giovedì 13 settembre 2018

Professional Development : European Moocs

This month we have a lot of free learning  opportunities online  : most of them have been run by European institutions. I have enrolled and I am going to do them.

An important Mooc is about LANGUAGE LEARNING AND LANGUAGE DIVERSITY and I am willing to learn about the new tools which will be introduced. Some tutors have been working online for years and they are going to share ideas and guide us in the Mooc.

In October we have  a Mooc about STEM.

I am an English Language teacher but I would like to work with teams of Teachers who are interested in using English while working in projects.  Interdisciplinarity, use of English language, modern web tools  can be crucial in designing new Learning experiences . STEM classes are important, more and more we do need to guide learners to work in job related to STEAM.

I will write about these experiences online.  For the firs Mooc I am going to share my online experience by working in a blog and using  Edublogs.  

giovedì 6 settembre 2018

PLN: Making time to build your PLN

To develop your PLN  you will need a lot of time.

When you start it you realize that you will never stop learning and sharing online.
Here you can find the link to my  short presentation about  PLN and  what you should bear in mind

PLN in the life of an educator (copy) on Biteable.

My  activities online  started about  four years  ago, I was a newbie and  realized that I was learning a lot. It took  me months to become familiar with the new ways of  working , some of them were developing while I was still a beginner in learning but I could rely  on great support.

If I had to suggest what to do to build your PLN , I would say that  the first months it takes a lot of time to know what to do. You need to know what you want to do and who and what  you want to follow. Once you have taken off, you will go on.

My tips

The online communities will help you develop and later you will become an active educator online.

domenica 2 settembre 2018

Professional Development: Using curation Tools as a connected Educator

The Sixth step of my  Professional Development course online has an interesting topic: using Curation Tools.  The link to the step is here :

Content curation requires a lot of skills from reading about topics you are going to write about to sharing and creating content by using modern web tools.

Image credit :

What I have been doing in the last years is a detailed research online of what I was interested in:
once I found what I thought I might use for reading and learning about   I bookmarked it by using some tools like Pocket and also  Pearltrees. I used Pocket to begin with and then checked the links and created my collection with Pearltrees.

Here is my collection of favourite websites or articles : I tried to find a way to organize them by topic and following some trendy ideas shared by other educators.

I really like Pinterest because I can use it for sharing useful webtools with other educators and I also follow some educators.
Pinterest is  a good tool for curating  content but  I am a fan of  Google  Apps as I usally share what I have learnt online by creating websites or  Google documents and Google Slides. 
I usually post these interesting  ideas on  what I have learnt online and when I am asked to do it  I also share them online. Most courses require this to help the learners share and learn together.
Here is the interesting Livebinder which has been created and shared by an Argentinian educator about the Mooc we have just finished- VWMOOC 2018.
I like livebinders but I have not used them yet.     Click here to open this binder in a new window.

I have written some posts online - we used a Moodle Platform and created some presentations : here is the one about the fourth week of the Mooc which I shared with the other teachers

I love images and videos but  I am only a beginner and  need to work on new tools which can help me write and summarize the ideas I have found interesting.

For sharing learning  I often use  Google sites and also images by using  Google Drawing.

Here is a short summary which focussed on what we learnt in a course about  Mentoring . I like Google Drawing because you can choose images and create your content by adding also hyperlinks.

In the last weeks I have used Thinglink for my reflections on a VIRTUAL CONFERENCE online:

I have no good technology at school but I think that if I had to help my students in writing posts for a blog I would share video tutorials with them.

Hopefully today the greatest educators share how to use new tools and I am sure I could manage.

Content curation is important  for your  PLN.

I became a connected educator and started using some tools by chance. Now I can see they are used widely.

 Blogging requires a lot of exercise and knowledge  but when you start it you will never stop !! 

Using Blogs as a part of your PLN

Why writing blogs and what I like about blogging and some bloggers

The fifth step of the course about PLN is about Blogging and PLN. You can check the main  ideas and links shared online  here :

Ever since I started learning online I have been writing some posts and when I started using  Twitter I really liked sharing posts written by some bloggers and  also loved learning about some new  bloggers.

I usually follow different types of blogs: some are only the reflections of an educator while  Others provide tips about how to use some tools and on the best  ways to work in class.

