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. 

sabato 28 novembre 2015

Tech or no Tech : the impact on teacher development

MM7: Tech or no Tech: the impact on teacher development with Louise Emma Potter
The event took place on Tuesday 24 November 2015. The presenter was  Louise Emma Potter. I could not attend the webinar and  watched the recording.

What the  presenter  focussed on 
Technology is now part of our  daily life and we work, live, traveland study thanks to the use of  modern  technology.  Technology is  now  used for  socializing  too. The issue  discussed by the presenter was that today we still teach in the old way but in real life we use technology. This happens in spite of the fact  that our world has  changed in the last 20 years and  our students use technology more than we do. Teachers have to change their way of thinking!

Today we have  different students: they are  twenty-first century students. They  have to  use presentation  skills, to have critical skills.  Also education needs changing.       
Some key ideas  expressed by the presenter: there is a difference between  USING TECHNOLOGY and  INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY, which takes into consideration the active learners and what they do at school. This is an interesting comparison presented by Louise  Emma Potter: the students are " active learners" when we integrate technology  into our  teaching.

What is really important is having students who are inquisitive, open-minded and flexible. They know how to work and how to think. Creativity is also important in schools, often we face students who are scared.  Communication is  really important. Collaboration and  how we work are more and more  important.
She has  shared her ideas about   Project Based Learning  which can offer very engaging activities.
Personally I would like to work on PBL but  I am also aware of the great changes we should work on. teachers, students and also the learning  environment.

What she says  is interesting and I agree  teachers need to collaborate, work on self-development and be less teacher-centred.

Like other teachers and presenters in webinars she thinks that teachers need to be connected and share more and more what they are learning and experiencing. A lot of EFL teachers are still working and are aware of this.In one  webinar the name of  Shelly Sanchez Terrell was mentioned as a great innovator. There are a lot of innovators today. 

The webinar has presented most of the ideas which have been shared by other presenters and I agree that when teaching we must go beyond  " grammar and lexis" and  think more  about  the importance of  cultural issues, digital skills and 21st-century skills. 

To the next webinar.....................................................................................


venerdì 27 novembre 2015

Even Taking Risks Benefit Students The Pros and Cons of Being an Innovative Educator

MM7 "  Even taking  Risks benefit Students "
Friday 27  November 2015

The webinar took place this evening- 27 November 2015-and I could follow it online. The presenter was Fabiana Laura Casella : she is a passionate EFL teacher from Argentina.

She is an active and engaged teacher who loves sharing ideas,
trying new  learning experiences  and  has in interest in her students. 
In the  webinar she  described her life experience as an educator who is engaged in " self-development", " sharing experiences" and is  trying  to find " new ways  in teaching".

She has experienced working as a teacher abroad also and she is  a connected educator. 

Like me she loves learning and I could appreciate what she has done: she mentioned  Shelly  Sanchez Terrell as the teacher who inspired her:

What  Shelly and Fabiana have in common is the idea that teaching is in progress and under  construction: we never stop learning and devising new activities. We are now connected and we can take part in international events and learn more and more.


She has presented what she has been doing and she has focussed on blogging as  an activity for teachers and also for learners.

When you start a new approach you need to think about it and start writing a blog is good way for  being reflective and being an innovator. And students will benefit from these activities as well. 

Students can learn from new learning activities: you just try and then you continue working and you develop a competence that is really important for life. The real world should part of our  teaching. 

She mentioned  Twitter, skype, social networks for creating new experiences. I agree with her that we need to devise new teaching ideas so that our  students of English can learn more.

I have seen that Fabiana is a " great researcher" who has  links with today's world.

For this reason she suggested working with SKYPE, teaching by using social networks.

Taking a risk, this is what she suggested and  I  think that although I teach in a learning environment that does not offer many tools for teachers and students,we  should all try to create  more communicative and engaging activities.

