Category Archives: web 20

Realidad Virtual, no tan lejos de la escuela.


Actualmente me encuentro cursando un Mooc sobre realidad virtual en educación organizado por el Intef. En mi escuela me pidieron dar una capacitación al respecto para lo cual preparé este Prezi que les comparto aquí abajo:

Si les interesa el tema les dejo dos artículos que me resultaron muy interesantes:

  1. Un resumen de Preguntas y Respuestas en torno al tema: 
  2. Un interesante artículo que establece la relación entre la realidad virtual y la taxonomía de Bloom:

Twitter for Professional Development

I have just written an article for an Argentinian magazine called “The Teacher’s Magazine” about Twitter.  Since it’s been a long time, since the last time I wrote on this blog, I thought of reposting it here.  Somebody may find it useful.  Would love to hear your comments about it, or just a greeting! Kisses and hugs from lovely Panama… (I’m travelling around America at the moment, that’s why I’ve been so disconnected)

Everybody seems to be using twitter at the moment. Most celebrities, politicians, the city government, and some of your friends are twitting and retwitting. For that reason, you may find yourself wondering what this is all about. Or maybe you are already one step forward, and have started to ask how it can help you with your teaching.

I believe it will not only help you, it will open you a door to the whole world. You will be able to interact and connect with hundreds of other teachers from all over the world. Teachers coming from all walks of life, and  from all sorts of different teaching contexts. You will have the opportunity of listening to and interacting with those professionals you admire – fellow teachers, teacher training specialists, authors, publishers, etc.- at a very personable level. Apart from that, you will get extremely fast up-to-date information about what is happening in your field, plus a great amount of links and recommendations for materials and teaching ideas. Even though at the beginning twitter may look a bit chaotic, once you start following educators that work in your field of expertise, everything starts to make sense. In this article we will provide you with a step by step tutorial on how to set up your account, and develop your PLN (personal learning network).

Setting up your account:

1)      Enter and register. You can use a nickname, if you prefer.

2)      Upload a picture of you. People like looking at the person they are talking to.“Your profile picture defines who you are to the online world.  It might be the first and only impression you get with people you meet online.” [1]

3)      Write your biography. It should be 160 characters in length. Include your interests and your relevant expertise in teaching, so that others can get to know who you are and decide if they want to connect with you.

4)      Now it is time to start following other twitter users. Following somebody in twitter means that you subscribe to their twits or updates, which will appear in your timeline (a list in real time of all the accounts you are following, which appears in you twitter homepage). To follow somebody, you can click on “Who to follow” and view the suggestions or make a search by name or topic.

Once you find a person of your interest, you click on follow and voila, you are already following them. If you do not have any clue on who to follow, you can start by following me. I am @sabridv. I will be glad to follow you back, and help you in whatever you need. If you enter my profile!/sabridv  and click on “following”, you will find all the educators I am already following!/sabridv/following . You can browse through the list, and start following some. They are all very friendly and excellent professionals, who love learning collaboratively.

How to interact with other teachers:


1)      The main way is by writing your own twits: write about your projects, ask for guidance to solve problems you encounter in you professional life, ask for ideas on how to deal with a specific grammar topic, share interesting links or useful resources, and many more.

2)      You can also read other people’s twits, which appear in your timeline. Remember that you do not have to read every twit the second you see it appear on the screen. You can click on the star, and it will be sent to your profile “favourites” tab, so that you can  read it when you have time.

3)      You can also address a specific person by writing the @ sign in front of their name/handle at the start of the tweet. Beware that the message will still be public, and will therefore appear in your own timeline. The only difference with an ordinary twit is that this message will be sent to that person’s “@mentions” tab, and will be easy to find even if he is not online at the time you are writing. If you click on your “@mentions” tab, next to your “timeline” tab you will see all the twits that were aimed at you.

4)      If you read an interesting twit and you want to share it with the rest of your followers, you should place the cursor over that tweet and click on “retweet”.

5)      Finally, if you want to send a private message to someone, enter their profile and click on the envelope icon. To read your own private messages click on “messages” on the black bar.

