Reflecting Teaching and Learning

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 10, Discussion: Advice to Future Participants

Today a friend of mine called me and said she got a chance from this course. ( in fact I shared the link with lot of friends and requested them to apply.) So I have already started advising her on what to do and what not to do.

Decide a time specially for this course work and do it daily.
Have a good internet connection.
Try to explore the tools which are emphasized in each week.
Try to connect the tools to your teaching.
Always participate in the discussions and share your experience.
Remember the good manners when doing posts on the discussions.
Give yourself time to do all the necessary readings.
Do lot of research on the internet.
Download the readings on a separate folder.
Keep all the links where you can find easily (like
Be careful with the time difference if there is any synchronous discussion.

Do not wait until the last moment.
Do not skip the readings.
Do not try to be over confident.

Week 10, Levels of Technology Integration (LoTI) at COL

The LoTi Framework focuses on instruction, assessment, and the effective use of digital tools and resources to promote higher order thinking, engaged student learning, and authentic assessment practices in the classroom. These are vital characteristics of 21st Century teaching and learning.

The LoTi Framework is catagorised into Seven levels and each described in details. The levels are:

LoTi Level 0 - Non-use
LoTi Level 1 – Awareness
LoTi Level 2 – Exploration
Level 3 – Infusion
Level 4a – Integration: Mechanical
Level 4b – Integration: Routine
Level 5 – Expansion
Level 6 - Refinement

I believe my institution, Centre for Open Learning, falls in infusion level, level 3. At a Level 3 (Infusion), the instructional focus emphasizes student higher order thinking (i.e., application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation) and engaged learning. Digital tools and resources are used by students to carry out teacher-directed tasks that emphasize higher levels of student cognitive processing relating to the content under investigation. Teachers are using power point presentations for each lesson, with different URLs and audio and video clips. Students do research, explore some issues and do their own individual and group presentations and online chat sessions. Also, students write to forums and complete online exercise and activities. These activities are teacher directed.

The centre now has to focus on Level 4A Integration: Mechanical, in which students are engaged in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog: Course Reflection

When I look back to the nine weeks I have spend with this course, not only my knowledge on technology tools have improved but I have done some practical work with them and I realized the potential of those technology tools and how to incorporate them in my teaching and learning. For this, I thank the Webskills course for giving me this opportunity and Robert for assisting and guiding us towards the correct path. Also, my heartfelt thanks to all my colleagues who has shared their valuable experience with me and commented on my work, which provided encouragement and enthusiasm to continue.

These are some of the article I have read regarding technology.

• Blogs and ESL class
• Web searching
• Digital Bloom's Taxonomy
• How to Write Clear Objectives
• Teaching aural/oral skills
• Developing Listening Skills with Authentic Materials
• Speaking lesson plans
• Multi-skill websites
• Reading/vocabulary
• Articles about using CALL in writing and reading activities
• Technology-enhanced lesson plans
• Rubrics and Alternative Assessment
• Project-based Learning (PBL)
• WebQuests
• Engaging Students - Technology
• Interactive PowerPoint
• Large Classes
• Learner autonomy
• One-computer classroom
• Make exercises online to use online
• Make exercises to use online or offline on a computer or to print out
• Learning Styles/Multiple Intelligences
• Learning styles
• Voicethread

These are some of the tools I have tried
• Create my own blog at,
• Completed a need analysis survey using Google survey forms
• Used Google maps to show where my place is and added some information regarding my country.
• Created a Social Bookmarking site on
• Create a rubric using rubistar
• Create a technology-enhanced project or WebQuest
• Created an Interactive Power Point Presentation
• Created ABCD Objectives for a lesson

These are also some of the tasks I have completed during this course.
• Continuously writing weekly reflection and updating the discussions I do on Nicenet.
• Preparing a technology-enhanced lesson plan
• Assessment, rubrics and project-based learning
• Create a sample lesson for a one-computer classroom
• Create an online course site or an exercise to use online or offline
• Contributed to the discussions on Ground rules for discussion on Nicenet.
• Participated in the discussions - comparing rubrics
How will I integrate what I have learned

I have already thought of integrating some of these tools in my lesson. For example, I have been using PowerPoint presentation for nearly all my lessons. However, there are features like blank slides and action slides which I have learned in this course and I will use that in my lessons. Also, I have created Voicethreads for my final projects and some students liked it very much, although many of them did not get time to comment. I plan to use those threads for my future lessons. Blogging and Nicenet are my favourite tools and I will use them for improving students writing skills and communication skills. Webquest is another tool I plan to use to enhance my students’ presentation and writing skills. In general, I plan to use all the tools, however, the ones mentioned about will be used most with the students.

