Sunday, December 21, 2008

Think before you blog

Think Before You Blog
Actually, I have something to blog everyday; in my work, family, country, online communities, friends, life in general. But the question is does it worth taking the time to blog about it? Putting what's in your mind in words using L2 has always been a problem to me. In speaking, noooo! I still use the mmm..aaaa a lot. Translating takes a fraction of a second, but still affects my speaking. Writing? I take long time to edit/re-edit a post, so many times, when I thought about this, I was refrained from posting.Anyway, I decided not to stop blogging, even if I would only post an image. That will do..maybe only to me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yees! Fast Internet for Africa

In Sudan, we have a fairly good Internet speed, but we still have problems when watching a video and downloading a large file.
However, I consider this is an interesting news for language teachers in Sudan to be using the Internet. Charging for connection is getting cheaper, thanks to the competition between private and governmental companies! Regarding computers, the situating here, and maybe worldwide, is that computers are to getting more cheaper ( with installments), which makes it easier for teachers to have their own. As for students, more and more are getting access the Internet for different reasons, but what is important that they ARE getting access to computers and the Web. Teachers, please take the intuitive!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Leslie Opp-Beckman in Sudan

Leslie Opp-Beckman
I was invited to attend a workshop at the Department of University Requirements, University of Khartoum conducted by Dr. Opp-Beckman, senior instructor; technology coordinator at the American English Institute, University of Oregon. The workshop was based on "Shaping the Way We Teach English" modules. The effect of the workshop on the teachers attended, was like when very thirsty people, in a desert, are offered a bucket of water! Simply, it was fantastic! The content, the instructor, organization, materials, resources and the food of thought we went with were all what kept teachers hang on to the workshop. Teachers considered Leslie a unique instructor who really shaped the way we teach English. Slide show of photos on Picassa
More about Leslie here and her visit.
Her work with professional development videoconferencing series for English as a Foreign Language educators in Thailand, 2007-08

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

World's First Blue Roses

after 20 years of research, the amazing blue roses have come to life! I wonder what's next??

Monday, November 10, 2008

Testing Adobe Connect

Today I tested Adobe Connect with the educators from the USA State Government Office, as a first test for the system to see just how the platform might work. They meant to use it with teachers in Sudan and other parts of the Arab world for seminars and presentations. It was for sure a great experience. I didn't experience any tech glitches with my low bandwidth. the sound and video were crystal clear. The people from the system joined us and I was amazed about how the system was very user friendly. It has the same features of Wimba and WiziQ.
I still feel I am at home with Alado and Elluminate,though!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Is it Funny or What?

Today was my first day at work, after a very long vacation!
I was so excited about "re-shaping the way I teach" to the extent that I spent nearly a week to prepare the syllabus and add to it.I started the day with wings to fly!
I am not sure if the story or the incident I am going to write about EL teachers recruitment in our university is pitiful,horrible, disgraceful, disastrous, or just funny.
A part time teacher was in daily contact with me during the previous week to help him completing a file to submit for a full time job in our university. He is a very good teacher who worked for two semesters, with Masters in ELT and long 5 teaching experience in schools. The only problem he had was that his BA degree was "good", while they want "very good" and higher.( Very Good =3.5).Nothing is funny here too!
We set a time today to meet at the Dean's office.
The Dean called me two days ago, asking me to come and meet a new teacher, with no experience, who is supposed to be an English teacher after the next one-two semesters.
I knew that the first teacher, with experience and Masters, will not get the job.Fine.It's the Ministry of Higher Education policy. No problem.Still, nothing funny!
The Dean's teacher called even before I get dressed today.When I got there, I saw his, a face I didn't know where I have seen before.As I was late to the lecture, I asked him to attend with me,to have a first look at how things work in the English classroom.I always tend to make my first lecture as a diagnostic lecture for the level of students, especially freshen. I also tend to make it as an orientation to the syllabus, the class environment, class regulations, the university system, and even to myself a teacher. I gave students 20 minutes to write short paragraph entitled"About Myself". Nothing funny, I know.
The story began during these 20 minutes when I was having a chat with the new teacher, who told me he is an employee in our university. His BA is in law.His masters in translation and he has never taught English. His job? The Chief of Security since 19997.Funny?
I came home without wings!
I better start thinking about leaving.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Youtube and the National Telecommunication Cooperation in Sudan

