Sunday, 17 September 2017

Day 10

Here we are! 
After 9 days of hard work, some stress and a lot of fun, it is both sad and nice to start thinking about ....home!
But , as a last treat for his diligent students, Russell introduced us to
It is software designed to create quizzes that the students can take from their telephones accessing 
You need to sign in to be able to create quizzes.
You can, for example, post a video and then ask questions about it.
It can be used for fun or for serious revision, depending on the questions.
Have a quick look if you want to start working with this easy funny tool!

And now... off we go to Nile's  final good-byes and cream tea in the Cathedral Cloister.

A big THANK YOU to my brilliant teacher , Mr Russell Stannard, and my lovely classmates Alla, Aga, Husnu and Ugur for this beautiful, involving, enriching experience we have lived together !!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Day 9

Today Russell Stannard suggested we might be interested in reading

"Blended Learning in English Language Teaching: Course design and Implementation"
edited by Brian Tomlinson and Claire Whittaker (available online in pdf).

The book introduces  different cases in which Blended Learning was used to make both teaching and learning more motivating and effective.

I created a presentationwith Google Slides, of course!!,  about the case I was assigned.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Day 8


Today Russell probably saw us a bit ...overwhelmed and he promised we would enjoy this new tool and, you know what? he was right!!

We started the morning with  Quizlet.

What is it?
A website with plenty of content (vocabulary and  grammar) organized in sets of cards ; for every set of cards there are many activities (Learn, Flashcards, Write, Spelling, Test, Match Gravity).

Steps to be made:

create your  own account
- look for content
- select one or more sets of cards
- copy them (first button on the left)
- give them a new name (Fruit by Paola Primavori, to make them sound yours!!) - create a new set (button at the top, on the right). 

Now you have your own set of cards! so you can 
add or remove items
- share the cards on Edmodo with your students.

We can also  create a class on Quizlet.

How? easy peesy lemon squeezy! 

-select "create a new class" (on the left)
-give it a name 
-write down the name of the school
-create the class!
-click on Members, at the top
-invite the students to join in through the code which will pop up
-share this link on Edmodo 

To make it much clearer, here we go with Russell Stannard's video!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Day 7

Russell started the lesson reminding us that

-Edmodo, Moodle and many many platforms are repository tools to organize the students' learning materials especially at home.

-We can link whatever tool we want (YouTube, Google Slides/Docs/Form, SnagIt, Blogger....) to these VLE to make them more powerful.

-Blended Learning is using the platform and linking it to other technologies. For example: create a slide on Google Slides about your favourite book and share it on Edmodo.

-The platform is the very centre of Blended Learning but of course, it always has to be connected to Face to Face teaching.

-Screen Capture is very useful even for high level students to give them a model essay ("you should start your essay..., then make sure you cover the following points....").

-Screen Capture is a useful tool for students too: they can record their performance and self-evaluate it!

Now, the big question is: are we ready for another technology? Hopefully we are...

Google Forms

First of all,  Russell Stannard will make it very clear and appealing to you with one of his video from

Google Forms is used to carry out surveys and collect data.

-What can teachers use it for?
To create questionnaires ( short answers, multiple choice, true/false...)

-What for?
At the beginning of the school year to find out about students' expectations;
mid-term questionnaire to monitor their learning;
end of the term questionnaire to get their feedback.
at the end of a project to get feedback from students, parents....

-How does it work?
The teacher can create the questionnaire, share the link with the students who will complete it , send it back and the teacher will have the results in the form of a graph.

Teaching Tips
Another interesting speaking activity might be the presentation of the graphs by the students.
Teachers can create self-evaluation questionnaires (can you do this? can you do that? If not, we had better revise this point...)

Now, my survey about holiday preferences: please have a look but remember, it's only my first try...

And here is my second production, a questionnaire I am going to use with my 1st class students at the beginning of the school year.

I created it to have a clear picture of the class in terms of motivation, previous studying experience...

Day 6

What a tiring day! Today we felt we needed some practice so we are  with  Edmodo again.

-we created our own group/class 
-named the group/class 
-added a picture

-invited participants to log in through the code
-locked the group/class
-created an introduction to the group/class
-posted a video or image or interview
-created a poll  and gave it a name
-created a quiz (true/false, multiple choice, short answer, fill in, matching) and gave it a name .

In the afternoon we trained in the use of SnagIt. We
-made a video of us testing SnagIt and uploaded it on Edmodo ;
-made a video to show your students how to create a YouTube playlist on
YouTube and shared it on Edmodo;
-made a video to show students how to subscribe to a YouTube channel,
saved it in our Google Drive and shared the link on Edmodo.

