Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blogging in the classroom : A window of opportunity

As all my readers know, I have been blogging for sometime. However, I would like to point out that I really do not know everything about blogging. As my dear friend Carla Arena said "There is no recipe on how to blog."
My first impressions when I discovered blogging were as if a window, better a large door, had oppened in front of my eyes. I saw and still see blogging as a great opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with my students. Better still, I see it as an opportunity for them to have conversations among themselves and with people outside the classroom walls.
Bloging in class has allowed me to see how gifted my students are in many areas. It opened my eyes to see and discover things about them that I would not have discovered otherwise. And I am sure it gave them opportunities to make discoveries and to get skills that are useful for them in the present and that will certainly be very helpful in their future.
The picture I chose also shows, in my opinion, that blogging is also challenging. There are lots of possibilities, but sometimes they are not so easy to visualize. We have to open the door and walk the blogging path with our students. It is a big challenge to keep the conversation going. We teachers have to teach our students how to comment, we have to talk about the importance of replying to comments, and so on.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The energy of a good class

I was just thinking about the feelings or the sensation you have when you are giving a good class. I think the idea of flow explains this feeling. According to Csíkszentmihály Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity” Being in class with your students is like dancing to a contagious rhythm . So connecting flow, music, the sensation I have during and after a good class, I decided to share this song that for me, at least, translates the sensation of flow.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Social Bookmarking: Food for Thought

- How can online social bookmarking help you?
I have been using social bookmarking for some time now. It has been helping me to deal with information overload. What I cannot read at the moment, I can always save for later. It has also helped me focus and prepare presentations I have done in teaching conferences. With social bookmarking, I always have access to what other people have bookmarked on a given suject.
- What are the advantages of having bookmarking as a social activity?

The advantages are many. One of them is having your favorites accesseble anywhere, anytime. So, social bookmarking gives you mobility. Besides that, you also draw on the power of the collective to find resources, to discover new things, and to be updated on any topic you might be interested in.
- How could Diigo be used in your classroom?

In classroom, I could create a Diigo group on a subject of common interest for students and have them share there favorites. Once favorites are shared, I could ask them to review the shared websites writing comments.
- What were your main difficulties to get started with socital bookmarking?

At the beginning, I had some problems understanding how to download the bookmarking toolbar. It also took me sometime to realize that I needed to download the toolbar in other computers if I wanted to continue bookmarking from somewhere else.
- Did you find any interesting resources shared by your peers? Please, add the link to it.
I really liked the link of a blog post shared by Carla called 6 reasons why people aren't commenting on your blog I liked it because it is really instructive to all of us bloggers. I really don't think that getting comments should be the main reason for blogging, but it is always good to know what kind of tone makes a pleasant blog.
Kindest regards

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Power of Sharing

I have been using Diigo for a while. It has been helping me a lot in my attempts to discover and learn. Using social bookmarking has lots of advantages. One of the  advantages of having bookmarking as a social activity is the possibility of sharing valuable resources I find online with friends. Before Diigo, whenever I found something interesting on the web I had to keep if for myself only (first because it could only be accessible from my home PC and second because I could not tell anyone about my favorites). Besides being able to share what I discover, I have the luck of having access to what my friends bookmard as they surf the web.  Social bookmarking really draws on the powers of the collective and it is definetely fascinating.

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