Saturday, July 31, 2010

ICT for ELT in the Horn of Africa: Options and Approaches


will be held at the University of Khartoum. The objectives of the workshop are "to raise participants’ awareness of the role ICT can play in language teaching and related fields, such as professional development training, and to explore ways in which it can be used effectively within the contextual constraints teachers face in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It is aimed primarily at tertiary level teachers of English / teacher trainers with a degree of ICT competence and an interest in seeing its use expanded within their university or institut".

I will train teachers for one day, day 3, to use blogger and pbworks. Hala Salih will take day 4, to train them to use del.ici.ous, Google applications. I wish I was in a better health (I am due tomorrow :-))) so I could have fully participated in the whole 5 days. I am not feeling well, which results in NOT working on my full energy. I was hoping to give my utmost to the teachers at the workshop, some of whom are dear friends of mine. Pity me!
This what  I "managed" to create for our day 3 and 4. I thought of inviting someone as a guest speaker. I thought of webcasting it. I thought of streaming it with UStream. All gone with the wind. I am working with only 30% of my energy.  My presentation is not ready yet! Oh, this is for sure, not the Hala I know. I hope all will go well.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Law Of Attraction

I have always belied in all  words about success and inspiration written on this inspirational video. But no, after a looong time of hanging on, I am sorry to say that I gave up!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Re-post: What are our students' demands/needs?It's all about being a human!

I am re-posting one of my posts durig a session on online learning and moderation at University of Salford.  I was reading about the same topic for a coming virtual seminar. I enjoyed reading it and thought to re-post it as a reminder for more investigation in the near future.Here it goes:
After reading Hofmann's "Be an Active and Participative Instructor" and what she counts as learners' success factors, I thought of my own students. I thought if I am to talk bout my own experience, especially on the last two semesters when I was on a blended learning experience, I could have formulated a better framework.
As the proverb says, "Students don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." They need us to show that we CARE about their learning. On my first week with my students, I didn’t' ask myself what do I expect from my students? I did ask myself what do my students expect from me, (apart from the course material, syllabus objectives and the college's strategic objectives).
Online learning? An online moderator should always be available to assist learners to use the technology, encourage his learners to extend and explore learning styles and strategies. I once dropped out of online courses because of the moderator, who was rarely there when I needed him, synchronously or a synchronously. I guess, as an online moderator, I also have to be aware of the course instructions and planning. A good article which helped me a lot before I started my blended learning experience was " Negotiating students' needs and desires in cyberspace" By Sharon G. Solloway and Edward L. Harris:
http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/html/erm/erm99/erm99021.html
Hofmann's subtitle" Success"? My students need opportunities, because they have never given opportunities during all the education levels they have been through. They need to be taught about the concepts of sharing, interaction, cooperation, participation and collaboration. They have never been introduced to teaching using a variety of delivery methods. They had no idea about "user-friendly technology", in spite of the fact that they are students in College of Science and Technology. The students work individually on assignments, and no cooperation is encouraged.
Hofmann's words, with which I agree 100%, "The online instructor plays a vital role in ensuring that learners are successful. Whether delivering a traditional, synchronous, asynchronous or blended approach"
But this adds to the burden on the online moderator. In the f2f classroom, time is spent with the teacher lecturing and the students watching and listening. When implementing, designing, and delivering online programs, education and training professionals should strive to incorporate these factors at the planning stages. This is to ensure cooperative learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class. Students will the work in teams on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability.
I believe in teachers as "super-humans". When we interact with students, whether in lectures, class discussions, office hours, we need to "act" as competent teachers, trustworthy friends and dynamic parents. We have to do it in a way be are to do so in a way that provides educational leadership. We need to show them that we are leaders and good ones too! All these have to be performed, not in a teacher-centered instructional methods, but in a learner-centered one. I told you, we are super-humans!
One of the most important factors that lead in success of any online learning environment is the *humanware* that built between the moderator and participants As Hofmann states, "The online instructor needs to become the central human contact point, reducing the impression that people are learning from a computer." Humanware is not  only learner-moderator long, but it should be amongst learners themselves. Students will demand higher and more diverse skills and knowledge to support the creativity and humanity upon which their success, in a course and in life, depends. Over the course of their lives, they will remember both the content of the course and the humans (moderators+ participants) they interacted with. This is what they will remember of their instructors, whether f2f or online.
One of the most interesting workshops I watched and had an impact on my teaching style is an eight-part professional development workshop for Art teachers" In the eight one-hour video programs, seven principles of effective teaching are introduced, and then explored in depth."  (you need to register) Workshop 3: Addressing the Diverse Needs of Students
"E learning becomes as comfortable as a daily latte - cafe's of learning - you can hang out and linger over the froth, go alone, go with mates, or swing back a quick macchiato before getting back to work."(Sharon Smith)
What do you consider the educator' role in the educational setting of the 21st century to be?
I guess all the above, regarding what I have been doing, could be some of the characteristics of the 21st century educator. Even much more are needed.
Superhuman beings?? Maybe!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My chapter in an International book!Hurrrray!!!

This post is relevant to an earlier one o this blog.

Today, while I was working on completing my tasks for week 9, I received an email telling me that the book "CALL in Limited Technology Context" is being printed!!I have a chapter in this book which entitled "Bleeding edge challenges in Sudan: Limits on using CALL in EFL classrooms at the tertiary level".Yeees!

This is the link for the screencast sent to me.Or you can click here to see the title of the book of the sidebar.

Unfortunately, I can not access CALICO.org in Sudan. It's a problem with Sudan IPA address. Anyway, I hope I will be reading a copy soon. It’s a book by authors from different parts of the world. The main focus of each chapter is helping teachers figure out what they can do despite all the barriers and problems they encounter when using technology in classrooms.It a book full of practical ideas and inspiring experiences. It a book which is recommended for all teachers who live in limited technology context and who are using/will use technology in their EFL classrooms.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yeeeees!!!!!!!I am Hala Fawzi,PhD!!

finally got my PhD on Saturday May 15, 2010. It was truly a SUCCESS!!!It was supposed to be three days earlier, but the external examiner's nephew had a car accident and passed away. It had to be postponed to Saturday, allhamdull-Allah. I will never forget this week in which my defended my 3 and a half years' journey.;-))))

Monday, April 05, 2010

Building Teaching Skills Through the Web Course

The American English Institute, University of Oregon  has offered
10-week online training course for English Language Teachers (ELTs) all over the world.  Participants in this course will build skills in English language teaching with technology. The overall objective is to enable teachers to understand and use appropriate technology to enhance the learning environment and outcomes for their students.
I  created a blog for the purpose of posting weekly reflections about what we will learn about/during this course. OK, then! Time for new chllaenges, new knowledge  and new info.Oh, and time for more long hours to sit on my long red chair.(Wondering when will the hours of sitting on this dear chair will ever be reduced!!). I am really exhausted:-(


Monday, January 25, 2010

A Portal to Media Literacy

A presentation by Professor Mike Wesch which I find compelling and inspiring!. "To learn is not to acquire information (data),but figuring out how to collect, evaluate, and analyze information". Schools need to teach students how to learn.The presentation worth every minute of the 1:06.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TKT at the British Council, Khartoum


The British Council, Sudan, has offered EFL teachers in Khartoum a chance to take the TKT course and exam. The course is offered on two locations (thanks!). The first one is in Khartoum, at SELTI premises, and the second one is running in Omdurman, at the Islamic University.It is a semi-intesive course, so being out there daily from 2:30 -7:00 P.M is very hard for me. This is a critical time for my kids to be on the door when they come back from school, bathing, lunch and homework, No mama, no home work, that seems to be their rule of thumb!!!:-)
Feedback? I have to wait for another two days to form a fair impression and a positive feedback.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Do I really have a Phoenix characterisitcs?


Today, while chatting with a very dear friend of mine, the  conversation held my complaining about everything around me; how terrible my academic situation is, how sad I can't work, how miserable all my life is...etc. He commented that I had the same characteristics of a Phoenix bird. I didn't know what were they. I went and Googled. Here what I came up with:
Rising again from the ashes, the beautiful scarlet and golden Phoenix bird is synonymous with rebirth or recovery, especially after calamity.
Calamity:An event that brings terrible loss, lasting distress, or severe affliction; a disaster.
The answer is, Yes, I definitely do!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Social Isolation and New Technology


Today, I came across interesting article and a report about technology and isolation. Both holds much of my context in Sudan. I will take some time this week to summerise and forward to others in the e-learning field in Sudan, but for now,I am copying and pasting from George Siemens, eLearning Resources and News:
"Technology use is routinely equated with social isolation. We are often told (and in turn tell our youth) to "log out and interact with the real world". Barry Wellman - with his Netville research - was the first researcher that I'm aware of who questioned the tech use=isolation viewpoint. People who are connected online often have higher levels face-to-face interactions. A new Pew Internet (motto: "why say it in 20 pages when you can say it in 84") report, Social Isolation and New Technology, explores how Internet and mobile use influences network diversity and socialization (or isolation). In the process, the report challenges most myths about online participation: most people have diverse networks, are socially connected (not only in remote online relationships but also to local online networks), participate more actively in volunteering than individuals with less online activity, and visit libraries and public spaces".
Read online

Friday, November 06, 2009

What Makes Sudan a Unique Country?


I decided to make two of my students join an international project with international educators who play as facilitators to their students to create blog posts about what makes their country unique. This project, about what makes Sudan a unique country, has been done by 2 students, Anas and Mohamed Babiker, in their second class at Computer Science College, University of Science and Technology,(Al-Tagana). They used "Ulead VideoStudio" . I uploaded the video to YouTube.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weakness of English Language in Sudan:Our Friendly Clichés (s)


When will the time come when all the Clichés and trite words about the reasons of the deterioration(another cliche!)of English language in Sudan will end??
In an investigation(a Cliché?) about the reasons of weakness of English language,Alrayalam, a daily newspaper, listed the usual friendly:-) Clichés which we have been living with for more than 19 years. Teacher training, syllabi, number of students, the learning environment and the unclear pedagogical vision.Who listened/will listen and started/will start to act? NO ONE!! Let's beleive that the time will come soon, inshaa Allah!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FEEDHIT Live Traffic Map for my blog


I haven't checked Feedjit recently. I am amazed of how Web 2.0 tools update and add new features everyday. The Live Traffic Map for the blog subscribed was before when I started using the tool, but it was not sophisticated like the one I have seen today (below).I believe that the new features of RSS and aggregation software have added to the this. Feedjit gives you "Today's Popular Pages for Map Area" in %. The ones whcih got the biggest rate are Suda-Cyber-Sailing 2.0 [50%, Sudaneseonline is back today! [7%],Teaching Values, Unconsciously! [7%], British Council Sudan Workshop at Rotana [3%],Sudanse music خلي العيش حرام - السمندل [3. It also shows "Country Page Views for Map Area". It's interesting to know that for my blog, USA got[32%](biggest number of bloggers)
United Kingdom [8%]
Philippines [4%]
Canada [4%]
Germany [4%]
India [4%]
Netherlands [3%]
Denmark [2%]
France [2%]
Ireland [2%]
South Korea [2%]
Saudi Arabia [2%]
Colombia [2%]
Argentina [2%]
Brazil [2%]
Jamaica [1%]
Hong Kong S.A.R., China [1%]
Malaysia [1%]
Serbia [1%
Sudan [1%](Pity:-)
Sweden [1%]
Morocco [1%]
Kuwait [1%]
Algeria [1%]
Egypt [1%]
Belgium [1%]
Tunisia [1%]
Taiwan [1%]
Belarus [1%]
Russia [1%
South Africa [1%]
Moldova [1%]
Turkey [1%]
Macedonia [1%]
Finland [1%]
Romania [1%]
Jordan [1%]
United Arab Emirates [1%]
Thailand [1%]
Israel [1%]
I am here now, procrastinating from preparing hundreds of tasks for the new term.
Ahhh! At least I am not wasting my time. I am not Twittering, but exploring and blogging:-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What does the web think of you?




This simple graphic illustrates one way the internet can be used to get an insight into a person, by analysing publicly available information associated with a name.You can enter your own details into the Personas tool here. If you feel uncomfortable watching the process of this tool scouring the web for information about you, that’s the idea. It was designed to show you have a publicly available profile which you cannot control.
Here is what I got when tried this out: Type Hala Fawzi, tells you its charactiriaing Hala Fawzi and then tells your story with the web, in few letters. Wow! Education is the biggest piece of cake I am in!!

Talks John Lloyd inventories the invisible

Eid Al-fitr in Khartoum


How great it is to drive around in Khartoum these days! It feels wonderful to see streets empty of Hays(es), rakshat and amjad(at). WowW! My kids told me today that they wish if it was like this All year:-)Again, I miss my cell phone for taking pictures!So, I Googled and found the photo belowwhich was taken on a very quite Friday in Khartoum.
Eid Mubarak.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dad's Digital Identity: Soon!





Dave Comier writes:"There is a sense in which we are storing the memories of ourselves, of our friends, of the ways that we are all connected to each other. Of our love".So True!
Now, I am thinking seriously, a part from adding his photos to a bubbleshare album and making a movie using Windows Movie Maker, to write and document my relationship with my dad, whom, the minute I read this post, I was missing so much. Four years has passed(23-9-2005).
George Siemens, on his blog, highlights a post for Dave Cormier who "offers an insightful (and touching) post on how identity and memory are preserved online. He compares the passing of a colleague (last year) and his brother (20 years ago) and how they are remembered today. The identity people create online today is, in a sense, a gift to their children and future generations. I know my grandparents through a few black and white pictures. As Cormier notes, his children/grandchildren will know him through rich media. Memories preserved in full colour. Too often, when discussing identity, the focus rests on "don't post this online, you'll regret it in the future when you're [running for office, interviewing for a new job, etc.]". The flip side of this argument is aptly expressed in Dave's post.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He takes good care of me!


I am having a problem these days. My priorities are shifting dramatically.I don't need to open up to the ideas and energies flowing around my life. Life to me becomes much easier when I trust that Allah will take good care of me.I need to be in touch with that certain part of myself. I believe that will help me align with my higher purpose, and I will be able to keep on driving the vehicle...to continue the journey which, hopefully, will lead me, and the ones I hold tightly to, through a path of health, wealth and happiness. Inshallah:-)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The last ten days of Ramadan



Starting from today, in a trial to take full advantage and benefit from the last ten blessed days of Ramadan, I will be away from the Internet until the first day of Eid. All will be Seeking Laylatul-Qadr,the holiest night of Ramadan, the night of destiny, the Night of Decree or The Night of Power. I hope I will be amongst those deprived people who miss this night.
Tagabal Allah miny wa mikum, wa kulu sana wa all the Islamic world bikhair!
All praise is to Allah.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Worldwide Moment Project for Peace.Sudan is in!


I have been trying to participate in this project for hours, but failed to. I sent an email, got a response in less than 5 minutes.Surprising? maybe no. This is what's the project about, as it's written on their homepage:
Can you imagine people from every country in the world participating in a simultaneous moment of peace?
Can you imagine the photographs this moment would produce?
Can you imagine the impact? ... We can... Please join us.
Worldwide Moment is a non-profit arts organization which encourages people around the world to celebrate peace and international collaboration by taking simultaneous photographs and sharing their stories. 2009's Moment occurs when the time is Wednesday September 9, 2009 at 9:09AM in the +09GMT time zone, or 09.09.09+09GMT@09:09.

My topic intertwines so well with my mentor's.WoW!!


My mentor, Vance Stevens, who writes on his posterous blog that he is "passionate about helping others to learn by getting them to help me to learn", refereed his colleagues to my wiki's workshop for extra information because "our topics intertwine so well". WoW! How can help myself of not being happy, and confident! I am copying=pasting two paragraphs of his post here as they are so true, and applicable to my context too. You are right Vance!
Vance writes:
These technologies are so exciting yet so difficult to get across not only to students but especially to one's colleagues. That's the real choke point, but when approached correctly, not condescendingly but in a spirit of assistance, and when they are ready, colleagues might just come around. How do we improve our world? One person at a time.
It's a real challenge to write materials that are approachable to both these cohorts, teachers and students (where is my mind today? Who just completed a survey asking 10,000 teens why they were turned off to Twitter?).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

How do we live these day?

I miss my old cell phone very much these days. It was stolen three months ago. It was my cell, my digital camera, my recorder, my notebook, alarm, mp3, etc. It it was here, I would have taken lots of photos for how my front door looks, my car, our neighborhood and how the streets look.Here is how Khartoum looks these days:
From africa news Posted on 03-Sep-2009:Floods spread misery in poor suburb of Sudan"s capital

Friday, August 28, 2009

Augmented Reality

Re-posting from Goodbye Virtual Reality, Hello Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality or Web Squared, is the next iteration of the Web and also desktop and mobile applications and is indicative of the future hybrid Web and device experience. And no, it’s not called Web 3.0.
"Augmented Reality joins the likes of the Semantic Web, Geo-Location, Artificial Intelligence, among many other emerging technologies in what the father of Web 2.0, Tim O’Reilly, refers to as Web Squared".
Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the live direct or indirect view of a real-world environment whose elements are supplemented with, or augmented by, computer-generated imagery. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and harmoniously displayed through meaningful context with environmental elements".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It is easy to fall in love with technology

Danah Boyd, on her article writes:
**It is easy to fall in love with technology
. It is equally easy to fear it.
**Technology does not determine practice. How people embrace technology has less to do with the technology itself than with the social setting in which they are embedded.
**Without educators, technology in the classroom is useless.
**There are also no such things as “digital natives.” Just because many of today’s youth are growing up in a society dripping with technology does not mean that they inherently know how to use it.
**Along the same lines, keep in mind that the technology that you adore may hold no interest for your students. They don’t use del.icio.us or Second Life or Ning or Twitter as a part of their everyday practices.
**Technology is a wonderful tool but it is not a panacea. It cannot solve all societal ills just by its mere existence. To have relevance and power, it must be leveraged by people to meet needs. This requires all of us to push past what we hope might happen and focus on introducing technology in a context that makes sense.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Developing by the Nile:Innovative Online Trends for Teacher Professional Development



I have conducted a workshop about Web 2.0 for Teacher professional development which targeted EFL teachers at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. I gave the workshop the title of Developing by the Nile: Innovative Online Trends for Teacher
Professional Development. It was a hands-on practice workshop for English Language teachers at the Administration for University Requirements (AUR),University of Khartoum. All about it here on the pbworks I created for the workshop here.It was considered the first workshop of its type in Sudan about Web 2.0 tools. I am preparing now for another one about integrating technology into the Sudanese EFL classroom. My friend, Hala Salih, the head of the English Department, was the one who took the burden of the workshop to see the Sudanese morning light. Hala has blogged about the workshop and talked about how she ran around to find the fund and the venue needed. Thanks Hala!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Forgotten Album:Sand Storm 2007

At 3:50 P.M GMT, the day turned into night in less than 5 minutes!!Luckily, all the members of my family were home.There was no electricity!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sudanse music خلي العيش حرام - السمندل

خلي العيش حرام، مقطوعة موسيقية لفرقة السمندل، معالجة وتوزيع الفنان الدكتور الفاتح حسين

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What a Pity!Missing eLearning Africa 2009


I haven't blogged about this earlier because I was sad. Now I am not!
Instead of being happy that, at last, my dream came true, I was so sad when I received the email below from the conference I have been dreaming to attend: elearning Africa! They were expected to announce the accepted proposals in Mid February. I was counting days. I prepared everything. I checked the sponsor, who was supposed to leave Sudan 1st March, 2009. No problem! By that time I would have definitely received the response, if any, and I would take the money." I stopped dreaming exactly, as I still remember on25th March." I didn't make it! The proposals submitted are first class and mine couldn't compete. Normal." On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:03 PM, I received an email that my proposal has been accepted. They even asked for my confirmation within three days. Too late? Yes. No sponsor. No money!. Maybe next year my dream will come true,hopefully!!
Dear Ms Fouzie,
We are pleased to inform you that the proposal "Beyond African Boarders: Web 2.0 for Teacher Professional Development" you submitted for eLearning Africa 2009, Le Méridien Président, Dakar, Senegal, May 27th - 29th, 2009 has been accepted by the Review Committee and will be included in the conference programme.
Please note, however, that this conference will not be able to webcast your session, as proposed in your submission.
At a later stage we will let you know the exact day and time of the session in which your presentation will be included. We will then also provide you with the names of the other speakers and of the chairperson of your session.
......
Please confirm by Friday, March 20th via return email that you will be speaking at eLearning Africa 2009 and that the above details are correct
Also note that the above data will be used in the official conference programme, in the Book of Abstracts and on the Conference CD-ROM

I couldn't help sending an email with my reaction of not being committed to the dates proposed. I received a sweet email of apopogy; that they are
are very sorry to hear that I will not be able to participate. "Due to the overwhelming number of proposals received, our Review Committee had to extend its period of evaluation. We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this has caused" This made my day! At least I made it! A proposal accepted from 430 submissions from Africa and beyond.Wow! That was for sure a success, isn't it?

Monday, April 20, 2009

That's my baby!!






Today, my 6 year baby, Rahma, has been announced on the top of her class! Weew! I remember now, with a big admiring smile on my face,when she told me how many times she "revised" the exam paper(Allah ya7fazaha, mashaa Allah!)The competition was tough. All are smart and brilliant babies. They learn in a fun way all year. They are taught English in an amazingly, successful,old fashioned and brilliant methodology. The school has a method of her own. I sometimes I wish I can teach my university students with the same method, but who listens? HE in Sudan? Exams, results and testing are above all. Learning? Comes on the tip of the cat's tail!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Twittering IATEFL Online


I love Web 2.0! Ten years ago, who would have dreamt of sending a tweet to the people of IATEFL, who are live streaming the event, and receive an answer in less than two minutes? The previous IATEFL had Twitter! What additional technology will be born next year???

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

British Council Sudan Workshop at Rotana






The British Council Sudan invited a great number of English language teachers and educators from all over Sudan to a workshop at Al-Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum. The workshop objective(s!) was to raise teachers' awareness of the availability of the learningenglish.com. The BC wants to know if the material found online do suits Sudanese context; whether schools or universities, parents(can)use it, and if any teacher has been using it with his students and for his own professional development. The workshop was a success! People discussed what can be used/not used, a questionnaire was distributed and the results were discussed immediately after the lunch break. That was amazing! Ustaz Taj was behind this, no wonder!! I commented on the short video about Second Life. I wrote before that I am not a SL'ifer, at least not in the near future. When the video was playing, I was busy watching teachers' faces and expressions, trying to figure if they are really getting what's this all about. Nothing! An old Prof, Jubara, told he doesn't agree with me on saying that SL is not for Sudan. When I asked him""do you know what is SL?" The answer was "No, not really." So, I found myself explaining about SL and trying to justify my point of view.
The food was GREAT. I met beautiful people whom I haven't been in touch for years. This is what is great about big events held by BC or the American Embassy. You grantee ALL will come!