Monday, December 10, 2007


I am leaving today for Hajj.After a whole year of preparation,here I am, packing my things for the journey I have been longing for all my life.
I hope it will be accepted.Only Allah knows, how hard I have worked to get there.
May Allah helps in running everything as smoothly and easily as possible.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Changing Perception

It an amazing trip and experience that I consider a turning point, not only in my career , but in my whole life!
Nigeria, with its three tribes and hundreds of dialects and languages, has changed my perception about " Sharing your knowledge, experience, thoughts, information,fear and dreams is not only caring, it is a human potential.As a teacher, I know this is what I have been doing: Helping others to learn.Having a new vision,experiencing new values, seeing other parts of the world, dealing with different cultures in one country and watching the world through new lenses. It is the sense of mission that could fill up or eliminates any other feelings of emptiness that one could ever experience one day.I may sound ridiculous, but again and again, it is the language barrier that doesn't help me convey what I am feeling now.I just want to say that it was a trip that helped me to put my conscious and thoughts in harmony.

My presentation went great, together with Lawan.It was the first of its type.Vance presence for few minutes, added to the synchronous concept that we were trying to explain.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Print Christmas Coloring Pages.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crossing Continents: Web 2.0 for Teacher Professioanl Development

OK, I am leaving to e-learning conference, Nigeria on Sunday 18th!Because everyone is against the idea, even the people at the Embassy:-)(dangerous Nigeria!), it will be a two-fold trip: an adventure and a presentation. Everything is set, in here, but I hope we could webcasted it at Alado. Unfortunately ,I can not decide this until I reach there and make sure all equipments are suitable and could do the job.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Psychology, not technology

Today, I was on a "cleaning over", going through my inbox"es"", delidious account and many other cyber-scattered documents.I stopped on Terry Freedman article.Here are my favorite quotes"
"What is really interesting is doing stuff that you simply can't do in the normal classroom."True!Technology helped a lot in exposing my students to other cultures and the rest of the world.

" There are three groups of people, broadly speaking: those who are convinced of the benefits of technology, those who have no real opinion one way or the other, but who are getting good results and therefore see no urgent reason to change, and those who won't touch technology with a bargepole."Although I didn't know the meaning of bargepole, these are exactly the types of teachers we have here.Even the second type is too afraid to take the intuitive.

"Psychological aspects are the driving force or the barrier to showing teachers the ineffable value of technology in the classroom." Carla Arena in a comment to Terry Freedman.

Dying Professor's Last Lecture

What Made me go back to this video, is the brick walls I am facing these days. They are getting higher and higher.So, knowing where to go for a relief, thank Allah, I went back to Randy Pausch's last lecture.
"The brick walls is there for a reason. They are there not to keep us out, but to give us a chance to show us how badly we want something."
Some of the many inspiring words:
"If I am not seemed as depressed as I should be, sorry to disappoint you."
"Give people more time before getting angry at them." More to inspire if listened to!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Making Web 2.0 applications meaningful for Developement

Extermely true!
At the Web2forDev conference,web 2.0 tools were discussed as tools which "have changed traditional patterns of communication and knowledge sharing." However, the audience were warned not to focus on Web 2.0 tools only. Web 2.0 tools are valuable for bringing people together, but it is also important to think further than the web. "When we think about participatory web, it’s not about laptops and high bandwidth… it’s about mobile phones. There are 3 billion handsets worldwide, and it is estimated that 80-90% of people in the developing world can access a mobile phone if they need to. This is a level of penetration of technology that changes the rules of the game. We need to broaden our thinking beyond the Web."

They reached a conclusion that more exploration of the use of these tools is a must."On the one hand Web 2.0 offers us five key tools - blogs, wikis, tags, feeds and mash-ups – but on the other hand, in order to make the application of the tools meaningful for development, we also have to overcome five key challenges: we need to think about how we involve the right people; if the people we are trying to reach have access in terms of connectivity, infrastructure and language; if people actually will participate; how we structure and organize content; and finally, how we will measure the changes we have made. It is only when we use the afore-mentioned new tools with an approach to overcome the five challenges listed above that we will be able to further enhance development activities.’Chris Addison.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rational Future to Choose from!

