Saturday, December 12, 2009

First virtual class for EUS-Barcelona 2009-02

Hi everyone!

This weekend I had the oportunity to try WiZiQ as a virtual room again. It worked very good this time. All room facilities were available and the students enjoyed this new experience. It was a totally new experience for some of them, and the second or third time for others. Not all students had camera and microphone, but they did their best to participate. Congratulations!!!! If you missed the class, you will find the recordings for each class below. Your comments are welcome!

Inglés I

Inglés II

Inglés III

My students promised to take some pictures from themselves during the class. I'm looking forward to seeing them.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My return to Barcelona

Hi dear all!

This past weekend I travelled to Barcelona, Anzoategui state, in order to start my three new English courses for this semester. It was a very nice experience indeed, in spite of the discomfort that an undergoing restoration can produce. I found a place full of dust but also a wonderful group of students waiting for me and eager to learn a new language.

The new classrooms are quite comfortable. We have air conditioning, good day and night illumination, spacious areas, broadband Internet connection, laptops and video beams. Doesn't it sound great? I couldn't offer the Moodle training I had promised to my students because our server in Caracas was down, but I could manage the whole class with my materials on the web.

Here you will see some pictures I took from the new site, my new courses and the lab, which is not available for the time being. I almost die when I saw what you will see in the pictures. Fortunately, the restoration works are almost getting to the end.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

WiZiQ Tutorial

Hi dear all:

I want to share with you my English version of the WiZiQ Tutorial. Your comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Social Networking 2009 - An online conference for English Teachers - Nov 5-8, 2009

Dear colleagues,

As an Avealmec founder member, I am delighted to inform you that from November 5-8, 2009, we will be running the Social Networking 2009 Conference. This open-knowledge event will be completely online and free and it is aimed at encouraging practioners to reflect on the role of communities of practice as a social network in ELT.

This event is being jointly organized by AVEALMEC and ARCALL, two Latin American associations, one based in Venezuela and the other in Argentina, interested in promoting the use of ICT in the language classroom.

For this event, we invited conference speakers from different parts of the world:

*George Siemens -Canada
*Etienne Wenger -United States of America
*Vance Stevens -United Arabic Emirates
*Nik Peachey -United Kingdom
*Charalambos Vrasidas and Maria Solomou -Cyprus
*Nicky Hockly -Spain
*Erika Cruvinel and Ronaldo Lima –Brazil
*Rita Zeinstejer and Paula Ledesma -Argentina
*Nellie Müller Deustch –Israel
*Carla Arena –Brazil
*Graham Stanley –Spain
*Jennifer Verschoor, Evelyn Izquierdo and Erika Cruvinel –Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil

During four days, our guest speakers will be sharing their experiences and expertise with participants and will help us grasp a better picture of how social networks can be used in the language teaching and learning field. We will be discussing about the concepts and theories around social networks, communities of practice and the Web 2.0, as well as about the use, advantages and drawbacks of social networking tools.

Join us and participate in this amazing learning experience!
Further information here:

Spread the word! Let´s get socially connected!

AVEALMEC (Asociación Venezolana para la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje de Lenguas Mediados por el Computador)
ARCALL (Argentinian Computer-Assisted Language Learning Association)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Barcelona 2009-01 My best teaching experience ever!

Hi dear all:
Here are some pics from my students. This has been my best teaching experience ever! I enjoyed these courses a lot. My students were very enthusiastic and motivated. I am so happy; for the first time I could use many ICT tools in my distance courses. Cheers!!!!!!!
Congratulations to all! I will never forget such great moments! Thank you!!!
Your teacher forever,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WiZiQ second experience - EUS Barcelona

Hi dear all:

I am so happy to tell you that our second experience in WiZiQ was great! My students were more familiar with the virtual room and were relaxed during the class. We didn't face any technical problems but the normal limitations, which we could manage very well. In Barcelona, there were several power cuts during the class, but my students remained and came back. Some of them had cameras and mics, so it was very exciting to see them and listen to their comments and questions.

This time, we also had some visitors. We met students and teachers from India, Colombia, Ecuador and USA. I was very happy to see my students interacting with them.

Below you will find the recordings for the three classes. Please, remember, you have to wait between 30 and 45 minutes for the class to start. The first part was dedicated to check audio and video. You might not want to spend your time in that, might you? ;-).


Inglés I

Inglés II

Inglés III

Saturday, June 6, 2009

EUS Barcelona in WiZiQ - What a great experience!

Hi dear all!

I am so glad to share these three recordings of my first virtual classes in WiZiQ carried out this weekend with my EUS students from Barcelona-Anzoategui State. It was a totally new experience for them. They were nervous and anxious to see how this worked, and so I was, he he, although I have used WiZiQ for several years.

Since most students had problems to follow WiZiQ instructions in English; I was forced to create a tutorial for them, which was very useful indeed.

I had decided to take 30 minutes at the beginning of each class to check audio and video settings; however, it took us about 45 minutes to start every class. We faced some tech problems at the beginning, but we managed them very well. Most students got familiar with the platform and enjoyed the class, others had to deal with slow Internet connection and no audio devices available which made them feel a little bit frustrated. I hope they can handle it much better next time.