I will continue to learn about these tools through the internet and through different Websites which gives information about technology and teaching.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week 9 Discussion: Learning styles

Technology can be used to enhance different learning styles in a classroom. There are different technology tools, gadgets and online learning materials. Teachers need to be active, creative, and innovative and determined to look for the most appropriate materials and tools and dedicated to use them in the class. The following list includes some o the technology tools I believe would work for me for different learning styles.

For verbal linguistic
Voice thread for Story-sharing creation, poems, essays, letters and for discussion and commenting. I have created some voicethreads for my final project and I liked it very much. I realized the potential of that for language learning and I believe it can be used to discuss, stories poems and essay. I will use this tool for discussion.

Story sharing sites-
Students can get instructions, share their stories and get others opinions. This would create interest and enthusiasm and would improve students writing skills.

Nicenet is also such an excellent tool for discussion. I have already been using the discussion forum and chat functions in Moodle. However, I found that when using chats in Moodle every response is on a separate thread. That means if you say yes to somebody, there is no way others would identify to whome you are saying 'yes'. You cannot response to that persons thread. But in the nice net it is like that. So, Nicenet has this function well built.

Video production - skits, dances, sports, role playing, demonstrations
Animation - Macromedia Flash

I believe these two are interesting; however, I do not have much information on them.

Spreadsheets- is a software I have been using for a long time and gives a lot of ease to lots of small calculations when doing marks sheets and lists etc.

Power point presentation- this is the most important and most used software for me. it is immensely useful for our block tutorials when we need to present so much information within a short period of time and to keep students attention and interest on the topic.

Online data collection. I have known Survey monkey for some time and from this course I have learned and used Google forms to crate survey to collect data. these online forms are make your work so much easy and it can automatically illustrate the data and information on graphs and charts which saves lot of time.

Webquests. I got the opportunity to use Webquests in this course and I found it also an interesting strategy to use in my lessons.

Blogs- I have created my very first blog during this course and I like it very much. I found blogs a very appropriate tool which will enhance and improve students writing and researching skills. I will be using it in my teaching in the future.

Comments are welcome!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 8 Summary

This is the busiest week for me this year. I have been doing exam paper marking and marks finalization day and night. So, I am not able to give my best effort to the tasks assigned for this week.

After I have chosen my partner Deep to work on the peer-reading task, I have handed in my draft and am going to comment on his draft. Sharing and commenting on the partners project drafts can be a very enriching and a good learning experience which we could practice in our teaching as well.
Then I have shared the online tasks I have created on Voicethread for my final project. However, it seems that it is private and cannot be viewed. But I am trying to make it public. Here is the link:

Pls. let me know if it works.

I have also created a survey form which I will use with some editing at the end of my project.

Here is the link:

I have also learned about ANVILL this week and I have created an account in this site but not able to explore much as I am really busy this week. This is a wonderful tool that would fit my students’ needs and I will also try to create some task on it as well. I am also happy that I was able to join the webinar we has with Jeff. It was also a good experience which gave us the chance to speak to our course mates and instructors. It seems that time flies when you are busy with something and with all these interesting activities this course is coming to an the end.

Voicethread for online teaching and learning

Here is a very interesting Voicethread about using Voicethread for online teaching and learning

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 8 Task: Create an online course site or an exercise

I have created these online tasks for my final project.

a) What tool you used (please list the website) and what you created?

I have used Voicethread and created five threads for the students to comment using voice and writing. The address for my Voicethread is:

c) The type of students who would use it?

These threads are created for my Study Skills students who are advanced level and need to improve their communication skills.

b) How you will use it in your teaching - please be specific?

These threads are used to improve my students communication skills. These also can be used for improving writing skills as students can communicate by writing and I have used the topics from the unit outline of study skills which are; note taking, referencing, essay writing, giving an introduction and exam preparation. So, they can be used to teach these skills as well. Some of these can be used in other grades/levels as well.

As my students are studying online and block mode they will do the work by themselves. They will listen to or read the instructions, go to the given websites, get information about the topic and tell the answer to the given questions using voice or if they are not able to do voice comments they can write the comments and other students and I can continue it as a discussion.
For those who have normal face-to-face class, these threads can be used as class activities or extension activities and also as homework.

d) How you will encourage learner autonomy with this tool?

As students will be doing this in their own time and by their own it encourages learner autonomy.

Websites used as resources.
Essay Writing:
Note taking Skills:
Referencing :

Please try this link if you cannot sees the Voicethread.

Week 8 Discussion: Teaching with Online Tools- Moodle

At Centre for Open Learning, Maldives National University, we are using Moodle for our courses which are conducted in blended mode. These courses include two face-to-face tutorials sessions for each subject and all other works are online. All the learning resources are made available online through this system and students do most of their studies online. We also have synchronous and asynchronous discussions and assignment submission and giving feedback through the system. I love the LMS as it has got a user-friendly interface and there are varieties of feature you can use. Also you can embed other tools if you want.