I will be following FABIANA on Twitter: I have been a connected educator and I  love  learning from the others.

giovedì 26 novembre 2015

Blended Learning week 3 FutureLearn autumn 2015

Blended Learning -  Week  3                                             November 2015
                                          OPEN TOOLS

I am writing now about this week- it is the third one- with some delay  as I was busy working online  for other activities.
These are the main  issues presented in the  MOOC: 

- we  have been given information about   many tools, most of which  I am familiar with:

WordPress, Prezi, Audacity, Google tools, Padlet and Thinglink .

I think that they are really useful and I have appreciated their use in my lessons and also in embedding them or  providing the links to my students.
I have not used Wordpress  for blogging and writing online but I know that most of the  teachers have now used it. For recording audios I use  another tool, but I know that  Audacity is one of the best.
I know about the importance of a suite like  Google as I have done some webinars online and  I am providing this presentation online to show how  Google Sheets  can work:

Google has also a translator tool:

You can also find  Google stuff online, just check  here:

More information about other  tools can be  found on this  useful site :

Google Hangout on Air

I missed the  Q&A  session but I could watch the video on line thanks  to the modern technology:
 this is the  link, I have embedded the video: 

The following padlet is a good presentation of what we have shared online:

This is part of my summary about this week , based on what I saw and think it is very important

mercoledì 25 novembre 2015

Business English Writing- Reflections on the webinar

MOOC7: WEBINAR  " Business English Writing: How to help our  clients.Write with Impact"
Wednesday -25 November 2015

The Webinar was on line today: the presenter of the webminar was

Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat .

She is a teacher who is involved in teaching one-to-one and Business English and she has a blog and a website: these are the links which she gave us in the  final slide of her presentation.

The webinar  focussed on the process of writing and it was centred on the importance of  focussing on the needs of the students and what they should be able to write in English, and in particular in Business English Writing.

We were asked to think about the best ways we would approach teaching Business English Writing and she suggested the following ideas:
  • establish the objectives
  • brainstorm the content
  • select and reject
  • prepare and outlines with points
  • expand on the details
  • keep to the plan
I feel that it is really important to teach how to write as quite often our students are not used to thinking before writing in English.Yet it is important to know what we want to write.

The second part of the webinar was on the organization of the text and she reminded us about the importance of a structure  and how we  connect  sentences. 
The focus was on sentence connectors and linking words.
Paragraph writing is important and  she underlined also the importance of style in writing.
In particular, she suggested  teaching  how to use  " positive words".
I have taught Business English writing and  I am aware of  the importance of good planning and good writing. I liked the slide in which she summarized the whole process of writing for our  students:

Grammar mistakes are quite common and we do need to check how the students can manage and how to make them aware of the language differences 

Finally,she underlined the importance of checking  spelling and the use of punctuation.

The webinar was interesting and full of useful ideas about the best ways to approach  teaching writing in Business English. We should all think before we write.
It takes time to devise new activities and we do need to plan them so that the students are aware of the differences between  using English  in writing and in speaking.  
Currently,I am not teaching Business English Writing but these tips are useful for starting any activity that has to do with writing and how we can present ideas.
These are some useful references for further study that we have been given:


I checked online and found also some blogs and links  about how to teach    ( interesting for downloading  vocabulary )

To the next webinar .......................

domenica 22 novembre 2015

How open is open

22nd November 
MM7  Webinar   "How  open is open" by  Doctor EBBA  OSSIANNILSON

Today- 22nd November  2015 - Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson has  discussed the issue  “How open is open”. The introduction on the presentation  was clear : "What do we really mean with open and opening up education? What about challenges and consequences? What about let the learner take the lead?".
I could see the webinar online, today is Sunday and I had some free time to watch  what I am interested in.
The presenter is  Ebba Ossiannilsson and loves  talking and  presenting the issue of  OPEN EDUCATION. She is a Swedish professor who loves her job and education.
She has presented her ideas and  a lot of information about education, free education and more. This is the screenshot from her presentation where she defines  open education:

On the whole, I liked the ideas she presented about  making " education" open and free to most learners in the world.
What we can do today is a real change in education: " learning can now happen everywhere ". This is one of the reasons why I also like online learning and  most the MOOCs I am doing online. 
It is also important to talk about the quality of courses and online teaching. 

Interesting links or points covered in the presentation by the Swedish presenter:
Why open education? It matters for us as individuals. We need it to work, to live in other places, to collaborate. 
We can choose, base our education on platforms available from everywhere.
Technology can help us.
Today we have the so called open movement that provides us with lots of free resources. They are due to technology and collaboration online and the work of many people who believe in open education.

Why is it important?
Because in education we  can share ideas, things and everything is free.
LINKS:   this in an interesting website for free courses and open education  and resources

Examples of open education links:   to recognize  and verify learning  This website is from the European Union and provides helps for educators, information and links to weblinks and materials shared by teachers.

What  have I learnt?
There is a new world and a great community of  people working in different fields and they are working thanks to the new technology.
We can learn from the others, so I liked what the presenter left in the final  part of the presentation. CARING IS SHARING! This is also my motto: we have a great " Movement " that is changing our institutions too. The revolution in education  has just begun.

To the next  webinar .......................................

EFL Talks with Rob Howard

MM7: EFL Talks with Rob Howard

The webinar took place on 6th November and the presenter was Rob Howard.
Rob Howard is a teacher, tutor and writer of English and he is the founder of  EFL Talks
I checked online and found also his blog

I had never checked the website he presented, but I did it this morning and  I could see that it provides help and sharing experience for teachers, for anyone who has just started teaching or needs to be connected and work on self-development. It must be a great way for being in contact with teachers from all over the world  and meeting people online who like me are eager at learning. It is a great community and it is run by teachers!
The topic of presentation were:
PLN  Personal Learning Network
CPD  Continuing  Professional Development
TD     Teacher Development
I know most of the definitions because I have done a lot of MOOCs and courses for teachers and I belong to those who work on keeping updated. Like Rob I have problems with time but I am engaged in working on my self-development in my free time.
What Rob has devised is a way for making videos/webinars available by making them shorter so that teachers can work on them in a shorter time. Usually, webinars are long and are planned at night or at times when we work and so we miss them. Working and having to commute is really hard for me but now I have found an interesting website that can help me:

There is also a youtube channel which has been set up by him:

The ideas and the things I have  learnt are now part of what I am doing and must say that people like him have made my teaching more interesting because I have learnt that I am not alone but I am working with  other teachers and learning from the others. This is also the message that I have received from other great thinkers in TEFL and modern technology.

Thanks for the nice  webinar and I  am looking  forward to following him  and the nice activities he is sharing with us!

Tips on Using TED talks in your ELL- Moodle Mooc 7

MM7: Tips on Using TED talks in your ELL lessons with Judy Wong

Sunday 8th November  2015
My reflections on the  webminar.
This is going to be my first reflection on the MOODLE MOOC webinars  that I am doing. The choice for this webinar, which I did by watching a recorded video, as I was busy at school, is  mainly due to the fact that as a teacher of English I have always searched for interesting videos and clips to use with my students of English. Ted talks are my favourite ones. 
The webinar took place on 8th November and it was presented by Judy Wong.
I regularly receive updating from the  section of TED lessons  and think  that  TED is  really great and teachers are working on talks to bring them into the lessons to make the learning  environment  engaging and  more interesting.
The webinar started with the presentation of Judy Wong who is not only a teacher but also a performing artist and a writer.
I liked the slide presenting her with these words:

"We are teachers as well as students and our students are our teachers"

Links to  TED and  web pages related to TED

Ideas from the  presenter when  using  TED talks.
These are mainly based on the presenter who seems to be a caring teacher and someone who teaches by loving what she does:

  • think about your students ( adults/children? what are their interests?)
  • think about the theme of the lesson
  • think about the objective of the lesson ( grammar? speaking?)
For language learners there are  plenty of lessons with also Grammar videos where students can also have fun too.
TED talks are good  for Listening:
- main  ideas
- supporting  details
-  inferences
-   grammar
TED  talks  and   READING  SKILLS:
Transcripts can also be used to focus on the language/words. Videos have transcripts which can help the students while they are watching the videos.
When reading the transcripts we can work on many levels:
 -  key ideas
 -  details
 -  find  interferences
 -  key  grammar points
 -  compare  spoken language and written language 

Ted talks can be  used in writing for many interesting activities, these are the ideas presented in the webinar: 
  • talking as   prompt
  • talking to research further
  • setting up argumentative essays  or debates 
If you do not have access to internet, you can use  transcripts for activities like reading, speaking skills and identifying grammar points.

