Sunday, 29 March 2015

Memories from Spring Blog Festival 2015

Spring Blog Festival (SBF) is a one day event that takes place every March 21. 

SBF15 took place on Saturday March 21, 2015.

The aim of the festival is to showcase bloggers and their work. This year, the event gathered speakers from various fields: Steven Downes, Norman Vaughan, Joanna Norton, Mary Hricko, Anita Zijdemans Boudreau, Karen Blumberg, Nancy Zingrone, Halina Ostańkowicz-Bazan, Janet Salmons, Janet Bianchini, Vance Stevens, Dr Ebba Ossiannilsson, and myself.

For me, it was a special Spring Blog Festival this year, as I was co-moderating the event with Dr. Nellie Deutsch. I had taken part in Dr. Deutch's Blog Festivals before as a presenter, but being at the heart of it all was a real honour, and I do thank Dr. Nellie Deutch for that.

Besides, it was the first time I was going to present in front of the pre-service teachers I am supporting this year at the Master's Degree Module 'The Use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education' at URJC in Madrid, so I must confess that I was panicking at the beginning of it all, but looking forward to sharing their work at the Festival and making them aware of the importance of these live events, the importance of interacting and connecting with all these important speakers, who, if it were not for Internet and technologies, they would most surely not have the chance to meet.

After 15 exhausting but happy hours, keeping our fingers crossed for everything to go well, for every speaker to be comfortable and relaxed in the event conference area, for all the clips to work properly, for all the chats to be copied at the right time and the recordings to be screencasted at the exact minute each sessions started, following how well the #springblogfestival hashtag was doing at Twitter and hoping for it to become trending topic, I was absolutedly knocked out but ever so proud of having had such a wonderful webathon, having learned so much from other educators, having grabbed so many ideas to put into practice in class, having seen my students magnificently rising up to the challenge of attending live educational sessions on a Saturday, and having enjoyed every minute of it with Dr. Nellie, with whom I was connected in the back stage chatting real time, sorting issues out, sharing viewpoints, and, above all, having a wonderful personal relationship with a generous educator and warm peer.

So, I just hope all those who attended had such a great time as I did, enjoyed the sessions, and I am looking forward to meeting you all in the next Blog Festival.

Here you are the links to the webinars, recordings and content of the presentations, at the conference area, and below, you can view your favourite bits and pieces whenevery you like, as the Spring Blog Festival has its own YouTube playlist:

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Your Dreams Start Here

Back in January 2015, and after the great success of the Twima Project, Jonathan Smith got in touch with teachers in the world and announced the launch of #twima2.

As #twima had been such an amazing e-connected writing experience by the end of 2014, I had no doubt at all and accepted to be part of #twima2, this time jumping into a new adventure with a different group of writers: the pre-service teachers that I am supporting in their Master's Degree Module 'The Use of ICT and Web Resources in Primary Bilingual Education' at University in Madrid.

After almost a month sharing dreams in a Google Document, we have come up with a printable vesrsion of our contribution to the first stage of this international collaborative project, which we are sharing with you below:

Our next step is becoming part of the second stage of #twima2, which is starting right at the beginning of April, when 90 classes from various parts of the world are sharing ideas, knowledge, skills and technology in order to compile an iBook designed with iBooks Author, which will surely increase the interactivity and ease of transferring work to the final outcome.

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes of #twima2!

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Pretty Woman Revisited

Twenty five years enjoying Pretty Woman, one of the classics of cinema in the late twentieth century.

But, do you really know it all about this enchanting film that shows the American Dream every man and woman would like to live?

Even though you may have seen the film as often as I have, maybe in English, or maybe dubbed to your own language, or maybe subtitled; even though you might have spotted flaws in one or more scenes and showed off about it such as the croissant that becomes a tortilla for Vivian's breakfast, are you really a Pretty Woman Master?

Let's see!

Did you know that

  • Julia Roberts and Richard Gere were not the first choice for the film?
  • the movie was about to be called "$ 3,000"? Wonder why!
  • in the first version of the script, Vivian was addicted to drugs?
  • Julia Roberts was so skinny that it was decided to use a double with more "curves" for intimate scenes?
  • the legs we have all seen on the promo poster are not Julia Roberts' real legs but belong to a model?
  • the necklace that Edward gave Vivian was actually a real quarter of a million dollar one, guarded at all times during the filming? And that the actual snapping the box lid to catch Vivian's finger was improvised by Gere and was not in the original script altough it was later included in the final version of the tape?
  • the magnificent red dress every woman wanted to wear was first going to be black?
  • in the fight between Edward and his friend Stuckey, Richard Gere actually lost the crown of one of his teeth due to the struggle?
  • the scriptwriters first thought of returning Vivian to the streets and sending Edward back to New York with his girlfriend instead of ending the film with the romantic kiss that we all have had printed in our minds for the last 25 years?

    See how Julia Roberts and Richard Gere reenact Pretty Woman lines and read about the cast 25th reunion.

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Header image from Flickr by AlifiaCC BY 2.0
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    Thursday, 26 March 2015

    Enjoy your spring break!