What is Moodle? Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS) / Learning Management System (LMS). It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students to manage and promote learning. Many institutions use Moodle as their platform to conduct fully online courses, while some use it simply to augment face-to-face courses (known as blended learning). it It can be used to make activity modules (such as forums, databases and wikis) to build richly collaborative communities of learning around a subject matter (in the social constructionist tradition). It can also be used to deliver content to students (such as standard SCORM packages) and assess learning using assignments or quizzes.

The above mentioned activities can promote learner autonomy and to use Moodle you need to install it on a web server somewhere, either on one of your own computers or one at a web hosting company. If there is any problem, Moodle Docs is a great place to start, especially the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages.

The Moodle demonstration site is a full Moodle site with some sample courses that you can try as a teacher, student or even an administrator.

Demonstration site:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week 8 Discussion

This week’s discussion is on ‘Teaching with Online Tools’. We were asked to explore different tools and exercises and share our ideas on how the use of these tools might change the way we teach and/or the way that our students learn.
We have Jeff Magoto, the director of the language center at the University of Oregon, (and a very experienced EFL/ESL language teacher) with us this week. With Jeff we are going to have a synchronous chat session On ANVILL. Here are some information related to ANVILL taken from the discussion.

ANVILL was initially developed for K-12 foreign language teachers in the U.S. But now it's used by teachers all over the world, and EFL/ESL teachers are the second largest group of users (after Spanish teachers).
ANVILL tries to provide language teachers with a speech-based toolbox. The kind of toolbox where teachers and learners feel as comfortable working with speech (and other media) as they do when they word process, blog, or use a wiki or a ning. While our tools lack the pizzazz of commercial offerings, they have two advantages: 1) they're designed for language teachers/learners (in an Internet age, and 2) they're free.

ANVILL tries to have something for every language teacher, but it's probably of most use to teachers who want (and are able to) extend or enhance opportunities for spoken language practice.

For some teachers that means they use it as a space for student audio and video recordings, much like Voicethread or Wetoku. Others use ANVILL as a course website, that is, primarily as a container for other web-based resources (like those at CLEAR) or elsewhere. And, finally, other teachers (such as the two teachers mentioned in today's video below) use it a use it as a space for audio-video cultural exchanges or collaborations.

Wow! I need to try this!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 7 Summary of Discussion on Learner Autonomy

This discussion on learner autonomy has immensely benefited all of us. We have been motivated through the collaboration, reading and discussion and due to that our students have been motivated as well.

The following is a list of activities gathered from the readings and discussion by Courtney.

Activities that enhance learner Autonomy
* implementing daily/weekly diaries, journal entries, and/or blogs
* in class pair and group work where students interact doing jigsaws, teaching each other, making decisions, solving problems, interviewing, and having discussions
* class debates on different topics
* students creating and presenting power points
* students searching for information analyzing it, and presenting it to the class
* providing students with authentic English listening resources such as T.V. programs, movies, and news broadcast among many others
* incorporating music
*having students make their own vocabulary flash cards

I enjoyed the discussion and lets always be be autonomous teachers!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week 7 Reflection

There are four tasks this week: a Discussion, a Project Task, and a course Task that I did on Nicenet, and reflective post on the blog. Week 7 was also busy and through discussion and reading I have got many ideas and strategies to use when teaching a class with only one computer and to encourage greater autonomy in my students.
Discussion 1: I read about learner autonomy (Thanasoulas, Sheu, Interconnections) and discussed what I have already been doing and what I could you do to encourage greater autonomy in my students, with and without technology. Then in
Discussion 2: Then I participated in the forum as I am using one computer in their classes, to describe how I use the computer in my lesson how it benefit all the students.
Task: Create a sample lesson for a one-computer classroom
I have created a sample lesson for a one-computer classroom on the topic writing summaries for Advanced Certificate level students (they have got this topic in their syllabus). I have posted this on the Nicenet and waiting for my colleagues comments.
Project Task 6: Suggest a partner for peer review
For peer review I have got Deep as my partner and when we complete our report, we will share it through the link give by Robert and comment on each other (draft report is due to the partner by Wednesday, November 16).
Blog: Weekly Reflection
I have been uploading most of my postings, comments and other work on my blog and commenting of a friend’s blog as well as this is something we have to do each week.

Week 7 Task: One Computer Lesson

My Lesson for One Computer Class

Students: Advanced Certificate level 20 students.
AGE: 20-35 years old.
Topic: Summary Writing (an article)
Duration: 1.30 hours
Resources: one computer, multimedia projector and texts for summary writing
Sample Summaries:
Summary Ball:
Passages for summaries:

ABCD objectives:
After listening the teacher explaining about summary writing (using the projector) (Condition) the students (Audience) will play the game Summary Ball (Behavior) and each student state at least two points (Degree).