To sum up, I truly recommend you to start building your professional learning network If alone we can get to do a simple and easy project, by being with others, we can always go a step further. I have learnt a lot by sharing ideas with others. I have been able to perfect my own creations by exchanging thoughts with colleagues. I am always refreshed and full of new ideas after a short trip over twitter. Being part of this online community of educators has made me realise how important it is the presence of others, who are undergoing the same learning journey, in order to motivate us and push us forward. Of course, we can learn on our own. However, by interacting and exchanging information with others, we can achieve a lot more and the trip becomes more fun.


The English Language Teacher’s Guide To Twitter, tech tip #11:


RSCON3: It’s all about them…

RSCON3 is over… is it really over? Of course not, there are still a lot of presentations I would like to watch. But wasn’t it on 29 / 07 you may be wondering… Yeah, but that’s the magic of an online conference. If you could not attend, don’t worry you can always watch the recordings. I strongly advice you to do so, if you haven’t yet. You can find all the recordings here.

Fortunately, this time, appart from attending this wonderful conference, I was able to give my own presentation. I really enjoyed it. Even though at the beginning I was a bit nervous ( it was my first presentation ever), I managed to relax and have fun. I would like to thank @davedodgson for having helped me by doing a wonderful job as a moderator. I love learning collaborately, so I am very thankful for having had this opportunity of giving a bit back to my PLN, after so much taking. If you haven’t attended my presentation, and you’d like to see me in action:  here you can watch the recording, and here you can find the powerpoint I’ve used during it. I would love to know your opinion about it, get some advice on how I can improve my presentation skills or whatever comment you may want to do.

But let’s stop talking about me and let’s pass on to the important thing: my reflection about the conference. I don’t have a lot of things to say, apart from the fact that it was a wonderful experience, I’ve added a lot of new memebers / friends to my PLN, and I’ve learned a lot. However, what struck me the most, was that I have attended many sessions about completely different topics, and we all ended up speaking about the same: our students. Our students were the main protagonists of the whole conference. That shows how much passion we all put into our profession. We are all trying to improve and to find the best way in which we can teach them. We may not have found the answer yet, but the fact that we are treading this path, looking for it together, is more than enough. We are already reforming education, by making little (?) changes in our classrooms. Let’s keep on walking along this path, let’s meet again in RSCON4. See you there! =)

Collaborative learning path leading to RSCON4

Reform Symposium 3: Dogme with young learners and beginners…are you nuts?

In a few days, nearly 8000 educators from over 40 different countries are expected to attend a free 3 day virtual conference, The Reform Symposium, #RSCON3. This free award-nominated e-conference is going to take place on July 29-31st, 2011. Participants can attend this online conference from the comfort of their homes or anywhere that has Internet access. This amazing conference provides educators new or currently active on social networks the opportunity to connect with educators and professionals in the field of education worldwide. With over 12 Keynotes, 80 presenters, and 3 keynote panel discussions you are bound to be inspired!

I am very proud to count myself among the 80 presenters and I would like to invite you all to attend my session. It is really important for me to receive your support… I would appreciate if you can invite the people you know to attend and spread the word…
Here you can have a preview of what my presentation will be about… Hope you like it…

We would like to thank the incredible organizers– Shelly Terrell, Kelly Tenkely, Chris Rogers, Lisa Dabbs, Melissa Tran, Clive Elsmore, Mark Barnes, Ian Chia, Cecilia Lemos, Jerry Blumengarten, and Kyle Pace- and Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 and The Future of Education online communities for making this incredible conference possible.
We hope you can join us for this incredible professional development experience!

Literature in the Classroom: Photostories

You may all know by now that since last year, I’ve been trying to incorporate literature in my classroom. Last year I worked with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (you can see some activities related to it here and here). This year I started a project called “Myths, Legends and Folktales from Around the World”. I have started a wiki for the project here.

In both cases, I thought that a good way of checking understanding and having fun at the same time was by creating photostories. At first, I thought of using voicethread, and I even wrote a tutorial to explain my students how to use it. However, as soon as I started explaining them what we were going to do, one of my students said “Why don’t we just use powerpoint instead?”. He really had a point there. He made me realise that sometimes the simpler, the better. If they already know how to use powerpoint, why not just let them use that programme, and forget about spending a lot of time trying to teach them how to use another application that would serve the same purpose.

