Jul 11, 2015

ETAI Summer Conference - What I tried to do, and what I hope to do

This is what I tried to covey on my two sessions

The Way We Learn: Moodle for Teachers with Pisga Holon

Link to the Google Document

The Road Taken: Moodle for Special Education Pupils

Link to the Google Document

This is what I hope to do
Please watch this video, then read my proposal, and if you want to give my idea a chance, and take part in a workshop, let me know (send me an email to eduardolina1@gmail.com). 
State your name and family name, email address, school you teach at, and whether you have access to a Moodle platform at school.

I must admit that the idea I will put forward has been in my mind for some time, but I guess it is worth trying to create the movement that may turn it into a reality. Here it is, then, in two separate posts. The first one has to do with Moodle, as could not be otherwise (coming from me, at least, I guess). At the ETAI Conference this summer I have met many teachers who teach at schools that use Mashov, and so have access to a Moodle platform. Most do not know how to make Moodle work for them to the benefit of their pupils and schools. Those who know where they can learn to use the platform (either on a paid course that may cost, I have heard, some NIS 600, or on their own on the Net) do not find that to be a solution. Equally important, being EFL teachers, it would be better to invest time and effort learning to use Moodle to cater to their specific needs. I know Matach, LNET and the like do a great job teaching technology, and yet something is missing that does not meet the needs of many fellow English teachers. Accordingly, I believe we should have at least one "hishtalmut" FOR TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE on (yes) a Pisga Moodle platform TO WHICH ANY TEACHER OF English who works in the framework of the Ministry of Education, and / or has a user and password provided by the Ministry can gain access. This "hishtalmut" would cost what any "hishatlmut" usually costs (NIS 30 I guess), and those who carry out the tasks that have to be carried out would earn a GMUL. No less important, as with any "hishtalmut", the Ministry of Education would check that MOE standards are kept. In other words, given the fact that there is a call in the field to learn "Moodle for English teachers", and that both teachers and their pupils would benefit from learning to use this "technology", we could get such a course going in the framework of the Ministry of Education using the Moodle platform of one Pisga Center (I say, Holon's because I work there, and because there is an open minded approach at that Center that may smooth the entire process). The "hishtalmut" would be entirely online (which means no face to face meetings and no need to go somewhere to study). There would be meetings using a virtual classroom, such as "Webex" (these meetings are called Webinars), and learning on the Moodle platform. We could learn to use all that Moodle has to offer us, share what each learns to do, and come out with lots of practical stuff that we could use at school right away. To do so, participants would learn to use other (selected) "technology" tools / apps, (Google apps and the like) that can be used with pupils. We could touch on stuff such as "The Flipped Classroom" and more.
To make a long story short, I say this: (1) the technical means (a Pisga Moodle platform, preferably Holon's, and a virtual classroom) are available at no cost for the Ministry of Education; (2) a "facilitator" / "tutor" for the course who is an English teacher and so no foreign to the needs of us, EFL teachers, is available (and willing) to take up this project; (3) teachers willing to take the "hishtalmut" must say so here so that we can show (and know) that there is a call from "the field" to learn this stuff; and (4) we have the power to create a movement, but we must exercise it. In the meantime, I am the "lone nut" on this You Tube clip that Google people have shared with me before the coming Google Educator Academy Course I will be taking part in. If no-one joins me, I will remain "the odd-one-out", but if you do, then we are a crowd. Do we get all those involved to put this together? It’s partly up to you.

Link to the  post on Facebook

Here's the second of my two posts on the subject of an "Hishtalmut" that caters to the needs of English teachers: I suggest having one on using tools / apps for the "added value" these may have for our English classroom. I have in mind Google tools / apps as well as many others. It would not be technology for the sake of technology, but would certainly help many teachers who find using technology scary / a problem / etc. overcome that feeling. I know Matach, The British Council, LNET and the like do a great job teaching technology. I would not be competing with them at all. As for the "how", well, just see what I have written for the "other" hishtalmut (pay attention to the four points I have made at the end of my previous post). BTW, if this turns into a reality, ETAI would "sponsor" the hishtalmut (or hishtalmuiot) in that I would make it a point to state that this is an ETAI initiative. Schools all over israel would see that ETAI has something to offer to English teachers. Don't doubt I would know how to make that point clear to whoever wants to listen. So... Do we create a movement or just say it can't be done? I take at face value what Bob Rosenschein, the Israeli entrepreneur who spoke at ETAI today . He said something like "Don't believe that you can make a change; instead, know that you can make a change".

Link to the facebook post

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