Unfortunately, there was something wrong with my computer (probably with Media Player) and even though I could create the video, I was not able to reproduce it! 

…. So I guess I will have plenty of work to to tomorrow in case we find a solution to the problem. I really do hope so!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Day 5

Let s revise Blogging!

The main steps to the creation of a blog are:
1. posts
2. labels
3. formatting
4. extra pages
5. gadgets
6. design
7. settings (you can, for example, add authors to your blog)

8. themes (on the left)

Golden Rules

n.7 : Consistency  is a MUST.
n.8 : CONTENT IS KING (not theme, design....)

If you want to get more familiar and have some tips about how to use a blog in class, please have a look at this video. Author? No need to tell you, I suppose!!

Next ,

an astonishingly rich website with plenty of activities for different levels. 

The same author also created a similar website for lower levels (PET students):

Teaching Tips

The activities in these two websites are automatically generated so not everything is perfect but in general two activities are great: Text Jumble and No letters.

An example of a combined activity:

- listening activity + note taking
- in couples discuss what you heard
- second listening.
- final discussion

While organizing activities, let’s keep in mind they should be:
· Communicative
· Engaging
· User-friendly
· Contextualized
· Personalized
· Affective

In group activities:

- competition is highly motivating so teachers should create it.
- the cut off point of an activity is when the first group has finished (unless you have another connected activity planned ).
- you can also set a fixed time. Not important if the students haven' t finished it.

Now, some new technology! Screen Capture
It is/can be used in many situations.
In education , mainly for audio feedback (by the way, this is what Russell Stannard got many prizes for!!!)

We can receive our students’ digital text texts , give them an oral feedback (grammar, vocabulary, spelling, text cohesion, content…) highlighting the text in a different colour and recording whatever we do on the screen.
Advantages? Many!!!
- highly individual
- motivating
- a general feedback to the class when same mistakes are repeated by many
- general feedback are reusable for the teachers!!
- students feel they are important to the teacher!!!
- while getting the feedback they will be listening and reading at the same time
- big amount of feedback can be given
- a form of distant learning but students will feel the teacher’s presence
- it tells much more than a simple “good”
- negative feedback can be made softer , more polite, less direct

Where else is screen capture used?
- tutorials about technology
- online courses
- pronunciation activities
-describing pictures
- flipped classes
- students can record themselves while presenting a PowerPoint presentation      and here's the feedback! ready made for teachers and students alike.
- give instructions about exams (PET, FIRST…)
- explain grammar rules
- record any lesson 

How can we get this Screen Capture technology?
Some is for free: Jing, Screencast-o- matic, Camstudio;
Some have a cost: SnagIt (30 $ , once in a lifetime), Camtasia.

Now, let's have a look at 10 different ways to use Screen Capture in class!

Day 4

Today a new teacher from Turkey joined the class. Welcome Ugur! (impossible to pronounce!)

Unfortunately (for me!) he seems to be a computer geek (just like his friend Husnu)!!! so now, there's 5 of us . What a fantastic class!!

We started with some theoretical info about Blended Learning. How did it all start?

Teachers moved from “F2F” lessons to “F2F” lessons integrated with plenty of new technology (videos, podcasts, forums, chats, wiki, blogs…). This meant that the amount of content would double and students felt overwhelmed; to overcome the problem , sometimes the length of the course was reduced to give space to the new contributions from ICT.
Students worked at home on their own and in class. This is NOT Blended Learning.
Blended Learning is when we create a link between what is done in class and what is done at home, remembering always that all the assets MUST be used in class.

Golden Rules

n. 4: always create a link between class and home activities (either in a discussion form or creating a contest…).
n. 5: let’s not overwhelm the students with content ; we should keep the amount of content under control.

And now, something more about Edmodo:

Steps to be made by the teacher.

-sign up an account
-create a class/group which will be given a code by the platform
-ask students to log in the class thanks to its code.
-lock the class/group (if you want to make sure that  nobody from outside can log in).

Possibilities offered:
-post videos, documents, links, images 
-create quizzes (multiple choice, true/false, matching , short answers, fill in the blanks) that the students can do and that will automatically be corrected by the platform. 
-create a poll
-give assignment (post a video, a recording, an image and ask questions about them, or comments, or essays..
- keep records of the  results of the individual students 

 Golden Rule

n.6 : the assessment of the Edmodo activities MUST be integrated in the general assessment (to avoid students thinking the use of technology is only secondary) .

Day 10

Here we are!  After 9 days of hard work, some stress and a lot of fun, it is both sad and nice to start thinking about ....home! But , as...