"Ooops! I should have blogged about the unblocking of Youtube in Sudan!!
Youtube is also back, except of those videos that thrown away by the National Telecommunication Cooperation in Sudan.
The National Telecommunication Cooperation works on blocking and filtering of pornographic, anti-Islamic websites, in addition to those that contain political, cultural and religious content that “the company “ sees and decides upon their inappropriateness. The blocking of YouTube was criticized in Sudan and all over the world. A large number of Sudanese youth all over the globe have even created a group at Facebook as an online platform for a protest campaign. I wonder if we can change the behavior of our youth by blocking websites, which, professionally, they teach you how to mirror and easily access them!
My relationship with the National Telecommunication Cooperation dates back to January 2007, when I reported back to them about blocking my blog and my Bubbleshare account.
In August, 2008 I wrote the company asking to unblock, a website for web hosting where I keep most of my files, documents, my PhD theses and all my previous work with my students.The company was very cooperative and sent me a prompt reply that they will unblock the website as soon as possible.For the second time, I admired their cooperation and helpfulness.
Earlier on an e-list, I posted about Bubbleshare being blocked and the great help I found by the NTC. I will copy the post below:
The day before yesterday ,to my surprise, I found that Blogger com is also blocked! I turned into a mad woman ( men know how that would be of. 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 types of these websites and promised to call back. Guess what? Yesterday, ALL were back with a telephone call of apology.I began to think whether Sudan is *really *developing!!!
More on Youtube being banned in Sudan:
The Initiative for an Open Arab Internet
Sudan Tribune
Zoulcolm X A blog by a Sudanese youth

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sudaneseonline is back today!

""I felt so sad when receiving an error message stating that Sudansesonline was blocked by the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), the message that appeared on my screen when checking out if it back or not. The action of destruction generated thousands of angry emails and posts everywhere online protesting the action. I am not a member of Sudanseseonline, but I won’t skip a day without lurking and reading the up-to-date news on the website, which groups thousands of Sudanese professional around the globe.The website was destroyed by professional hacker, amongst other 300 Sudanese websites destroyed by hackers during the last few months, according to a report by Hassan Elbihari at Al-Ray-Alaam newspaper.
The rest of the websites were governmental, ministries, newspapers; Alayam, Alwatan, online forums; , Sudanyat and Al-Hilal football league.Even the website of the National Telecommunication Cooperation didn’t survive in front of the hackers'keyboard, as a protest reaction to blocking Youtube in Sudan in July 22, 2008.
Welcome back, Sudaneseonline!

What should I blog about?

My posts seem to lessen monthly! The truth is that I do miss blogging. I don't want to be another Sudanese who complains about life in Sudan and how things are getting complicated every single moment. As if we are a herd driven by the current situation to the "nowhere", where there will be no step back.Anyway, concerning myself, my friends, my family and my neighbors ( about 1000 person!), we are all being driven to the unknown!!
Let's keep on dreaming that one day...just one day, we will wake up and find our beloved country a better one!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rest in Peace ”Habeebo”

انتقل الي الخالق الاخ محمد احمد على رضوان "حبيبو"رحمه الله
والذي استشهد غرقا"ىوم الاربعا 8\10\2008
When I read the news on the Tagananet e-list, sent by Mohamed Osman, my eyes froze on the screen. A recorded film strip began to move in front of my eyes. Mohamd Rudwan, or just Rudwan, as I loved to call him, was one of the students that I used to miss in class. Do you know what this means? When a teacher misses a student when he is absent means that he/she adds to the class. Adds what? Student presence. Everything. Even if he doesn’t say a word, his being there watching you, listening attentively to the lcture, helping his colleagues with exercises and spreading his love to the class. This WAS Ruwdan for me.
I have always felt that his friends, Hisham Salih, Ahmed Osman, Alsareef, and others, miss him in class, as I do.
I happened to get to know Rudwan close when he joined the Internet Group back in 2007. I remember his childish big, black, rounded eyes when asking me about something he didn’t know, or when he submitted his homework. . He had a funny type of teenager’s “Istihbal” that you couldn’t but laugh at when he gives you his back. He was so confidant of himself. He used to tell me that “Ok teacher, everything will be done soon, no problem”. Nothing will be done now. No Rwdaon anymore. He drowned on Wednesday,October 8,2008, when he went to swim in the Nile River with one of his friends,going deep into a dangerous area in the Nile, fear of nothing even if he doesn’t know how to swim well, that’s typical Rudwan , the guy full of confidence. He thought he could do it. This last time ..he couldn’t.
Hisham called me three days later, telling me they found his body at Aljabal, after four days. I told him I will come to offer my condolences to his mother. I just couldn’t! It’s my first time ever to lose a STUDETN. I told my kids about him. Maybe my words were so true that my elder daughter kept telling me for three days that Rudwan picture was always in front of her eyes, asking to show her his picture. I refused.
Today, I miss Rudwan, my student, the one who was so young, so full of life, full of hope, ambition, energy, enthusiasm and much more that I don’t know about. Loved by all his friends, they called him “Habibo”. Anick name means “His lover”. Allah yarhamak wa ya3awid shababk al Jennah.We will always miss you! I will keep you in my Duaa, forever!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Enjoying lurking

