Monthly Archives: April 2014

SCHOOL IN THE CLOUD: SUGATA MITRA’S NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

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I have watched talk of Sugata Mitra about his school in the cloud. Before his experiment on such a kind school, he walked deeper in India and saw school in rural area. He saw everything is same in education; same buildings, same numbers of teacher in schools, etc. When he asked to the teachers if they would like to go anywhere else, the answer even the same; they don’t like to go anywhere. This is remoteness of India.

According to Mitra there is a way to solve this problem. He claims that students can learn on their own and without any teacher intervention. I agree with him in some cases of his this suggestion. As each student has their own learning style they should be put them in an environment in which they can act however they like and get essential information. In this case he is right, but I don’t agree with him about putting students in a teacher-free environment. Because teacher’s role in a free learning area should be guiding students to knowledge.

As I heard from his talk, Mitra doesn’t like school’ seating. In a normal school class students sit on their own chairs and write what teacher says or writes. But in Mitra’s school four or five students sit around a computer and search for something collaboratively. I strongly agree with him on this topic. The worst thing in our schools is discouraging our students to sit towards each other. One sits another one’s back and they never interact in lessons. So, Mitra’s group seating system should be applied in all schools.

In his experiment in India, Mitra gave a computer to children at age nine who didn’t know English and have never seen computer before. He aimed to find if children can learn to use computer on their own. And the answer was Yes. Children didn’t know English and using computer. They decided that they should learn English to learn use of computer. In that case, leaving students alone with material in learning environment gives them an aim to reach. Students may motivate by themselves to learn both English and computer by this way.

I am not sure about ‘I don’t have any idea’ pedagogy of Mitra because our pedagogic lessons all told us to give clear instructions to the students when we want to teach something. I don’t know if students can invent their own pedagogy as Mitra stated but they may success when they feel a necessity from their inside. Such kind of learning takes too much time and so doesn’t fit our curriculum, but it should fit. Mitra says examination should be done on the internet and with collaboration of students. I am agree with him on this claim. I can show tasks of my CALL course as internet-based examination. There is no teacher force and stress when I am completing my tasks. Such kind of examination should be applied for all subjects.

In Mitra’s cloud schools teachers are friends of the students and this collect all roles of the teacher into one: friend of students. When teacher works with students like their friends, students don’t feel any anxiety about being interrupted by an authority.

In most cases I agree with Mitra. He states that curricula around the world need to be revised to include the internet. With huge developments in the internet all students use it actively but school curricula doesn’t allow them to use it for pedagogic reasons. Because of a fear about broad area of usage of the internet. Teacher may fear if students work on something related to lesson or anything else. To change our misbelief towards internet we should put Mitra’s claim into practice.

To sum up, I can say Mitra is talking about something really different and spectacular issue on learning and teaching. He states his claims grounding on his experiments and so his claims are very serious. There are some points that he couldn’t find answers to them. I am waiting his next talk impatiently to get new news from him. The last thing I should say about Mitra’s experiment and his claims is my disagreement with his idea ‘learning happens when teacher isn’t the place of learning’. In my opinion, this is a dangerous idea about learning because teacher is building block of education and facilitator and guide of students’ learning. Learning cannot be thought without a teacher interval. Teacher -even in Mitra’s experiment- has a role to give students an interest and an aim to search for getting information.

DIGITAL STORYTELLING

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Storynory.com is a source of online stories. One can find original stories, short stories, fairytales, etc. in this site. It mostly used to download stories for young learners. There are a great number of stories. When a teacher wants to listen a story in her class, she can download record of a story from storynory and if she likes she can add some scenes this story in Movie Maker. When she comes to the class she both listens the story and watches its scenes. One also can find stories in British Council’s LearnEnglishKids site. This site requires to get an account.

Storyjumper.com is an online medium to prepare an e-book. When you log in the site you come across with a page like a Power Point page. There is props section to select and decide on scenes, to add photos and to add text to the book. When you complete your book and want to share it with your students, you can click publish button and download your book in exchange for a minuscule price.

Dfilm.com is an online simple and funny film making program. Its use is so simple. There are directions showing you the way. You should just follow the path that given by the program. It serves you characters, scenes and music. You should select one of the characters and others among given options. As it simple to use you can create stories in classroom with your students. If you want to make your story last a little more you can add new scenes to your story. If you want to save your movie in your own computer, you should send it in an email to your gmail account and download it from there.