I always try not to be like one of my students, who always write about dark sides in Sudan. But, when I lay my eyes on Downes words:
“And I don't see technology as inevitable, I see the
future as the result of choices, not progress, and there is
no one purely rational future to choose from.”

When I watch a video like this one entitled "A Vision of Students Today" for Micheal Wesch,It just bring all the negative emotions up the surface.
Students in my country DON’T HAVE CHOICES!!
Did you feel this before? Not being able to choose your future? I am not talking about destiny, no, and I can never do that. I am just talking about choosing a better life, work hard to achieve it, even it takes you 40 years to reach your long term goal.
Students here, ( or maybe my people too!) stopped to dream. They stopped to plan, Oh!, we are actually not raised to be researchers or planners, but one day we were the bravest people in the Arab world, who were born as fighters, always fight for their our own rights.
I am not describing my own situation, thank God, but I am reflecting a situation of 90% of students in the country. Maybe my kids will be one of them, one day!!:-((

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nigeria e-Learning Conference 200

I received an invitation from a friend, Lawan Dalha, from Nigeria to present my presentation at Nigeria e-Learning Conference 200 .Not bad,ha?I was hesitant at first, but he encouraged me saying teachers in Nigeria do need an "opening eye" to know about Web 2.0 tools and how useful they are in the ELT field.I sent an abstract and I am waiting for a response.
Viva Africa!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Project-Based Learning

Interesting article!
Interesting article, and a relieving one too! This is explains my wondering about the marks of the trainee I worked with lately.The marks for the grammar, reading and study skills were fine and anticipated. The ones of writing, after all the corrected emails and extensive work using online tools, were not!
I am going to copy and paste this part:
What can a computer do that a pencil cannot do?
•It can open the walls of the classroom and connect people from distant locations.
•It makes collaboration anytime and anywhere simple and affordable.
•It can keep track of data when it gets too much for a person to write or to think about and help to analyze that data which provides for some deeper thinking.
•It can make the editing process feel successful rather than frustrating.
•It can even the playing field for students with disabilities

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Launching SudaELtech

I will do my best to send invitations for joining SudaELTech YG before Eid.
Yesterday, I attended David Warlick,PRE CONFERENCE KEYNOTE,
“Inventing the New Boundaries” on K-12 Online Conference..Will Richardson writes about it saying:
The entire conference will be delivered as downloadable digital media via the Internet with over 40 sessions presented in four strands: Classroom 2.0, New Tools, Professional Learning Networks, and Obstacles to Opportunities.

Although many of the topics and themes could not be of an interest to teachers here in Sudan, I felt a qualm of not being able to have a platform to notify them of these kind of events.The funniest thing happened with me when I was playing with Elluminate tools.I put my photo there and couldn't take it off!!!In front of 77 people, whom I know only Jeff and
More screenshots are saved Here.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I think all teachers in Sudan should listen to this song.
We always need to be reminded of the "hero" inside us!!
Thank you Vileta for reminding me of this video!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Have a Dream!

My dream is to be courageous enough for starting a pilot course/workshop for EFL teachers in Khartoum, or even in other parts of our mini continent, Sudan.
It will be about how to use the Internet for their professional development. It will be like going through an attempt to convince them of the advantages of the free web 2.0 tools. It worth spending time and more energy, but where can I have the courage? Do you have some to lent me??:-)
"Success is never final.Failure is never fatal.It is courage that counts." ~Winston Churchill

"How to attract students who reject ICT"

For the last two months, I was teaching English to fresh graduates of engineers who work for a petroleum company in Khartoum. On coming to the course, some didn’t have emails and never touched a keyboard before!!
When I started working with computers with them, they never showed reluctance or fear from using ICT. On the contrary, they were very excited about the idea and showed “more” enthusiasm and motivation than those who have already an idea about how to use commuters or the Internet.
This was exactly the case when I worked with my first year students in Computer Sciences College.
I believe, for all tyes of learners,if they are aware of the range of choices open to them and how this could can make a difference in any working/studying field, they will NEVER be resistant to the use of ICT.
So, again, and again, it is US who are responsible of leading the way to show that ICT is fundamental to shaping what is happening now, and in the future. It is OUR job to tell them that they are already using ICT, from mobile phones to iPods, MP3 players etc.
The above was a reply to a discusson on Aberedeen, iatefl, about "How to attract students who reject ICT"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Training Career at Etisalat Academy

