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."
http://tinyurl.com/339kgn (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!