Enough Tips on Teaching “Too” and “Enough”

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English with Jennifer

Every grammar book series has at least one chapter on “too” and “enough”. What practices and activities do you like to use in addition to what is provided in the textbook? Here are some ideas for the next time you must cover this topic:

  • Presentation: To introduce the topic, model a few problems and ask students to identify each one. See if any of them can already use “too” or “enough”. If they do, repeat their comments to emphasize the grammar in context. If they don’t, reword their comments to contextualize “too” and “enough”. For example, write today’s date on the board in very small letters and ask if everyone can read the date. “Oh, you can’t? Why not? …Yes, I agree. It’s too small. The letters aren’t big enough to read.” Other problems to model: You can’t drink your coffee because it’s too hot. You tell the class about something you…

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PROFESSIONAL LIFE OF KEVSER OK

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http://prezi.com/inmdqjhfsjfh/kevser-ok/

 

My name is Kevser ÖK. I live in Giresun. I am a 23 year-old undergraduate student at Abant Izzet Baysal University. My professional life started in 1998 in my village primary school; Ericek Primary School. I studied there five years then I went to a boarding school to get secondary education. Its name was Hasan Ali Yücel Secondary School. I took the exam OKS and got right to study at Yunus Emre Anatolian High School in Espiye, a district of Giresun. When graduate from this high school in 2006, I took YGS and LYS exams and got right to study at Abant Izzet Baysal University. Now, I am studying my final year in this university. I am studying in the Department of Language Teaching. I attended conferences all through my university education. Best of them was INGED conferences as I get a certificate there. During my education at AIBU I attended some schools both for Community Service course and School Experience. I gave lesson at Mehmet Akif Secondary School, Bolu Anatolian High School and Bolu Atatürk Anatolian High School. I like to buy books, present them in my bookshelf and read them. I have a passion to write. I like to write dairy and something like essay.

 

WIZIQ, GOOGLE HANGOUTS, GOOGLE PLUS

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Today was the day of online conference tools: WİZİQ, Google Hangouts and Google Plus. First of all, WizIQ is an online learning platform. The site is designed to help students and teachers find each other, and to provide an online virtual classroom learning environment. Teacher can create a course and share PPT, PDF, or Word documents with students. All attendees can be seen on a table in teacher page. Attendees can ask any question during the lesson or can add their comments to the lesson. If you want to attend a course you should just write course name in the search part and click to search button. To create a course teacher selects ‘create course’ option. To add more detail about your course there are options to take a glance. There is a disadvantage of this site. If you don’t use a premium account your class size will be ten attendees maximum. If teacher don’t want his students to do something different during his lesson, he doesn’t open site for students’ use. When teacher open white board to the students, the students write to the board simultaneously. Students communicate with each other and with the teacher at the same time in chat part of the site. This site can be used by us when we are preparing our group projects. There is no need to get together in a mutual place. Create a class, join there and discuss all together. There is a microphone option in the site. Teacher can open a microphone to the attendees and they communicate speaking.

Google Hangouts and Google Plus work with Gmail. They are like a Facebook account. In addition to Facebook options these supply video call option to their users. A teacher can create a classroom via this video call. Teacher creates a topic, shares its link with students and want them to join in the video call. These also allow limited number of attendees at once. Mobile application of those are available on Google Play Store.

 

CREATING AN ONLINE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT VIA NICENET & DOKEOS & PREZI

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  First topic of today’s lesson was Nicenet.

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Nicenet is not useful like Edmodo. It shows statics about how many people used it recently. USA arranges conferences and attendees should follow on Nicenet. That is why we are covering this topic today. Teacher creates a class, invite students to this class. When students attend the class, teacher can share a topic and want her students to work on this topic. There are options such as Class Schedule, Documents, and Class Roster, etc. Teacher can set a class schedule for students. Students should know class key to enter created classes.

 

Secondly talked topic was Dokeos.

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Not a good beginning to explain but Dokeos is not a reliable software. If you are using its free version your files are not in secure. Because administrators may change interface of medium. Therefore, your files may be deleted. MEB makes using software like Dokeos obligatory to enter students’ marks, etc. It can be gotten freely and changed by you. You can add your Dokeos account to your account. Report part shows students’ scores, progress, and assignments. Evaluation of students is easy by the help of this app.

 

Edmodo: Our task collection

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When creating a teacher account, one can create groups for students. To invite students it supplies a link and a group code. Teacher can share those with students and want to attend groups. Teacher can create small groups under head of created groups enabling limited number of students. Teacher can share assignments, alerts, or notifications with students. When creating an assignment teacher decide a deadline and students are asked to submit their works before this date. Teacher can follow students’ progress.

 

A newly discovered presentation device: Prezi.com

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Prezi can be used as an alternative for Power Point. Creators use only one page. You can use parts of this page. You can draw a path way to follow while doing presentation. It is difficult to explain now Prezi at the moment. While using to create presentation one can discover different aspects of it. It can be used creatively. Prezi can be downloaded as pdf. If there is a mistake on pdf version of your Prezi, you should edit your presentation online and download again.  So you should be careful about your presentation and its correctness.