Some educators also post podcasts and guides and I really love these types of posts as they are always about new technologies and  projects.

I usually receive updates via email from some bloggers like Vicki Devis or  Shelly Sanchez.

I have never used my blogs for sharing my portfolio: I am going to create a website where I will  describe my activities online and will provide the links to the main tasks I have done so far. I like the idea of having  blogs for students and some educators have shared good activities. I am going to continue writing but some students do not collaborate and this is the reason why I have not used blogging with students much.

I check some bloggers on YouTube too and I love podcasts. If I had more time I would read more online. I have bookmarked some articles  published online which I really want to check later ;t in general I love following educators like Eric Curts because they are expert in education technologies and run webinars which I like to attend virtually online.

When I have time I like posting my replies and if someone writes in my blogs I usually reply.

I would suggest anyone who doesn't  write blogs to start writing about an event or a conference he/she may have liked and later to present some ideas  about some topics they  are familiar with.
When you start blogging you need to learn about how to work but later you become familiar with the use of images and also the tools online and  you can manage in a short time.

I have bookmarked the best websites and  blogs I am following now: they are about technology, mindfullness, ELT, resources and lesson planning for educators and materials online for students.
When I have time I also search new websites for my students.  I really love podcasts and I would like to find more online.

  In the last years more Italian educators have been involved in blogging and thanks to them I have become more connected and engaged in continuing learning.


mercoledì 29 agosto 2018

Professional Development: Hashtags and Twitter Chats

The fourth step of the course  about PLN is focussed on  Twitter. You can find the main information in the course online - It is simple to follow educators and also to participate in chats online.

As I have said  many times  having an account on Twitter has helped me become a connected educator and now I follow educators and hashtags. I share ideas and when I find some news which might interest friends online  I share it.

 It is important to share ideas because sometimes educators do not find the time to search online and if you can rely on someone online , this is fine.
I have checked a lot of hashtags online and most of them provide lots of interesting connections and ideas to share in education. Ideally you can learn about almost anything and it is always free online.
Conferences, online conferences, prizes, news, free ebooks,...……………… here is my short video about some people I am following online who are used to  using hashtags: Sarah Thomas and Paula Naugle.
It is based on tonight's check and I am sure that I could have found more information , from links and also to  simple tips for people who feel  they are engaged.

In one blog post  Shelly Terrell suggested a list of specific  hashtags for my PLN : you can find it online

A good database has also been shared online by Kasey Bell:

This simple Padlet  describes how Twitter chats  have changed the way we work and connect with the others:

Creato con Padlet

Why should Teachers use Twitter chats and hashtags? 

I think that we can find many  reasons:

- you can share ideas and learn from the others
- you can meet  new people who are like-minded and might be interested in working online with you too
- you meet new teachers and people who you might never meet but you become friends forever
- some chats are really engaging and provide the best of information from sources to conferences online you would have never learnt about in the daily papers. I have often downloaded the best of education guides which had been shared by some educators.
- educators and students can connect and use hashtags for sharing what they have done and for projects

I feel that in the USA  Twitter is more popular than in Europe, I would say that we have more politicians that use  Twitter in my country to spread ideas and also influence  people during the main elections.

What I like of Twitter is the simple way and the tools you can use: it is also good for educators who want to share content and important messages with their students!!                                                          
It would be nice to have more teachers in my school who use Twitter chats!

venerdì 24 agosto 2018

Professional Development : PLN and Twitter

The third step of the course is  about Twitter  and education.
You can find the link to the step here PLN and Twitter.
I had previously  described the importance of this social media. I would have never developed if I had not started following  Twitter.

Using Twitter is very simple: once you start following important educators and websites you will start to like posts, retweet posts and  post your tweets.

                                 Image  Credit : Edublogs 

Now I follow more than 900 people online and what I like is their way of  sharing ideas, presenting their works and also I like following some discussions online.

There are famous hashtags and also less famous ones, in general  I like  educational hashtags and also hashtags which are run by educators working in some Moocs. I love taking part in them.

Twitter can be a source of ideas as I can learn in a short time what  educators  and people are sharing.

Here are some  posts which I found today online :

  Sharing about documents in a conference  and finding free materials

Learning about a free ebook about one new webtools

Sharing about  events online and conferences 

Sharing  simple messages about the need of peace in the world

  I have used some hashtags when I did some Moocs and when I have time I also follow some  interesting hashtags.

