giovedì 31 dicembre 2015

Trello for Community Building

MM7: Introducing Trello for Community Building with Mbarek Akaddar
Webinar held on 22nd November  2015
The webinar recording can be  accessed online :

Like many other webinars I have watched in the Moodle Mooc course which I did - MM7, the one about Trello was the introduction to an interesting tool on line, free and  useful:
The presenter made a clear explanation of its use and showed how it could work. It is a system that enables you to organize your work in a collaborative way.  

             What  Trello is
                        -   a   collaboration and management  tool that organizes  projects into teams
                -   a   board

You need to register in order to work on it: and then you can see how to organize the board.
                -   create a board and then a list
                -   people who are in the list need to have registered and have  an account too 

The following picture is a screenshot of the presentation online- the tool can be used with any device:

How you can organize the board 

   It is also possible to have a link with Google Calendar for planning activities

                                               VIDEO TUTORIAL ONLINE

Are there other  tools like Trello ? Yes, check online  and you will find more

For more details and find other  tools, most need a subscription with a payment:

The tool seems to be nice to use but I realize that it requires a good internet connection and people who are willing to work online. Ideally it could be an interesting tool for working with adults. I like the idea of the boards but in my teaching situation I could not work with my students and I need a tool which is simpler to use and does not require any registration. But I will try to see how it works, maybe I could plan an activity my students could work on. 

mercoledì 30 dicembre 2015

Kahoot and Socrative as Online Tools for Testing MM7

MM7: Kahoot and Socrative as Online Tools for Testing with Marijana Smolčec

The webinar was presented by Marijana Smolcec on Sunday 22nd November 2015.
I could not follow the presentation but I watched the recording online. Link to the webinar
I could learn a lot about two tools which are new to me and might be interesting for my students, especially the ones who are very lazy or do not love learning  English.

Features of the tools presented:

they are free, they are easy to use and students can have fun.

The first web link is for teachers who need to register, the other is for students.

You can ask questions but also you can add videos and share the quiz or send the link.

You can only have  multiple choice questions and if internet doesn't work it is a problem to use it.

Videos online can be seen to see how Kahoot can be engaging:

For further information about the tools write to or get in contact with the presenter:   

The presentation was great and I think that Kahoot could work with my students of English, what I liked was the idea of not having to register the students. Only the teacher has to do it and this makes the tool a great one for checking not only content but also grammar. I only wonder what might happen in a class if the internet does not work. You need to be ready with a warm-up activity and this implies that you need to plan carefully your lessons. But it might be worth trying it. We might all have some fun while using English.  

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015

                                   100    Tools for Learning  2015             

This is a useful list of what tools have been recognized to be the top ones. I have used  some of them:
I love Twitter because it enables to be connected and to share information with other teachers.
Youtube is a great source of videos to explore and to use when I want to upload my own videos- but I have just started. I have also used  Google search, Google docs/Google Drive for my activities online and when I do not have my PC. I must confess that also Dropbox is a tool which I use for keeping my files online.  I will try to see which other tools are worth trying as the world of web 2.0 tools is changing.

Links to the other  tools :

Thanks to Jane Hart who has provided us with this useful list.

The Magic of iFrame MM7 Reflecting on the webinar

MM7                 The Magic of iFrame
The webinar took place on 5th November 2015 and  the  presenter was  Dr. Rachel Sale.

Email for contact :

Using the power of embedded content can help organize your lesson content and increase student engagement in your online classroom.  I have started embedding my presentations online in my websites and blogs so I was curious to learn more. And she explained what I am using now when I am working online. Some  ideas to teach our students  so that they can also work online.

The presenter explained how she began, she had not been trained to become an online teacher. But now she can work online by using videos, social media.  She is an expert in instructional design.  
What she showed us were simple ideas that belong to a specific language of the web, based on HTML.