The picture tells it all! After Eid, I started crawling to my laptop. I still can't blog, work, prepare or participate actively in both the cyberspace and the kyberspace!I am enjying being a lurker!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sperficial Spam!

In a response to a post on the ESL Sudan Google Group yesterday:
you wrote:
>”I don't know why you are so worried about "spam"; it's just normal….”
Absolutely! Yes! I agree. Getting spam massages are very normal.
>” ignore it and have fun. It seems to me we are discussing superficial things”
I am afraid members of this group could lose the fun part of learning if they are not aware of the danger of these spam messages and they happen to have spammers attach their computers. Usually, spam emails go the “junk “or “spam “folder, not to the inbox. When they succeed into getting to the inbox, problems will start. If you check the discussions in our group: you will notice that we are getting more spammed posts.
When I posted earlier about “spam’ messages, I was *not* discussing anything. Actually, I was making sure that all member of the group are aware of these types of spam messages. Also, I wanted members be careful about responding or following the links added on the spammer’s email so as to prevent them from falling into the trap.(Check group discussion)
Some member of ESL Sudan had already fallen into the trap when they , as being courteous in welcoming a new member, started to reply to the spammer having no idea of what’s behind this email. The dangers of this type of responding are:
Firstly, it could be an attempt to test if the email address is active and valuable for further spamming.Secondly, we will have more spammers joining the group. Thirdly, following a link like this, could lead to very serious damages to computers, as it may contain computer viruses or spywares that can have access to the computer used. Consequences? Gaining access to files and folders on the computer, send inappropriate information or prone images to all your contact list. I am not going to “discuss” ransomwares, financial scams, losing money in bank accounts, illegal activities, credit card information, drugs, or Internet crimes because the members of this group are teachers of English and not indulged in ANY of the previous dangers. But, this is how things are on the cyberspace and this why more serious actions have been taking place about Internet security issues and active fighting of spam.
Moderating each post could be very difficult in group of large members. Turning on the moderation setting to a group have never meant to BLOCK any teachers from joining in. On the contrary, it will guarantee a safe environment for learning, discussing or collaborating, especially if students are thought to be invited. Please correct me if I wrong, I think this is has been suggested earlier about inviting ASTEL members and students to use the material sent for the DVC. New members only have to drop a line about who are they ( a teacher/ student).
If anyone is interested to know about the danger of spam, you may check these web sites:
About spam:
E-mail spam:
More about spam:
Tips on how to deal with spam:
Thank you for reading until here!
Have a blessful Ramadan!
Hala Fawzi ( Didn't know that this will turn into a long post.Sorry!)

Connections for a Better World

I joined "Connecting Online CC09"a Ning community,which created by Nellie to "share "online" personal and professional learning experiences in preparation for the online conference in February 6-8, 2009. The invitation was by Nellie, who has been known as an active online researcher who is always connecting people, researchers and teachers in many platforms. Thanks Nellie!This is my first post there
Our context, cultures or views may differ, but the spirit we share of digging for more knowledge leads us to join/create more connections. For me, with the development of technology, the birth of the Internet, and the online connections with other "cyberism" that I started to make, global windows were opened to new opportunists for learning and gaining knowledge in all fields. The changes in attitudes, views, behavior, career and eventually, changes in the value of us as human beings, to both our real and virtual societies are what connections should achieve. Certainly, the world have changed since the minute of early online connections, but we are all longing for a better world, a new connected-utopia,

Towards more learning, sharing and better societies.
Cristina Costa added a comment:
Dear Hala,
You said it all.
I think that those who are really looking forward to truly connect to others will be able to establish the so long awaited Utopia where connecting really means to learn with care. And where what interests the most is that we make ourselves available to others (volunteer support, mutual respect, joint engagement). In doing that we also receive what we give. Sometimes...most times... even more. And that is what makes us come back and look for more - the feeling that we are welcomed here (online) and that we belong to this connected world, which in a way is aiming at overcoming some of the impersonal off-site spaces where people are to busy to connect.
I think online we have found a new way, and a pretext too, to re-connect, and thus awake the community spirit, which is so important to all of us. After all, finding new ways of establishing true communication (connecting) are part of what we are as human beings.
I am just glad to be part of the same community as you are. It certainly has made my world better! ;-)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan is the month in which I recharge my spiritual soul. I decided to come out of this Ramadan as clean as when I came from Hajj. It has been a long year,with some dark sides I wished never witnessed. The most important thing that I, my kids, husband, my mom and the rest of my family are all in good health.Being in good health is very difficult in this country, though. May Allah fulfill my wishes. Ramadan kareem to the Islamic Ummah!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Enjoy to the last Yen!

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Hello and Goodbye WorldCALL 2008!

To start reflecting about my WorldCALL 2008 experience with a farewell post, can tell a lot about how much knowledge we were exposed to since the conference has started:intellectually, socially, culturally, digitally, wirelessly, civiliz*ingly* and webehad*ingly*!Without exception, attending WorldCALL08 was the most rewarding experience in our lives, if comparison could fit here with any! More to come soon!
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Airport. Another culture shock in Japan!

Monday, August 04, 2008

When a Dream Comes True!

Finally, after almost 24 hours trip, the dream came true! Accompanying Susan from Doha made the trip very comfortable and fun.I am not sure if my computer will let me finish this post. I am posting from my room, with a battery of 37% left. I have to buy a transformer tomorrow. Here is another photo.We didn't meet the rest of the Latin America girls. All sleeping. Thanks Nina for showing me and Susan around our rooms. You are our f2f and virtual master.Make sure I will not tell about the secret:-) Wait until I tell you what happened behind you girls!!!! Viki, the one met me and Susan at the airport, said we have to take the subway to Fukuoka University . Taxis are too expensive. We decided to meet at 7:00 am for breakfast and go together.
Be it a mass loss of webheads in Fukuoka

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flying to Fukuoka

I am leaving to Fukuoka, Japan next week for WorldCALL 2008.I have post it about it earlier on my other blog.Full story on the wiki I created.

Back to Life!

I remember how often I tell my brilliant student, Muhanned, to be more optimistic, as he always writes about the dark side of life in Sudan. Lately, I found myself turning to another Munhanned, but the only difference is that I have never dared to put what's inside my mind into a blog post!
The death of a dear friend and a neighbor on the Sudan airways flight lead to a slow down, really slow down in all my life streams.
Back with this photos.It tells a lot and does NOT tell a lot more!!!
This is what is written on it:
"The photo is a Pulitzer winning prize taken in 1994 during the Sudan famine.The vulture is waiting for the boy to die so as it can it him.The picture was a shock to the whole world.No none knows what happened to the child even the photographer, Kevin Carter, who left the place as soon the photo was taken.Three months later, he committed suicide due to depression.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sharing Culture Interview

I am in Cairo now. I am at an Internet cafe near the house. I left the kids with my friend because I have a meeting with a friends' students doing a project entitled "Sharing Culture" I went the day before and checked the software I needed, but today, there were serious sound problems that hindered having a smooth interview.It was great to hear the sweet voices of the students, Maria Belen and Agustina.
The page looks amazing, with all the info compiled on the wiki page
It's amazing how I feel so committed to this friend, or any other teacher, in the webheads community of practice. They taught me, or is it just a viral infectious learning, to share, care and lend a helping hand whenever possible. But this "possibility" if I may call it, turns to something else, turns to a real commitment i real lie. Amazing, ha?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Five Minute University!

Globally true? It is here in my country too!!:-)
UPDATE:::: You Tube has been blocked in Sudan.No logical reasons!!!!!!!!!1

How does your blog relate to your business?

I was tagged by Cristina Costa in a posed challenge to answer the question"“How does your blog relate to your business?”Here is my answer:
"I am blogging because I am a life-long learner. I am willing to share what I have learned. I need to learn with/from others. I love to read/watch others’ contribution to knowledge . I like to track how knowledge is distributed. Isn’t this what is all about? Sharing knowledge, experience, feelings, networking collaboratively with local and international communities. Although I hate writing, here I am, blogging about everything. I blog because I NEED to be inside the blogosphere which is created by bloggers, the real people with whom we live and interact. I guess it is also about communicating with people. Can I call it peo-blogging ( people-blogging)? I don’t have many blogs, five at Blogger and two at Wordpres! When I started to blog, which is the way how to learn the blogging process, I wasn’t aware of the dozens of the world-wide-windows that keep on opening with every blog post I add, or every post I read. I blog because blogging have changed my life and it will keep on giving me a better life, with other bloggers!!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

what to advise a student about using the Web.

Copied from George Siemens'eLearning Resources and News:
"Seb Schmoller has compiled a short list on what to advise a student about using the Web. The list is a good starting point for educators who are trying to improve their own use of the web (after all, we need to become somewhat competent with the tools before we expect to model use for learners).

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Japan go Africa

April 30, 2008:
Japan announced its plan to build 1,000 schools in Africa over the next five years.
"Japan will be assisting in the enhancement of teachers’ abilities in the classroom, focusing mainly on improving teaching methods in math and science" Why not English too?
Just whirling thoughts!!Full story here..Excellent plan!

Mobile Learning in Africa

Wireless connection is more easier to connect to students, educators,and all the people in Africa. In Sudan, mobile is the most handy digital toy in the hand of ALL students. Poor or rich, all have their different styles and models for mobile.
I think it is high time to have specialists to study the usage of ICT(particularly mobile phones) in Sudanese society and culture.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

ICT Course Graduation

With a flat tyre , I manged to reach Ahfad University late for Leikny's excellent summary for what was covered on the course. It was very nice to have all the participants together, from different universities in Khartoum, coming together with a very powerful sense of satisfaction about what they have learned and achieved from Leikny's content and delivery method.Seconding one of the teachers, her delivery style taught us a lot about dealing with a very different context in a very flexible and creative way.Leikny, if you happen to come back to this blog, you are GREAT!
Thanks! I lost my PC Suite Cable to add pictures of the graduations .Later!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Global thinking , local action!

How it was started?
Our society is conservative, but it is changing now. We are still bounded with customs, culture and religion bonds.
What was generated?
A hot discussion between Veronica and Mageed! :-) It was around: Mageed's unreadiness to share kitchen with his wife, in case she is supposed to finish a distance education course.She has to do it 'all"; her responsibility ( in this case the kitchen) and her study, without him ( Mageed) to help out.Changing a society in which you are one member, to be better, is very difficult.He adds that he can't allow his daughter, 16, in Khartoum, to go alone to an Internet café, for her safety, only because a girl is not allowed to go alone at that time.( I agree!)
Mageed states that we should confront the society, but Vernonica says that Sudan is living with force, so we can start it gradually,as any change in all areas should be gradually ( I agree!) We should not impose anything.We should consider elements that suit our culture and society. We have to value our culture, and try to change the behavior.
Mageed says that we should use different strategies for change to come.
What we all agreed upon as a conclusion?
Education is the key for everything.
Online education will help A LOT in closing the digital gender gab we have, raising awareness about AIDS; how to fight poverty, prevention of crises before they strike, etc.ICT will facilitate development in general.
Questions remained
(Now, I am blogging live):On e-learning Africa News Portal,a pre-conference workshop works towards " empowerment and substantial growth", They stated that it worked "well all over the world because the learning need comes from the person and the learning happens in an authentic learning environment based on an authentic need.” When Teachers Learn – Providing Local Teacher Training With Global Best Practice
..How are we going to implement online education in Sudan?
..How can your university be a change agent in ICT field in our Sudanese society?You are the most educated people and you should participate in this."Leikny, Khartoum
..a few examples to help us go into global thinking and try to apply innovative ideas into our local context:
Computer assisted teacher training CATT: a project by USAID in Namibia, which was directed to girls only .
Links live blogged
ICTs and the Professional Development of Teachers
A Handbook to Guide and Assess the Appropriate Use of ICTs to Aid in the Professional Development of Teachers to Benefit Education For All
Terry Freedman's News & Views, Computers in Classrooms April 2008
THE site for leaders and managers of educational ICT
Rich-Media Webcasting Technologies for Science Dissemination
Here is a paper that "presents a brief history, and identifies current uses and trends for deploying ICTs, primarily in the formal Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, with a focus on the online environment. It considers three main questions: (1) Why do ICTs need to be considered as a critical tool in education for sustainable development (ESD)?; (2) What ICTs are currently being used by educators and learners?; and (3) What can we expect to see in the near future?"

