Thursday, October 4, 2007

Avoiding death by powerpoint - Karl Kapp

It's the design and not the tool that impacts learning.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tips of the Day

You may use the below already, but there's bound to be someone who doesn't...

In Groupwise
Caroline: Ctrl R will make an email that you have already opened appear as unread
Mel S: View - sort by Date, From or Subject - helps you find what you're looking for

Mark (by proxy!): b key gives you a black screen (like using No Show) on the remote control pad
Caroline: and w gives you a white screen

The software Mel G. uses is Windows Media Encoder - free download from internet. Have a go!

Mel S: gives info on latest in technology
Caroline/Karen: animated moviemaker online - you need to set up an account and then you can make your own animated cartoons. Easy and results are quite crude but could be fun with students...

For more tips go to the eLL wiki to see the eLL emails from last year with heaps of tips. You can add your own tips there as well.

Meeting 29th Aug 2007

We met this afternoon - lots of discussion stimulated by Keith's questions
  • what innovative things are you doing in your programme with technology?
  • what technology would you like to use?

Decided that we would include a 'Tip of the Day' in our meetings as a regular feature so come prepared to tell us something useful that you use for next time.

More homework... How can we use YouTube in our teaching? Experiment and see what you can come up with - bring your suggestions/experiences for next time.

Next meeting - October some time... But before that, we (the CALL CoP) star in the Tchr Dvpmt Day on Oct 5th. Our chance to show and tell for an hour. Keith will tell us how he 'puts it all together to lower his workload' for 25 mins, Mel will show us some of her screencasts (10 mins) and we'll watch 'How to avoid death by Ppt' and maybe a YouTube clip as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

June meeting

Wednesday's group

We talked through the CALL symp highlights for each of us. This group enjoyed the practical stuff - txt wand, audacity etc.

Decided that none of us was that keen on a grammar repository for the following reasons

  • need for gate keeper - enormous amount of work

  • so much stuff out there already eg. websites

  • need for differentiation between levels

  • we tend to give personalised feedback

  • where to put it? Blackboard, H drive, web discussed

Outcome: Agreed in principle with Ailsa's suggestion of 1 hour in Oct to demo CALL stuff. 3 or 4 people contributing rather than one session.

Suggestions were

use of Audacity, Textwand, PDAs, photos to promote writing

Any volunteers for the above? Put your thinking caps on NOW, rather than wait until September when it will be too late!

Reminder that is available to put useful sites etc. Anyone can add sites so feel free to have a go. I've put some of the things that we mentioned under Tools to play with. You might have other suggestions to add.

Friday's group

Smaller (only three of us) but we had a good chat. Some talk on CALL symposium sessions we enjoyed, and we discussed the concept of Second Life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May 2nd CALL CoP meeting

We had a good session (albeit small) today.

What we did
General discussion (and hearing about Howard's Chinese trip)
Quick preview of the CALL symp programme.
Looked at audio recording - first, Howard demoed how he uses QuickTime Pro (Mac based) and then Karen showed Audacity and the mysteries of a lame encoder. Keith also uses Audacity to turn tape recordings into digital mp3s - ask him for details.

Something that came out of our general conversation (and motivated by Keith's desire to have a practical outcome from the CoP) was the idea of having a general repository of grammar worksheets that we could direct our students to when doing error correction in writing. So when you mark students work, or give them online feedback (as David demoed using Word on TD) you can link to a Ppt presentation file on articles for instance, or maybe a nice hot potatoes exercise to revise gerunds or whatever. We agreed that we would go away and think about this and come back and discuss it next time from our individual programme context/needs perspective. So we'd like everyone's input - have a think about how it could work for you.

Next meeting
Unfortunately noone there could make a Friday time so my suggestion is that next time we have two sessions that you can choose from. We'll do apporximately the same thing both times.
a) Wed 6th June 2.30 pm
b) Fri 8th June 2 pm
Hope this might suit those of you who can't make the Wed session.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The way ahead

This CoP is about community and practice (doing), rather than being a specific teacher development area (feeding). However, the concept of communities of practice often crop up in discussions of learning, particularly in the work place.

So how do we develop better practices? How do we develop a community round CALL practice (mutual engagement)? Are there areas that we can contribute to outside this group eg. SLS (negotiated/joint enterprise)? How do we satisfy our individual needs/interests?

One suggestion made was that we could break into slightly smaller groups with special interests eg. audio OR Blackboard OR blogs OR wikis OR ? We could work together to develop our knowledge in these specific areas and share individual practices. Or work together on a particular product that we think might be useful? Or we could do one of the CTLI workshops as a group and then, maintain the impetus of what we've learned (and have some accountability) by using the ideas in our practice and discussing what works and what doesn't.

