Teaching Projects Matrix

From the teaching projects that you found I have created a matrix which incorporates the areas that the unit dealt with: Internet research, Internet presentation and Internet communication.

Have a look at the resulting web page.

Featured Communication Post

This week’s featured post is by Philipp Kindelbacher. He has written a very personal post on his experience with online communication tools both synchronous and asynchronous. I like it because it really gives a different kind of insight into the whole subject: What about the fact that kids may not like to use tools in class that are part of their every day life? Isn’t that an intrusion into their escapism?

One quote from the post dealing with changes in language:

Another random thought that struck me while doing the virtual session was that even though the internet tends to standardize and find it’s own language that most people will eventually conform to due to reasons of comfort there are ways for communication to develop in different ways. I remembered an old spiegel-online article about Japanese emoticons and how they’re not read horizontally but vertically. And I don’t care what any linguistic purist or literature enthusiast – and I would consider myself the latter – has to say: it is beautiful to see how a language can develop when the public decides upon it: purely based upon convenience. On that note: G2G…ttyl in class (^_^)

Oh, and have a look at the link at the end of the post. LOL! You have to tell people on the Internet that you literally laugh out loud, you know…

Update: I just saw today that Valentina Süß has put together a list of questions to test your expertise in netiquette. Go check it out.

Featured „Internet Research“ Post

Yes, and here it is. The winner for this week: Erwin Gavrilas and his post on Internet Research. From a very personal point of view he considers the Internet as a „mere“ starting point for scientific research, by saying that

I still believe that the Internet is the best starting point when doing research. As I said before, for me personally, the advantages outbalance the disadvanteges. Not least because the Internet is our gateway into the future.

As for the part on methodology, I think we all agree that Internet research will play a more important role in every school in the future. Students, I’m sure, are using the internet to do their homework and to conduct research today and they will do so even more tomorrow. So, our task as prospective teachers, will be to know how to do Internet research and to know about all these possibilities you have in order to obtain information as well as to guide our ‘future students’ and show them how to use the Internet more efficiently with regard to the evaluation of online sources. That of course implies that we learn about these things up to the point where we can teach them.

Featured Poster Post

Obviously, in Group 2 the poster concerned with the quotation from The Atlantic Monthly was the one which evoked the most discussion. Not because of the way the group created the poster of course 😉 but rather because of the quotation.

Nevertheless, this week sees two featured articles, one dealing with the poster mentioned above and one dealing with the drill and practice poster.

The first featured post by Simone Simon called A Case of Negative Utopia deals with the Atlantic Monthly poster and as a conclusion she writes:

[M]edia competence definitely needs its place in the curriculum, because our western life is steeped in new media. Media skills are essential for an active and mature participation in our society, especially with regard to the information system. In all probability, our recent educational system will not end in a disaster, if we accept the increasing importance of new media and the necessity to teach media and technology competence in school. Nevertheless, there are several other skills of at least equal importance, including the traditional learning objectives, because life is not and will never be a one-dimensional entity.

This sums it up rather nicely.

As for the drill and practice poster, Marina Boonyaprasop – the author of this week’s second featured post Drill and Practice Software – Old Fashioned Method in Modern Days? (and also the winner for the Best Tagline Award) – argues about the inner conflict of teachers about the still necessary bits of drill and practice and mentions that

[i]t might be old-fashioned and other methods might sound more modern, mature, cosmopolitan, enduring, or thought through, but there is no way around the Drill and Practice method in today’s EFL classrooms – and we should be happy to have at least some adequate and interesting software in order to make memorizing easier and more fun for our students.

I don’t know about old-fashioned, it’s just sometimes you have to get the skills and terminology across in order to be really constructivistic about what you are teaching (say I, who has only taught university courses…).

Featured Post Number 2

This week I feel that we have to present Jaana Stolp’s article on the Learning Theory unit as the featured article, despite or better say exactly because of her criticism of our e-learning approach.

She mentioned that

I would have liked to get some ideas about how the abstract theories presented in the theoretical part of the virtual session could be put into practice in the classroom, since I am not really sure if I understood everything right. – The key words being “would have”, due to the fact that neither the links nor the PDF downloads in this section worked properly so that I am still a bit clueless which kind of tasks, exercises etc. that could be used in class are especially suitable for the different theories. (I don’t know if the problem lies with my computer or if it is a general one…)

No, it isn’t your computer, it’s a general problem. It’s our fault and I could also go on about how we should have checked that and at the same time about how we are currently working hard on the platform in order to move the utilization part into the class start page and that therefore sometimes errors slip through that shouldn’t.

It is this that brought me to think about whether we tend to expect such an e-learning platform to work flawlessly and are more annoyed if it doesn’t. Think about your average teacher and how he or she cannot answer every question you ask. Still, with a computer it is something different. Or isn’t it? That’s a really good question to comment on. 😉 Of course, I don’t want to talk myself out of this. The links will be fixed ASAP.

Featured Post of the Week #1

Every week we are choosing one of the articles as the featured post. This is not to say that all the other posts do not hold up against the chosen one. It’s just to say that the post has a twist to it or is somehow special in its form or argument that we think we need to emphasize it.

This week the featured post for Group 2 is Ines Rosenbaum’s. She put a lot of effort into this and has a lot to say in contra to Mr Bauerlein. Additionally, she has some good remarks about the importance of dealing with the new media in school and, of course, we do like that 😉

As for the others, it is interesting to hear what Erwin has to say about mentoring and the lack of time:

But than again, can you really accuse the teachers and professors for having failed mentoring? I don’t know about the situation at American universities or in American schools. But as for Germany, or the Philipps-Universität…. how the hell are these people supposed to mentor or take care of the individual given the terrible circumstances and conditions at our schools and universities?!? If they are lucky they may know the names of all their students at the end of a semester.

Ok, as for the name thing, that’s just a personal memory problem of mine 🙂

Also a good point is what Martina mentions in her post:

The parents should be involved in this discussion as well, because they allow their children to surf the web. They could have a look that they do not neglect school and education.

Let’s see how all this will work out during the semesters.

Update (27 November): I saw today that Marina added a post concerning my first session résumé with some additional reasoning.