sabato 29 novembre 2014


                                 WEEK 4
                              Redifining the Human
Once more I am  late for writing my blog  this week  and  I have just finished   watching  the  final activities before the course  ends.  However, I have my ideas about the different conditions of   human and non-human creatures. 
The videos present  different  situations, but again I am optimistic and  I believe that human beings   will cope with technology and will learn to live in symbiosis with new tools while at the same  time they will make progress  at work, at university and  also at school. We do need to believe that the technological  revolution has already started and the process will continue but  teachers will continue  working with students and be great  tutors and  helpers for them.


We have feelings, we have eyes and special sensibilities that cannot  make  us   become like robots; artificial intelligence will not  be brighter than us. 
I   have seen that  thanks to technology  education is now  a global village where we are teachers who continue studying, learning and  developing new skills while  we work  from  home and at school................and  we can say that  now we can rely on our  students' help. Yes, they can make a difference , but we should trust all of  them and base our  work on  collaborative activities, teaching  them how to work in a different environment.  Collaboration on line should  be shared by most schools and teachers because  we can  learn more if we  can work together. Thus PBL( Project Based Learning) should be one of the most important  activities at school.


The article presented on line is  interesting and  it  has made me think a lot : it is true that  today we read and study in a different way but I would also like to say that if we have the right  tools and we have taught our students how to use them education and internet and computers can make a great job together. 

I was born in  the XX century and my education was based on books, pens and paper. I learnt to use the typewriter, then the first  computers more than 20 years ago, I am still learning how to use new tools for teaching in a better way.

I like what  BILL GATES wrote in his blog

"I believe a lot of good teachers could become truly great teachers if we can get better at identifying and measuring effective teaching, investing in helping teachers improve, and rewarding excellence.
I also believe technology can help teachers be more effective and make learning more interesting. "

I would add that teachers  are responsible  not only for teaching the skills  and the subjects they have  studied and  are specialized in : they should be able to teach students how to use the new  tools  in education. Internet and  e-readers  ,e-books should make  our  work and study  much better and  a life-long process into life. Because  EDUCATION  is life.

This is my final  presentation for the  ARTEFACT  I have been working on  in the last  ten days: I chose an old library to start with then I worked on the idea of education in the XXI century.
E-learning and  Digital culture can  open new ways to us as teachers and  students. We are  entering a different  period in the life of  men but once more we are responsible or  our process of  learning and  we can  have  fun.  I   chose  the  short story by ASIMOV to tell everybody that  the characters in the story were a bit fed up with their situations  in the school of the future . Today in our schools we can  work on line and also off line in a better learning environment and also teachers  can   now  improve their competences thanks to  the websites. And we have interactions with our  students : FB or TWITTER  and also  a lot of  discussions with them. Because we care. 
Human relationships will not disappear but  technologies will make our life  different and we  will choose  WHAT, HOW and WHEN  to study.  Critical thinking skills will remain  the most important  skills we should all have and  it is the role of the teacher, as a guide and facilitator to help his/her  students to become better citizens of the world.

29 November  2014                   English  Language Teacher   

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lunedì 24 novembre 2014


                                                                      WEEK   3
                 #edcmooc   BEING HUMAN
                   REASSERTING THE HUMAN
Interesting videos: human beings  are different  from machines and  robots  and they share the features of  belonging to a special group, they have  feelings. They love, they suffer, they are afraid and  are not like a machine. I feel that technology is a tool, it can  facilitate the life of men but at the same time  it is not  the only part of the life of a man.  I feel that  technology will not be  too powerful to make the human beings  less human. It will not  control us to make us  tied to it. It will change  part of us , but  we are  individuals and want to be " thinkers", people who can  decide, say things in a different way.
We share life with other people, we love, hate, get into troubles, thus we are different.

The language of human   beings   makes them  different, because they can create. We  have  hundreds of  languages and we   get in touch with people by using  different idioms.  We can create  masterpieces   of art, in architecture, we  can  write poems  and we can  do  a lot of  activities that can help human beings, I just want to mention  the great job made by  Strada with  EMERGENCY or the many  educators in the world who are working to create a learning  environment  in the poorest areas of the world........................                                                                                                     

I am a bit late with my post, week 4 has just  started but  I have worked on line with other interesting MOOCS. I am a teacher and a life-long learner. Thus  you will understand why I liked some  topics discussed in this part of the  course . The readings about  education  were  great because  they presented the problem of education in terms of  human beings and how  technologies  can  change the life of students.


