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