Another lesson they taught me on that day, is that whenever we want our students to start doing something totally new for them, we have to allow them some time to toy around, to get acquainted with the idea, to get the point of what they are expected to do. The first time I asked them to create a photostory, they spent ages to create just the first slide. You can imagine I was walking up the walls. However, the next class they all managed to finish the other 5 slides in just one hour. We, teachers, have to relax sometimes, lots of things are going on inside our students minds that we can’t even imagine.

My two experiences with photostories were very rewarding. The students final productions were great. Here you can see the ones about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and here the ones about an Asian folktale called Who Will Marry Mousie? Hope you like them.

Who Is Going To Be The ISTEK ELT 2011 Roving Reporter? You Decide!

I’m trully honoured to have been selected as one of the top three roving reporter candidates in such great company. Anna Varna and  Mark Andrews are the other candidates.

The ISTEK ELT 2011 Roving Reporter will be chosen by your votes so please watch the videos and vote for your favorite roving reporter candidate. The poll will be closed on 6, March 2011 at 23:59 pm and the result will be announced the next day.

Here is the video I presented to the competition and I would be more than glad if you help me get there with your vote:

Welcome in! Wikis vs. blogs

This post is in answer to the 30 goals challenge for educators. You can  see my answer to the previous goal here.

“There is no persuasiveness more effectual than the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.”

by Joseph Barber Lightfoot

I love opening my classroom doors virtually, as I believe it makes parents realise the great amount of things that are taking place in the classroom. It encourages them to spend more time with their kids, and talk about what’s going on at school. Apart from that, it makes them feel more respectful and take my work more seriously. In addition to that (yeah, there’s more to add =)), it provides me with lots of new ideas and motivation from the members of my PLN. They always give me  good feedback and push me and motivate me to continue working hard (that’s why I love learning collaboratively, remember?).

Up to not so long ago, I have always used class blogs to share my students’ work. First, two years ago, I started a class blog in response to my 6th grade students’ need to improve their writing. Last year, with my 5th grade students’ blog, the aim was different. The blog was created to post their productions related to our project about animals.

By the end of the year, after attending one of @shellterrell’s workshop about wikis, I started to see the benefits of using them. I have never paid much attention to wikis before and was not really interested in the topic. However, Shelly made us realise that wikis are more collaborative in nature than blogs are, and as it is a hyperlinked collection of individual pages you can decide the order in which you present the information. It is not presented, by default, in reverse chronological order as blogs do. This made me become aware that my class blog: Into the Wild would have been better presented in a wiki. It would have been more visual and easier to navigate. (Here you can find more information about the differences between blogs and wikis)

Wikis are very easy to create. If you can word process, you can use a wiki. This, plus, Shelly sharing her own wikis, really motivated me to create my own. I gave wikis a very little try with my second grade students, and I just loved the experience. So, I’m planning to use them more this year. My colleagues have also become interested in them, and have asked me to teach them how to create their own. It is the first time that some of them have shown an interest in teaching with technology.  For that reason, this has been a trully inspirational workshop not only for me, but also indirectly for my colleagues. It has had a true ripple effect.

I ♥ Collaborative Learning

This post is in answer to the 30 goals challenge for educators. You can see my answer to the previous goal here.

“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ”

by John Lubbock

A lot can be said, and has been said in answer to this goal, about learning. However, I’m going to focus on my favourite way of learning: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING. I love learning WITH and FROM others. If alone we can get to do a simple and easy project, by being with others, we can always go a step further. I have learnt a lot by sharing ideas with others, face to face and online. I have always perfected my own creations by exchanging ideas with colleagues. I’m always refreshed and full of new ideas after a short trip over the blogsphere and twitter.

