Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Week 1 - Not Much of a Blogger

Blogging  has never been my cup of tea.

Of all Web 2.0 tools, I've always more willingly deployed  podcasting and wiki .

On the one hand, I don't  like blog's navigation, or rather the lack of it, and the fixed hierarchy of  always-on-top last entries.  Next, my students are young learners of English with little or no computer literacy therefore unable to independently  access and upload blog content.  Paradoxically, only once did I decide to give it a try and use it as a platform for a digital learning object for a national competition project and my two colleagues and I were awarded the first prize. Sadly enough, the project had almost nothing to do with English language teaching since this subject is  not very much appreciated among the competition's judges and stakeholders.

On the other hand,  my thinking is: ''Who am I to write about what I think and do?''  when there are  Jim ScrivenerJeremy Harmer, Gavin DudeneyNick Peachey and the likes blogging regularly about the things I have yet to learn.  It seems presumptuous, to say the least.  I would always direct my trainees to their pieces of writing and consider  it my fair share of contributing to ELT practices by using blogs.

Nevertheless, there are a number of  reasons for  using blog as a tool  for enhancing teaching English to young learners. To begin with, it can be used as a kind of an organized  repository, or   a portal for students  where multimedia materials and links to games and other interactive contents  can easily be accessed from one place which is very important for this target group and the way they acquire language. It can also provide an excellent medium for  curriculum and extra-curriculum extension.  And last, but not  least, blogs retain another motivating and significant  feature  and that is the ability to provide  audience other than the teacher, i.e. other students, classes and teachers as well as potential collaborators  and therefore turn the physical classroom into a virtual one.

So, here it is, my first personal and reflective blog entry ever. Who knows, the habit might start to grow on me once I begin doing it habitually. Blogging for this course makes perfect sense. First of all, there are people who will take an interest in what I have to say, at least our teachers and tutors, if no one else.  Secondly, I have to write it and make the best of it in order to get a good grade. Finally, I  hope  someone will pick my blog to read and  leave a comment. That would do for me,  I'm motivated enough.


  1. Hi Nada

    Great start on your blog! You bring up many ideas here in your first post and your links to "expert" bloggers is great.

    Two thoughts:

    1) with regards to your "who am I to blog" comment, isn't one important aspect of web 2.0 tools a democratization of the internet, so we all can become producers of information?


    2) you list very good reason to use blogs, but I'm not sure you are thinking about reflective learning as a type of alternative assessment. Blogs can function like a paper-journal - only in a digital format - allowing for that deep level of self reflection and self evaluation.

    Again, great start!


  2. Dear Nada,

    After reading your "not much a blogger", I am starting to wonder what I would put in mine because I've trying to involve e-learning and e-teaching in my classroom and yet encounter physical difficulties. Nevertheless, that's the reason why I am looking forward to this course.

  3. Alvaro's comment:

    Hi Nada,

    I have to agree with Robert about the good reasons you mentioned for using blogs. And, I can picture Robert trying to induce us the idea of using blogs like a paper-journal but in digital.

    I remember writing a paper-journal in my Senior year for my English 4 class. I had only been in the US for two years and I had managed myself to be in that class instead of taking an ESL class or a Correlative one. The point is that part of the activities we had to do was to write weekly on this journal about topics our teacher would assign. Well, I always had the idea, even now, that the purpose of the journal was to motivate us to write in order for her to correct our papers and help us become better at writing and why not speaking as well; since both are productive skills. Based on my believe that the journal was to promote better writing, then I could say that blogs can be very helpful to encourage and probably force students to think, write and share. Besides, they would have to integrate receptive skills like reading (e.g. what others or the teacher had posted before to continue with the discussion) or even listening if, for example, a video has been posted and the teacher required Ss to answer particular focused question from it, and/or just to make a comment about their impression of the video.

    So, once again, I have never been a fanatic of the net, but when we as educators put our creativity to work, we can definitely come up with effective ideas that take us one step beyond of what an average teacher would do.

    What do you guys think? and Do you have a different view about the purpose of journals, besides reflecting on our work?

    Alvaro Del Castillo

  4. Hello Nada,
    This is the fisrt time that I visit your blog, I really like it very much, not only for the decoration, but also for the important things you write on it.
    As Alvaro said, I was not I net fan either, but times are changing, technology is improving everyday and us teachers have to be holding hands with technology, everytime I think about my students using the internet,shearing their experiences with people from around the world more than I do or more than I have ever done before.
    With this on line course I`m sure that I am going to keep on using this resources as much as I can, specially now that I know how to create and use blogs and after reading those important reasons to use them.

    Greetings from Quito-Ecuador.

  5. Hi Nada,
    I completely agree with you on the reasons for using blogs as tools for enhancing teaching English to young learners. The reflective blog you are sharing is a demonstration of the creativity and professionalism you count with. I´m glad to have picked your motivating blog full of knowledgable criteria. Both your thoughts and visual aids are great. Congratulations!!
    Loli Paredes 