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
This was what took me "ages" away from here!
I discovered that, although I am used to e-multitasking, in real life(RL), it is very difficult to me to keep two jobs at the same time.Looking for perfection sometimes is what I characterize as one of my long list of weak qualities.Maybe I should put it aside.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Do you know how does it feel when a kid is given the bicycle he dreamt about for months? This is how I felt minutes ago, when I saw my name on the BBC British Council Teaching English website.I remembered that one day I added my contribution to the questions and answers about the use of blogs in classrooms.
Happiness in Sudan,as my friend Azza says is very simple to gain!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Keeping Strong

"I like the Japanese saying: "Fall seven times.Stand up eight." Now I should say, I don't think of life in terms of winning and losing, victory and defeat. I do think, though, that life rewards the effort you put into it."
By Stephen Downes July 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I have been invited by Cris to a session on online learning and moderation We also use Blackboard (an exg!!??)at University of Salford.
Sorry if this post has grown up to be a long post! lol
I tried to answer all questions in one post!
What are our students' demands/needs?
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 formulate a better frame work.
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' asked my self what do I expect from my students? I did ask myself what do my students expect from me, (a apart from the course material, syllabus objectives and the college's strategic objectives)?
An online moderator? An online moderator/facilitator should always be available to assist learners to use the technology, encourage them to extend and explore their different learning styles.I once dropped out of an online course 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 instruction and course 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:
Hofmann's states some of the factors to" Success".In my context,students need opportunities, because they have never given opportunities during all education levels they have been through. They need to be taught about the meaning of 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 they are students in College of Sciences 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".
Don't forget that the additional 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 success factors at the planning stages to ensure cooperative learning in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class, students 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!
I believe that one of the most important factors that lead to success in 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 in the future "ill 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.
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 could be some of the characteristics of the 21st century educator.Even much more are needed.
Superhuman beings??

Thursday, June 07, 2007

All Went Well+Surprises

It was really a blast!
Everything, thank Allah, went very well. No techie glitches at all, thanks to Nagy, the techie young man at the BC.
When I came back online, after two days off the virtual=real world, I had to take more than two hours reading emails of congrat's about the presentation and about my post below" Teaching Values, unconsciously!"
What's the story? Cris had let the cat out of the bag on an email to the webehads:
Yesterday Hala, Teresa and I met at ALADO.We had a great time while preparing
Hala's presentation.Hala was told us about one of her latest experiences with students. (Halainha,I am sorry if I am letting the cat out of the bag, but this has to be shared with the world -You are such a true inspiration!
Today on my way to work, I was thinking about our conversation again, and it
struck me that I would like to pursue some future research such a topic related
to the Humanware -about good practices, where technology is used as an inclusive
way to educate students to become not only experts in their are, but also to
become better citizens.I don't know if such a topic is possible, but you have just inspired me for it.I big Thank you from the heart!
My tribute to you is here

Thank you Cris!

