April 27, 2008

Almost a year after my last posting here, and after having worked with my 2007 stds on different projects --including the WM we all shared in this space--, I have started from scratch with my new group of learners, this time, using Ning, for a change. Ning is a social tool, and as such, allows users to interconnect with other users within the main space, and also with other Ning users. See my Ning blog here.

I miss one feature of Podomatic, though, and that is the chance to record audiofiles straight from a home mike into the blog. But change is healthy..., so there we go...

I have already started introducing different tools and concepts, and even joined Larry Ferlazzo's project work at SisterClasses , but unfortunately, I found the project did not suit my aims, so this is the posting I sent to his blog,

After some time working with my new students on developing their computer skills and on reflecting on the importance and the benefits of carrying out a joint project like ours, and after having set the rules for active participation with the classes involved, I asked my stds for feedback.
Interestingly enough, a couple of learners reported having posted a message to a couple of stds in other classes, but having received no answers. The rest of the class –18 in all– showed disengagement, which made me ponder on reasons that might account for this outcome.
The reaction was not different from the one I got working with our classblog. Obviously, no two groups are alike, despite our efforts. What to do next…?
Then I decided to catch the attention of those who are more motivated and had a private meeting with them, reinforcing concepts and aims, and giving them extra confidence to go on with the project, assigning specific tasks aiming at the use of “tagging” for an eventual get-together with a partner from another class.
They will focus on a topic they are interested in developing, and will post their personal comment in their pages at Ning, tagging it “sisterclasses”, “writingmatrix” and “their-own-tag”. They will then go to Technorati and through this means, doing a search using those tags, will be in charge of finding a partner sharing their interests.

They’ll keep a record of their ventures in their blogs, and will eventually report the development of their project to the rest of the class, who might then feel motivated enough to imitate procedures.
Sorry about this kind of “branching off”, but found no other way to keep the ball rolling, somehow.

This means I'll certainly go on "tagging", and referring back to "writingmatrix".



Hi, Rita: Thank you for the information. I will take your suggestion into account. I have realized that teenagers are not so familiar with the Internet as I supposed to. I carried out a survey and found out that they only use it for mailing and chatting :( So they found it difficult to explore the blog. Yes, believe it. I found it difficult to believe but it was true. I realized about this when I took them to the Computer lab and saw that they did not know how to work.

May 10
Nelba, one of the main conditions to achieve success in motivating stds to participate in joint projects is pairing stds according to ages and levels. I've learnt this myself a couple of years ago, when asking my stds to carry out a project with stds whose level of English was lower then that of mine, and the result was appalling: as soon as my stds realized of the difference, which did not allow any of them to interact as they expected, they refused to carry on with the project, and, what was still worse than that, they got completely demotivated to join any other online project I proposed. On the other hand, I learnt from the other stds' teacher that they also felt unmotivated to respond to questions and issues they were not prepared to, as their comprehension impeded communication.
I am very sorry about this, but if your stds are pre-intermediarte and mine are at an advanced level (preparing for a CAE), I believe it would not be a good idea risking....:-(
May 9
Hi, Rita: I have visited you students' blogs and I left a comment in Mauro's blog.Very good work!
I would like to invite your students to participate in a blog I have opened for teenagers between 16 and 19 years old, pre-intermediate level.
http://jovenes4ma.motime.com
Can I add their URLs of their blogs in this blog so our students can interact?
Love from La Plata, Nelba :=)

May 7
After our session with Bee yesterday at TI, I have managed to follow findings successfully, and I'm sharing them below:
Using Tecnorati for Tagging successfully
  • Go to Tecnorati at http://www.technorati.com/
  • Open an account
  • Go to "My Account"
  • Click on the "Blogs" tab
  • Go to "Claim a Blog" and write your blog url
  • You'll see "Begin Claim" and will get a choice for next step, just pick the simpler, "Post Claim".
  • Activate the claim using "post claim".
  • Follow Instructions.
  • Once you have successfully claimed your blog, complete the Edit Blog Settings form, where you'll need to write the tags that will describe yours, and HERE, include wrtingmatrix.
  • When done, you'll see "My Claimed Blogs". Click on "Ping".
  • You can now check for your blog's new content. There's no need to "Automate this", as this option will demand some knowledge of html. Your blog will now appear in your "Blog Directory search".
Apparently, if you want individual postings to appear in your Tecnorati search, each posting should be tagged. We still need to confirm this.

