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My Blog Reading Homework

Teacher training and Development

My Blog Reading Homework

<![CDATA[In his blog post A vast Pool of Human Knowledge, Neglected, Darren Elliott, like a true teacher, gave us all a little bit of homework for the weekend, which goes as follows:

1. Have a look through the archives of your favourite bloggers. You can usually find archives in the sidebar, click a tag or category, or search for keywords in a search box.

2. Find a piece you like but haven’t noticed before and leave a comment.

3. Link to it on your blog, or tweet it.

The first blog I went to was Carol Rainbow’s excellent edtech blog, which she is usually too modest to tweet about – because I was sure I would find not one but several gems I hadn’t noticed before. Carol is a regular blogger, much more regular than manyI know (including myself), and records all the tools she tries out, so this is a fantastic blog to read if you are interested in Web 2.0 tools and in Second Life where she trains teachers.

The first post I stumbled upon was a short report of my first ever attempt to teach in Second Life, a beginner Greek lesson into which quite a few fellow teachers were persuaded to come, despite dreading the usual disaster which is very common if you have never taught in SL before – teaching in SL is somewhat different to teaching your regular classes in the real world!

The post is called First Greek Lesson : -)” and the first thing I loved is a snapshot of my avatar in a fit of rage! (You can animate your avatar showing happiness, disgust, etc. expressions) and a really nice and humorous summary of that half hour or so lesson. I know it sounds a little selfish but it is great to read about a lesson you have taught through the eyes of one of your students.

The second blog I visited is Hall Houston’s A Teacher in Tayouan. I like Hall’s posts and loved his book The Creative Classroom. As some of my readers may have noticed, I am quite interested in the topic of creativity myseld and have blogged on other occasions on the topic, so Hall’s blog is quite interesting for me. Today I noticed a very interesting short post on using Sound Sequences – something which Hall reminded me was first introduced “by Alan Maley and Alan Duff, with the brilliant titles Sounds Interesting and Sounds Intriguing” two wonderful books I still have and treasure. Read Hall’s post on where you can find sources of sound effects on the web and how you could put them together for creative interpretations by your students to create their own narratives.

The third and final blog which I am doing for my Darren homework is Lathophobic Aphasia by Steven Bower, a colleague in the UK who has lived in Greece for many years. I love Steven’s down-to-earth, irreverent attitude about all things holier-than-thou in ELT. He has a sharp tongue, that boy, but his voice serves well to keep his and his readers’ view of ELT in balance and have a good laugh about it.

My favourite post from hir archives is the one with the title Gurus, Twerps and Huggy Bears” as it summarises exactly how I feel about certain types of wooly stuff being aired around ELT, beginning with a course description described as  “arrant twaddle is the teaching equivalent of reiki and aromatherapy” … You ‘re getting his  drift?

He has quite a few things to say about gurus, too, who “Offer to put teachers in contact with their innermost souls, attempt to convince them that ELT is part caring profession and part Path of Spiritual Unfolding, and you might get a few more bookings.”

Final Words
I liked this homework and think we should be doing it more often to help new blog readers become more familiar with interesting blogs as well as with how those of us who maintain blogs interact with each other and learn from each other. There are certain bloggers who will probably consider this an irrelevant exercise and, probably, beneath their elevated status.

I am happy to mill with the crowd of connected bloggers around me and to talk about how they helped me ‘see’ something or taught me something new.



8 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Whitby, Shelly S Terrell, MarisaConstantinides, Janet Bianchini, Vicky Saumell and others. Vicky Saumell said: Reading @Marisa_C Blog Reading Homework http://bit.ly/cx4ZEU […]

  2. Graham Davies says:

    I edit a website, ICT for Language Teachers (ICT4LT), which has been going strong since 1999. It was initiated with EC funding, which ran out at the end of 2000:
    Many EC-funded projects fade into non-existence when the funding comes to an end, but I decided to keep ICT4LT going on my own. The site gets quite a few hits – over 1000 per day – but around three years ago I noticed that the number of visits was dropping slightly. I therefore started the ICT4LT blog, which links to the main website – and, of course, the website links back. This has resulted in a steady rise in the number of website hits. The blog was commended by the EC-funded SAEL project as a way of reinvigorating an EC-funded initiative:
    The advantage of having a website and a blog interlinked in this way is that few of the blog postings get overlooked, as I can link directly to the important ones directly via the website, regardless of their age.

  3. Giggle 1: you turned off the RSS feed to full content in the reader, bad girl.
    Giggle 2: what an irreverent post you just sent me on to… I can think of a few trainers who do the huggie thing and bless, hate it – that and cheerleaders. Throwback obviously from when I was the geek in High School.
    Thanks for this post, enjoyed perusing through your homework.

    • Dear Karenne,
      Glad you liked my picks and must confess to having absolutely no idea how that happened with my feed. Doesn’t look as if I have an option to change it either 🙁

  4. Marisa Pavan says:

    Interesting picks, Marisa! The homework that has been assigned to you is great. I usually read the blogs by the educators I follow in Twitter and I find most of them really helpful.
    Marisa Pavan

  5. Carol Rainbow says:

    Hi Marisa 🙂
    Your comment on my blog suddenly makes sense! Thank you for picking my blog as one of your homework reads.
    The picture of your avatar frowning at me seems very appropriate when I think of my almost non-existant language laearning skills…
    See you in SL soon I hope 😀
    Carol xx

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