Key ideas  for educators and teachers  expressed by the speaker in the webinar:

- create your own content
- think about the potentiality of Youtube

- use the web and move it into your class page
- embed anything that is in the web  based on html 
- google slides can be embedded into a slideshow, many activities in the google suite can be now used in your teaching situations and also in many LMS

  -  share documents, files, pictures, videos 

Useful  links for learning about   Iframe :

In this page I have not used videos but I could have added a video and in this case I would have used the Iframe to embed it,

Thanks for the lesson, I have learnt something more about a language which is new to me but  I have used in my websites, blogs and also in many courses online on Moodle.  

martedì 29 dicembre 2015

MOOCs : a Revolution in Learning and Teaching

MOOCs: How they are changing our way of learning and also teaching 

I started my first Mooc course in 2013 - it was a Mooc course by the platform Futurelearn - - the course was " England in the time of  Richard III". I really enjoyed it: it was my first experience online as a learner and the course was provided by the University of Leicester. It was a  six-week course and we had  a  two- week break during the Christmas holidays. The videos and the links provided were really the ones I was looking for, in particular,  I loved  one of the activities as we were asked to think about the time and the life of a person living in England at the time we were studying. We had to post the activity and we had to share ideas about other students who were doing the Mooc. It was a great Community online!
I continued in the next two years with my CPD online and now some of the course I did are shown in my profile
Meanwhile, I discovered new Mooc platforms and also interesting courses ranging from Literature to History, English Language and  TEFL and   Professional Development and New Technologies.  I must say  that a lot of  useful courses which I finished  have helped me develop my CPD and also my way of working as a teacher.
The Framework of a Mooc course
 The pattern followed by the educators was this one:
- enrollment online and no fee payment
- course introduction and students' self-presentation online
- scheduled activities with videos and materials online to be checked and also downloaded
- questions and  sharing ideas online  in the forums
- searching for further information to be shared online
- forums and debates online
- for some courses we had to upload or create online activities to be evaluated
- peer evaluation and self-evaluation
- tests in the different modules provided online for some courses
- a mix of tests and online activities for other courses
- social forums and interactions on Twitter, FB
- videos are often uploaded online on the Youtube Channels that most of them have already opened
- feedback and a list of useful links for further studies
In order to get a statement of achievement with Coursera or or other platforms I had to finish most of the activities and to get a score for passing.
For others, for example, Futurelearn I had to do at least 50% of all the activities but we were required to pay for the certificate.

What most of the Moocs have in common:
  • free access to courses after you have registered and have created your own account
  • English is the language of most of the tutors
  • the opportunity of having access to materials in English and working in English, interacting in English with the teachers or the other students.
When you do a Mooc course  you get access to courses run by universities from all over the world: the first Moocs were developed by Coursera, an American platform which offers courses designed by other universities  from Europe and also Australia. Today we also have European  Moocs courses:   this is known as  Emma - this is a European network that provides online courses for teachers.
See also  where you can find a lot of interesting resources.
This is their presentation online :
 "The Academy is a platform where you can learn about innovation in the school and classroom through online professional development courses for teachers in primary and secondary schools.
The courses offered on this platform are completely free of charge ".
The focus of most of the courses they have run is on digital skills and e-learning in education.

A new Mooc platform is Federica, this is based in Italy- Università Federico II in Naples- and they provide courses in Italian and also in English. I have not  done any courses yet.
There are courses that are running now, others are to be announced. See for example what is presented online on the website:

What is missing
Maybe  they should plan courses that run for longer periods: I realize that this must be a great effort in terms of involvement on behalf of the professors and  the costs.
The last course I did was with Futurelearn and it was a course about the Holocaust: I was able to catch up as the course was split into two courses and the platform remained open and will remain open.  The course was a very demanding one and a lot of students are still working online to finish watching and reading the materials which were provided.  I am working on the materials online to make a short module about the Holocaust with my students of the  fifth year in my school. See my post  in

What makes or made me love  this type of courses

  • I have  built my  learning network - my PLN- as  virtually I have met  people like me who love learning.  They live in different parts of the world and share the idea that learning is a great experience. Some of them are teachers, others are retired people: we have become friends, virtually, and shared ideas online in some Google Hangouts run by the Professors who were working on some Moocs or we just shared ideas in the  Virtual Learning Environment thanks to the posts in the   Forums.

