WritingMatrix at URBE
January- May 2007 trimester
**May -July 2007**
September- December 2007
January- April 2008
May- july 2008
September - December 2008

May- July 2007 Blogging Experience

This is the report of our second intent on working with blogs. What was different this time was that we started blogging from the second week of classes. There were 12 classes from different level participating in the experience. A speaking class (level 6), an EFL for career class (level 7), a level 3, five classes of level 1 (intro level basically), 2 classes of level 2, one group for level 5 and one class of level 4. It's important to point out that these classes were all from different schools and different levels of command of the language... most of the classes nearly all of the classes had mixed groups of beginners and high intermediate to advance level students. As you can see it's a challenge to teach this mixed classes... How to keep high intermediate, advance students interested in learning and how not to scare beginners? that was my hunting question during the whole trimester... What I can say is that's a lot of work but it's very rewarding... At the end after checking on how hard we worked.. students and the teacher had proof of what was intented to learn.

Let me describe what was this trimester about:
Level 1 to level 5
1. Students worked on getting their blogs, had their work checked by a tutor, posted some photos, had the chance to dramatized dialogues, some videos were recorded by the teacher... most of my students don't have cameras... at the end they had to show the teacher their work and tell how they did it.
2. Tasks posted in the blogs corresponded to the different level syllabus.
3. Interaction among students took place in class at the lab.
4. Comments on what they wrote came at the end after they had finished posting their tasks. I think this happened because, students are not used to work with these tools. Students and teacher had to cope with covering syllabus and handling this multimedia tools that required multiliteracies that sudents don't have or didn't have.... I 'm sure that after working in this project that has definetely changed.
5. Groups were big groups (25 to 30). Almost all the students in the different classes completed the task of getting their blogs, but not all of them presented their final presentations. This usually happens in the traditional class, not all of the students finish their levels... there are some drop outs... Students were given the chance to chose how to be evaluated at the end... some of them presented their final test using a powerpoint presentation. Of course the ones who completed the task of getting their blogs and show ing them got a better grade.
6. Tagging was just done at the blog. Students tag their entrances with the words writingmatrix, urbe, efl and whatever the topic of the posting they were using. Aggregators like technorati or bloglines were not used. What students did was to use the Reader service by google. That way they connected their blogs to the ones of the other students from the different classes in URBE or in the world. They added teachers Nelba's, Sasa 's and Rita's sudents blogs to their readers.
7. All of my student's blogs can be found at our class blog Doris3m EFL Center

Level 6 Or the Speaking Group
1. These students belonged to our Graphic design School and Engineering School. Their failiarity with computers was higher. Nevertheless, most of the tools used were new to them: blogging and social networking.
2. This group have more chance to work with audio and video. Podcasting was introduce and their final project was to produce and record a show.
3. To visit their blogs go to EFL Speaking Group