May 5

Last class many students joined me in our Multimedia area to share findings. Some of them showed the less knowledgeable how to use Technorati, then how to open an account in Bloglines and they also had a look at Del.icio.us. They still see that tagging doesn't always work ..., as they cannot find their blogs doing a search even when having tagged them properly...
Tomorrow we will have a good chance of meeting a Technorati expert at Tapped In to answer our queries.

April 30, 2007

Step by step and day by day I keep getting the news of a new personal blog opened. There are about 6 students now with their own blogs. They report they have found the process rather difficult but challenging, and most of them have already put up their photos as well. In the meantime, I have also recorded their voices with my mp3 player, which I took to the classroom, and I have upoaded the recordings using Audacity.
During my next class I'll concentrate on "tagging", and will ask them to visit Technorati once they do so, so that they start meeting friends online. Our tags are: caeb2007, writingmatrix, education, students.
I look forward to getting more "tags" from students involved in the project. If readers have any queries, please, contact me at rita@zeinstejer.com .More to come.

My students' spaces:
http://www.franco_caeb.podomatic.com/ Franco´s
http://www.elghielme.podomatic.com/ Mauro´s
http://dontknowme.podomatic.com/ Anita´s
http://paula_armoa.podomatic.com/ Paula A.´s
http://fake_us.podomatic.com/ Facundo´s
http://noelia.podomatic.com/ Noelia's

April 20, 2007

Some students are already posting their comment, and a couple of them have started their own blogs. Those who are ahead are helping the others learn the ropes.
Here´s one recently opened: http://fake_us.podomatic.com/
Next step will be to ask students to open an account in Bloglines and another one in Del.ici.ous, and then show them how to "tag".
The process is slow, since apart from the "normal" resistence, there are different sorts of glitches they report to encounter, as firewalls and configurations which delay learning.


CAE B 2007- Instructions to be given out to students:
  • Open a blog at Podomatic and give it the name you choose.
  • Introduce yourselves, saying who you are, what you do, what your prospects for the future are, whatever topic you think will be nice to read about you.
  • Add your picture if you want.
  • Go to OUR blog at http://caeb2007.podomatic.com/ and click on “Record a comment”, then “My Podcast”, then “Post an Episode” and in the Comments area write your comment with the address of the blog you have created for yourselves. OR:
  • just send me the address of your new blog via email.

  • Now go to Bloglines at http://www.bloglines.com/ and create a personal Bloglines page there. Here you will start collecting the urls of those blogs you would like to read often because you like them. Once you tell Bloglines which blogs you like, it will bring the latest postings to YOUR Blogline page automatically, without your having to visit them any more.

  • How do you tell Bloglines which blogs you want to read often? Just go to the blog you like. For example, go to OUR common class blog at Podomatic. Click on “Subscribe to this Podcast”.
  • It’ll open a new page: Copy the url AT THE TOP into your browser (it ends in …/rss2.xml)
  • Paste this address here: in Bloglines, go to Feeds/ add.
  • A new page will come up: “Blog or Feed URL”. Click on Subscribe (paste here the Podomatic xml you copied from OUR blog)
  • Click on Subscribe.
  • Save in New Folder, which you’ll have to name: CAE 2007.

Bloglines:
  • An aggregator (feed-collector) that will tell you when there’s sth to look at/read once you subscribe to it.
  • You generate the RSS script in a blog for others to see it. Bloglines receives and displays postings from blogs you’ve subscribed to.
  • Need to frequently visit your Bloglines aggregator to see what it has collected.