The session with Zoe Branigan-Pipe was one of the inspiring sessions. She was trying various things to motivate her students ranging from based learning environment to constructivist approach. However, she and her students ended up bored. She was so occupied with many attempts to engage her students. She used technology to engage them. She connected with other educators in many regions.
What she brings here is that she thinks out of the box and does not follow the “usual” way and this is great. We need more teachers to think how they can use technological tools to help keep their classes on their toes!
It’s a challenge to explain for parents some of the technological tools we use in our classroom and it’s not dangerous to use. It’s stressing sometimes to ask for parental permission to do a certain activity like using Facebook to set up a page about a topic. It’s not as easy as it seems to use 2.0 tools in classrooms.
It happened to me last Thursday especially when I teach phonology, students just got bored because it’s full of rules. I really do not know how to get students into this excitement zone when I explain this because it ends up in the same choir practice! These are definitely one of my frustration moments because I cannot get students to be interested.
Teaching is a laborious task and teachers have to keep up with students and how to engage them.
When I think about that I find it very challenging to me to use technology in assignments or even in classroom. I tried to make students set a blog to correct their paragraphs online, but they did not. One of them did not have Internet at home so I could not ask that assignment from all students. The culture of online activities and using Internet to do assignments is not popular in Egypt. I want to apply what I took in this class, but I am hand cuffed.
Students should have a call in their learning process. I always do this when I try any new activity with my students. I ask them for feedback. Did you like this activity? a simple question…
I was doing this idioms exercise the other day and I wanted students to guess the right meaning of the one they have in front of them. One of them said spontaneously that it would be easier if we have a situation. She was absolutely right. I was challenged at that moment because after the activity I wanted them to use these idioms in situations and they could not! So, using situations would have been easier for students to fully grasp the meaning of the idiom.
Lessons I have learned:
1- Lessons can be changed according to students needs
2- Teachers have to be open and accept some criticism
3- It’s the creativity of teachers that attract students
4- Feedback from students is important to improve teaching methods
5- Constant search and learning makes a wonderful teacher