Being part of this online community of educators has made me realise how important it is the presence of others, who are undergoing the same learning journey, in order to motivate us and push us forward. Of course, we can learn on our own. However, by interacting and exchanging information with others, we can achieve a lot more and the trip becomes more fun.  @saandreoli shows us in this diagram in her blog how our learning experience is enriched by the interaction with others:

by @saandreoli

In what ways can this be reflected in our classrooms? I believe that by making students aware of the convenience of collaborating and sharing with each other. Some of them, do that naturally. Some others, need a gentle push. That’s where teachers come into scene.

What do you think? What are your believes about learning? How can we encourage it in our classrooms?

Virtual Beams

This post is in answer to the 30 goals challenge for educators. I’ll try to participate as much as I can.

The first goal presented by @shellterrell in the following video is: BE A BEAM.

The academic year has not started here in Argentina yet. For that reason, it is a bit difficult for me to achieve this goal. However, I’ve managed to do so, as I have a very close friend who is a teacher too. She has been through a kind of crisis with her career as a teacher. Fortunately, today I was able to listen to her and to make her look at the situation on the bright side. We always talk about our profession and support each other during the hard times. We’ve been friends since we were 6 years old, so she is very special to me.

This has made me reflect about the importance of having peers, who are going through the same situations and difficulties, to suppport and encourage each other. That is to say, that become beams to each other.

I have been very lucky to have found a lot of support, help and inspiration from my PLN. For that reason, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all, for having always been there.  As Julie Cunningham wrote in her own post for the challenge:

I feel like everytime I dive into the world of Twitter or my Google Reader feed that I’ve been ‘beamed up’.  Educators around the world show a wealth of exciting things happening.  And just like returning from a  trip to the Bahamas or even just a “Calgon-take-me-away” bubble bath, I return to my daily life refreshed and renewed.

My PLN and my virtual teacher friends have become so valuable in my professional life, that I believe, it is extremely important to transmit this experience to other educators who are not here yet. I would make this my long term goal, and I would like to invite you all to follow my example. I’m sure: THE MORE; THE MERRIER.

My New Year Resolution: More Quality Comments

Reading @harrisonmike’s blog has made me realise that the end of the year is just around the corner. It is at this time, that we start reflecting on what happened this year and preparing our new year resolutions. (By the way, Mike has got a wonderful lesson plan on this topic here .) I believe that this was a wonderful year: I met many new people that became an important part of my PLN, I blogged more often and that helped me to improve the quality of my blog, I had wonderful students and made lots of projects and activities with them, I experimented a lot in my classes and reflected about it, and the most important of all, I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this year, but I want the next one to be even more productive. For that reason, my new year resolution is:

I will make it a habit to write lots of quality comments.

You may be wondering why I am giving it so much importance. Well,  being part of the commenting crew in  blog4edu has made me realise the importance of a good comment. We all know that:

A blog is fed by your comments

But, I have never reflected about that.  Comments are what separates a blog from a static website. As we write quality comments the conversation builds, and so does our relationship with the writer and the other people commenting. As a result, our PLN gets bigger and with stronger links. Apart from that, as links to other blogs and websites can be left in the comment section, we can also encounter new blogs to read, like-minded bloggers, and new post ideas.

This is the key issue to me. In the last period of time, I have started commenting more, and this has provided me with lots of ideas to develop further in my own blog. It has also happened to me, that when I sat down to write a post, I remembered that I had already left a comment about the topic in another blog. This has eased the writing as I had already written something about that, which could be adapted to be included in my new blog post. Apart from that, writing comments forces us to pay more attention to what we are reading and develop our own ideas further. Sometimes when  I decide to write a short  comment, I end up writing long and complex comments dealing with lots of issues, and I just don’t know how I got there. If I hadn’t decided to leave a comment in the first place, I wouldn’t have got to those conclusions.  To sum up, quality comments help us to become better bloggers and strengthen community links. As @datruss said on Twitter today:

  1. David Truss
    datruss My comment here: “I just love it when the comments enrich and even outshine the value of the original post!” #cpchat

this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

So in order to build a better sense of community and to continue learning together, I challenge you all to add this new year resolution to your own list. I can assure you that we will all benefit from that decision. But, if you still have doubts about what the characteristics of a quality comment are, I won’t leave you alone. Mrs Yollis’ classroom has some tips to get you started with it: