Saturday, January 28, 2012
Week 3 - The Delicious Week
Photo on Flickr by Distopiandreamgirl
I have really, really enjoyed Week 3. I have finally relaxed. I have stopped worrying and started having the time of my life. Only when I think about the final task...
I am between terms now. This is inconvenient since I will have no students to work with for the next three weeks. And once the students are back on February 20th, my intermediate group will lose at least three of its original members and there will be some new people there. Simple math: There were eight people in the group. Three are leaving. That leaves 5. Our groups are up to 12 students, which means I can have as many as 6 new students. Six students I need to get to know as quickly as possible so that I can analyse their needs and make a final project that suits them as well.
This too is very inconvenient. But that's the way things are.
This week we learnt how to bookmark using Delicious . Here is my account.
I opened this account back in 2008, but after a while switched to Diigo. Now I have imported all my Diigo bookmarks into Delicious and will be using both accounts from now on.
I feel great about the fact that I have started bookmarking the resources we are using in this course. I am learning so much, on a daily basis. I would like to keep this information somewhere where I can find it after the course is over. Which is why I have created a stack called Webskills Winter 2012 and I am sure this stack is going to be very "thick" by the end of the course.
Social bookmarking is collaboration in its best sense. I know something, others know something, together we know a lot. The fact that we are sharing links on Delicious has brought good mood to the whole group and we are eager to share even more. I was touched by what Orchidia did in her blog. She created a collection of songs from all the participants' countries. She used a tool called Mixpod. I am grateful to Orchidia for her beautiful gift. She is very supportive of other participants and her blog is beautiful.
This week we had a very lively discussion in the Oral/Aural Skills forum. I learnt a lot just by reading other participants' posts. I posted a lot too because there were so many interesting mini-discussions going on at the same time. We discussed virtual language labs, the role of teachers in the 21st century (see Marina's post). Luisa, Sinikka and Robert started a very interesting discussion on which variety of English we should use (have a look at Luisa's blog).
I posted so much this week that I ended up with excruciating back pain. But here I am, still typing. This course is so wonderful, I don't want to lose a moment. I am having the time of my life as long as I don't think about my final project.
Talking about final projects, I have learnt a few things this week. Here is my plan:
1. Don't try to do too many things at once. In Robert's words: " Usually the best projects are elegantly simple."
2. Focus on the problem you have to solve.
3. Focus on the students. Who are they? What do they need? What can they realistically do?
And this is where I am going to sign off this week.