topics you selected, try to deepen and take one you consider the most relevant for your colleagues to present;
11.   Start getting ready by taking all the material you covered, revise and recollect all the sources, examples, notions, information, opinions, students involvement of in terms of your work;
12.   While you prepare the information, keep in mind that many of  participants at your seminar are traditional-thinking teachers with a vast personal experience. For some of them new  on-line tools might seem quite unusual or even difficult;
13.   Try to be consistent and sure that all the notions and information you present is clearly structured and easy to comprehend and utilize  for those who hear about it for the first time in their life;
14.   Get ready for eventual questions , both connected with the topic you cover and/ or any other  far beyond the context;
15.   At the moment you decided upon the topic, revised the materials, collected the needed information for your seminar, make a draft or a preliminary plan of your presentation;
16.    Look what type of presentation you would like to make:  power point or prezi. Be  ready to remake it several times;
17.   Do not leave that for the last three days, as the information will need to be cleary accumulated and the level  of preparation needs more time to be dedicated;
18.   While preparing the presentation, try to order your slides  in such a way so that your listeners would  have a clear idea of what is the main aim of your presentation;
19.   Keep in mind that elaborating the activities is time-consuming and sometimes a tiresome work, and needs revision and even changes;
20.   Be attentive to the time you need  while getting ready for the presentation. Time management is another important issue on implementing new tools  and performing how it works;
21.   To incorporate all the material you want to present into one session, you need to practice at least once , to see how well you integrate yourself into the time offered;
22.   Take into consideration the time that you will need for demonstrating video on-line tools , making it interactive, involve participants in the activities and make a debriefing as well;
23.   Provide the participants with hand-outs, connected with your presentation so that they could also use it and start to implement into their teaching;
24.   Be sure all the equipment works  well and have your presentation printed out just in case something goes wrong in terms of circumstances, electricity or other unexpected occasions;
2   Include in your presentation the best results you have while implementing your new studies about on-line tools and give examples of its advantage.

 You can see the local/regional topics and the procedure organised by the first 'EFL Blogging School" project participants as an example provided to facilitate the task:
Links of EFL Blogging School  Edition II Local/ Regional Workshops:

Ursu Mariana: