Week 9: My reflection

1.    Discussion: Learning styles
[What I learned]
I have believed, “So many students, so many learning styles.”  This is what I learned from my career as an English teacher. 
Thanks to thoughtful posts and the materials of this week, I learned nine learning styles; Verbal-Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Musical/Rhythmic, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Naturalist, Existentialist, and also learned how to apply technology to each style. 

[What I thought]
As I posted to “Nicenet”, I would like to start with grasping students’ learning styles by using both technology and observing students’ performance, and challenge “Adding Alternatives” or “Learning Cycles” which Terry O’Connor (Indiana State University) stated in his article.  Now my class size is very small, I think my present environment/setting is quite easy and suitable to test these two theories. 

2.    Project Plan, not Report
It is regrettable that I had to change from Project Report to Project Plan for my health problem.  However, I did my best to think about a newly technology-based lessons, syllabus and timetable.  Happily, I have been getting better day by day, and I am looking forward to having classes with my students soon. 
3.    Others
(1)  Afterschool program!?
Articles about “Afterschool program” also interested me so much.  In Japan we do not have such well-organized system.  I was surprise to find that supporting homework is only a part of it because before reading those articles, I thought it was similar to “Jyuku”, or cram schools[private tutoring schools], but actually it was totally different.  Here again, technology played significant roles in various aspects.  This gives me a precious “seed” to think about from now on.
(2)  My “Delicious”
I started using “Delicious” when I entered this course.  As of now, I keep more than two hundreds websites that Robert showed us and I found.  Labeling all these to “Masa-friendly” is another job, maybe after finishing this course

We are going toward the last week of this wonderful course together...



Week 8: So hectic but learned and thought a lot!!

What I learned and What I thought

1.    Discussion: Online tools for enhancing learning
First, I regret to say that I could not join the webinar by Jeff.  It was held in small hours of the morning in Japan.  I have been treated at home and I am not a night owl by birth. I hate time-zone difference!  In addition, I was late for the discussion of this week and had hard time catching up with my e-classmates, but I could learn a lot from their discussion.  For example, Blerta and Elmira showed me how to use Nicenet and a paper-based alternative.  Actually, I made my “Nicenet class”.  I cannot wait the time when I come back to school!  I am sure especially three 10th graders will enjoy it.  I also learned how to use Voicethread that I have not used before.  ANVILL was a sort of overwhelming technology for me. It might take me a lot of time to get used to it.  “Hotpotatoes” is helpful tool for me to make quizzes or activities both on-line and off-line. I taught a 5th grader, a 6th grader, and three 10th graders.  In each class, students are very interested in English and sometimes want some more activities to do by him/herself.  I hope these might promote their autonomy. 

2.    Task: Create an online course site or an exercise to use online or offline
I made a class-wiki on Google.  Actually I gave up making wiki several times because it was not easy for me to understand how to make it.  So, this was my 5th or 6th challenge.  I was very glad to get an affirmative comment from Robert, and look forward to using it when I come back home.

3.    Project Task 7: First draft and peer review
I managed to write my first draft for the final project plan.  My proofreader, Andi, gave me a checklist for my draft with very helpful comments.  Only a few days left to the deadline of the final project, but I will do my best to complete it.  My final project is full of what I learned in this course and from my e-classmates and what I thought about my students.  I hope this project plan reflects on her individualized syllabus for the next school year.

4.    Others.
I am sad to say that my health condition is not so good, and I could spend only an hour in total, not continuously at most in front of computer and not every day.  I hope I can spend more time this week and learn much more.  Only two weeks are left including this week to the end of this wonderful course!

Toward the end? goal? of this course...
I feel I can see and grasp something.


Week 7: What I did and what I learned

What I learned and What I thought
1. Learner autonomy
I would like to pick up some impressive words and give my comment for each.

[An examination-dominated system]---in Sheu’s article.
This phrase describes the English classes in almost all the high schools, especially academic ones in Japan.  This also taught me “teacher autonomy” and “teacher-as-learner” autonomy.  I got tips from this article on my first post as to the discussion on learner autonomy “without technology” 

[‘Relevance’, ‘transparency’, and ‘accountability]---‘Interconnections: Learner Autonomy Teacher Autonomy’
According to the course of study for the Special-Needs school by MEXT (Ministry of Education and Technology) in Japan, students with disabilities can be taught based upon the individualized programs. This means that we do not necessarily use authorized textbooks.  These three words are the key words to make them.

[…from purveyor of information to counselor and manager of learning resources]…in Dimitrios’ article.
Still, I have strong interests in teacher’s roles in classes.  I got tips from these words on my second post as to the discussion on learner autonomy “with technology” and Task 7.
(I was very glad when I got a affirmative message from Courtney.)
I wonder there would be more roles that teachers must play than those I had mentioned in the former diary on the book by H.D.Brown.
I also learn the importance of “self-esteem” in autonomous learners.  When I first read this chapter, 4.3, I strongly felt that the first role for teachers to foster autonomous learners is to enhance this. 

2. Task: Create a sample lesson for a one-computer classroom
I thought “Skype” and “Facebook” were the key items to make a computer play more tha two roles, such as a resource and a communication tool. Robert gave me some advice. Thanks to that, I could revise and correct small mistakes in the plan.

3. Others
I have to confess that I have to change my final project to “only for those not currently teaching” format because I have to recuperate at home for two months with medical certificate.  Yet, my doctor allows me to get out of bed for 4-5 hours a day, and of course to study on-line.  It will be my happiest hours in a day.  Still, I am enthusiastic and do my best to complete this course with other e-classmates and my partner, Andy.

Going up toward the end with all e-classmates!


Week 6: What was done, what happened and what I am doing.

1.    Quizlet: For the vocabulary review as homework.

[Good points]                       
This was perhaps her first time to do homework by herself except for her mom’s setting up a computer.  She studied the vocabulary review with on-line “cards” by several types of practices. In the final test (multiple choices) she got the perfect.

[Points to be improved]
Some of the definitions in English that were automatically inserted were difficult. The function is quite time-saving, and next time I have to use on-line dictionaries for some basic learners such as LDOCE(Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

2.    WebQuest:  For her further practice in reading and listening as homework

[Good points]
On the WebQuest, she could jump to some websites by just one click. She could get to know and learn what she wanted to know with her mom.  Her mom had been a learning assistant, but this time they could enjoy learning and talking over the movie that they watched.

[Points to be improved]
The total level was so high. Yet, she did not use a dictionary due to her “schema”, a background knowledge about the content.

3.    What I am doing
I am making a lesson plan in which I will use a combination of “Quizlet” and a film clip on eslvideo.  Although she has difficulties in reading and cannot write and pronounce very well for her disabilities, she likes listening and good at learning things by listening.  So, I am sure this type of lesson helps her get better in English.

I am now very worried if I could do well in the final project, but I will do my best, and enjoy studying English together with her and her mom.

Wonderful but endless sea of websites and e-learning...

Week 6: Better use of PPT, Better user of PPT!

Hello, Robert and my e-classmates,

What I thought and learned

1. Discussion: I chose the first topic.
(1)  My first post
I mentioned about “Priming”.  I learned the importance of “Priming” , and after finishing my first post, Robert gave me a good question,

“Can you think of any other ways to engage students with cell phones and mobile technology?” 

This reminded me of the situation in my 10th graders’ class.  They all have their own cellphones.  I could think of three activities for three functions, voicemail, taking pictures, and taking movies.  Talking of a speech class, this can be applied to those who are absent from school.  Even if they cannot come to school, they can send me their performance attached to the e-mail. 

Next time when one of them must be hospitalized for a long time, I am quite sure that this will be very helpful.

(2)  My second post
I mentioned about how I could make in-class discussions more interactive when teaching large classes.  On my second thought, I just have to “copy & paste” what students wrote on the blank sheet.  Now I do not think it is so helpful and useful. Yet, the opposite way, from teacher to students, it is so helpful and useful.  For example, in role play classes, a teacher can send a “secret” instruction to each at the same time. 

2. Task: I chose “Jeopardy” for the review of vocabulary
As the student (5th grader) cannot go outside for his disease, I used pictures, sound, and movies to stimulate his interest more.  So I tried to choose them from the website abroad.  I hope some of them help him get more interested in English and foreign countries.

3.    Others---What I am just thinking about…
(1)  Using PPT or iPad2 off-line for the bedside lesson.
(2)  Making a curriculum of an interactive-learning course for English I
*In Japan “English I” is a compulsory subject for graduation.
(3) How to use “Skype video call” effectively.

Now the bright future of “Interactive e-learning” is being coming in sight…!??

P.S. Somehow, my "Odiogo" doesn't work well.  Does anybody know why? 


Week6: Keywords on November 1

  • Priming
  • Integrating
  • Reinforcing 
  • Using blackboard for assessment
"Instead, require your students to send you brief responses to assigned readings via email before class."
Using Blackboard for Assessment : Blackboard question type
  • Fill in the Blank
  • Multiple Choice
  • True/False Multiple Answer 
  • Matching * Ordering
  • Short Answer/Essay
Memorable lectures: Keypoints
Quick and Easy Ideas for Better Lectures

Provide students with a framework for each lecture
o Aim for three to five main points in each lecture.
o Begin the lecture with a high-level question that the upcoming information can answer.
o Prepare a handout of the lecture's main points.
o During lecture, be explicit about what students should focus on.

Don't overload students
o Give students short breaks throughout lecture to review their notes and ask questions.
o Include a formal activity or assignment after every 15-20 minutes of presentation.
o Don't use too many different types of presentation materials at once.
o Don't give students two conflicting things to attend to at the same time.

Students are also more likely to remember information that relates to ideas or experiences they are already familiar with.
o Use examples from student life, current events, or popular culture.
o Ask students to generate their own examples from personal experience.
o Tell students how new information relates to previous lectures in your course.
o Show students how specific skills can be applied to real-world problems.
o Create activities and assignments that ask students to fit new information into the overall themes of the course.

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.
"Chinese proverb"

 “A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.” Plutarch

Photo by Masa taken  in PNG
I am still drifting around the vast sea of websites...