Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meeting the World through 'UO WebSkills'

The week is coming to an end and after taking a look at all of the blogs, I feel like I´ve been travelling around the world already. I have never had the chance to be in such an international group. People from neighboring countries (my case) like Paraguay and Uruguay and from so far away places like South Korea and Taiwan. I believe this is the perfect formula to see what´s the world doing regarding technology into the classroom. In this regard, I would love to sense the pulse of the degree of implementation that you are actually doing. Specifically the way you are using not only blogs but other web tools as well. In my opinion, blogs are 'work spaces' on which other web tools can be adapted. Blogging should not be seen as the final goal but as the beginningof the stepladder, setting the ground for cooperation, participation and mutual learning, whereby other web tools could be used, specifically web 2.0 tools. We have seen already, that we can network our blogs by using Blogger’s gadgets. Just click on your Layout, then on Add Gadget and you will be amazed at how many options you can get for your blog. Needless to say those gadgets are cosmetic elements to liven up the dynamics of a blog whereas Web 2.0 tools involve the operation of software to achieve certain tasks. For example, a talking tool like Voki (avatar maker) can be posted on a blog. I am pretty sure we are going to cover these tools in the near future. 

On the other hand, it took me just a bit to adapt to the 3 work platforms that are being used for running this 'Web Skills' course.  We have a lobby page (run by adm) and 2 activity sites (with user privileges) which required either password or authorization. Three separate spaces + participants' blogs. This whole bunch may require a dashboard :D I like the way it is. Likewise, I found it very thoughtful to have us debate about our own Grounding Rules for Discussion. That´s an excellent idea and it shows a very democratic approach to deal with this issue, and I am very grateful for participating. How wonderful would it be if many of our proposals as teachers were conducted like that.  This is something worth looking up to.

Also, I must acknowledge the efforts made by our core instructor , Janine, to be able to guide such a diverse group so smoothly and effectively. I can´t but imagine being on hers shoes. I have enjoyed being a student and tried to be on the side of the learner, but sometimes I just can´t resist to switch my view from a teacher perspective. Janine has been able to cope with such a demanding circumstance. Being able to read and post messages and answering through the 2 platforms + many blogs must not be so easy. I, respectfully, picture her like the following pic ;) And believe me, I have been there!!

What have I learn so far? I have experienced first-hand how it is to embrace a new learning environment from the point of view of a student. Metacognitively speaking, I am taking notes on the steps and procedures a teacher must follow when implementing an online course. UO people have set an excellent example. What kinds of e-mails to send first, how to present the information, how to keep participants from cognitive indigestion and the types of praises to deliver to promote a healthy learning atmosphere. 

Being a teacher I couldn´t resist making a list of my classmates and add some bio based on the information from their introductions. I did it to have a “big picture” and be able to track my postings on the blogs by the weeks. I have seen them all, they are all great, but I have not been able to give an answer to everyone yet. I hope to do that as the time goes by. By the following weeks I should be able to pay a visit to each one of you. Please, feel free to use this table if you find it useful. I plan to check-mark my postings so that I make sure not to leave anyone behind.  As for today, these are the blogs I have visited, skimmed and replied. Am I missing anyone? I appologize if I do.

Country/ level
Blog visited
Reply posted
Janine Sepulveda
USA – Core Instructor

Chiara Morandi
Paraguay - Elementary

Hyesun LEE
South Korea – High School

Mohini Bachani
India – University

Batool Albashier
Sudan- University
Erika uribe
Mexico – High School

María del Carmen Serrano Fernández
Spain- Secondary School

Ilham Zeroual
Morocco – High School

Andrea Argüelles
Mexico – High School

Maria de Fátima da Costa da Silva
Portugal – Teacher for 20 yrs.

Dzemal Spago
Bosnia - University

Naif Salem Alabri
Oman – Junior High

Juan Garcia
  ? – H.School/Univ

Fernando Baiza
Mexico – Univ/Teens

Diana Lira
Mexico – Basic level

Roxana Sordo
Uruguay – ?
Po-Yu Pen (yorpong)
Taiwan - Elementary

Samira Bakr
Egipt - University

Shirish Krishnarao More
India - Tertiary


  1. Hi Julio. Thanks for inviting me in and giving me a chance to share your online experience. This group is lucky to have you because I know you will are generous and will share a lot.

  2. Thank you Michael. I finally made my own personal blog and I am really enjoying this a lot. It is like furnishing a new house, deciding for spaces and pictures, wall colors, etc. But most importantly, my "book shelf". One that is open to anyone to see, freely.

  3. Hello Julio,

    You have really reflected upon the last week's learning experiences quite well. The presentation is also good in the sense that it can make the reader go on. I also feel that switching roles is a challenge for a teacher being a student.

    Thanks for the table, I think it is a good idea to see to it that we get to know everybody.


  4. Dear Julio,

    I like the way you reflected about your fist week. Also the picture that makes you think about Janine it impacts me a lot too. It's a pleasure to have you in the group.

    Warm Regards

  5. Aida,
    Thanks for your comments. I owe you a visit now :)
    Hope you are enjoying this course.

  6. Hello Julio ,
    I just want to say thanks for the idea about using delicious in class I never thought of that ! Im also enjoying your fabulous blog ! As I'm learning a lot from you .
    Good Luck

    1. Thank you Batool. We are here to learn from each other. I appreciate your kind words.