Thursday, 16 November 2017

La educación a distancia (EaD), para algunos teóricos, se perfila como la educación del futuro - ¿o del presente?
El desarrollo tecnológico, la incorporación de las TIC y la apertura hacia la sociedad del conocimiento han permitido la evolución, de la que sin duda, en el siglo XXI, se constituye como una modalidad en permanente cambio y crecimiento. En este contexto, las propuestas en línea se convierten en una estrategia que puede contribuir a la democratización de la educación, a la inclusión social de comunidades tradicionalmente marginadas del desarrollo económico y social, y a la búsqueda de alternativas para los requerimientos de los nuevos espacios de formación y mercados laborales.
Las instituciones académicas deben resignificar su rol y prácticas a la luz de las demandas de la sociedad, una sociedad que en los últimos años se ha visto permeada por cambios constantes. La EaD ha sido un claro ejemplo de experimentación y de apertura a la innovación, pues su evolución se vio directamente influida por la irrupción de Internet y las ya no tan "nuevas" tecnologías de la información y la comunicación. Los nuevos ambientes virtuales de aprendizaje mediados por TIC se nutren y a su vez participan de los cambios y nuevas tendencias de la actual sociedad global. En este contexto, es preciso detenerse y reflexionar acerca de la naturaleza de las propuestas educativas que se proponen en los medios. 
La plataforma Burlington English, su respectiva app para celulares y las video tutorías tienen el respaldo de profesionales en enseñanza de inglés. 

Texto adaptado de 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Ways to Share Knowledge and Receive New Language Skills

The greatest benefit from living in our times is that we can share information or knowledge easier than our grandparents could. Technologies and social media applications simplify the process of sharing and provide us with an access to any person in the world.

However, many people question their language skills and fluency level. Usually, it stops them from interacting with other learners. Hence, they mistakenly postpone speaking practice which predetermines sharing until they get enough background. Fortunately, there are always ways to begin a good talk even if you are a beginner.

1-Join a group of similar interests to train your speaking skills through social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. If you are a beginner, small chats with other learners or native speakers will help you overcome the fear of mistakes and prompt you to switch to longer talks. 

2-Create your own YouTube channel to share useful tips about cooking, knitting, preparing cocktails, shopping or anything you are good at. It is a perfect way not only to improve your language and share your expertise but also earn extra money.

3-Find a tutor to practice your speaking skills and refining your grammar. With so many online tutoring services, you can find an Englishteacher or a tutor of any language in a few-minute search. At the beginning, communicating with a tutor is more efficient because you have someone who explains how not to repeat the same mistakes.

4-Visit speaking clubs, bars where native speakers gather and communicate. Generally, there are always those chatty people who won’t miss a chance to engage you in a long talk.

5-Try yourself as a tutor to leverage your skills to an advanced level. If you have a good intermediate or upper-intermediate level at least, then you can try to give a few lessons to other less fluent learners. Tutoring helps develop language skills faster because you are obliged to deliver high-quality lessons going deep into all the details. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

St. Patrick's Day

If you want to understand how English works, it is advisable to learn about English culture. Culture will help you understand expressions. A celebration that takes place in March is St. Patrick’s Day, a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.

Learn some Irish words and phrases. The Irish have their own distinct dialect of the English language, so if you want to sound like a true Paddy on St. Patrick's day, try sprinkling some of these Hiberno-English gems into your conversation:

  • What's the craic? This phrase can be interpreted as either "How's it going?" or "What's going on?" or "What's up?" and is used in non-formal settings. Craic is a very important word in Ireland and can be used to describe your enjoyment of an event or activity, e.g "How was the party?" "Ah sure, it was great craic altogether!" Use "craic" in the correct context and you'll earn major points with the Irish.
  • Grand. Grand is another multi-purpose word in Hiberno-English. It doesn't mean large or impressive, but rather translates as "fine" or "great" depending on the context. "I'm grand" is a perfectly acceptable reply to the question "How are you?" and means the person is doing just fine. If you ask an Irish person "How did the exam go?" and they reply "It was grand" that means it went okay, it wasn't amazing, but it wasn't a disaster either.
  • Eejit. Eejit is basically the Irish word for idiot. If someone does something silly or stupid, you can comment "Ah ya big eejit!" It's not meant to be offensive, rather it's used to make fun of someone in a playful way.
Links to read more about:

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Viaje virtual

La semana pasada participé del evento Campus Party y tuve la oportunidad de experimentar lo que es la Realidad Virtual (RV) . 

Tal como señaló Joan Cwaik, la RV tuvo un auge entre los 80 y 90 con los juegos online, luego ese interés se estabilizó y hoy se analiza usos posibles como por ejemplo con fines terapéuticos. "Teletransportar" a pacientes en terapia intensiva a lugares agradables fuera del hospital no curan sus dolencias, pero la experiencia suele ser tan vívida que engaña al cerebro haciéndolo segregar hormonas que mejoran la calidad de vida.

Un viaje virtual ofrece una experiencia sensorial increíble. ¿Qué tal si lo utilizamos en nuestras clases? La RV brinda la ventaja de explorar libremente un entorno y además interactuar con el contenido a tu propio ritmo. Otra ventaja es que los viajes virtuales no te limitan a una sola visita, sino que puedes volver cuántas veces quieras y explorar cada vez en más detalle. Para emprender un viaje virtual en el aula puedes usar un proyector conectado a una PC o una pizarra digital y así fácilmente guiar a toda la clase. También puedes permitirles realizar su propio viaje con un mapa o una actividad para que ellos exploren, descubran, lleguen a conclusiones.

La exposición “Minerales, fósiles y evolución humana” en el Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales  ofrece recorridos tridimensionales con una gran libertad de movimientos y detalle. NO requiere la descarga de ningún plug-in para poder visualizarse. El recorrido puede ser automático - recomendable para los más pequeños- o dirigida que requiere de precisión en la motricidad fina. 


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Do you like music?

I studied piano at a School of Arts and used to be a teacher of music at  kindergarten level. I was scrolling Twitter messages when I came across "Inudge" . I love music, so I was curious about this widget. 
What is Inudge?
It is a virtual-instrument widget designed for self-expressive online music making & sharing. It’s fun and simple to use and you don’t need to know a single thing about producing music to make your own individual songs in minutes!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Mobile Learning

ICT has provided me with creative freedom, endless resources and learning materials, and the possibility to develop my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and be in contact with professionals from all corners of the world. I am a true believer in the importance of technology in the classroom and e-learning as a platform for teaching.
More and more students are using mobile devices to connect to the web. Mobile learning (or m-learning) is the ability to learn anywhere and at any time using a portable electronic device.  In my opinion, m-learning is less structured than e-learning .

Unfortunately people are obsessed with doing everything quickly, learning included. Smart phones have lots of resources and students tend to use them more than their computers.
As the use of mobile technology is increasing, why not offer students the possibility to study anytime, anyplace and at their own convenience through their mobile devices? Get your students started with small, realistic homework activities. You can introduce them to some of the amazing applications (apps ) available and encourage them to learn in a mobile way. 
Being creative with mobile devices
Let's encourage our students to be creative and use the technology at their literal fingertips to prepare homework activities? 

Look at the following  apps and some of their educational possibilities:
Whatsapp Opens in a new tab or a free mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages. Users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.
Possible activities:
  • How about sending our students a short news article or podcast and asking them to send an audio response summarising it in their own words or giving their opinion?
  • Students could send photos with captions to illustrate different tenses. Alternatively they could describe daily habits or routines, or create a set of instructions.
  • Students could create a video or audio of themselves making a short presentation or reviewing a movie/book or TV show.
Closed Facebook groupsOpens in a new tab or window. can be a great way of communicating with our students. Students can share ideas, opinions and homework projects.
Possible activities:
  • Post quizzes and grammar tips.
  • Get students to share book reviews.
  • Brainstorm ideas about different topics.
  • Have a different theme each week and get students to share songs, pictures and quotations connected to the theme.
  • Generally create a place for students to interact with you and with each other outside of the classroom.
Twitter makes staying in touch and sharing announcements super simple and even fun. These ideas offer a great way to put the tool to good use.
Possible activities: These are just a few of the great opportunities that Twitter offers for building reading and writing skills:
  •  Students can tweet sentences using a particular word to build vocabulary learning.
  • Ask students to post an inspirational quote tweet each week, preferably relating to course content.
  • Bring the characters of books to life, choosing characters to personify on Twitter.
  • The entire class can come together to create a story, contributing  using hashtags.
  • Students can build 140-character summaries based on reading assignments, forcing a focus on quality.
  • Create a collaborative poem where each student contributes one line.
  • Using Twitter, students can write a short review of movies, books, and music that they’ve enjoyed (or not). 
Instagram revolutionized photography with an engaging and simple social platform that allows photo editing and sharing. It is a free app you can use in the classroom with both smartphones and tablets. You can start an account just for your class. It one of the most popular social media channels for teens and tweens today . 

Possible activities: 
  • Invite students to snap photos of their favorite books and then browse the photos in your feed for more ideas on what to read.
  • Encourage students to use creativity and share thoughts, opinions and social commentary via images.
  • Ask students to act as photojournalists. For extra challenge, have students write articles to accompany their images. These can include interviews and even video coverage.

  • Conclusion: By supplying our students with easily accessible tools for studying 'on the go', we are enabling them to incorporate self-study into their busy lives, accelerating their progress and guaranteeing better results. Apps and mobile phones are interesting tools to explore, aren´t they?