As you might know, these classes were public, so anyone might join the session, and it actually happened. On Saturday morning, we had some foreign visitors joining the session. It must have been a surprise for my students to listen to me speaking English in their virtual class. I just image what they thought. :-) I must confess our visitors were very polite. I loved that!

Once I finished the third class, I was reflecting on this WiZiQ experience and I was very happy, in spite of all tech difficulties we might have faced. I know there are many ways to improve future sessions, especially adding more dynamism to some activities. I wonder how I would, because it has to do with reading. I am seriously thinking about it. What I know is there are many ways to teach reading and having fun at the same time. I think the board must be one of the WiZiQ resources to be exploited, as well as the text chat; considering that just a few students used a mic.

Listening to myself, I realized this is a good exercise to confirm teachers make mistakes too. I found some around there, he he. I am so sorry! :-( It was not planned, but happened. Teaching in WiZiQ for the first was not an easy task. It was like being an orchestra conductor. As online teachers, we have to pay attention to the lesson plan, observe students joining the session, check if they have headsets or speakers, upload the materials, keep track of the time, control the chat and students participation, look at the camera, etc. But, once you've done it a couple of times it turns easier.

Below you will find the recordings. If you are one of my students and missed the class, please go on up to slides 10 or 12 directly,perhaps more. Remember, the first slides are dedicated to check audio and video settings. You might not want to spend some time there.

Just to add a few words more, I asked my students to take some pictures attending the class. Some of them did and promised to email the pics to me very soon. I am looking forward to seeing and sharing them with you.

You are all invited to leave comments. Thanks!!!

English I

Inglés II

Inglés III

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EUS Barcelona 2009-01

Hi dear all!

I started my journey again, and this time I went to Barcelona, Anzoategui State. It was a very exciting experience. First, I had to travel by bus. Then, I shared a hotel room with two colleagues. It was very nice indeed. We got together and went to the university. At first sight, I was shocked because my classroom didn't have any windows and I was going to spent 6 hours there. I didn't have any desk or chair, either; however, I didn't mind. It was great to be there meeting my new students. I was impressed when I asked them if they had email accounts and almost 100% answered 'Yes'. I was fascinated. I couldn't use the computer lab on Friday, because it was busy on that day, but I did on the following day with my English III course.
What a wonderful surprise!!! We had ten computers with Internet access available, Wi-Fi and a high speed connection!!! Wow, it was a dream.

I took my laptop and I could use all my materials with my students. I had the fortune to introduce them some Web 2.0 tools, give them a tour by the UCV Virtual Campus, talk to them about SEDUCV, show them some online works made by my former students and share some pics about other UCV sites in Venezuela. We created a Yahoo Group and inmediately started to use the ICT tools. I am very pleased with this first encounter and wish for the best. We are supposed to have a new face-to-face contact in three weeks, well, let´s see what happens...
Below you will see some pictures I took. Enjoy them! I promise to come back with more.;-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reflections on my distance courses in Amazonas

The semester came to the end and I keep in my heart the sweetest memories of Amazonas, a hidden treasure in the southern part of Venezuela. I am so sorry for not having had the facilities to introduce Web tools to my students. It would have been wonderful to have an intercultural exchange as I had dreamt of, but it was not possible this time.

The 'nucleo' -as it is usualled called- has a computer lab for the students, but just a few computers work properly. They are not enough for the number of students we usually have per course. There isn't a lab technician either who can open the lab everyday and provide maintenance to the equipments. If that is not enough, there is no broad band available. We spend years trying to download a Web page. I wondered if my students could work from a cyber then, but we can rarely find one.

Some of my students had basic knowledge on how to use the email, but some of them didn't even have an email account, which was a real limitation to use Internet resources or Web tools. Knwon the context, I decided to create three Yahoo Groups, one for each course, instead of using the Moodle platform. I was happy because many students joined the groups, but I wondered why they almost never replied to my messages. I discovered later that there was always a student in each group who read the messages and kept his/her classmates informed. Uhmm, a good strategy for them indeed, but not for me. :-))

Here are some pictures taken during my first trip:

Second trip:

For my second visit, we used the lab. We had a computer with a video beam. Great!!!!!! I could show my blog to the students and had them to read short posts in English. I used my own posts to make some exercises and evaluate reading comprehension. It was a challenge for them, but they enjoyed it. They also saw themselves in my Flickr pictures and were very excited.

As some of you already know, I am photo fan, so I took advantage of every moment and catch what I consider interesting, attractive, beautiful or exciting. Look at these pics I took from the plane, during the workshops with my students, at Amazonas Hotel, and a beautiful 'amazonense' sunset.

Third trip:

For my third visit, I couldn't use the lab. Unfortunately, my visits to Puerto Ayacucho were too short. My time was limited and I had to focus on the basic content for assessments. I'd wish I had more time to offer them a complete training on Web tools. I'm sure they would have enjoyed it.

On my way to the airport, Professor Miroslava Azavache took me to a beautiful place called 'Raudales de Atures'. It is a gorgeous place every Venezuelan should visit. Here are some pictures:

Definitively, it was a great experience to be back in Amazonas and feel again that kindness and love Amazonense people give to us. Thank you very much! I will miss you.

Here are some pictures I took during my last trip. Enjoy them!

Teacher Evelyn