Thank you, Leikny! GREAT discussion.

Monday, April 21, 2008

ICT in Education cont. :Digital Divide

Digital divide is a concept related to education, economic and power. It is the divide or gab between those who have the hardware and infrastructure and those who don’t, between users and consumers. Also, it could be looked upon from other diversities; between the north and south , countries within countries,
(geographically) , teachers and students (academically ), men and women ( gender) , social classes ( socially), between nations( politically)
There is no boarders or laws to prevent country/people/individual from using this digital knowledge, information.The only solution is MONEY.
On the other hand, some say that we don't see it appropriate to see ICT in schools while those pupils suffering from finding fresh clean water or medical care.
In Zambia, Prof Leikny said that one of the visiting educators asked about 700 students a very simple question:" Who has touched a computer before? " only 3 hands were raised .
it is difficult and it is all about money BUT Policy is also involved here.The question is: what could be done on the national or local level to bridge the gab? I think if the Southern Sudan had separated from the North, the digital divide will be bridged very fast and one day we will wake up and find ourselves way behind the south.
There are *More* mobiles and more Internet cafes, so we don't have to be pessimistic.The important thing is to overcome this digital divide, is to be put more on agriculture and on development.
How can these technical devices be used in education??
The above is about International level. Next Saturday will be about national level and trying to figure out solutions for our Sudanese context. I love this course!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ICT in Education Course

I consider myself lucky to be invited by Dr Ayman Badri, Ahfad University, to take a course in ICT in Education and Management System. He is the University Academic counterpart of the course. It is in fact a part of a joint Master Program in International Education and Development , with Oslo University, Cape Town University and Ahfad University.Course duration is one month, 7th April-3rd May 2008, at AlHafeed Library at the university.The lecture is Prof. Leikny Orgim.Participants are three NOMA students+17 from Ahfad and other universities.
My opinion? More than great! What I like best? In addition to the content and the knowledgeable instructor, the flexibility of the course plan. She came to Sudan, with a very slight idea about the participants, who re from different specializations, with a course plan and overview of what she should cover. From the first day, she started to change her plans. I loved this! I will adapt this to my coming work. It is not a mistake if you change the plan according to your participants' needs.I think teachers here should learn this. If I have done this in workshop, this would be taken against me( she is not well prepared!).When this comes from this Prof., then they will know that this normal, sometimes a must for the benefit participants.
This turns into a long post. Stay tuned for more. I hope I will be able to post a daily digest of the sessions on the wiki I created to put everything in one place.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mini_ Lesson on Online Tools

Today, at the University of Khartoum, I accepted an invitation from Hala Salih, Head of English Section at University Requirements Department, to come and show her and one of her assistant how to use Web 2.0 tools in English Classroom.Basically, to talk about my experience with my students in 2007. Hala is the only teacher now who is putting into practice what she learned from EVO sessions.Her enthusiasm, the support that she finds from the university, an assistant, her being in charge of decisions and her choosing to implement this in School of Math, where there is excellent infrastructure and well knowledgeable IT students , will definitely come up with amazing outcomes.I came to know about the University of Khartoum well designed, though I have reservations about not being dynamic, website. Dr. Sami Shereef, one of the best in ICT in Sudan, is the one responsible.He is very helpful and encourages innovative ideas in teaching using ICT. They re using the Moodle now in some of their schools.
Well, Hala wrote about the visit hereI was flattered when I read what she called me a "CALL expert". I am not at all one, but I only consider myself a pioneer in a filed that is not explored in Sudan.Thanks Hala.I enjoyed your hospitality, enthusiasm and creativity. Lucky your students and department!!I wish Hala the best of luck.May everything goes well and , as I told her, I am here to help, assist and participate in anything Web 2.0's:-)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Digital Videoconference at US Embassy about Using Technology

