Thursday, 18 September 2014

Free Webinar: 'E-connections are essential'

Join me on 21 September 2014 at 6 pm GMT+1 for the free live session: 'e-Connections are essential!'.

Check your time around the world.

This live session is part of the free webathon you may attend when you join the Fall Blog Festival at WizIQ.

Read more about the Fall Blog Festival.
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Friday, 12 September 2014

YLT Webinars : The timeline of an e-connected story

Join me on 14 September 2014 at 6 pm GMT+1 for the free live session: The timeline of an e-connected story.

Check your time around the world.

This live session is part of the YLT Webinars and I'll be sharing the story of an e-connection that starts in a University classroom (URJC) from Madrid, with a group of future CLIL teachers taking a Master's Degree on The Use of ICT and Web Resources in Primary Bilingual Education, which spreads towards real CLIL classrooms from Colegio San Gregorio in Palencia (Spain) and their designing digital storytelling together.

Thanks to all my Master's students and to @somar0209, @javiramossancha and @julisanzmamolar, who have generously collaborated in this digital e-connected adventure that brought University and Primary Education together.

Read more YLT Webinars.

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Fall Blog Festival 2014


The Fall Blog Festival (FBF) is a one day blog festival event showcasing bloggers, their work, and valuable tips for blogging for reflective practice, work with students, business and other reasons. 

This event takes place online on WizIQ, on September 21, 2014.  

Highlights include:

  • Blogging to enhance reflective practice and/or teaching
  • Blogging Tips, ideas, and Projects
  • Connecting with the World
  • Expert Advice on how to Set-up and Maintain a Blog for Any Purpose
  • Emerging Technologies and Trends in Blogging

The Blog Festivals, organised by Dr. Nellie Deutsch and Prof. Ludmila Smirnova from IT4ALL, take place twice a year, in spring and autum, and include a webathon of live classes showcasing a wide range of blogging projects, practices, experiences, tips and so forth. 

Participants have several workspaces available to work and enjoy: the content and discussion area, available before and after the live sessions; the live classes themselves, to which every webathon participant is invited to view and actively interact; Twitter, disseminating and sharing with #fallblogfest.

All the live sessions are recorded, so they are at hand any time after the Fall Blog Festival is finished at the end of 21 September. 

Meanwhile, have a look at the recordings of the previous Spring Blog Festival and meet the presenters that will be with you all the next Fall Blog Festival, on 21 September 2014, from 8 am until 8 pm EST.

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Join the Student Blogging Challenge!

Are you into blogging with your students? Are you a blogging teacher?
If so, you are bound to love the challenge by the team of EduBlogs.

Registration is now open for classes and students willing to rise to this amazing chance to learn to blog and comment in 10 weeks.

The first challenge starts on 14 September 2014, so get ready and go for it!

At the end of the challenge series, if you have successfully accomplished the various weekly steps, and I'm sure you will as you are supported by a wonderful group of trainers, you will grab a badge looking like the one on the left. But the most important part of this challenge is, undoubtedly, fun, so take some minutes of your time, sit back, relax, and read all the details of this new series in the Student Blogging Challenge Blog.

Meanwhile, why don't you spread the word in Twitter? The hashtag for this challenge series is #14stubc. By using it you will also be able to gain instantly updated information about the whole event and stay tuned!

And if you need help with class blogging, do not miss the Blogging With Students Edublogs Teacher Challenges. You won't regret it!
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Friday, 29 August 2014

Our #ictclil_urjc Experience At #simoeducacion14

Great news for all those of you who were part of the #ictclil_urjc 2014 blog roll adventure!

Our experience has been highlighted today at the online journal of SIMO, the educational fair and learning technology exhibition that will take place in Madrid from 16 to 18 October 2014. 

Congratulations, and thanks once again for your enthusiasm and good work!!!!!

Discover what SIMO Education 2014 will offer you over the face-to-face sessions in October:

Meanwhile, have a look at SIMO Blog and read about our experience and lots of other awesome innovative learning practices. You will also find good tips and ideas to grab for your connected lessons.

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Let's get talking!

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

IATEFL Young Learners (Children and Teenagers) Special Interest Group (YLTSIG) Webinars 2014-15

The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) has a number of Special Interest Groups (SIG) which give teachers professional development opportunities including the chance to share knowledge and best practices in key areas of English Language Teaching and Learning.

Among those Special Interest Groups, the Young Learners and Teenagers SIG (YLTSIG), like other SIGs within IATEFL, is led by a committee of volunteers who arrange discussions, organise conferences, produce publications, maintain a web site and organise events for teachers all over the world.

Meet the members and join the network for IATEFL YLT SIG on WizIQ!

Twice a month, starting 7 September 2014, you will have the opportunity to attend live webinars and connect with some well-known educational inspirers that will generously share their knowledge and experience with any teacher insterested in EFL and innovation.

Don't miss the opening webinar, 'Superhero Activities, Tools, & Apps to Empower Children', with @ShellTerrell, undoubtedly an amazing season debut and an extraordinay chance to grab awesome ideas for your back-to-school lessons. Bookmark it in your calendar: 7 September, 17:00 CEST.

Humbly following, there comes my webinar, 'The timeline of an-econnected story', on 14 September, 18:00 CEST, when I will try my best to share the experience of an e-connection that starts in a University classroom (URJC) from Madrid, with a group of future CLIL teachers taking a Master's Degree on The Use of ICT and Web Resources in Primary Bilingual Education, which spreads towards real CLIL classrooms and students, to design digital storytelling together. 
You are invited to join and have a taste of what will happen at the webinar by reading The timeline of an econnected story & Bringing Colegio San Gregorio and BookMe-Library together.

