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."