Monday, June 04, 2007


What is the impact of ICT on the teacher's development and creativity by Brahim Elkhalil Afaichil - Tuesday, 29 May 2007
"Teachers now have to face the challenge to use ICT appropriately. I'm afraid that technology will invade all domains and therefore we'll have e-friends , e-meetings, e-lessons, e-families, e-feelings and you may imagine how many Es you can add to the list. I wonder whether new technology is doing good or harm to human beings!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Teaching Values, Unconsciously!
When one of my students wrote to me saying, "You taught me never to give up", I paused for seconds and asked myself," Did I really taught him that?
When another student wrote to me saying,"I want to re-join the Internet group Please teacher give me another chance to show you I am a good student". I paused. Why does she care to prove it?
When another one whispered about a secret poem he wrote in high school and I hoorayed loudly, he raised his voice asking if he could publish it with a short story on a blog. He did! He wrote back addressing me as his favorite teacher in the university. When a student sent me a card on Valentine day, I cried, because she said that it was her first time to know, from me, that Valentine day is not only a day for lovers, but it is a day to tell whom you love that you do love them( this what I told them in class).
When one of the students thanked me for putting him back to "his" group(authentic translation),I knew he would have never thought I would read his blog entries. But I did!
All the above were not to compare to what happened today..
While I was up to my ears, rehearsing and preparing, throwing like tons of sheets of papers, my husband called me to answer a telephone call on his mobile( I wonder from where did my they get his number!).It was one of my students. He told me the names of four of his colleagues.They were with him telling him what to say sometimes when he paused. This what he said:" We need to know why did you resign and leave the university?" We have been waiting all day in front of the Dean's office to ask about you and to ask about the problems you are having with the university.", "Are you coming to tomorrow's lecture?", "If you will, we want you to come with your 'dignity'( big word, ha?)," If you will not come, we have decided not to attend any lectures". We will go into a strike."
I began to explain that I have solved all my problems and they were not with the college. He sounded ready to go to where the problems were!!(Good Idea!), but I asked him about the resource who told him all these information. He would not tell. He kept on asking more questions to make sure of my coming tomorrow.
End of the story!
What exactly did I teach them, apart of teaching them General English, ESP and about love, dignity, life, that each one of them is so special, about the importance of being proud of their own culture, identity, responsibility, studying hard, respecting each other and saying " thank you" all the time???
I guess I have done well!
Thank you my dearest students, who may not have the chance to read this.
I love you all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Presentation at the British Council

Earlier thoughts:
I have been busy lately preparing for my presentation at the BC on the 5th of June. It will be Webcasted at Alado.On Sunday, I had met with Andy and my dear friend Cris for testing the room and it was a kind of an orientation. I will just let him and Teresa do the job, of "next slide please". I hope it will a success!
Second thought:
I Alas! I have almost finished! Today I decided to put the 101 link into a wiki..Let's see if it could be inserted there. I don't want it to a daunting presentation, but I can't stop feeling the "oh, this is important. they have to know about this..that..!!".I guess here comes what is called "the researcher" instinct, and we Sudanese are not taught to be ones!!!!!
God be with me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Web-based Learning

To learn through/with the web or integrating web tools in the learning process. This is what the title means.
Web-based learning is a window to the world, through which we, in Sudan could have a powerful telescope to expose us to the whole world.
How does all this relate to English language teaching/learning? It means the possibility t access hundreds of ELT web sites, all skills n English are addressed, authentic languages and materials are there, contacts with teachers from around the world, exchanging information between students around the world to know other cultures, to gain a more comprehensive and complete knowledge and to have a look at other lesson plans and classroom experiences, sometimes for the same lesson!
General Recommendations:
1.Urgent need for ELT educators and teachers to adapt the new ICT.
2.Absolute necessity to 'rethink' the whole educational system in order to adapt it to the demands of the changes.
3.Teacher training to use the tools is a must.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shifts Do Happen:From November to June

On the 5th of June, I will presenting at the British Council about online teacher professional development.(note the last copied post from my Forward blog!).Last Wednesday, I met at the BC and we had a very rich discussion about ELT in Sudan and the use of the Internet by teachers. She was excited about webcasting the presentation, which I shiver any minute I think about it.
What I have thoughtabout today was to:
1. Have teachers answer an online survey a week before the presentation to create a collaborative presentation.
2. Finiish what I have started with ASTELONLINE Yahoo Group. But I won't use to send the surveymonkey.
3.Email Andy about Alado.
Here is my agenda:
Here is the online survey

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thoughts:British Council Forum

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Today,it was the monthly English Forum at the British Council Sudan.The purpose of this post is; my discovery, for my surprise, is that; when I hear myself talking/expressing/discussing/suggesting ,guess what? I am amazed!!!Am obsessed by all these ideas???
I suggested, one day, to Jenny our ELU, that we could meet twice a month, do a presentation about using ICT in ELT,or maybe for TPD,a workshop maybe as a hands-on practice for integrating web tools into our classrooms.How about smashing the nutshell:towards becoming a web.2.o English language teachers".It came up into my mind when I was asked about future suggestions is to create a yahoo group for teachers in the whole of the Sudan:"crossing state:ELTSudan.After I defended my idea,I just fell in love with it!Anyway, I was nominated to join ,after December voting,the steering committee in the Forum.I also put a date to my presentation/workshop/session in March,in shaa Allah!


Monday ,November 13,2006
This website is formally a proposal for an Education sub-portal to be developed as part of UNESCO's Knowledge Portal -- specifically that section dealing with teacher education and information and communication technologies or ICT. However, it provides a wealth of resources for those interested in the topic.

Falling in Love

Moved from my "Forward" blog 4/14/07
When did I fall in love with computers and the use of technology to learn/teach English?
Well, when I started teaching ESP in 2001, it was at Computer Sciences Program. This was before Tagana becomes a university. It was a great challenge to me to read, study, collect, organize, and revise all the grammar I studied. I used to read up-to-date news and articles to be able to pick up the vocabulary I needed. It was a hard time .With a computer at home and two little cute organized kids, I fall in love with computers and got interested in it. I found the information useful.
Now, after spending two years at Medicine and Dentistry (another story of being a physician!), I was transferred again to Computer Science College. At first, I thought it was the end of my PhD path, which has not started yet. However, before I completed the first semester, I knew it was Allah's gift to me.
Now, after taking advantages of this opportunity, I ask for help whenever I need something. Help is always at my fingertips. Also, the staff helps me to learn about their students' needs. One of my colleagues made a remark about wishing that his/her students could make better presentations in the course, so I decided to include that in the future. Doing a session on how to present and then evaluate their presentations or give them feedback is not found in any course here at al Tagana.. In order to prepare for this kind of work, I will keep on asking, investigating, sharing offering what I have for the best of my students. Maybe I will find more Ajjr in heaven, but I do not expect anything on earth!! :-)))))

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thanks Sudan Telecommunication

While hunting for an important email, I found this email I sent to one of the lists asking for help when the website I kept all my photo was blocked in Sudan.
A belated thank you for our telecommunication in Sudan.
Fri, 02 Feb 2007
Earlier on this list, I posted about Bubbleshare being blocked. The
day before yesterday ,to my surprise, I found that is also
blocked! I turned into a mad woman( men know how that would be of
course!!).I called the telecommunication company, as they put their
"how to reach them " button in a big and clear font).After a furious
talk, and to my big surprise, the man was very cooperative ,
listened attentively , took the URL's and among my speech, I said
something about having blocked a website before and I didn't
complained. The man was very keen to listen about the types of these
websites and for what purpose do I use them.Then, he promised to call back.
Guess what? Yesterday, Both were back with a telephone call of apology telling me we are sorry for the inconvience and we promise this issue will not happen again!
I began to think whether Sudan is *really *developing! !!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fear of Technology

Another one dedicated to teachers in Sudan.Make the shift now! ( I love it..a title for the British Council presentation in June?mm..maybe)

Paying Attention

I watched this interesting video and I thought of only one obstacle to use mobiles for teaching English.How much money I need to send SMS to nearly 350 students?

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Water Drop!

Web Enhanced TPD
Due to constant advancement of Internet technologies, everyday the sun shines with a new "popped-up" opportunity to interact in cyberspace. The new born opportunities are brought on a silver plate for educators, teachers and learners. The interaction can lead to facilitating of language learning, teacher training and communication between both teachers and learners in the Internet.Issues of TPD have been in constant discussions in most educational forums in Sudan, as well as other developing countries. The major focus of this paper is to spot light on how a successful online learning, with the free Web tools, are used for EFL/ESL teachers around the world for ongoing TPD. The major objective is to further our understanding about the use web tools,( the why, how and what), with a suggestion to implement some of them in Khartoum for TPD.
This is my introduction for a short article I am planning to send to a local newspaper soon (time..time..time...)I guess a water drop is not an easy thing to get in summer ,so this is a water drop in a full water spout!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't throw what you already have!

On 11th of April, I had a Skype meeting with
Mr. Ahad from INTERLINK langague centers.I was well prepared with answers to questions like "Tell me about yourself", "why do you want to work with us?", etc.
It was aweesome how the conversations was turned over to soemthing like" why do you want to throw ALL what you have" for the sake of " the unknow"?
My eyes were wide opened on different aspects related to the job specifications.It was a truely freshly-minted experience. I was being semi-interviewd.Thank you Ahad!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

To Web 2.0, with love!!

What a coincidence! Immediately after the previous post, at 8:00 GMT, I attended an online presentation of Vance at Ankara, Turkey recorded with Audacity to show it later on my presentation on June and I took some screeshots.Viva Web 2.0! A website????

Static Websites.Again?

Upon a suggestion to create a Yahoo Group for ASTEL, association for English language teachers, a professor suggested a website. Again. A static website, tidy, colorful, organized and up-to-date software used. OK .What the fuss? What will the teachers do then? If I were in their place, I will move to the BBC site to get more up-to-date information, lesson plans or whatever. I sent back to tell my own point of view and I think Web 2.0 is an orphan term and not a buzz word here in Sudan.
Enforcing teachers to use the technology is another way around to lead them through the path of online teacher professional development.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Old "Q"s

"we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr


"You deserve all the praise you get and much more".Teresa.

"Technology is not being handled to help learning,
but just to have the technology there, to show it off".Daf

"I am afraid that while Technology is the main concern of institutions and not the integration of technology in education, things will not
change. Techies have the power now and they know nothing about education."Daf

"An online presence to me is in essence a set of WELL organized bookmarks" Vance.

"so virtually re-defined I remain, until the next evolution." Karen

"There is no use giving a sermon in Latin on how totill the soil.
The only way to help the poor lads outside who don't know a seed from
a plow share is to SHOW them."
Lyda Peters

Free Help for Online TPD

I have been helping my students in the YG I created how to use technology to improve their English. I can not describe how I feel when I see a student uses a correct English word, or when one of them succeeds in adding a widget all be himself!I have been taking courses online to learn how to integrate the Internet into the EFL classroom, but everyday, I get more more convinced that training teachers to use online tools is must.They need to be introduced to social networking, CMC and different Web 2.0 tools to help in their professional development.
If they only see the glowing eyes of my students!!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why Our Minds Wander (published) (Stephen Krashen's Mailing List)

I love Krashen everyday crazy comments and review.Here is his latest comments on this article.
Wednesday, Mar 28, 2007, Page 8
It seems that most scientists who study why our mind wanders assume that it is a bad thing ("Scientists explore the `wanders' of the human mind," March 23,
page 9). Sometimes it is a bad thing, but often it isn't.Creativity research consistently shows that "incubation," some quiet time in which the thinker is
not concerned with the problem at hand, helps with problem-solving. Piaget, for example, went for walks when faced with hard problems in his work and Einstein played his violin. Both found that solutions came easily after a short
period of relaxation. Research also shows that good thinkers actually schedule in "idle time" after periods of hard work.
When the mind wanders, at least in some cases, it may
be because the mind needs to "incubate" over a
problem. Artificially forcing the thinker to stay
"focused," without allowing incubation, might inhibit
creative thinking.
Remember when you were staring at the ceiling in
elementary school and the teacher asked you whether
the answer was on the ceiling? Maybe it was.
Stephen Krashen

Saturday, March 10, 2007


TEACHING ENGLISH Search Engine by Claudia Ceraso from
is focused on international examinations: FCE, CAE, CPE and IELTS. Find exercises, news and edublogs. Relevant sites database last updated: February 2007.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Monday ,November 13,2006
This website is formally a proposal for an Education sub-portal to be developed as part of UNESCO's Knowledge Portal -- specifically that section dealing with teacher education and information and communication technologies or ICT. However, it provides a wealth of resources for those interested in the topic.