At the moment, we're exploring the use of blogs by using this as an environment to record what we do etc. Maybe next year we could think about a wiki or Moodle for the same purpose.

And what are our needs in terms of teacher development? What expertise can we offer the SLS in the CALL area?

Tell us what you think? What grabs you? Add comments below.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Meeting 14th March 2007

Some of the issues that we discussed were

a) CALL frustrations
  • labs - tools not working eg. mikes
  • labs - students can't access podcasts live
  • labs - software problems - message reading "over run #48" and then software closes
  • labs - length of time to access internet sites such as Flickr
  • support for Bbd - not enough hours, don't tend to respond
  • students logins - names, dates of birth, enrollment/payment issues
  • classrooms - sound not working eg. mp3 files in Bbd

If you have concerns about any of these or others ie. specific glitches that make you grind your teeth, add a comment to this posting or email Karen who is intending to forward something to the appropriate people...

b) concern with varying knowledge levels - we have tech gurus and tech pygmies in our ranks (NB. it was the self-professed latter who were concerned!) Discussed the osmotic process and also 'legitimate peripheral participation' in relation to CoPs (had to get this in somewhere!)

c) we want to share stuff that works - please keep checking this blog for Adon and Dave's additions in this area - website and datashow tips. Jan has already added several useful bits.

d) Adon talked about his learning experiences on a master's paper in online and flexible learning

e) Karen briefly mentioned Flickr (put images on internet and then do activities with your class with them) and Bloglines (an aggregator ie. place to pull all your RSS feeds together). Add a comment below if you'd like a hands-on session on either of these sometime.

Next meeting - after Easter break - 2nd May (Wed again but after that we'll go for a different time for those who are missing)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Next meeting

Wed 14th March 2.30-3.30 pm

Bring something/anything to share...

a digital text book

Will Cutting Edge morph into something completely different? Inside Out turned upside down? New New Headway? The Korea times has an article about the digital textbook they have already trialled and are planning to invest vast sums of money in. They are putting them in 20 elementary schools in 2008 and in 100 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide in 2011.

Another development was suggested in the final sentence in the article: The government also plans to develop study terminals compatible with other multimedia devices and make them available to students.

A 'softer' kind of digital textbook can be found at where you can write your own.

How do we respond?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Two great web-based FREE journals

Hey fellow CALL CoP BLOGGERS Howzat?!

It is exciting to be venturing into this new communication arena. There are two web-based journals that might interest you - as they do me. Both are free to join and have practical and interesting articles.

You can join the free mailing list and receive an email which outlines the new articles. As its name denotes, it is all about being innovative in using technology in our teaching.
This is a wonderful site too. This one is on all sorts of issues and particularly good for those of us in positions of responsibility as it is about education management. Cheers and I look forward to more of us BLOGGING .. (and I will get better I hope ...) Jan Z
March 1, 2007 4:09 PM

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Invited to join the blog?

If you have just joined this blog, then please feel free to add a posting. This is the point of joining ie. that you can have an equal say in the blog. A simple posting might be to tell us what you would like to see happen in the CALL CoP or what time your preference for meeting might be.

If you decide to start your own blog for a different purpose, let me know the address so that I can add it to our sidebar and people in the CALL CoP can read it.

Of course, you could just add comments to this posting if you preferred, but anyone can do that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

2007 CoP initiative

We met along with other teachers in SLS to discuss the concepts of communities of practice (Thurs 15 Feb) and to meet in our smaller CALL group to discuss where we're going this year (Thurs 22 Feb).

The CALL group felt that the purpose for our group being is to explore the potential for CALL in our school. As a community we will grow further purposes and scope organically as we meet, talk and share practice. As individuals we all come from different contexts and with different needs - some interest was discussed in using Blackboard and blogs more/differently.

We intend to meet approximately twice a term on Friday afternoons. Probably at 1 pm, although still waiting for some members to confirm this. Next meeting to be 16th March.

We agreed that we would all bring something to the next meeting to share.
Like what?
Something that excites you!
Like chocolate cake?
Well if you like, but we're a community of CALL practice, so...

Something you've done recently in CALL that worked!
Something you'd like to try!
Something you've seen!

See you there...

CALL CoP 2006

We met several times last year, with different people present each time.

Focus was on getting to know what other people do CALL-wise.
This included
  • Howard's demo of Hot Potatoes and how he uses them
  • Mel explaining Radio Shark
  • Adon talking about PDAs and their potential
  • CALL resources in SLS list ( I have this if anyone would like it)
Also discussed
  • the normalisation of CALL in general, in our school
  • the potential of e-learning