Sunday, June 26, 2011

ISTE - An Ed Tech Conference worth Following

For many educators in the world, it is vacation, summer time. For others, like in Brazil, it is winter break. In any case, a very opportune time of the year to keep our learning path running.

ISTE is one of those unmissable opportunities. Of course, the best way to attend it is by being there. However, if you don't have the chance to do it, you can still follow the conversations, learn a new concept, check the slideshows, and some unconferences taking place in Philadelphia until next Wednesday, June 29th.

Here are some of the tips shared by Chris Atkinson

Search and follow the Twitter hashtag #iste11
Link into the ISTE Conference Ning
Connect with ISTE news and EdReach updates via Facebook.
Follow EdReach for great ISTE coverage

I just followed ISTE Keynote with Dr. Medina, using . Add the search (left) of the keyword you want and check the streaming. From there, you can retweet, follow the people who are tweeting, DM them, reply. Nice tool to keep track of a live event  or simply a Twitter conversation.

Here's a wonderful resources page created by Diana Dell

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Powerful Tool for the Classroom - Qwiki

Imagine a more dynamic, visually-appealing Wikipedia with audio and video.

Mind-blowing Qwiki is exactly this!
Great visuals, narration, subtitles. An impressive tool with great potential for any classroom.

Take a look, for example, this video I got after searching about Pelé:

View Pelé and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Control X Emergence

I was just listening to this wonderful online presentation by Nancy White

Nancy, as always brilliant and inspiring, talked about the connective possibilities that the Net has enabled us, but the point that really caught my attention was when she talked about emergence x control. This is an issue we are always struggling with, trying to find the balance, trying to find the best way to motivate the groups we work with to tap into their creativity, but facing the challenges of the institutional boundaries.

Barbara Dieu mentioned that,
"Control happens in the curriculum, in the rules, in the teachers'room - emergence happens in the classroom and we must be aware of it when it happens and ride the wave."
Emergence will only arise if we are sensible and can perceive what's around us. Having the control part doesn't mean we can just follow rules and plans and not let inspiration, innovation, perspiration, creativity emerge from our personal bonds and experiences. We need to stop with the excuses of control to let our students' creative minds blossom.

By the end of the presentation Nancy poked the audience with a question:

"We are influencers, the tight rope walkers. What should we start doing? What should we stop doing?"

What´s next for you as an educator, professional, human being? What should you start and stop doing?

Here's one resource shared by Nancy worth checking. It all about openness and emergence.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Power of Digital Storytelling

We are all a collection of stories. Stories that come from our ancestors, the ones that we built throughout our lives, those who surround us.

Storytelling is ancient, yet totally contemporary. Our lives make sense because of our own stories and the weaving of our stories with the ones who are part of them.

It is undeniable the power of storytelling, which can be taken to another level with digital tools. Not only are we able to tell and re-tell our stories, but we can also archive, remix, multiply them in different multimedia layers.

Educators are, by nature, wonderful storytellers, and we need to keep exploring stories in the classroom to build our own stories with our learners. Going further. We need to help our learners find their own voice through storytelling. We need to help them have this feeling of belonging, of being part of a community, of being an important part of it. With digital storytelling, there are simply limitless ways of doing that. How have you been exploring it in your classroom?
Digital Storytelling Presentation at 2011 WLA
View more presentations from Matt Gullett

Thursday, June 2, 2011

CALICO Conference - A Wealth of Information for Language Educators

CALICO, The Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium, has had its Conference in Victoria, Canada. Though I'd love to have attended it, there's no way we can be omnipresent when we have our professional commitments, time and budget constraints. However, all of this doesn't seem to be plausible excuses anymore when the Conferences can be at the tip of your fingers.

I'm truly delighted to see the recording efforts of the CALICO organizers to keep the audio/video archive of presentations, special thanks to Marc Siskin, who has done an incredible job of putting all together for us who, at first sight, could be seen as a far-reaching audience.

All the resources are available at

I've just spent some time now exploring some of the sessions. Don't miss this opportunity to keep yourself updated in the latest trends and discussions on language learning, SLA, research, elearning, and beyond.