Commencing Countdown. 3,2,1…

SPACEWOMAN - Swoodle - the Tai Chi of Scribble(...)" by: Dan Zen

SPACEWOMAN – Swoodle – the Tai Chi of Scribble(…)”
by: Dan Zen

Today has been my first day back to school and to all the neccessary prepation for the new school year, but it doesn’t really feel like other years. I am quite nervous, almost as if I were a first year teacher, except that instead of feeling the uncertainty of what it will be like in the classroom, I am excited (and nervous) to see what will happen when I bring the oustide world in and viceversa!

I have been quite busy lately polishing the strategies to carry out in class and making sense of thousands of scribbled names of applications, usernames and notes I have been taking in the last 10 months. And now the moment has come. The school year is just about to start and it is time to plan the steps carefully and let the show begin!

The main goals of this year are:

1) Content Delivery

No more dumping content on the LMS. Instead, I am going to flip the classroom. In its essence, it resembles a little bit what I have being doing in the last years: ask my learners to read or prepare the content so that we could “use” it in class. I feel that delivering that content in video lectures and suggesting carefully picked resources will engage learners more and will make it esaier to create a real interactive and constructing environment in class.

I have found fantastic resources and ideas on The Flipped Learning Network and I have recently become familliar with Screencast-O-Matic and Jing for getting started.

2) Meaningful feedback

Providing meaningful feedback is something I have always been very concerned about. How to make time to give the learners precise clues and tips for them to build their own learning jouney is a key issue. This year I’m going to try new stategies for giving feedack in class, and also audio feedback to correct written assignements. I’ll be using kaizena and also audacity.

3) Classroom Management

My strategies for classroom management will have to adapt. Tha classroom will be our space for speaking, sharing and building, where all the grammar and vocabulary taught in the video lecture is consolidated through practice. So, I’ll try new ways of grouping students and creating specific areas in class.

 4) Blogging

I hope to take classroom blogging and microblogging with twitter to the next level. So far, I have only used my blog randomly as an experiment with a group of students who were willing to give it a try. Giving EFL learners the chance to share their work and communicate outside the classroom with authentic writing activities should boost their language skills.

 

But why do all this? It’s time for a change, and I think my students could do with some extra encouragement to engage actively in their learning and make the most of the time they spend doing so. In fact, their response to all this novelty worries me a bit.

But if I never try, I’ll never know.