Autum is not autumn in October any more. No dropped leaves scattered around playgrounds in October this year, but blooming up storytelling trees with Aaron Sherman and Rebecca Ray from Storyboard That. And if you may think November is the time to be indoors and lie back, Dr. Christel Broady might talk you out of that comfortable couch by leading you towards free virtual communities; then, if you like, indoors you may stay while opening a window onto Buenos Aires, where Susan Hillyard is based and will be ready to tell you more about digital storytelling and oral tradition.

Stay tuned for the end-of-the-year webinars brought to you thanks to WizIQ,  IATEFL YLTSIG, and their incredible online events and website coordinator, Dr. Nellie Deutsch as well as for the promising series in 2015. 

Over twenty presenters are now booked, so 2014-2015 is certainly a dream school year already, and surely a year of special interest for all those of us who are hooked to professional development.

Thanks ever so much, Dr. Nellie Deutsch, for bringing so many educators worldwide together, and for this new chance to share!
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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Have you been 'FaceQed' yet?

Not yet? 

Well, well, well, I have been a lucky one and my eleven-year-old technologically creative son has avatared me with the brand new free app FaceQ, available for both iOs and Android.

While having an iced drink at a cosy sun umbrella-protected café in the middle of one of those historical trendy colourful suburbs that only a few can enjoy in the summer if they work in a city closed for vacation in August, such as it is warm Madrid, my son would not stop fiddling around with his mobile, taking snapshots, uploading them to his Instagram and talking about avatars and funny faces.

So, my obvious question as a mother, was: 'What are you doing with your gadget'?

Fast and happy, he answered with another question: 'Would you like to have a new avatar?'

And there he came up with this snap design, while I had not really been able to find a sec to say yes, in a couple of minutes, created with his iPhone, using the free FaceQ app, while enjoying the shade without losing imagination.

And this is how I found out two things: what I looked like for my son and how he felt about my working away from home from Monday to Friday.

Besides, I was inspired for a few back to school icebreakers (Thank you, son!) with the aim of fostering ICT use in the ESL classroon once again. I think this app can be a nice free tool to carry out some quick quests over the first days back in our lessons.

Ten ideas coming to my mind right now:

  • Pair the kids up and get them to avatar each other. Then, ask them to describe their designs to the rest of their peers and have a 'Guess Who' game.
  • Have the kids avatar themselves using the app and compare their faces with the same avatars other peers have designed of them; compare the differences, make them aware of the fact that the image one might have of oneself can be different to the image others have.
  • Share the avatars as pictures in their virtual classroom profiles.
  • Turn them into posters and decorate the classroom with a big group picture of the class avatars.
  • Make badges out of the students' avatars, so they can wear them, both virtually and as real pins.
  • Hold a vote for the best avatar and give out prizes or awards.
  • Keep them until the end of the school year, then have another round of FaceQ design and get them to explain the changes in their design. How has the image changed, to yourself and to others?
  • And of course, take advantage of the designed faces and get them to practise parts of the face, colours, revise shapes, types of hair, eyes, clothes, accessories, and so forth.
  • Get them to design the faces of their whole family tree, and then have a nice round of 'introducing my family' presentations among peers.
  • Or get to know them better by asking them to avatar their favourite cartoons, characters, sportspeople, heroes, singers, idols ... Here you go another couple of my son's outcomes, which show two of his most-loved heroes in the world right now. 
'Who is each gentleman? Would you like to take a wild guess and leave a comment with it?'

It is a simple easy to use app; outcomes are quite attractive and ready in minutes, as you see. On top of it all, there is no need to register the under-age users and you can go social with your designs too, as they are shareable through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, but you may also mail your creations, so why not give it a try? 

Many of our students might come back to school having already heard of FaceQ or even having used it, so it is a nice chance to go fashionably mobile in class from the very first day.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

#TWIMA Project launches website

As I announced several weeks ago, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a 2014-2015 school year bound to be full of connections and collaborations, starting soon with new allied projects such as the World Poetry #Twima one.

Today, our host Mr. Smith-TRT, is launching the project website, The #TWIMA Project, and that is the first page of chapter one in this global iBook project into which I am also diving with all those of you willing to get your hands on another e-connected adventure.

Using the Book Creator app for iPad, we will hopefully end up having a poem written by one classroom from each country in the world by the end of 2014.

In order to start organising our contribution to the #TWIMA project from Spain, we are opening a series of chain poems about our country to be collaboratively written at Padlet:

Welcome to Spain - Chain Poem 1
Welcome to Spain - Chain Poem 2
Welcome to Spain - Chain Poem 3
Welcome to Spain - Chain Poem 4

Once the chain poems are written, we will nicely compile them all using the app and submit them to @theipodteacher, who will kindly turn all the poems from every participating class in the world, into an iBook.

Stay tuned for updates and further information. If you are interested in becoming part of the project from the Spanish end, join the Digital Storytelling for Teachers online training course before September 22, contribute to our chain poem and be part of this worldwide experience.

If you have your own classroom and would like to have great fun and foster writing poetry among your students, please fill in the form and join the project yourself. There is still time, go for it!

Meanwhile, stay for a while and read about how to organise and contribute to chain stories. Or, if you prefer, set your artistic skills at work and design the project logo. Or, if you'd rather browse around, go and find out which countries have a writer already for the project.

Whatever you may decide to do now, do not forget to go #TWIMA!

Image seen at Mr. Smith-TRT Blog

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