Sunday, 18 January 2015

EVO Week One - Let the Fun Begin

It is Week 1 of EVO, so it's time to get this blog active again. As always, I have signed up for multiple sessions. And I am moderating one of them - Crafting the ePerfect Textbook, or #ebookevo. The session has 18 moderators, so it is a collaborative endeavour. We are a true MOOC, with a lot of participants, so we are very busy responding to the threads in our Google+ group. I will be moderating Week 4, but until then I am trying to be as active in the group as I can. Congratulations to the Week 1 moderators, Shelly Terrell, Özge Karaoğlu, Janet Bianchini, Debbie Tebovich, Michelle Worgan, André J. Spang, Jennifer Verschoorfor doing a great job during this busy week. You can read Janet's Week 1 post here. It contains lots of tips and tricks to help you write your own ebook.

I first attended #ebookevo as a participant last year and I wrote about it here. So, I was honoured when Shelly Terrell invited me to help moderate the session. This year I am planning to add one more chapter to the collaborative ebook I wrote last year with two colleagues from my school, Snezana Filipovic and Milica Svrzic. It is aimed at intermediate adult students.

Another session I am very excited about is EVO 2015 Flipped Learning, or #evoflippedlearning. In week 1 we were trying to decide whether flipped learning was applicable to our teaching situation. I find the topic both relevant and interesting. I teach busy adults who spend only two 90-minute periods a week in class. Flipping could free some classroom time for activating new vocabulary and grammar. I first need to learn how to create instructional videos. My YouTube channel has been mostly inactive, maybe that is going to change now. 

Week 1 in #evoflippedlearning contained some great resources. Here is a series of short videos by John Bergmann and Aaron Sams, who are considered to be pioneers of flipped learning. The main question they try to answer is What is the best use of my face-to-face time with students? Here are two articles by John Graney and Laine Marshall, our moderators. Laine Marshall provides further links to Katie Gambar's videos and this treasure trove. I can't wait to find out more.

I have to admit that I find the difference between flipped and blended learning a little hazy. The terms overlap and in an effective use of online tools there might be both methods present. Blended learning is another topic I find very relevant, so I am attending Using Moodle as a Bridge to Blended Learning. It is on the Moodle4Teachers website and you can read a short description of the course here. This video differentiates the blurry line between blended learning and technology integration. This video gives further examples of blended learning in the classroom.

I am also attending Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing. In Week 1, among other things, I read this blog post about using images legally. I find it very relevant to bloggers, especially since it also contains links to places where you can find CC-licenced photos you can legally use. More on places to find CC-licenced photos here.

I wouldn't feel I was in EVO if I didn't sign up for ICT4ELT. I sign up every year, and this time I earned myself a badge for Week 1.

Finally (don't count my sessions, please) there is Teaching Pronunciation Differently. This session has transported me back to my student days when phonetics was one of my favourite subjects. That was a long time ago and I have forgotten a lot, so I am struggling a little at this stage. Luckily, the moderators are very helpful and I am looking forward to the following weeks because I feel that here I will learn something new. Hopefully this course will help me help my students with pronunciation.

I hope you have enjoyed my report from various EVO sessions and that you will find the readings and the videos I have shared useful. See you again really soon.


Janet Bianchini said...

Dear Natasa

Thanks so much for kindly mentioning my small but hopefully relevant contribution to Week One Evo-ebook session. It's been a fantastic experience and I have enjoyed it so much, learning and sharing together with you and the team.

I don't know how you do it, but I think I have counted 6 sessions, and I salute you for your dedication to learning. You have chosen subjects which are all relevant and useful in your teaching context, and I hope you have a wonderful time, exploring all these fascinating subjects!

Looking forward to learning from you in the ebook session, and best of luck with your next chapter :-) I know it will be a great success!

Best wishes


Natasa said...

Thank you, dear Janet. Yes, you are right, six subjects. I always do too many, but I have never tried to do six before. This year the temptation was too big. I know I will have to drop at least one of them when things get crazy and I will have to press a "pause" button on all of them in the week I am moderating. Still, I can always go back and catch up after EVO.


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