I agree with what the speaker has said who uses the videos by thinking deeply about what she wants to do in class. I would also add that TED offers great videos and interesting topics that can help us develop better lessons.

This is Judy's  Blog:

The presentation she made can be retrieved from :

You can learn more from her if you are on Linkedin:

I also checked  with Google and found these interesting suggestions shared by teachers:
Some people who wrote about  TED Talks and English language learning

and now the next reflection on ..........................

sabato 21 novembre 2015

MOODLE MOOC 7 November 2015

November 2015                    Moodle Mooc   7

Reflecting on   Moodle Mooc   7

Thanks to Nellie Deutsch I was able to start a MOOC course about  MOODLE in November. I was late as I had worked on more  Moocs and I was busy with my new classes this year. But I could not resist and just started late , it was the second week but I could catch up. And now I have done most of the activities.
This is the link to the program

 I had done some  lessons online in August and I had already used  Moodle as a beginner. I had also  used Moodle as a learner as I had  done two online courses thanks to ZANICHELLI in Italy. But I wanted to try to work on it again.


Dr. Nellie Deutsch is founder of Integrating Technology and Moodle for Teachers (M4T) social learning networks. She organizes MOOCs, Moodle training, online conferences, webinars and teaching with technology as a way to learn. She is a blended and e-learning expert and is the author of Instructor Experiences with Implementing Technology in Blended Learning Courses.
She has set up her youtube channel

The course is well-planned and it helps Teachers work on Moodle while following  webminars and sharing ideas too.

You can find  a  presentation of the Mooc  on the webpage  or by seeing the  video on the Youtube:

In the next days I will write about what I have seen and learnt by watching the webminars mainly in the recorded sessions as I was not at home to watch them while they were  presented online.  Some interesting sessions and what I saw was really worth seeing.

Tiziana Angiolini    21 November  2015

venerdì 13 novembre 2015

Blended Learning - Week 1 and 2 a Mooc run by FutureLearn November 2015

Week 1 and Week 2  My personal reflections on  Blended Learning
                                           Week 1
What is   Blended Learning?

Blended Learning.

From Visually.

The platform   Futurelearn  started an interesting MOOC about  Blended Learning on 2nd November. The course has been planned with five modules, one for each week and it is being followed by a growing number of people. The course will be followed by a second Mooc Blended Learning Essentials: Embedding Practice which begins on 1st February 2016.
I had already done some Moocs about  Blended Learning in the past but I wanted to see what is going on. I could not start the course on the first days but I tried to catch up because I am a teacher who wants to continue learning and I love the opportuninity of studying online and learning from the others.
These are my reflections and  I am also providing interesting weblinks which I think are worth checking. 
I have done most of the activities in the first two weeks and  I have found interesting ideas, links about the best ways for working with Blended Learning.
We have been provided with interesting videos, weblinks and we are now sharing ideas about the best ways we can work by using  digital tools.

An interesting part of the course is this Glossar, we can add new words in relationship to the topic but I think that the first term is the  definition of  Blended Learning:

 Blended learning is an approach to facilitating a course in which parts of the course are facilitated ‘face to face’ in a brick and mortar environment and other parts are facilitated online with learners controlling time / place and pace they will study these parts of the course.

I have always associated the term to Flipped Lessons: it is also flipping lessons but I have seen how it can be used in many vocational courses and I think  it is a great way for proving courses to people who need to work online and study while they are working. 

From the same index I just checked what students had added, the definition for flipping lessons or learning is very simple:

teaching method where materials and themes are watched, read or researched before contact time and students come prepared with questions and discussion points.

In some ways I have already done some flipping lessons: I have asked my students of English to watch some videos or some presentations online at home and what we did in the next days was a discussion or a reflection about the themes/issues and topics presented online.  I must admit that I had chosen to ask them to work at home because at school we did not have a good internet access and also for discussions I had to ask them to watch again the videos and sometimes we did it while they were watching their smartphones because we had no internet in the classroom.
But I also liked the idea of " flipping" the students' learning because I wanted them to work on  their own and think more about what they had just seen.