  • I have learnt online and I have been guided by great professors who have provided me with free courses about different technologies and also about  some Literature in English which I had not studied when I was at university:

I have learnt how to work online with  Moodle  thanks to the course  Moodle Mooc 7- you can see the plan of the Mooc  online

  • I have learnt about new web 2.0 tools and digital skills which are needed by  teachers and students in the XXI century.

If you are interested in them and in Moocs, have a look at the following documents and links:

What are  Moocs? They are changing but they all share similar frameworks

What people are still discussing about are matters about the quality of the courses and how people learn online: it is true we work online but anyone can do the course. They are called  Massive Online Open Courses ( Moocs).  Some courses are for people who have a university degree, others are open to any person who is willing to learn.
They will not replace university courses but they can provide us with  online learning and in English so that you can undestand why some were really  successful courses.

In an interesting blog post  Nellie Deutsch  wrote about the importance of contact and love in teaching and in education I agree with what she wrote in the post but I would add that free education and sharing  knowledge and education can help a lot of educators too. I live in Italy and  love working online because I can choose when to work online and I can deepen my knowledge into new paths. Most universities do not offer online courses in English  for teachers who need to be updated and most of the courses are not related to my field  and interests: education, professional development ,e-learning and literature and history.
 Just think about people who cannot afford to travel and attend face-to-face courses and need to continue their professional development. Working 5 days a week and not being able to do a course in English implies that I cannot continue my learning path as an educator in my country. Thanks to online learning and  Moocs I have updated my toolbox.
People who need to learn about new web tools- people like me- have now learnt how to use modern technology thanks to the help and advice provided in the  courses which were run by Coursera and Futurelearn. I am aware that  I do need to continue learning, but I have also learnt how to  teach by  flipping the classroom, blended learning is not an unknown word and I can manage.

My collection of weblinks for Moocs:

Free material online  from   :

Where to find information about   Moocs and new courses online:

The Business of Education and what is happening now online:

MOOC: dall'Accademia alle Aziende from DoceboElearningITA

What next?

In February I will start the second part of the course about  Blended Learning via Futurelearn and I hope that I will learn how to implement my teaching and to meet the needs of my students who are now citizens of the digitalized world.

lunedì 14 dicembre 2015

The Power of Action Songs

MM7  Charles Goodger : "The Power of Action Songs."
Monday 23 November 2015

The webinar took place in the Moodle Mooc 7 and I could watch it live but I could not watch the whole presentation because I  had problems with the internet connection. So I had to watch it again and this is the reason why this post is written in December.

First of all,I would like to provide information about the presenter: Charles Goodger. He is the founder of FunSongs Education speaks six languages (including Latvian) and writes language-learning action songs.

He has a modern languages degree in French and 

Spanish from London University and an RSA TEFL

teaching certificate. As well as running FunSongs 

Education, Charles has permanent tenure as 

a Collaboratore Esperto Linguistico at Bologna 

University in Italy.

Charles Goodger is an English teacher, teacher

trainer, text-book and digital materials writer,

playwright, songwriter and entrepreneur. 

Online we can have access to his book, Music and Mime, Rhythm and Rhyme., which can 

alsobe downloaded:

The webinar was an engaging presentation and it showed how Charles is a lover of his way of working. I must admit that I like songs but I have never been trained in  using them for teaching English. Most of the books that I am using do not have songs: I teach  ESP and cooking so my students must have listened to songs in the past, when they were younger.

Some important tips from the webinar and ideas:

Why are action songs important?

They can create a sort of a magical situation in learning: students are encouraged and engaged. He also referred to total physical response: I just checked online and found this article as regards  
English language  teaching

Action songs are seen  as  presentation vehicles

In some ways I agree: learning can happen also with songs.

I particularly liked the final motto of his presentation:

"When people commit emotionally,learning happens."

This is the link to the website with the  ideas  about the activities presented:

Finally here is the presentation which was uploaded for  the teachers of the MOOC and for anyone who might be interested in learning more about this approach. 

