Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Advertising the PET project

I did a speil in 2 ESOL team meetings today - 16-19 and EFL - and showed them some of the Australian sample Blogs I found. Both teams seemed receptive to the outline of what I hope to achieve.

A few interesting questions cam up:
  • How accurate should students' English be? (does this depend on what is the focus of the task?)
  • Should the teacher correct the work? If so - how? Correct all work??
  • How should the teacher monitor the Blog? (trying to keep time spent to a practical level)
  • What privacy settings need to be used?
We decided to set a deadline of Dec 7th for those interested in taking part to let me know and I also encouraged people to contact me for further info/chat more about what they'd like to do.
Have been working with a group to prepare a Diversity PowerPOint ready for this term's EHWLC competition and there are several outcmes that will affect my fture PET project:

1. Clear time limits and learning and teaching expectations must be laid out at the beginning of teh project and individual sessions

2. Students may not be as enthusiastic/dedicated as the teachers!

3. Wherever possible try to have a sample to show sts - they found it difficult to appreciate what it was we were trying to achieve.

4. Set TASKS rather than have an 'IT ablity' emphasis which determines how succesful a project may be.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Speaking of PowerPoint being 'old fashioned'...just found this website:
Taught the Level 1 16-19 group that I started the Blogs up with again today though we were working on Diversity project so didn't work woth the Blogs.

They really are streets ahead in terms of IT ability compared to other ESOL groups I've taught recently. Virtually all of them were accessing visuals from a great host of online photo storage sites and the speed that they were working with these files was most impressive! Though we were working with 'old fashioned' PowerPoint in order to produce their Diversity presentations it occurred to me how this type of project work (using photos to encourage written work and class presentations) to talk about their favourite places/people and things would really lend itself to the PET Blog project I'm going to be working on.

The thing about creating a PowerPoint presentation with ESOL students is that it has a very satisfying outcome and can be completed in a realtively short period of time which I think appeals to students (and teachers).

Compare this with a Blog in its early stages of creation: it can look a bit boring until its up and running and as I have found wiht this group ; it can be frustrating when it doen't look as good as they might have hoped. This should be where the comments facility should come into its own - if we had doen this Diversity project on a blog then sts could ask each other more information about their objects...mmm...might get them to transfer some of the info onto their Blogs and see how it goes.