Friday, June 12, 2015

Making learning and teaching authentic through social media

I set out to create an authentic listening activity for a one-to-one student and got much more than I had bargained.  I ended up with as an excellent opportunity to connect with educators from different educational contexts and with diverse professional/academic backgrounds. I am currently part of four Voxer groups, each comprised of teachers of a wide range of areas.

I was tutoring an intermediate Brazilian student of English as a Foreign Language who wanted to focus on Business English skills. We were focusing on the skills of introducing yourself and talking about what you do: describing job responsibilities and what the daily activities involve. This meant she had to use expressions like “I deal with…; I handle…; I’m in charge of…; I’m responsible for…; My work involves…” 

The student had lots of difficulties with listening type tasks, which spurred me to make something authentic and challenging for her. Thus the idea of reaching out to my Voxer pals and asking them to talk about what they do briefly. 

The response was fantastic, to say the least. No, I’m not going to hold back here: I was absolutely blown away by the willingness of my colleagues to help out. I don’t even need to tell you how awed my student was by all of the natural responses. It gave her a chance to deal with different accents and speeds, something that she has to face in real life at the company where she works. Also it gave her to chance to hear real language (including some of the useful phrases I mentioned above) being used. The ideal learning situation, won’t you say?     

You can listen to my colleagues' recordings on the right sidebar. 

On a more reflective note, this connection gave me the chance to learn a little more about the people I have met and interacted with via social media – first on Twitter and then on Voxer. I got to better understand what they do as teachers/educators, the roles they play, the new job positions they fill and what these posts involve.

I learnt about new educational roles some of these people are playing. What amazed me was how they manage to juggle so much at the same time and still reflect the passion and enthusiasm they hold for their profession. You can’t help but be inspired when you hear people like that.

It went beyond reinforcing the importance of having a PLN by stressing the need to organize this network that I build. This organization will probably help me see how I can connect with people, the kinds of projects I can engage in and how these people can help me and I them.

Thanks to all the tweeps from the EduMatch (#edumatch)and New Teachers to Voxer (#Nt2V) groups for the prompt answer to the "call of duty". I hope I didn't forget anyone who kindly recorded.    

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Why Twitter? (a question with an expiry date)

Why Twitter? Four reasons are given here. I’m not just copying and pasting here, sometimes it’s better to get other people say things for you in a more effective way. What’s more, there’s nothing better than reading ABOUT Twitter ON Twitter.

How to grow your PLN using Twitter

Nt2t can't stop

How can Nt2t help you with Twitter?