Culture of Learning Transformative

MM7   Culture of  Learning Transformative 

Sunday  29  November  2015

I watched this webinar online   presented by   Halina  Ostankowicz.
She offered an interesting overview about culture, and about the way it is changing or rather  it has changed as we have been influenced by the new technologies in education too.
She has created a vision of learning for the future that is developing and is achievable. People  grow up in a new  world which is in relationship to technology   and  they can learn in a different way, furthermore, they can also become more engaged.  And I must add that this is important as we are asked to continue learning through our life. 
Some key ideas expressed in the webinar:

 The main issues in the webinar were the  ideas of culture and learning, thus, she presented  the concept of  Transformative Learning Culture:

The new and innovative way for providing a better  learning  experience is the  FLIPPED CLASSROOM:

Education is not the old school and it is a virtual learning environment together with the old school where the learner is more and more important and he/she is the great " player". They can choose and become " more engaged".

For more information you can also watch this video which was shared by the presenter of the webinar.

Link to the video online which I have embedded

Teaching to different learner styles

MM7: Teaching to different learner types with presenter  Marjorie Rosenberg    
                                                                   21st November 2015
The journey into my reflections on the webinars is continuing this week 

I could see this webinar online  which took place on 21st November  2015.
Marjorie Rosenberg has made a great presentation about the ways we can teach by taking into consideration the different  students we are teaching. It is sometimes difficult to cope with differences but we do need to.  I have already done a MOOC course  about this topic and I found her analysis and her tips really great and very helpful for any teacher who needs to face " differences among learners".
If we know our learners we can make our teaching and approaches more aimed at them:
An important definition she  presented was for   KINESTETIC EMOTIONAL LEARNERS : these learners need " to put their emotions aside".
I am a teacher who  is  " kinestetic and emotional" and thus  I relate learning to real-life experience and I never sit, most of my activities are based on movement and physical activities, I also love pair work. I want my students to think and do.
When planning activities we do need to take into consideration that our learners are different and thus we do need to cope with their learning styles and find the best ways for helping them learn.

Reflecting on what we carry out in class and in during our activities is,therefore, the great message that the presenter has left us: there is no perfect lesson or activity. It is up to us to think about the best ways for enhancing learning.  

The slide and the video will help you find your best ways for learning! Thanks to the presenter who made such an interesting presentation.


                 Webinars  Connect
Webinar  held on 13th  December 2015

Last Sunday I could see the final webinar presented in the MOOC course which was in November and which I finished after doing some online activities using  MOODLE and  watching webinars.
The event  was a sort of a general overview about the importance of online connections.
The Mooc course which I did was a great experience online in terms of personal reflections, learning from the others and sharing ideas and opinions about the new way of learning that  MOOCs and online courses can now offer us.
The Professor of the MOOC , Nellie  Deutsch, presented her long list of events which she had done, from the beginnings when she started  working online. The main focus was on the relationships and the  connections that we can establish also by working online thanks to the use of modern technologies.

I have been working online for some years now, mainly with MOOC courses and I have also worked online by following some courses for my professional development.  In most cases what I liked was the idea of getting in touch with people who were doing a similar course like me and were interested in learning. I could interact with  people online and use the forums for asking help and for finding new ideas and sharing links, online materials.  

Webinars can be a really engaging online experience: you can follow them from your home at anytime of the day while you are doing something else at home.  You can listen to the speaker  and  in many cases you can speak to him/her if they ask you to take part in the webinar.  This is a very nice way for talking to many people and getting to know them too. I have done  webinars for over 4 years,mainly in ELT and  in new technologies and I must admit that I have made some  friends online. I have not met them but like Nellie Deutsch  said in the webinar, in some way when you talk to people that you have been familiar with online, you establish a close relationship that has to do with your interests and you will meet them virtually in many other webinars.

This has happened to me when doing webinars  by following   SimpleK 12, OUP webinars ,    and on Saturday afternoon I am used to following my afternoon tea webinars  thanks to  LIVE CLASSROOM 20 COM

I agree with the ideas expressed in the webinar, it is a new way for learning and getting engaged but it is something we should all become familiar with. Because the world of education is changing and is undergoing changes.
I wish to thank the teachers who worked in the MOOC and shared their ideas in the webinars which were presented by Nellie Deutsch and also the teachers who took part in the MOOC as attendees.
It is an international community that embraces  different languages, cultures and educators but what is in common is the use of the English language, the idea of discussing and sharing ideas and a great love for teaching and learning.
I will continue  learning and I am going to become a more active learner as I have learnt so much from educators who  have given me " input" and " new ideas" in the world of  Education.

giovedì 3 dicembre 2015

Blended Learning Week 4 and 5 FutureLearn Autumn 2015


I must confess that I enjoyed week 4, it was my practical session week where I could use the tools and create some activities online by using Padlet, Zaption and videos from Youtube.  A lot of ideas and  many new things which I need to revise and check again. In February we will continue with the new MOOC and I hope I will learn more.
Thanks to the  tutors and  for  what I could  learn.