The more I work online and follow Twitter and the more I meet new educators : in July I followed an online event and met  Tara Martin :  @TaraMartinEDU.

The experience of being a connected educator is now part of my mindset and I will continue learning.

Professional Development : PLN and connections

These are my reflections on the second step of the course  about  PLN. 
You can find more materials and references online if you  follow the link Making connections  which is starting point for the ideas and reflections I am sharing in this post.

Here is the picture that  summarizes the ways we can learn about ideas and how online groups and communities can help us  develop.

                                        Image credit : edublogs

Today educators can  learn together and support each other.
Since the age of social network started we have had the development of many online communities. Educators  have used social media and modern web tools for connecting and learning together.
I remember the first Moocs which I did about five years ago. It was something  new to me but  I learnt a lot as I was guided into a community of learners  and people  were living all over the world.
I was asked to do some simple things:
  1. starting  to write a blog for sharing my new learning  experiences
  2. sharing  ideas in some social networks like  Twitter and  FB
  3. using  images and  modern tools for  summarizing what I had learnt online
  4. following  webinars online on YouTube and  commenting what had been discussed online
  5. writing a learning  diary 
  6. becoming a part of a community like  Google+ or groups in  FB
  7. starting collaborating online while using  virtual boards
  8. sharing documents and  also publishing  something online for sharing what we had learnt 
I had not been trained to do this but I learnt while working on  my own and thanks to the support of great educators  I wanted to continue learning and also wrote about my online experience. This is how I started : I was guided by people who were involved in education.

Facebook  is not the social network which I prefer but most people I know have been on FB for years.
My favourite social network is  Twitter: I remember when I first learnt about it as  I was doing a webinar online and I had started following a community of educators  who wanted to share about  new ways of  working and experiencing education.  They taught me how to use Twitter , it was in 2014 and I continued working on line and sharing ideas, posting links and learning while using  hashtags.

Thanks to many educators I have met new connected educators like me: it is my world and where I find ideas about  topics for my lessons and also for  Learning about new  events online:

This is the great webinar I could see online dealing with Twitter: I became a connected educator thanks to Alice Keeler!

It was  Classroom 2.0 Live that helped me to learn about this  wonderful tool.

Click here to open this binder in a new window.

I had to learn more and then I continued my  CPD by doing  a Mooc with Coursera-  about  Web 2.0 Tools and later about  Digital Storytelling. I had to realize that I was not  tech-savvy and  I needed to improve my ICT and Digital Skills.

If you  want to be a connected educator you need to know not only the people who are sharing ideas , you need to work on your favourite sources of information and ideas.  I have found tips for collecting my favourite bookmarks and for example I like sharing what I like by using  My Pearltrees  or
My bookmarks on Pinterest


Here are some boards which I have collected online thanks to Pinterest:

Sharing implies that you  are part of a network and follow educators online . I am a follower of some boards on Pinterest and also I like following some educators on Pearltrees.   

I also like Slideshare and follow some educators who publish their slides and resources online : Shelly Terrell is my favourite one  as I have followed her  webinars on Fridays.  She stopped them in August but  she shared a lot of  her ideas in her  slides :  Shelly Terrell. They are worth checking!!

Blogging and Blogs and  WebsitesI have bookmarked a lot of blogs and I regularly receive some updates from them:when I meet interesting speakers I usually bookmark them by using  Pocket.
Some websites which I like are the ones shared online by many educators
I have also started sharing ideas in my blogs: once you are connected you will start sharing ideas.I love also making presentations and I have worked on some websites to present my ideas or what I have learnt online. My online course about teaching and teachers is in my blog:  I worked online under the supervision of Shelly Terrell and a good team of educators who made me feel engaged!!Blog about the course The goalminded teacher 2018
My website about  a European Mooc on Europeana which I took in 2018:Europeana Mooc course 2018 
My website about  creating ebooks  which I curated in 2018: I shared what I had learnt while working on a course online and while  doing some interesting webinars  dealing with  ebooks.Creating and reading ebooks my website 
Connecting is crucial when you start but once you have become a member of a community or many communities you like sharing and becoming more active. This is often done in your free time but you cannot but continue doing it. You start working in a different way and work together with similar goal-minded teachers.