Forward:Thoughts:British Council Forum

Today,it was the monthly English Forum at the British Council Sudan.The purpose of this post is; my discovery,for my surprise, is that;when I heard myself talking/expressing/discussing/suggesting ,guess what? I am amazed!!!Am I full of all these ideas???
I suggested,one day, to Jenny in our ELU, that we could meet twice a month, do a presentation about using ICT in ELT,or maybe for TPD,a workshop maybe as a hands-on practice for integrating web tools into our classrooms.How about smashing the nutshell:towards becoming a web.2.o English language teachers".It came up into my mind when I was asked about further suggestions is to create a yahoo group for teachers in the whole of the Sudan:"Crossing State Boarders:ELTSudan.After I defended my idea,I just fell in love with it!Anyway, I was nominated to join ,after December voting,the steering committee in the Forum.I also put a date to my presentation/workshop/session in March,in shaa Allah!

Forward:I Take the Challenge

Alas!I have time for blogging again.Today,at the English Forum,I know that it will be a challenge to talk,or even whisper,about blogs.I will take the challenge and ,in the mean time,I will creat my first blog for students at Tagana.I will keep my fingers crossed!

Moving Posts from "Forward" into "Hello World"

Tdoay,at last, I managed to have time to move all posts from my other blog" FORWARD" into here, in an attempt to make things organized!From here I go... upward!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

I can’t teach properly

I’m growing increasingly frustrated in the teaching profession. I can’t teach the way that I want to, and I find it extraordinarily difficult to teach in the ‘traditional’ manner which is assumed and seemingly expected by all around me. This means I fall between two stools of conceptions of teaching. Allow me to elaborate and explain…..."Do these wrods applicable to your setting??? They do for me!Read below and tell me!!!
I can’t teach properly

I can’t teach properly

I’m growing increasingly frustrated in the teaching profession. I can’t teach the way that I want to, and I find it extraordinarily difficult to teach in the ‘traditional’ manner which is assumed and seemingly expected by all around me. This means I fall between two stools of conceptions of teaching. Allow me to elaborate and explain…..."Do these wrods applicable to your setting??? They do for me!Read below and tell me!!!
I can’t teach properly

Muslim focus for British Council

I wonder whether this is going to affect us , directly or indirectly, positively or negatively!!How marvelously they put objectives for the far future to guarantee security and peace for people and country!!! A true genuine organized British plan!
A diversed point to consider when we deal with the BC could be clear in Dr.Amna Bedri reply to my FWD message about the topic:
Thanks hala very interesting, its also up to us to make use of this
opportunity especially in the field of ELT and to beware as well
two years ago I attended a workshop in Britain and all the focus was on
eastern European countries and south America to the extent that i
to the organizers, we were three Muslims from Qatar and Iraq???? and Sudan focus is on the south and Darfur, that what they said so we
were disadvantaged 3 times for being Sudanese, teachers not politicians and
working in the north of lets think hard"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A course I am eager to take

2007 Leadership Development Certificate Program
Leadership Development for Professional Growth is designed for TESOL members who are interested in building leadership and supervisory skills
needed within the EFL/ESL workplace. This new strand was developed to address the increasing need for leadership training geared to supervisory positions within language programs.
More on TESOL

When I looked upon the specification of the workshop, I said to myself”Wasn’t this what we have been talking about today concerning what teachers need?”
Qualities of Effective Leadership
The key to effective leadership resides in learning to master a set of skills that range from managing processes to inspiring others to achieve excellence in their work and in how to assess one’s own abilities related to these skills. This workshop will focus on developing key leadership skills related to communication, coaching, delegating, and developing teams. These skills are used when hiring people, letting people go, running meetings, resolving conflict, and delegating authority. Self assessment exercises will be offered to help participants both assess and improve their leadership ability.
Financial Planning: Budgets and Course Costing
To ensure an ELT organization meets its goals and provides quality programs and services to its clients, it must be financially viable. Financial management and planning are crucial skills for leaders of language programs. In this workshop, we will present basic principles for developing and monitoring budgets. Tools for developing a business case and evaluating financial performance will also be shared.
Leadership for Teacher Change: Supervision
Leaders in language education must spend considerable time and energy on teacher growth and development. This workshop will focus on a model of supervision that derives from research, uses a paradigm for learning and teaching that is grounded in a constructivist approach to education, and focuses on improving teacher effectiveness and professional growth.
Strategic Planning
ELT organizations need to respond to changing demands. Strategic planning is a process an organization uses to examine itself and its environment to determine where it wants to be in time and how to get there.We will present a framework for strategic planning and provide tools to work though the process with interactive, problem-solving participation.