Why is it important to use new tools and  learn in a digitalized 
environment?  If you check the  article
 about the many reasons for choosing this way you will find the following points:
- digital teaching helps you to reach new learners
- the learning experience online  can be more engaging
- digital capabilities are important for our students who need to look for a job but also for teachers who can continue learning
- digital technology is essential for supporting professional development
- "digital technologies can actually support your organisation in becoming more sustainable and prosperous. Digital delivery of the curriculum can be used to counteract low class numbers and attract more learners, such as supporting distance learning, particularly in rural areas."
The following links provide you  with videos about  some examples of  Blended  Learning :

Why should have blended learning?   These are some ideas presented in Week1 :
  • To enrich the classroom experience to bring in more kinds of active learning
  • To make use of existing digital resources to enhance the learning activity
  • To use online learning for learners to prepare themselves for work in class or on site so they can use that time more productively
  • To use online learning to support them in following up on what they did in practice
  • To make it easier for learners to study flexibly alongside work, enabling them to be much more time efficient

I would add that in the post-industrialized society, in a world where technology is changing our way of working, learning and living   Blended Learning is now a  " must" : in most activities we rely now on technological devices  and technology and internet are shaping our way of living.  The educators and teachers must be aware of it.


After doing week 1 I just checked online and found this interesting article for teachers of English

They suggested these tools for  TELF/ESL teaching:

Ed Ted Allows you to add quizzes and questions to YouTube videos

This is a great tool and I have already used some lessons online.

MyBrainShark. A video that shows you how to use and access MyBrainShark

This is a LMS  and  it is in the cloud but it is expensive see :

Present.Me A video that shows you how to use and find Present.Me. You can make videos to be shared and embedded too.
Available at          It is not a  free subscription but you can pay also for one month.

SnagIt.   It is an image and video screen capture.  It is not free.
A video that  shows you how to use and access SnagIt

This is the padlet where teachers shared their ideas about  Blended learning:

                            Interesting Webtools 
We were able to learn about new webtools too, some teachers shared ideas about devices and provided links:  for  generating references

A teacher shared her presentation about   Edmodo - a safe learning environment which I also know:

Useful website for searching  Web tools: 
This is the most interesting weblinks which provides real help to people who do not know much about  webtools.

This is a great weblink for my personal learning growth.

                                               Week 2

We have  seen some good examples based on different  approaches constructivism, social constructivism and problem-based learning:  the following  links will provide you with the videos we  saw.

What I liked was the level of engagement of the learners : they were working, doing something and it was meaningful.

The tools used were  

  1.  Nearpod
  2. Google Classroom e-learning platform 

We  were presented with ideas and information  about   digital literacy  skills .
The concept of  digital skills is not new to me  because  I have done a MOOC  about this  topic  recently  and I must confess that  these skills are really the ones we should all have , our students must be able to work by using the new technology and also know about the main issues and problems online.

The importance of Digital Literacy Skills

What I am going to do is to analyze these important weblinks which are all new to me :

Educators need to know more and when teaching we have to be aware of the problems of  safety and privacy, but our  students have been online for years now and maybe they still need to learn about such issues.

Embedding Blended  Learning may  require a lot of time and the experiences shown make me reflect : a good school need to work on the skills of the teachers, on the learning environment and planning such new approach must be shared.  This would not always be possible in some schools.  As regards me  I have tried to embed Blended Learning by choosing to use modern tools and by using blogs and websites where I embed some activities for my students. 

Here are the links for the experiences presented in the course:

They must have worked hard and working on case-studies is the best way we could work at school and in further education.
I think that it will take time but we can make progress: blended learning can help us offer better learning that takes into consideratin the flexibility of learning and also the differences among our students.

Finally, I would like to thank all the teachers in the course who are sharing ideas, experiences and more. That's the best way for learning and improving our teaching methodologies and learning about  new digital skills and  digital tools.