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 http://tinyurl.com/6p8983
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.