Should's /should not's

I dedicate this to Dr.Amna Bedri,whom today seemed, unlike her always shinning optimistic character, pessimistic today about integrating technology into classrooms.
"In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint," Mr Negroponte said.

"I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing, not running office automation tools."

Read the rest of the article on BBC NEWS website about the The scheme is hoping to put low-cost computers into the hands of people in developing countries.

Workshop at Ahfad

I am just going to post this with a very fast typo ,untill Dr.Amna sends us "the attachment" by email,or was it a joke? I am dead brain now!!
Today, I attended a workshop at Ahfad University for Women on the pre-session course for all programmes. Teachers form many university participated in the workshop, providing, information ,talking about their own experiences. ALL have agreed upon the problems that face teachers ,students and faculties to attain the level required. The problems were summarized on the following:
•Untrained teachers. Some teacher assistants are graduated from faculty of Arts, received no in-service or pro service training.
•Large classes of students(100-400).
•Lack of motivation from students side
•Low level upon entrance.
•Not enough contact hours(2 hours per week)
•Lack of syllabi
•English is not given a credit, thus students are de-motivated to spare time and effort to study hard to pass.
•Administration is not willing to provide any further help. Deans and coordinators even sell it out leave science to the scientists
•Not enough staff
•No rooms available is what teachers hear when ask about increasing contact hours
•Teachers are frustrated enough as not to be in a status for looking for more innovative ways in ELT field or any other way to motivate students .
•Teachers have a misconception of TPD, teacher training and teacher education, though these terms have been used interchangeably lately .
All participants thanked Ahfad University for their constant initiatives taken in order to grab EFL teachers “out of the nutshell”(my expression). Moreover, they also believe English language is the gate towards success in study, research and fining a job.Dr. Amna Bedri promised to send us the dissemination of he workshop. These are summarized points ,as far as I can recall:
1.division to three groups :teacher training, content of syllabus and policies and administration.
2.Processional course is vital.Fees 150-250 Credit hours 120 per month.
3.A general unified course for ESP is required for all universities.
4.ASTEL ,association for EL teachers in Sudan, is about to be registered. This should be taken as a step towards unifying efforts of teachers in all parts of the country.
5.Activations of TRC teacher resource center, in Ahfad, in cooperation with other teacher training centers, like Al Azhari University, to start providing workshops, seminars and lectures for teacher training and teacher professional development.
6.Needs analysis for syllabus design/how material is selected/realistic objectives
When online TPD is suggested by me, Dr Amna attacked it from different angle; students vary in their levels, from beginning-post intermediate, thus special attention is needed to EACH student .Definitely agree, but even in a group of 4,I can divide the task into four to assure each is engaged into separate part ,which he has to accomplish by himself or with the help of the leader of the group.
Very Disappointing?????Tea,I know,but challenging too!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Attemepts to close digital divide

This is a vey interesting article to read to read.This is the summary which captured my attention:
"It has been said that when the only tool you have is a hammer, you see every problem as a nail. And one of the most appropriate examples to which this adage applies, is the field of information communication technologies for development (ICT4D), where there has been, over the past few years, an active engagement in finding solutions for developing countries that improve socio-economic conditions with the use of technology. While this article does not address the motives behind people's efforts to "close the digital divide", it does focus on the way many have been attempting to do so. In particular, it examines the typical hammer-like approach that researchers, companies, organizations, and government bodies employ while attempting to create ICT4D solutions, and suggests an approach which may provide more successful results."