Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Elearning Mentoring

Slideshare: Blogs & podcasts – Show & Tell

April 6th, 2009 Posted by MariaRosa Ochoa in 
This is the slide share with links to blog & podcast examples. It also has links to widgets that youcan incorporate in a bog, wiki, moodle, etc.
Ltm 2009

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Thursday, December 04, 2008


elearning08 is truly under way. Pity we don't meet more often.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My SSW2 story

1. Introduce self and context and how technologies are being used

Hi everyone,

My name is Rosa Ochoa and I've been asked to tell my SSW2 story. OK... for those not in the know , I have to tell you how I got interested and started using Social Software/Web 2.0 Technologies.

I teach ESOL (English as a Second Language ) at St George college , Sydney Institute of TAFE. Currently I have a level 4 class, where the students work towards getting ISLPR2 on exiting the course. We have 3 hours a week in a computer room and they work on their blogs, forum, ESL online exercises in that time. Often that slot is not enough to finish the work, but many students go home and continue working on their tasks.

To learn how I use blogs and podcasts, you can read this post by Robin Jay in Connections and Conversations, which is an email I wrote to Michael Abulencia in reponse to a question for concrete examples of teacher's use of social software.

2. What was it that inspired you to try using social software for teaching and learning?

3. What have you
accomplished that you are most proud of by using social software with your learners? What enabled you to achieve this?

4. What do you and your clients value most about using social software in teaching and learning?

5. How has the use of social software contributed to good
teaching and learning practice in your experience?

It has become an extra dimension, a fifth skill (listening, talking, reading, writing & blogging/podcasting) and an extra medium. I haven't changed the way I teach much. I always tried to integrate topics/genre/linguistic charateristics in my teaching. Blogging/podcasting are integrated in the in the teaching & learning
process .


6. As the ‘teacher’ when you use social software what sort of role/s do you need to perform? And, perhaps you could say something about how similar or different this / these role/s are (to what you were doing before social software).

Listen to my thoughts to these two questions on this podcast:

Download the MP3 file (5.30 KB, o:02:15) music by my brothers' group Tresena

7. Thinking back, what were the pivotal moments in the process that got you to this point?

The pivotal moments are the ones that gave me inspiration (answer 2) to start blogging. I must add that I had previously started a draft website in geocities for the Adult Study Centre and I also got a bit of funding form Learnscope to do a Janison Toolbox (CESOL II) with a newly design module, Approaches to Learning. So I was obviously thinking of e-learning in some form or other, but once I started teaching my students blogging, photostories and podcasting.... these social software web tools took over!

8. What needs to change for your teaching and learning experience using social software to be even better?

9. From your experiences so far, and thinking into the future (say 5 years or more?) what is your vision of the role of social software in teaching and learning, and what 3 things would need to happen in the next 6 – 8 months to make this happen?

10. What else would you like to share? Any other insights, or things that surprised you?

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Monday, November 13, 2006


At the moment I use student blogs as a portfolio for their work. Some of the entries are assessed according to the type of genre with a relevant assessment grid that incorporates genre specific linguistic and structural charasteristics.

Some people have already starting work on use of blogs and wikis in the classroom: Web2debate

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Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm always surprised by what my students come up with. How Robert, Anna and Silvana went home and decided to create a photostory after a very brief demonstration in class.

I'm surprised at the amount of interest in social software by teachers, but I'm not surprised when only a very small number of them take it up and use it as part of their lesson plans (Marion is one of them). They know it takes a lot of extra work.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the great sharing atmosphere created by people interested in social software. Very generous with their time, organising synchronous sessions, sharing knowledge... that's the best learning environment and I try to emulate it in my very little corner.

Thank you all!

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Friday, November 10, 2006


There are lots of more knowledgeable people thinking about the future of social software, How to Save the World is written by one of them. In general I think that anything technical is going to become more user friendly, more video based and more interactive, which will benefit students and learners, especially disadvantaged learners (economically, educationally or culturally outside mainstream groups).

Three things that would need to happen:
  • keep training trainers (provide time, technical support and mentoring systems)
  • physically adapt the learning environment to new ways of delivering training (eg more computer areas, designed in a more group-work oriented fashion)
  • keep syllabus guidelines flexible enough to allow for all the stakeholders' imagination to continue creating new and exciting ways of learning.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Needed Changes

Personal improvements
I want to set up a good rubric to assess students' work. I may work on this with ESL colleagues that have contacted me through my blog.
I want to encourage students to use the blogs to write more freely, in a less guided way. Some colleagues criticise the use of blogs as a homework space, but I think ESL students demand more guidelines than native English speakers, especially those still at a less fluent stage.

I'd like to explore video making & wikis. Leigh Blackall has just sent me a link to a very interesting project by a German teacher in New Zealand using youtube and wikis.

Time provisions

Managers need to be aware of the amount of time needed to design, prepare, correct, edit, record, publish, give feedback, mentor colleagues and assess online delivered materials. There is a thread discussing this in edna Networks-Come and see what I'm doing! (Recent online discussion regarding workload issues).

On the one hand, being an early adapter/adopter is seen as terrific. (I was introducing a colleague into blogging, podcasting and digital stories because she has missed out on a job, and one of the reasons given was that the person chosen for the job had introduced podcasting in her lesson plan... my colleague only used text messaging!) On the other hand, you are not given any extra time to do any of this at work. The bulk of my blogging, podcasting, uploading, etc is done at home. It makes me feel as if online teaching/learning was invisible.

Filtering of software

On several occasions we've suffered from drastic blocking of blogger, flickr, blogger photos, blogger editing & publishing tools, photobucket, podomatic recording tool (always disabled), etc. We've been told it's only going to get worse! I hope our institution allows us to continue using Social Software, I can't see TAFE spending loads of money in lots of programs that would do for so many students and teachers the same job as blogger, flickr, youtube, etc.

Section/college support
IT support is great. College support for computer rooms is getting better. The section supports us in getting individual training or even if we want to organise specific workshops (eg Digital Story Telling by Robin Jay, or the workshop given by Paulis on Janison toolboxes). Nevertheless, I feel this is seen as an individual choice: you like doing it, you do it in your own time. It should be seen as what it is: an integral part of our teaching. Everything is embedded, the topics, the genres, the media and the 4 skills.

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