Reflections on EVO (2009 and later)

My first professional blog

Archive for January, 2010

Finishing Week One

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 17, 2010

I wrote a post on the Multiliteracies Ning yesterday, and after tweeting about it discovered that all the Ning activity is not restricted to members, which I thought it was.

I joined Technology Integration in Education , updated my page, started following them on Twitter and joined their Diigo group.  I also joined some groups on The Educator’s PLN and contributed to a discussion. I included RSS feeds for the latest activity of both Nings in my recently developed Pageflakes.

While writing this post I uninstalled the Diigo toolbar, tired of the crashing of all my IE windows. Il try Diigolet later.

As part of Digital Material Preparation for TESOL, I became acquainted with Dvolver MovieMaker, and experimented with it. (Of course, no embedding in WP!)

Week 2 on DMPT is about Text-based materials production. We were introduced, for example,  to dafont (free downloadable fonts), Compleat Lexical Tutor (concordancer), Lorem Ipsum (Dummy text generator Resource). It’s really exciting. Below is one of my assignments:

I have hurried through some of these tasks because I will be unable to post or work for a few days now, but I’m happy with the tools and articles I have discovered so far, and with the growth of my PLN.


Posted in evo2009mlit | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

From Blogs to Bombs (Introduction)

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 15, 2010

What I found most interesting of the chapter “Many Lenses” from Marc Pegrum‘s book is the perspective of context – social, sociopolitical and global. With reference to txtspk, he mentions the fact that the digital divide may be widened by lack of proper education and poor economic background, which impairs our adaptation to different roles in society:   

The new markers of class are not the presence or absence of technology, but facility and subtlety in its use. 


 As regards the lenses themselves, I believe that most of us had at one point or another considered the technological, pedagogical and social ones. We have long been quoting Prensky’s dichotomy between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” even though the scientific validity of such a generalisation has been challenged (see, eg Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. 2008) and recent studies highlight the existence of a digital divide in the so-called native generation, both in access to technology and in operational capability (Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience, 2009).  In contrast, Pegrum comments on the features of newer generations considering both similarities and differences, and calls for the guidance and warnings of parents and educators.  

Moreover, Pegrum introduces some new notions, namely, the sociopolitical and ecological lenses, and asks some very disturbing questions in connection with the use of technology in global politics, such as 

which views can’t or won’t be expressed as governments across the political spectrum isolate and gag the voices they fear – while tracking the rest, just in case?


what are energy-hungry devices and their e-waste doing to the larger ecosystem of which we’re part?

 In this vein, he higlights the need for education not only through technology but about technology, so that empowerment can become true and not just a delusion to deprive inadvertent citizens of democratic freedoms at present taken for granted in many countries.

Posted in evo2009mlit | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Digital materials preparation for TESOL (Week 1)

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 15, 2010

During this EVO 2010 I have also enrolled for another session: Digital material preparation techniques and resources for TESOL professionals.

It is taught on Moodle, with weekly chats on TappedIn. I missed the first chat because I failed to check the platform, believing I would get a notification, but apparently my registration was incomplete, or something of the sort. I must confess I have not quite adapted to Moodle yet.

The Preparation Checklist instructed us to:

Join TappedIn

Become a member of the following free Internet resources:
Ask500People, polling the world
Myna, online audio editor
Scholastic Mini-Dictionary, definition generator
ScreenToaster, online screen capture
VoiceThread, media discussion

Visit the links below to ensure you can view them

Dafont, font repository
Docstoc, professional document sharing
Google Translate, language translation
LexTutor, data-driven learning

Lorem Ipsum, place holder text generator

Microsoft Office Online, office document resources
PDPhoto, copyright free photos
Photobucket, photo sharing resource
Picnik, image-photo editor
Project Gutenburg, copyright free texts

SpellingCity, activities generator
TeacherTube, education video sharing
Vocabgrabber, word list generator
Voki, talking avatar creator
Wikipedia, encyclopedia
Writeboard, wiki
Zamzar, online file conversion

Week one has been about introductions, getting to know the environments (including the Moodle wiki)  and working with images.

I first tried Picnik, and created this:

Our tutor recommended these other Online Photo Manipulation Tools:

Fun Photo Box Specializing in gag effects.

Image Chef Includes video and text art.

PhotoShop Express  Online version of the industry standard software application.

Photo505 More digital FX for photos.

Photofunia And more of the same.

So I played with ImageChef
Beach custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more -

And with Photofunia:

This has really been a lot of fun! I even gave Voki a try, but, of course, it won’t embed in WP, and does not even give me a link!

Posted in evo2009mlit | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Week 1 2010: PLNs

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 12, 2010

I think I started reading Vance Steven’s post about four hours ago, and I had decided to go straight ahead to Pegrum’s chapter to make my first post for Multiliteracies 2010 , but, just like Vance describes in Reflections on how we learn through networks, with particular infotention to the multiliteracy of new media (which I retweeted), I have done so many other things “in between” that here I am, overwhelmed already. So the “many lenses” will have to wait a while.

I got to that Posterous post through a comment made by Elizabeth on the Ning, and that allowed me to discover that you can retweet from Posterous. Kim Cofino’s extract mentioned by Vance, where a number of strategies to start your PLN are outlined, was somehow linked to a promotional email I received in the meantime, which I believe can be useful for others:

Another email arriving more or less at the time led me to discover Spezify (which I retweeted as well), before I had finished reading the article Modeling Social Media in Groups, Communities, and Networks, started at some point before.

Looking for the source of Jennifer’s Using Text messaging in the ESL classrrom I stumbled upon a good site for teaching Romeo and Juliet (ideas and lesson plans), and somehow found myself searching for Hanna’s poll. And all along I was tagging pages on Delicious.

Conclusions?  PLNs or CoPs or whichever term we coin to call them are essential to find our way in the maze of resources available for professional growth these days. Just as it is essential to experience this quest for learning “in the flesh” and to enable students (especially those in teacher education) to do so during their in-service training. Which by the way is connected to what I mentioned in a lecture and in the final paper for the “Maestros en Tecnologias” course.

Echoes, echoes, echoes… And pipes more important than the content within them …

Posted in evo2009mlit | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Starting Multiliteracies 2010

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 11, 2010

I’m really excited about starting this new edition of the course. I have had some personal issues during the past week, so I’m already lagging behind, even though the course has officially started today.

After a little revamping of this blog (adding a  Twemes RSS feed, removing a couple of things) I wrote a new page on my e-portfolio here and added a brief blogpost to the Multiliteracies Ning. If only there were 40 hours in a day!

Posted in evo2009mlit | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »