Eduardo Lina: Teacher, Trainer, Moodler

Eduardo Lina: Teacher, Trainer, Moodler

Jun 30, 2014

Packt Publishing's new campaign - It's worth sharing this information

I am a customer and occasional reviewer of Packt Publishing books on Moodle (they cover many more topics). As a result, I got a piece of news that might interest people who read this blog. Following is the message that I received: "Packt is offering all of its eBooks and Videos at just $10 each. This campaign is specifically aimed towards thanking all our customers and opening up our comprehensive range of titles just for $10 each. This promotion covers every title and customers can stock up on as many copies as they like until July 5th. I hope you find this as a great opportunity to explore what’s new and maintain your personal and professional development."
I think it is worth sharing, as i find their books valuable indeed.
Check here for more information (the Press Release in which details are given)

My reflection on MM4: Building Community in Online and Blending Learning Environments

I have created the following artifact for this presentation:

I have used Read and Write for Google Help Text
The session was presented by Dr. Jackie Gerstein on Sunday, June 29 2014 - I watched the recording on

I find the topic of interest, and the presentation to have been quite good.

Dr. Jackie Gerstein’ session on MM4 was certainly an engaging class. I watched the recording, so I missed taking part in the different activities the presenter asked participants to carry out.

The session was indeed far from being a passive one for those who attended it and wanted to make the most out of it. Dr. Jackie Gerstein shared what she considers the meaning of being a connected educator, and did it by example rather than by just giving out definitions. Such an educator is one that takes an active role, creates and shares content, and at the same time learns from others as a result of  this interaction. The online class was an example of a way she  does this: participants interacted in the chat, and the presenter related to thir input. She also “took” participants to different sites that either provided information, or asked them to do something and share, or both. It was time well spent.

Here are some points I found of special interest:
1. The importance of creating a positive digital presence / reputation.
2. The importance of using different channels to be in touch with educators interested in technology as I am: Twitter, Blogs and the like.
3. The idea of using Twitter in my teaching. Although I do not use it very much, the presenter got me interested in checking the possibilities of using Twitter with my English as Foreign Language pupils

Jun 24, 2014

Read and Write for Google using a video review

My review of “Designing Moodle Themes [Video] by Susan Smith Nash, a Packt video.

Designing Moodle Themes [Video]

June 24th, 2014

Getting to know all that Moodle offers may take a lot of time and effort, not to mention much “know-how”. If you are interested in mastering Moodle to a level where you can understand it very well, then taking courses provided by highly qualified instructors, and also sharing experiences with fellow “Moodlers” will help you a lot. I have done that. It may, however, not be enough if you aim higher than average.

I believe that getting to feel that you understand Moodle very well requires the help of even more professionals than great course instructors. People like me, for example, like to check  both printed  and / or digital books (I love books) as well as carefully arranged, step - by - step tutorials that can be handy whenever needed.  This is precisely why I have turned to what Packt Publishing offers. That is also the reason I have some of their products on Moodle, and why I share my opinion with anyone interested. Perhaps somebody will benefit from my words.

I have just got one new Packt Publishing video: the” Designing Moodle Themes [Video] course”. I am a field Spanish and English as Foreign Languages teacher  (I write this to let you know that I am not a computer person, a program developer, and the like. I wish I knew what they do, but I don’t). The thing is that this video course does allow me to get to understand stuff I doubt I could learn on a course on Moodle for teachers, simply because getting into such detail as Susan Smith Nash gets into would take too much course time.

Being just a teacher who likes to be considered a “Moodler”, the video tutorials that make up this course have got me to learn a lot about Moodle design. While one should never judge a book by its cover, there is no doubt that when it comes to creating a Moodle course, its cover, by which I mean its design, is important, and certainly enough people will judge your course based on that as well. As for Moodle, understanding design means coming to grips with Moodle Themes. Incidentally, I also learned that Themes provide a "skin" to completely change the look and feel of your site (or even an individual course).

Note: This is how you may see the videos on your computer folder. Downloading is as easy as can be.

You may say a teacher does not have to deal with  “Pre-installed Themes”, “Customizing the Appearance of Activities”, “Customizing the Appearance of Resources”, “Downloading Themes”, “Developing Our Own Themes", and the like. I could certainly learn about that in the video.  Consider this, please: it is useful to learn about them because you may find yourself in a position where you are asked to give an informed opinion, or even better, when you may have a say on the Moodle course design most appropriate for you.

Needless to say, administrators and course designers will find answers to all sorts of questions, and help with solving all sorts of problems.

I have managed to get the school administration where I teach to purchase some of Packt Publishing’s work on Moodle. I have even go as far as to review such products because I honestly believe that Packt people produce quality stuff. As I see it, teachers, Moodle Administrators and anyone involved in helping teachers to use Moodle for the benefit of the school, its pupils and yes, the teachers themselves, may eventually agree with me.

I recommend this video course highly. It may take a toll on you when it comes to devoting time to get what it offers, but it may eventually be time well invested.

Eduardo Lina

Jun 22, 2014

Video Tutorials (or other) creation - one more option

It goes without saying that i believe that learning from "professionals" (such as Dr. Nellie Deutch or those from Packt Publishing) helps us, field teachers, find a way to master skills we may not have learned when becoming teachers. In my case, there are skills that were not even taken into account back then (way back then). The advent of New Technologies, however, has meant that in order not to stay behind, we teachers have to keep on learning ("Life-long Learning" as it is called).
One such skill is video (tutorials and other) creation using New Technologies.  I like Screencast-o-matic and Screenr very much, but these are not the only options. There are some others, such as using Jing , Slidespeech, etc. It is hight time I tried the latter when creating videos. I will soon.

Jun 21, 2014

My Reflexion on "MM4: Making Videos for the Bended and Flipped Classroom"

My Reflexion on "MM4: Making Videos for the Bended and Flipped Classroom", presented by  Vicki Hollet on Tuesday, June 17 2014. I have watched the recording
First, I should mention that once again I notice that sharing media (as opposed to screen sharing) on Wiziq may bring about some problems for the presenter (It has happened to me once). The presenter has had a rough time dealing with this problem on the  session.
The session highlights the fact that  “Everybody lights up when you put a video”.
Telling stories through videos (best practice: 1 minute videos are the best) is one way videos light up the class.. 
The presented also suggested some other things teachers can do with videos. For example, using TEDTalks in class is  favored by the presenter . These short videos help much when introducing / teaching, etc.  subjects.
As for the suggested lenght of videos: while most people believe the shorter, the better, ultimately, the best lenght comes down to what ya teacher  wants to give to her / his students. Students may enjoy transcripts ( such as those offered by TED Ed)

Videos bring a lot of things to the classroom which a teacher on his own can’t. 
We got examples of short videos that have to do with teaching English as Foreign Language
For example,
With videos teachers remove blindfolds and show much more meanings than without them.
Some people claim that Youtube has reduced the quality of videos. However, the presenter believes that the huge amount of videos produced may offer the possibility of picking good quality videos. Production, however, may have indeed been badly affected.
Video: :

Another plus is that ystudents don't have to sit in a classroom and watch the whiteboard. Teachers may build a set to use in the video they create, too. It is also possible to use parts of other people's video too (Check free stock videos)
The presenter dealt with equipment teachers may want to use.
My thoughts on the topic

Using videos in the classroom / to teach is a subject that has been dealt with extensibly. Watching this online session has added something to what I have learned about the subject
What I am going to do as a result of what I have heard.
I should try to do more than what i do now (mostly tutorials and work for the courses that I teach and / or learn). I have learned about Animoto, to mention but one example, and some other software. I hope to try them this coming summer vacation.

MM4 - Here's what I have done on MPA - Activities

MM4: My Reflection on MM4: Professional Development in CALL

The online session "Professional Development in CALL-Where are we and where are we going?" was presented by Dr. Christina Nicole Giannikas on Wednesday, June 11 2014 I watched the recording.   

CALL (Computer Assisted Learning) is a big issue in current Language Teaching, some of whose benefits are:
·         being a tool to use so that language learning can develop
·         providing accessibility to promote in-depth learning,
·         helping make learning meaningful and relevant,
·         increasing the quality of learning,
·         igniting self-reflection, collaboration and engagement of cooperative learning,
·         promoting dialogue,
·         providing visual aids, 
·         building a global community connecting classrooms from around the world, and
·         taking students to self-autonomy in the language learning process.

The presenter discussed a study conducted in Cyprus: \ while teachers were comfortable browsing the internet, they were reluctant to include any form of social media in their classrooms, so  government money to support teachers' use of technology is wrong if  there is inadequate professional preparation: success depends on how teachers are trained.  Facilities at school are essential. Teachers are mostly disappointed, and disappointment leads to rejection. Teachers shouldn't wait for support to come, but take action.
The key to change:
·         Taking part in online training that allow teachers to meet colleagues from around the world, and sharie ideas and resources.
·         Teachers making a proposal (carefully worded so as to include objectives and expected outcomes) to teaching the use of CALL at school, and
·         Applying Action Research

I will integrate  the presentation on MOODLE I will give at the July 2014 ETAI Summer Conference .

Since I use technology a lot, the content of the presentation relates to my work as a teacher. My problem is overcoming resistance that comes front some of my students, but that is not something that will prevent me from going on using CALL. I hope to continue training teachers in the use of technology, too.

To sum up, this has indeed been a great presentation.
·         I agree that using CALL makes teachers more flexible.
·         It is important to learn about CALL and what happens in the language classroom.
·         Collaboration among teachers is important to make a real difference in education

·         Being passionate about using technology is important, and overcoming difficulties, such as school administration’s reluctance to use technology, is central, too.
·         Teacher motivation is essential, too. The spirit of innovation has to be there
·         Going online, taking online courses, interacting with colleagues around the world - these are eye-openers.

Incidentally, in Israel the question of school equipment may not be a problem as most pupils have a computer in their hand: their cell-phones! They can share them in class, and then sent them to where a computer is available (at home, in the school library, in the city library, etc.)
Recalling what was said on the presentation, I also say to fellow teachers: Take initiative! Take action!  

Jun 17, 2014

Ministry of Education - Matach Conference


Esta tarde del 17.06.2014 en la Universidad de Tel Aviv, el Ministerio de Educación de Israel y Matach (Center for Educational Technology) organizaron la Conferencia que culmina los cursos de perfeccionamiento docente que se han llevado a cabo en el tema de Aprendizaje por Investigación (LEMIDÁ BE DEREJ JEKER). Por haber desarrollado uno de los cursos junto a Beatriz Katz (Supervisora Nacional de Español Lengua Extranjera en el Ministerio), y por ser el tutor de este curso, me tocó hacer una presentación explicando que significa desarrollar un curso de este tipo, teniendo en cuenta que el curso va dirigido a docentes de lenguas extranjeras (Español, Francés, Italiano, Ruso, Chino, Persa, Amhari y más, pero no inglés). Igual que el curso, el idioma usado fue hebreo , aunque a diferencia de hoy, en el curso hemos elaborado contenidos en los diversos idiomas y en hebreo. Fue una experiencia interesante.

This evening (17.06.2014) at  Tel Aviv University, the Israel Ministry of Education and Matach (Center for Educational Technology) organized the Conference that  culminates teacher training courses that have been conducted on the topic of  Research -based Learning ( LEMIDÁ BEDERECH CHEKER). Having developed one of the courses together with Beatriz Katz (National Supervisor of Spanish as Foreign Language in the Ministry), and since I am the tutor / facilitator of this course, I have had to make a presentation explaining what developing a course of this kind entails. The course is aimed at teachers of Foreign Languages ​​(Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Persian, and Amharic, but not English), so language learning was dealt with as well as Research- based learning was. Like in  the course, the language today used was Hebrew, but unlike today,  the course allows for content to be developed in the foreign languages taught by teachers (these teachers have created products which will be used in the Foreign Language classroon)  Both presenting and facilitating the course have been  interesting experiences.

Jun 15, 2014

  Presented by:Janvier Nkurunziza

Monday, June 09 2014|7:00 PM (Jerusalem Standard Time)

Description of the content of the session
The session  opened with background information concerning the lecturer, and Burundi, ICT challenges in Africa in general, and in Burundi in particular. There is no doubt that using ICT in education is in itself a major step towards both improving the teaching and learning process and opening up possibilities for progress for  people in Africa.
Moodle was the Learning System that may bring about This positive change, so training Moodle trainers is seen as one important step in the right direction.

The presenter introduced us to different programs and partnerships that are part of this effort / process.  Academic staff who were the beneficiaries of the program / project were the ones who were expected to use the knowledge and skills they acquired to train other people and turn them into Moodle trainers.

Those training future trainers had to face all sorts of shortcomings so as to achieve their goal. These included insufficient computer equipment, poor internet connection, future trainers’ inadequate / insufficient  prior ICT knowledge and skills, lack of job opportunities for future trainers, and the like. These shortcoming might seem enough to make a person quit, but that was not the point with the lecturer. His determination to carry out his job merits admiration.

My thoughts on the topic

I admire both the lecturer and his student trainers for their determination to master Moodle as a means to improve the teaching / learning process in their part of Africa. They seem to have the motivation and push to achieve their goal.

What I am going to do as a result of what I have heard.

Take part in Nellie’s effort (MOOCs) to help spread ICT use in education. I have given a couple of sessions related to Moodle in education on Wiziq. I hope to do so again when needed. I may share my experience teaching Moodle to teachers in Israel.

Creation of an artifact (video tutorial using Movenote or screencast-o-matic)

My reflection on the presentation

I have certainly enjoyed watching this recorded session. I have been given the chance to get a glimpse into the Moodle - related  work of a colleague in Africa. The challenges faced in Africa are quite different from those i face in israel, but learning about them helps me gain perspective.

Jun 12, 2014

My reflection on MM4 - Online Interviews for Active Online Learning

MM4: Online Interviews for Active Online Learning with Janet Salmons was presented by Dr. Janet Salmons on Saturday, June 07 2014

I could not attend the live class, but watched the recording and heard Dr. Nellie Deutch's comments

Description of the content of the session

Once again, I have not had the chance to attend the live session, so I watched the recording (this time on You tube (link). I do not know whether there were interferences or sound problems during the class, but the recorded session on You Tube has come out with some problems. The beginning of the recording (and onwards) includes chunks where it is difficult to hear what the lecturer says because there is much overlapping with Nellie’s voice. I Take it that this has to do with the possibility that the lecturer’s voie could not be recorded well. Whatever the reason, I  will not deal with this any more, but focus on what I could make up following what I could hear and what I saw.

This session focused on use of online interviews in e-courses, discussing how they can be adapted for teaching and learning. Accordingly, I could learn why as a teacher I may want to use e-interviews, how I might get ready to conduct them, what students may kearn in the process, etc.


Nellie discussed tools that could be used to communicate / connect with people (for example, a video conferencing tool such as Hangout, a learning environment / platform such as Wiziq, or
a virtual reality environment such as Second Life.

Nellie stressed that we teachers have a lot of choices on the level of preparation for the e-interview we make. This means that the interviews themselves may have different levels of structuring, from very carefully prepared ones to a loose interview with very little stucturing and / or preparing in advance..

Another point that came up had to do with the fact that questions may be posted in advanced or asked as the interview evolves.

The interview then may ve viewed as a learning experience.

When discussing the stages related to an online interview, these stages were dealt with:
i. Preparation, Designing and Planning Stage (choice of technology / tools to be used)
ii. Practice Stage (using also the chat so as to  to be an active listener)
iii. Reflecting and analyzing what I as teacher and my students have done in the e-interview.

Nellie also discussed how instructors might  fit online interviews into a course, stressing that they should fit in the course program and not as something to be done just because one feels like doing it. Teachers then have to think of what students might achieve by interviewing each other in class, or other people out in the world, who may be considered “experts: in their subject.
Interviews can help students in an online course to get acquainted so as to build a sense of community, or as a practice stage for some project, or as a way to explore local issues, talking to “experts” who may have practical knowledge on what people are exploring. etc.
Nellie focused on the idea that we may have both a structured and an unstructured interview, having first one type and then the other on the same interview. Having established some rapport, the conversation may the open up.

Nellie also focused
Looking at the kinds of technology we would like to use, a video conference is the closest to a F2F interview, whereas a Text-based interview is fairly different from a F2F interview. Thinking about the technology is important when deciding what you want to do.

My thoughts on the topic

Once again, I am sorry that I could not attend the live session, because am not sure what happened then and what the lecturer herself focused on. In spite of this, the recorded session provided me with ideas related to using e-intervies

What I am going to do as a result of what I have heard.

I have a group of 11th grade students who. haveing been divided into groups of up to three members,  are doing a project on Children’s Rights and Responsibility. Thy will write the project during the summer break. my idea is then to ask students to interview “experts” on the subject. I hope to be able to arrange an e-interview to be carried out in class, or a recorded one to show pupils. I also hope to ask each group to carry out an e-interview and record it, too.

My reflection on the presentation.

I believe that in order to be more comfortable with the use of e-interviews for teaching / learning, I have to learn more about how to plan and dsign them. Technology is not  a problem, but structuring is because I may end up wasting valuable class time if I am not ready.

Jun 6, 2014

My reflection on "MM4: Formative Feedback Strategies and Digital Marking."

MM4: Formative Feedback Strategies and Digital Marking. Presented by:Andreas Molander Thursday, June 05 2014

                                        Marking papers!

Even though there seems to have been problems with the sound (chunks turned out to be lacking the presenter’s vpice due to technical reasons of one sort or another), I could make up much of what was presented. The presentation set out to “demonstrate how the usage of simple ICT tools can dramatically reduce the hours spent marking and at the same time intensify the learning process. The objective is to allow teachers to use formative feedback and marking strategies in ways that entice students into approaching areas where they may be struggling from different angles.” Andreas managed to convey exacttly what he wanted when he presented a technological tool that is supposed to help techers carry out this task.

Andreas dealt with the following question all along: “How do we make marking papers efficient and productive?” Andreas first presented what he termed “A realistic picture of our lives: we spend a lot of time working (10 hours marking papers every week)”, and went on to ask participants how much time they spent marking papers. The result of a poll he published (i could not see it in the recording, but Andreas commented on it), and people’s answers showed that teachers DO spend a lot of time on this task.

When we spend so much time on this task (plus some 30 hours a week working), how can we optimize our work? Correcting papers the traditional way does not do its job. using systematic error codes doesn’t help much either, as it is too general and requires much explanation.

Pupils do not learn from that, so it does not help. The outcome is that pupils do not learn from the information you provide, and usually throw your comments with their page to the dust bin.
Andreas favors an approach to marking papers that purports that feedback should always be positive and be given with regard to the individuals participating in the exchange. He views Feedback as “ a springboard for students to proactively improve their own performance”.

My thoughts on the topic
 Being a high school teacher myself, I was glad to watch a presentation given by a high school teacher (though he presented himself as a lecturer!). I liked the tool Andreas introduced.

What I am going to do as a result of what I have heard.(well,actually, I didn't hear it)

I do like Andreas' way of marking papers as shown on the broadcast (the technological tool he presented) Even though I could not hear his words, he seems to have pointed out that teachers could have one year free access to the program. I MIGHT give it a try some time later.

My reflection on the presentation
I am sorry I could not attend the live class. It seems there wasn't a sound problem then. I have learned from the recording.

Jun 4, 2014

Training to be a better Moodler: I have just bought two books for my school

While taking onlime professional development courses on Moodle is an excellent way to learn to manage and use Moodle well, I find that I need something more. Being a book lover (I like to have printed books and leaf through them more than I like eBooks - that's life), I have just purchased two good books on Moodle online.

The books will be shipped to me soon (I am supposed to get them by June 17th 2014). Incidentally, I was surprised to see that I got the eBooks right away, too (I guess I should have known that). I hope o read and review them, soon. I am sure I will take them to Moodle Face to Face training sessions i will be giving when the time comes.

MOODLE MOOC 4 - Moodle for Non-Beginners: Task : Reflection on a Presentation on Wiziq

MM4: Creating Synergy in Online Classrooms via Emerging Technologies

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 7:00 PM

Presented by: Dr. Cheryl Lentz

The session has focused on strategies and technologies that enhance students engagement. Focusing mainly on the use of on Blogs as companions to traditional classroom work, Dr. Cheryll has stressed teachers should try to find modalities to engage pupils (("Find the the modality that is most appropriate for a student"), trying to offer different alternatives that suit different learning styles.