The focus of today's digital videoconference was on the use of technology as a tool to assist English language teachers in Sudan.I was not pleased about the session. I got the feeling that these people were not ready to deliver this session, or presentation or what ever it is called.The feedback was totally disappointing. Teachers told me that they got out with one thing. A social network called Facebook can be used in professional development by joining groups. some said that they don't have the time to do this.Others, said they will not join because they believe the context of teachers there is completely different from ours.
I was hoping to attend an eye-opening session for our teachers, but it was not.
anyways,I warmly appreciate whatever is done and initiated by the American Embassy this year. What is needed is teachers to guide them to what we REALLY need.
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Leadership Workshop

Leadership is exercised, not only in commercial business( although that is probably the single area of activity where leaders are to be found), but in virtually every area of life from the cradle to the grave. Principles of leadership apply in any sphere of activity, including education, science, military, charitable work classroom( wow!) and other fields.

What I got out of this workshop about leadership into classroom:
1) Set out objectives before putting the syllabus.
2) Develop teachers' awareness of the We who could spread the word.They will be the maestro who will draw the whole picture.
3)this should be on the spot and you will be surprised by the result.
Bringing Efficiency to my classroom( apply it to my classroom)
tap on the talent, you his mind and his heart.
You need to give him the belonging to a community sense.
Cascade your goals and objectives.
Topics: search engines, plagiarisms.
Slides+handouts+videos+show the video in the middle+tools are what used to carry messages.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sharing Love!

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day in Islam!
We are raised on not to say "I love you" to your wife in front of your kids.Do not let people see you touching her hand or hugging her! It is improper to put your hand of your wife's( husband)shoulder infront of others. Saying " I love you" to your kids will lead them to think you are weak!!!

But I DO NOT do ANY of these.Islam tells us that you HAVE to /tell show others that you love them.You have work hard to plant all deeds that flourish and grow into "love". You have to pray for others if they need.You have to add them in your Du'aa, without them knowing that you do ask God to help them.

I live a life in which I taught my kids that the word I love you is a very important word in one's own dictionary.Use it and all your days will be Valentines'
Cristina Costa created this wonderful show with her warm voice:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Cirlce of Influence!

"Go to work inside your own Circle of Influence so that your moral authority is developed and expanded and you have credibility. Courageously take initiatives to make good things happen".
I almost finished reading a book that has changed my life. Actually, it has turned it upside down before my leaving to Hajj.As a result of me holding it wherever I go and talking about its content, 3 of my friends' lives have changed! It was only by coincidence that I picked it up from the British Council three months ago. Stephen Covey’s'"The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness".Later,wrapped up in an elegant box, a friend gave me another gift:"The 7 Habbits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” ( it did work with me!)
In addition to the rich content, there are these words one misses, because of neither having time( our favorite excuse!) nor good quality to read. To be armed with patience, and persistence, is what needed most these days. I have learned now that one must keep going on, no matter the obstacles that could hinder traveling on a safe, colorful path. One should " keep investing in (his) personal and professional development" and you can have this "sense of security, not from your job or the patronage of other people; it comes from your ability to meet needs and solve problems...Become a light, not a judge, become a model, not a critic."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Anything Native, again!

Yes, exactly as I wrote here three days ago! I got an invitation for a mailing list at Google Groups announcing a group for English Language Teachers in Sudan, created by the American Embassy.Looking for the number of members; 30 members! The moderator set it for "not seeing members' identity."So? Teachers do check their emails. It is neither a technophobic problem, nor time availability.It is the American, British or authorized issues.Nothing individual could be trusted. Maybe back to my "nutshell " is better.Isn't it Hala 2??Maybe not. I think I will fight to spread the news of Web. 2.0 in Sudan even if it took me ages. I am still in my twenties!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Omoku Nigeria

Not that I forgot to blog about Nigeria, but because I have put everything " Nigerian" on my wiki.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Video Conference at the American Embassy