Interesting and positive for me was this article presented in the  RESOURCE  SECTION :

Monke, L (2004) The Human Touch, EducationNext  in

Monke stated that  wired schools cannot offer  a solution in education because   students and  children need to be in contact with reality, they need to think about  what they are learning and  not  only  have  access to lots of information.  Passive learning in front of the computer cannot be  the right solution, What I liked was his ideas about  technology awareness. Education is changing but  teachers and educators should teach  their children and  students how to cope with technology so that they will be able to use it in the right  way from school, from home and at work. This is a competence  for our  children to be acquired from school and it should help them to possess the new skills  for their  future life.

Technology will help to provide  education on line : a good example is the use of   videos  or   webminars by using  special technology like with  Skype  or  GOOGLE HANGOUTs, in general most of adults will  like this use of modern  technology because  they will have  contact with other people and their teachers  and you will continue sharing the  educational  path and will not  drop out.

Thanks to technology I could follow a great event on line and  off line : 

I was part of this  group of teachers and educators in the world who could learn, meet  on line  teachers who presented their projects  and I realized  how education  is changing.  To conclude  I have  met new  teachers     and I have  virtually   shared my experience with them thanks to modern technology by  using internet and sitting in my room. I have met the world..............                                                                                                

domenica 16 novembre 2014


#edcmooc      Teaching and  Learning in a new world (1)

The future has  begun : more and more  schools, universities have  courses on line, more  teachers and professors are uploading their materials on line, more and more  have a web-site and a blog.  The world is connected and we  try to be in touch with our  students and teachers all over the world.We can  decide  how, when and what  to study on line.   Most of the courses which are offered on line are in English, but if we  check directories we will see that other  languages  are used, it depends on the type of institutions.
So far  I have  been studying  by following  COURSERA, EDX.ORG and FUTURELEARN.  All these  platforms  are run in a different way  but they provide  courses for different  learners and different topics and subjects. They are  mainly  free, but  if you want to show  what you have  done or  achieved it is better to follow a  verified path and you must  pay, you will get  a certificate if you  pass parts of the course. So  the world of education on line is  changing and offering  different  types of  courses.


The new  tool is  you tube but  also  internet in general , here are  my favourite web-sites


They are open on line  massive courses, they are offered to people without checking their  previous  knowledge, thus  in some cases people  give up and do not  finish the course. They are planned by professors and offer  a wide range of  courses on line  from  science to literature,  history, writing  fiction and  teachers' development  courses.  They are loved because learners choose what they are interested in. One problem is  the pre-requisites : do all people  know English or another  language to be able to follow on line and to do the activities?
The level of engagement  varies: I did courses  I enjoyed a lot but in others  I had to read so much that I took more time to finish the activities.  Now I am a  lover of MOOCs  because I am doing a lot of new  things on line while I am sitting in my bedroom while  surfing the net. I do study in my free time and can  be in touch with other people who share  similar interests.


                                                     WEEK 2




I am a bit late so  I am  just  watching the  videos which  the University professors have chosen for this  week.
Education will change, technology and new devices will help students to learn and work both at school and at home. We have seen these interesting videos which make me  understand that this future  has just  begun somewhere but  in other parts of the world we still have the old  blackboard and pens and pencils:


BUT ....................................    

Next Future Terrifying Technology Will Blow Your Mind

After watching  this video  I feel a bit worried  about what I am doing  on the web and how    this  technology    will control  people and their  life.                                                                              
We  will live  a better  life  but   are we sure that   we  will be  free ?                                               

   Will technology be so helpful or  will it make our  life  more complicated?   The video is  a good example of how life will be or might be so uncomfortable  if   technology  is not so  human-friendly  !!!                                                                                                                                                


For sure we will all have to  be  competent in the use of  new  technologies and  education will
be  for  life: everywhere  people will be using technology at work, at home and at school or university.   
I am  optimistic,  I do hope that more  poor areas in the world will be able to get access to new  technologies.

mercoledì 5 novembre 2014

#edcmooc INTO THE PAST


#edcmooc        WEEK 1 

                                      INTO THE  PAST 
   I remember reading  Asimov's  science fiction short story  " The fun they had" and how I felt: the children  must have   felt lonely when they had to work on their own and worked on a machine and there was no school and no teachers!! I was only a student  at that time  but  today as  a teacher I like to read this short story with my students  because it describes today's world in education in some way and I like them to think about the main differences between now and  the time I went to school forty years ago. Yet, I feel technology can be positive. My students are digital natives and they can   do more things than me. They learn in a different way!