Students (Audience) in groups will discuss and note down (Behavior) at least five points (Degree)they want include in their summary by looking at the text given to them(Condition).

Students (Audience) in groups will go online in the specified time for the group (Condition) read the sample summaries, and type their summaries (Behavior) and complete it in the given time (Degree).

The teacher explain about summary writing (20min)using a slide show and then after that students play the game summary ball where the teacher throws a soft ball to one of the student and that student tells two points which are important for summarizing. (This will be for 10 min).Then students are divided into groups of 5. Each group is given a text of 400-500 words and they work in groups to note down the important points. A schedule is given to students the time for each group to go on the computer for reading the sample summaries and typing their own summaries. Each group take turns and use the computer and finish their summaries in the given time. (Each group gets 15 minutes total 60 minutes to use the computer).

Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 7- Project Task: Find a Partner for Peer Reading -

I requested Elmira and Vinicius to become my partners, however, before I got an answer from them Deep has requested me to be his partner. So I immediately accepted and we are ready to start with our peer reading of our final project when it is ready. Right Deep!

Week 7 Discussion- Learner Autonomy

According to Dimitrios, learner autonomy is shifting the responsibility from teachers to learners and changes to the curriculum itself towards a more learner-centred kind of learning.

Students differ in their learning habits, interests, needs, and motivation. So, in order to encourage greater autonomy in students, we can try to create a friendly atmosphere where learners can get the freedom of studying by their own, get open and positive feedback, respect others ideas and take the responsibility of their own learning while the teacher acts as a facilitator of learning.

We can include learning strategies like different activities which involve critical reflection, decision-making, cognitive and metacognitive strategies, note-taking; repetition, resourcing, contextualization, self-report, diaries and question for clarification. Contextualization can be very important here it provides opportunities for the students to use what they learn in a meaningful context. Also diaries and expectation/evaluation sheets can play a huge role as they offer students the possibility to plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning, identify any problems and suggest solutions.

Of these activities I have been using cognitive and metacognitive strategies, note-taking; repetition and mostly expectation/evaluation sheets. I still need to use more contextualization activities and critical reflection in my lessons

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Week 6-Project Task 5: Begin to implement the change

I have started implementing the change related project two weeks back. I am using Voicethread and upload photos and (hopefully videos and audios) for the students to comment using voice and writing. This is to try and improve their communication skills. During week 1 there were some comments from students, however, in this week students have not responded yet.

I feel that this time of the year is not good to start such a project for my students. There are many reasons for this. My students are having their final exam this coming Tuesday to Thursday and as they are preparing for their exam they might not be getting time for this. After their exam they are going for their annual vacation of about two and half months. I have been contacting the students with email and sms and through telephone, however, the response for the Voicethread is very low.

Week 6- Discussion on interactive power point

I have done all the readings about power point presentations and got some very important information, like the ten best practice tips which I have been trying to practice.

1. Think about goals and purpose of handouts.
2. Minimize the number of slides.
3. Don't parrot PowerPoint.
4. Hold up your end
5. Time your talk.
6. Give it a rest
8. Mix up the media
9. Hide your pointer. Presenting with PowerPoint
7. Make it interactive.
8. Mix up the media
9. Hide your pointer.
10. Rehearse before presenting.

I normally use different media such as audio and video and photos, try to minimize the slides while I present and also do rehearse before my presentations. I learnt the setting of a Kiosk Show while doing a presentation for my faculties’ advertisement. From then I use that feature in all the advertising fairs. However, I have to agree that sometimes my presentations may not be very interactive. In fact this week after reading the handouts I have learnt how to add action buttons to a presentation. Adding action buttons are quite interesting and took me some time to learn. This will help me to make my presentations interactive. I am excited that I will be able to add quizzes, multiple choice questions etc to my presentation. Of the techniques listed in the articles to promote interactivity, I have tried Blank slide, ConcepTest, Think-Pair-Share and some more in my slide show created for this week on Online Learning which you can access from our class Wiki.

Week 6-Creating an INTERACTIVE Power Point

After reading about ways to create active learning lessons while using PowerPoint and viewing some examples I have created an interactive PowerPoint presentation on the topic Online Learning.

I have used blank slides, photos, hyperlinks of articles and videos, and other techniques to make my presentation interesting for the students. In my presentation I have asked the students to use ‘Think-Pair-Share’ techniques to discuss about what online learning is and then read about it from a given website, watch a Youtube video on the same topic. After that students do a small multiple choice quiz.

The most important thing I have learned this week is creating a quiz by inserting action button and this is quite useful for me. I will be using it in my future presentations.