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    Wednesday, 25 March 2015

    Impressions on Karen Blumberg's live session at Spring Blog Festival 2015

    By Marta Plaza

    This online class, 'Our blogs, Ourselves', has made me aware of how many sites that we, as teachers, can use in order to develop a better professional career. 

    She has introduced some tips to get started in all these websites, for instance, how our tweets and Facebook postings should be written (helpful, practical, generous, entertaining, informative…). 

    I am already in the most famous ones such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Google+, but other ones I really looking forward to learning more about (Linked in, about me, ckr,…). 

    I would like to start with Linked in that, as Karen has said to us all, it is a business- oriented social networking service, so it sounds rather interesting to really find a job opportunity. Also, I am curious of investigating more about, a tool which uses hashtags to search for and collect public social media within seconds of being posted, from networks like Twitter and Facebook.

    Another important part Karen has been talking in this online class is the value that our online contribution could have as some reciprocity will be received. It will make us accumulate new information and ideas for our teaching profession. Not being an egg was another essential point she has pointed out (everybody must have an authentic and natural photograph of ourselves on social sites).

    Karen also gave us some meaningful hangtags of many different education topics such as #openedu (open education), #FF (Follow Friday. Make recommendations of who or what to follow on twitter), #earlyed (Early Childhood Education) and so forth. She advised us to join them as well as specific communities on Google+, where we can know new people to connect with although we may not participate at the beginning. She said that something interesting may always be found to see. Also, she encouraged us to subscribe to newsletter (PBS LearningMedia, School Library Journal…) and to look for online learning opportunities (Standford, Open Utoronto…)

    It was such an extraordinary class about social networking services! 

    My personal conclusion about all this online class is that I need to be more updated with technologies. 

    I will keep reading Karen Blumberg´s blog

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    Sunday, 22 March 2015

    Student Blogging Challenge 2015 - Week 4 Mission


    This week we are joining globally and making an evironmentally friendly stop on 28 March 2015, Earth Hour. Take the chance to use your power to make a change regarding climate change by encouraging your mentees to be part of it all too.

    Activities for this week are all to do with the globe or the world we live in, so visit your mentees' blogs and support earth with them.

    Do not forget to visit the Student Blogging 2015 Challenge main page and read the suggested missions there. We are now into week 4 of the challenge so students should have an About Me page or post, created an avatar, perhaps written something about commenting, written a post using images and giving correct attribution - maybe a poem or story to finish, too.

    Please get in touch with me if:
    • you have been allocated blogs where you can't leave a comment,
    • your mentees are not replying to any of your comments  especially when you have asked a question,
    • your mentees have written no posts at all relating to the challenge,
    • your mentees still have the basic Hello World post.

    Happy Week 4 and Happy Earth Hour 2015. Let's make the change!
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    Friday, 20 March 2015

    From eBookEVO to CLIL eBooks

    Inspired by the #ebookEVO session within #evosessions 2015, a bunch of pre-service teachers at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid rise up to the challenge of designing their own open CLIL ebooks for Primary Bilingual students, from February to May 2015.

    Their ongoing teaching journey starts with a positive tornado and is scattered with learning missions to be accomplished step by step until overcoming the final challenge: designing and publishing and open, engaging CLIL e-publication.

    This blended adventure is what I would like to share with you all on 21 March 2015 at the Spring Blog Festival, when I will be presenting and co-moderating with Dr. Nellie Deutsch from 12 am to 24 pm GMT+1, along with other well-known educational leaders worldwide.

    I look forward to welcoming you all at Spring Blog Festival 2015!

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    Thursday, 19 March 2015

    Evaluating eBook Designs

    Inspired by #eBookEVO, a bunch of pre-service teachers at URJC in Madrid are evaluating some designs by participants in that rocking session within #evosessions 2015, with the aim of finding true inspiration when designing their own CLIL e-publications for Bilingual Primary Education. #ictclil_urjc 2015 Edition.

    Check the Pinterest Board with all their outcomes and our warmest appreciation for all the teachers that took part in #ebookEVO 2015 and their enormous generosity at sharing their outcomes with the world.

    Follow Mª Jesús's board Evaluating eBook Designs on Pinterest.
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    Tuesday, 17 March 2015

    Are you an Educational Blogger?

    Then, you've come to the right competition! 

    The IX Espiral Edublogs Award is accepting runners until 3 April 2015.

    If you write an educational blog, do not miss the chance to take part in this blogging initiative that the Espiral Association has been organising over the last nine years. 

    Just check the award community for detailed information, requirements, categories in which to register your blog, as well as to grab your participant badge.

    The information is in Spanish but blogs written in any language are welcome. Join the educational blogging award that acknowledges the creative writing value of students, parents and teachers that bet on a better education where blogging plays a key and still innovative role.

    And, for further impressions of those peers who have already won the spinning top, stay tuned at #yotambiéntengolapeonza.

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    Monday, 16 March 2015

    Student Blogging Challenge 2015 - Week 3 Mission


    After Mentors and Students have set up their first e-connections through introductions and first comments and have extended their links, this third week the Student Blogging Challenge goes into showing pictures and so do our Mentors.

    Participants at #stubc15 have a range of twelve activities to tackle this third week and our Mentors will be there for them to keep it up.

    So, Let's share pictures and comment!

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