Today, I have attended teleconference at the American Embassy, Sudan.Maria Snarski talked and discussed her experience in Slovenia, based on her article on English Language Forum:" Methodology Material: Braking the Teacher-Fronted Cycle in the Classroom".About 30 teachers of English from Khartoum universities, gathered *in time* for the even.It was nice that I knew most of them, except those two from Al Gazeera, outside Khartoum.On the other hand, it was sad to meet "same faces same names" who are keen to participate and eager to develop professionally.There were so many questions from Sudan part and all attendee had enjoyed the discussion a lot.It was the first time for most of them to attend such sessions.
What I pity,a pity mentioned before the event over a discussion with one of the Sudanese staff at the Embassy, was our "tie"( authentic translation from /Arabic), that anything American or British always holds a glowing look, whatever the content is!
I mean,Conferences like this one, and much more, could be done with many community of teachers around the world.Teachers around the globe are much interested in discussing common problems and issues.Problems like big classes or motivating students to learn English, could be addressed form different prospectives and all are eager to share experiences and find solutions.
When I held my presentation at the British Council, I sent emails and SMS for two weeks to about 100 teachers inside and outside Sudan. Only 30 attended!But, when I announced Vance Stevens coming to Sudan for a workshop, all started to call and email me asking about the date and time! I guess this is found in many parts of the world, not only here.
"Release the power" to your students was what I took away with me."What will the students do with it? Will they abuse it? Will they think you are not serious? Will it be teacher-centered or learner-centered approach? will it work with large classes like ours? Maybe it will a mess if you couldn't manage the classes.It is not an easy task." (Maria Snarski). I imagine my students will be resistance to change, but after I get a one heart attach and two stokes, they will finally say; "Aha! This is how we need to learn!!In a fun way!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Growing Multilitracies

The term 'multiliteracies' was coined to describe what constitutes literacy in today's world…not only language, but " multiple kinds of literacies which are embedded in multimodal texts".Warscharure states,on his book "Electronic Literacies" that; "concepts of literacy changes".Also, " change intersects with other social ,economic, cultural and political factors to help determine how literacy is practiced."
I am working on my del.ici.ous account these days, working on the mess, there trying to keep everything in its place, in an organized way, before the beginning of the year.
I was so impressed to see how I was indulged into multilitracies, wondering how did I mange to move from the first page I desinged in PP100, using dreamweaver (with all the broken links except of my baby's!)to the pbwiki I created in PP107 course with Vance.
How great is the gab?

Second Life is not for Me!

I have been to SL only once. It was not a happy experience, as I experienced a computer crash three days later. I didn't know whether the reason is for SL existing inside my hard disk, or was it only a coincidence!
I have not tried to install it again. This year in EVERYWHERE!I HAD to install it because it is one of the tasks I have to go over in both baw08 and Tips and Tricks sessions. I thought, ok, I will give it another try, maybe it is me who didn't work hard on digging and working on it further. SO? I did it! I was there with Dave Winet and some other tipsandtrickers. I spent around three hours there. Yes, I enjoyed it very much, but I am now very sure, SL is not for me as long as I am in Sudan!More reflections after the coming SL tour with Dafne in February.
Above is Me, Caty Habilis, with the foxy face, at the night club ( wow!)in the English Village.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The law of attraction

I can be of control of attracting good things to my life! I have stumbled upon The law of attraction phrase!.I believe I have watched a video with the same title on one of a friend's student's blog.The Law of Attraction is about attracting whatever you wish, want or need to your life.Wow! " I am a living magnet".Also, "Like attracts like".I wish it is that simple. I mean living a life the way you want with knowing the true cause of events in your life.Anyway, life worth to be enjoyed without thinking of attracting 'whatever' you want to you.If you didn't miss somethings you want so bad, life would loose the taste of hard work, laughing with tears, excitement and faith.Digging for the video, this is what I have got.Very inspiring!

Jing & WiziQ

I just lovejing!!
I was participating in a session with one of the EVO08 sessions, Tips and Tricks of David Winet.It was a great session and Dave did a marvelous job leading everybody and talking about WiZiQ.It was an opportunity to play a little with jing, saving videos and images on screencast, and getting to know WiZiQ.The latter has great potentialites for teaching and learning online with a tool that does not need downloading and can work using an Internet connection with a fairly speed.
My first Screecast, without audio after I gave up trying to embed it!