This is my summary about what I have done in the last  three  weeks.

martedì 1 dicembre 2015

Social Media & Teaching

MM7- Webinar held on 29  November 2015

Presenter: Karin Heuert Galvão

The webinar was the 39th on the list of webinars presented in the list of webinars of the MOODLE MOOC 7 which was organized by Nellie Deutsch for this important session about Moodle.
I watched the webinar live. It was last Sunday and I was at home so I could watch this webinar and more webinars on the same day. I could get some nice ideas and learn from other teachers who shared their  ideas with us.


The presenter :Karin Heuert Galvão is an  EFL TEACHER. She is a Director at i-Study Interactive Learning  in São Paulo (Brazil). Karin discussed the topic  “Social Media & Teaching: Friends or Frenemies?” 
Social Media are getting more and more important and FB is now part of the life of people and  adults.It can be used also in teaching and she showed us some activities she did online in ther groups. 
The webinar can be accessed online as it was recorded and uploaded on the YouTube:   

My reflections

The presenter asked us about our life and what social media we followed, most of the attendees said that they were on FB. I am not on it but I use  Twitter and Linkedin and Google+ so in some way I also know about the importance of  the new tools and I  am aware of the benefits we can have. But we do not share FB or other media with our students in my school, most of my students have FB but it is only used for private chatting.
In the webinar I found some teachers like me who were doing the MOOC online and we  just shared our ideas about their use in education both for teachers and for students.

What was really interesting in this WEBINAR were the ideas the presenter expressed by focussing on the importance  social media have in our students' life and how we should make students aware of the importance and the risks they can have.
Here are some conventions which should be  followed when posting and  communicating online:
  • when posting your opinion be  respectful
  •  think before writing and when replying to posts
  • use emoticons to promote a friendly atmosphere
  • when posting  your opinions  avoid  capital letters- they can be a sign of  a person who shouts 
  • be aware of overusing  abbreviations  
An important discussion was about  FB and the issue of working with groups in FB.
If we have closed groups,FB can work well but we must also teach our students how to work on social networks.
For teachers  FB  can be a  great tool:
  • it can be used to communicate with students
  • it can be used as a tool as announcements
  • it can be a tool that can engage our students in discussions
I am aware that FB can be a great tool, but I prefer working online with other tools. For example, I use blogs and Google doc for sharing materials and ideas with my students.
What the presenter  underlined in the session was the importance of using social media  to learn  from and share ideas with other teachers. This is a reality that I am now part of.
FB, Twitter and other  social media are a great source of information. I agree that I could not work now if I  did not have connections and I did not learn from others.
I am on Twitter and use most of the services that are provided: there are communities of ELT/ESL  teachers online and I am learning and following a lot of people. 
Social Media have now replaced other ways of learning: for example she shared the hashtag for  ELT- which is really important for me too:
This is a thriving  community that works online every Wednesday.
Twitter is a  community of educators also  and I like it. I also follow some FB pages of important publishers or the British Council, but I have not applied to become a member of them.

The debate online was engaging and teachers shared their opinions, I liked the way we all interacted and also think that we are growing and the teachers are building new communities and sharing great and inspiring ideas about the best practices.