Most of the session focused on the use of Blogs (including what blogs are), but Dr. Cheryll touched on other Social Media, too. Blogs being a personalised journey, they are a tool that she favors very much.

While a Blog is not in lure of a traditional classroom, Dr Cheryll recommends using Blog posts to to Flip Classrooms. Accordingly, to mention but some examples, on posts before classes she suggests using an Introduction Video Biography (“show yourself in different ways, show you are a human being”), or else videos to make different points so a to leave classroom time for discussion, etc. Adding Transcripts is a good ideas, too (“Transcripts are great”)

A major advantage of creating a Blog and using blog posts is that teachers can use and reuse their blog posts (“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel”)

Blogs allow for the inclusion of different tools that may engage pupils. Using Voki is but one of the tools she mentioned in the class.

In short, Dr. Cheryll believes that teachers should leave room for creativity, using Modern technology enhances the classroom and engages students.

My thoughts on the topic

I agree with Dr. Cheryll. Using Blogs (and New Technologies) can help teachers be different, increase student interest and engagement, and cater to different needs. I like the idea of helping teachers see that being different is something that can help students remember not just the teacher, but the content they learn.

What I am going to do as a result of what I have heard.

I am going to keep working along the lines that Dr. Cheryll has mentioned. I have been trying to do most of the things that she has discussed in her lecture.

Use of an artifact to stress a point

Link to a Prezi

My reflection on the presentation

I have enjoyed this presentation very much. iI has been lively and engaging, offering me different ways to relate to the topics. Dr. Cheryl has shared her Youtube channel as well as links to blogs and sites that elaborate on the issues she has discussed.

Jun 3, 2014

Another Pack Book I can recommend

As I began takin part in another Moodle Mooc, I began to read carefully this book. I have not read much yet, but even now I been able to learn things I didn't know Moogle could do. I t seems that it will turn out to be as good as the other books I have recommended on this blog. I hope to be reviewing it, soon.

Moodle Mooc 4 on Moodle4Teachers - Week 1:Moodle Challenges Forum Task

Moodle Mooc 4 on Moodle4Teachers - Week 1: Introductions


"Moodle for Non-Beginners (M4NB) is for anyone who has used Moodle as a teacher with editing rights as a teacher. Everyone else should join the Moodle for Beginners. M4NB will provide participants with a chance to practice Moodle 2.6 as a teacher and manager of a course and discuss best practices using resources, activities, and blocks. Participants will also discuss teaching and learning online and how to cater to students' needs."

I am taking part in yet another Moodle MOOC

I will be posting some of my Forum comments on this blog.

Course Description

"Moodle MOOC 4 will take place from June 1, 2014 on WizIQ. The theme of the current MOOC is collaborative learning and connecting online for instruction and learning. The MOOC will focus on connecting online for collaborative learning and teaching through Moodle. The live presentations will include the speakers’ reflective process on teaching and learning in fully online and blended learning formats.

Moodle MOOC 4 will also include Moodle for Teachers (M4T) courses for beginners and advanced Moodlers. The courses will be asynchronous (Moodle) and synchronous (WizIQ) with recordings on WizIQ, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Presenters will receive certificates of presentations and participants will receive certificates of completion for participating in Moodle MOOC 4. In order to qualify for a certificate of completion, participants of the course must reflect on 10 of the live presentations (or recordings). They may use blogs, Facebook pages, Gooogle Plus, or Wikis. In addition, participants may use either Movenote and/or Screencast-o-matic to reflect in addition to text.

1. You will need to view 10 of the live online classes on WizIQ and/or recordings and reflect. You may access the live classes/recordings on Moodle MOOC 4 on WizIQ in the courseware. Please describe the content of the session, your thoughts on the topic, and what you're going to do as a result of what you've heard.

2. Create an artifact (video tutorial using Movenote or screencast-o-matic) and write a text of at least 500 words as you reflect on the presentations. Make sure you describe and summarize what you viewed and then reflect on what you gained and share what you plan to do with what you learned in the future.

3. Participants will add their text in one of the Moodle courses under Reflecting on the Live Online Presentations in M4B or in M4NB.

The due date for the reflective practice is June 30, 2014."