The videos in the  resources of this week were " shocking"  because they  showed the negative side of technology where human beings are  overwhelmed by using it  and  also made me  reflect  because  the man seemed to lose contact with nature and had a life  that depended too much on the use of technology. I  am and  was aware that e-learning can be threatening , especially if you belong to a  generation that is not digital born.We are used to analyzing the complexities and often it is said that technology can make  our life  worse, because we depend on it, on the changes, we are under pressure any time we change a mobile device or buy a new one.
However , life in the past was not always so easy and we can say that  the new tools are empowering us and our  students. It is up to use  to know how to use them.
       It is true that today we are more connected and we can do a lot of things from home. Learning  is more  on line than in the past, thus  I found interesting  the article "  Change comes hard:
higher education's view of online learning follows the familiar "pc pattern" in  eLearn Magazine.   
In my country, Italy ,  we are still working in the old  schools, but  we are trying to implement  teaching by  introducing  the new technology....... 
The article  is a bit old, from  2002 but  it still describes  how some  teachers, the old  generation, are  looking at  technologies in education.
24/7 college courses are also mentioned.  And we learn that there will be more education,  I feel that today's MOOCs are a great opportunity but we  must think about education  not only as a business, education is important for the generations who will live in this  world in the next  years because technology will continue shape and change our life.  Human  beings  can manage !
Technology can help us to be less passive, we can create  and develop projects on line, we can work with our students, and the use of internet and  youtube can make the world enter school rooms. Too often there is gap between school and the outside world.

With the young and children  it is up to teachers to  know the risks and to monitor them while they are working but again  life should be part of our  teaching, because we might learn  a lot about  William Shakespeare but it is also important to be able to express one's ideas, to work together, to use new tools and possess the so called competences needed in the XXI century.
Technology should be  seen in a positive way because the world of education  of the past   does not exist anymore.
Digital education for me can be good,  Noble considers  technology in a negative way but I feel that  education cannot be like the past and teachers will be important supporters in education. 
The main problem for me is  to have the money to buy technology that can work: in poorer parts of the world it must be difficult. Also in Italy we have great problems, the great  digital divide now can be negative for the future of a nation. 


 you might also like to watch this VIDEO

For sure we are moving into a new  age!

lunedì 3 novembre 2014

                                                                        WEEK 1               


#edcmooc People are discussing about  MOOCs and on line  education  and  so I am getting into  the topic with this course on line. 

3rd November  2014

Getting started!

There's something new in the air, it is a new online course , or  MOOC  about  E-learning and Digital Culture.  The course is run by the University of Edinburgh and COURSERA  and  I am a bit curious to know more about  e-learning because  I am a teacher of  Languages ( English and German) and  I love learning more about   MOOCs.  I have  already finished some courses on line, this one seems to be new and engaging. I would like to know more  about the new  technologies and  I must confess that  since I started  teaching I have always had  a certain  love for learning.  I have done some nice courses with COURSERA, EDX.ORG and FUTURE LEARN in the last  12 months , but  this course  seems to be a new path into the future of  education.
I am Italian and my school is a secondary school, I would like to use the new tools offered by technology but  we are still waiting  for new computers, a fast connection for internet so I am bit disappointed but I am doing  some webminars on line and I have learnt that we can improve the level of  interests  in our students if we can manage resources and also what students can use from home.  I  work from home to prepare most of the materials that I use with them, I have  tried to learn on my own because  in my country  on-line  learning  is not so popular and also  universities are not investing much on line education.  Yet, I feel education on line  is  now  very important. I have just finished an on-line course for teachers by ZANICHELLI in Italy................ and I am eager to learn
The next few  weeks  will be  demanding because I am working with my students and doing a lot of courses on line too- mainly at night - but  I am going to do the course and to learn more  .
I have  just  finished the  survey and  I have posted my first post in the forum.   How many   students are on line ?  7,000  or more?   This  must be  an interesting  MOOC!!