I liked the level of engagement of the presenter for what she was presenting us, she is a keen lover of what she does when teaching. The final slides were great and I am sharing them with you. 
Technology can help us work better

But  we must be aware of what we are doing 
online  so this advice for students should be part of our  teaching and we should teach them digital skills and more skills:

For more ideas about social media in education  we could also check this link:

What I am going to do next

I am thinking about the way  I could work online with my students by opening a  TWITTER account for my classes and use hashtags for classes, the private account will be used for my professional development.
I will try to search more communities online to share ideas about  teaching and learning languages and using modern web 2.0 tools.
Thanks to the speaker for the nice ideas and the love for teaching she shared with us!!

domenica 29 novembre 2015

Promoting Digital Citizenship through Edmodo

MM7   Promoting  Digital Citizenship through Edmodo

Sunday 29  November 2015

This evening   I watched  the  great  presentation in the webminar on line which was carried out  by Sophia Mavridi.
She is a  great and  engaging presenter who shared her experience on Edmodo and she made some examples of the use of it.

Edmodo is a safe virtual platform that  can be used by teachers to promote DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP  and how to use  technology.
We all know that technology has entered our everyday life and students need to be
" equipped" to know how to deal with their safety online and privacy.
I have not used Edmodo yet but  I know that  it has a lot of  great supporters.
This is the video she suggested seeing as our  students are connected most of the time and should know that they might risk losing their  privacy.
What I learnt while she  presented  Edmodo and how useful it can be :
- Edmodo is  a Learning  Platform where  students and teachers can share notes, links, files and resources.
- Teachers create   virtual classroom and students  can  participate in online discussions, view grades and communicate with teachers and students
She made us see an activity online carried out by her students  dealing with the topic  digital footprint.
- Edmodo can be useful because we have a  DIGITAL COMMUNITY and then we can think about it.
- We can interact online, we can choose when we want to interact, the teacher can save time too.
Students can share  links, files and documents and they can learn and think about  copyright, plagiarism.
An interesting  activity suggested is   the  WEBQUEST. This is an example of what she presented :
- The teacher should  develop fair  use skills and introduce  Creative Commons  License .
I agree that these are the main skills our  students should be  able to have as we are responsible for what they can do and what they might risk if they  do not have  a correct use of the digital tools in real life.
- Edmodo can be used to communicate with parents, in addition it send alerts and reminders for students .
It is a great webtool which is helpful and creates a real learning environment for families and their  students.
The presenter has made a good presentation and  I think that I might try Edmodo with one class, the problem is that not everybody in my  class has internet. But  I  hope I will try it , maybe next year. I would really like to have it to share materials with my students!!
To the next webinars....................................

MM7: Minecraft as a model for gamification in teacher training with Vance Stevens

MM7: Minecraft as a model for gamification in teacher training with Vance Stevens
Sunday 29  November  2015

This afternoon  I was able to follow some webinars presented in the MM7 which started on 1st November.Most of them were recorded. My internet connection did not work in the afternoon -yesterday -so I had to look for help. Now I have a new wifi connection - mobile - and I can work online. I have started working online again.
Today I was able to watch the presentation by  VANCE  STEVEN who is a great " master" in today's education and online education.
His presentation focussed on MINECRAFT and  he made a nice  slice describing  his ideas about the way we can teach and learn, and this post  is  about  what he told us.
First he spoke about the communities of practice and the approaches to knowledge transferal and generation. I must confess that what he talked about was new to me, I have worked online for over 10 years but I discovered the Moocs only three years ago.
He then presented the C-Moocs in EVO and what was interesting for me was the final point of his presentation: he talked about C-Mooc  approach in gamification and he invited us to join the EVOMC16 .        As a Language  teacher I know that  teaching can happen in many different ways and gamification is getting more and more important.
  This is the slide he shared with us and which I shared on Twitter as I feel that more teachers should know about his ideas. 

Important  ideas

Some  key ideas he shared were related to  MINECRAFT and I must confess that it is difficult for me to think about using games but the presenter made me think that I should take gaming into consideration and check information about Minecraft.

Language teaching could really benefit from using  games and perhaps also teachers who work online  might have a new approach when teaching online and in face-to-face interactions.

I searched the web and checked Vance Stevens and his website: I found this link which is worth  seeing

I am going to watch the webinar where  Vance  presented  MINECRAFT and how it can help teachers who are interested in  their professional development.

My plans and intentions
I am not sure if I can work online and take part in the EVOMC16 but I might  try: I only need more  free afternoons  and evenings when  I can work well . This autumn has been so busy that I had to work also at night to finish my activities. But I will check and see more.