Saturday, July 31, 2010

ICT for ELT in the Horn of Africa: Options and Approaches

will be held at the University of Khartoum. The objectives of the workshop are "to raise participants’ awareness of the role ICT can play in language teaching and related fields, such as professional development training, and to explore ways in which it can be used effectively within the contextual constraints teachers face in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It is aimed primarily at tertiary level teachers of English / teacher trainers with a degree of ICT competence and an interest in seeing its use expanded within their university or institut".

I will train teachers for one day, day 3, to use blogger and pbworks. Hala Salih will take day 4, to train them to use del.ici.ous, Google applications. I wish I was in a better health (I am due tomorrow :-))) so I could have fully participated in the whole 5 days. I am not feeling well, which results in NOT working on my full energy. I was hoping to give my utmost to the teachers at the workshop, some of whom are dear friends of mine. Pity me!
This what  I "managed" to create for our day 3 and 4. I thought of inviting someone as a guest speaker. I thought of webcasting it. I thought of streaming it with UStream. All gone with the wind. I am working with only 30% of my energy.  My presentation is not ready yet! Oh, this is for sure, not the Hala I know. I hope all will go well.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Law Of Attraction

I have always belied in all  words about success and inspiration written on this inspirational video. But no, after a looong time of hanging on, I am sorry to say that I gave up!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Re-post: What are our students' demands/needs?It's all about being a human!

I am re-posting one of my posts durig a session on online learning and moderation at University of Salford.  I was reading about the same topic for a coming virtual seminar. I enjoyed reading it and thought to re-post it as a reminder for more investigation in the near future.Here it goes:
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 have formulated a better framework.
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' ask myself what do I expect from my students? I did ask myself what do my students expect from me, (apart from the course material, syllabus objectives and the college's strategic objectives).
Online learning? An online moderator should always be available to assist learners to use the technology, encourage his learners to extend and explore learning styles and strategies. I once dropped out of online courses 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 instructions and 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 subtitle" Success"? My students need opportunities, because they have never given opportunities during all the education levels they have been through. They need to be taught about 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 that they are students in College of Science 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"
But this adds to the 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 factors at the planning stages. This is to ensure cooperative learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class. Students will the 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!
One of the most important factors that lead in success of 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 will 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. This is what they will remember of their instructors, whether f2f or online.
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, regarding what I have been doing, could be some of the characteristics of the 21st century educator. Even much more are needed.
Superhuman beings?? Maybe!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My chapter in an International book!Hurrrray!!!

This post is relevant to an earlier one o this blog.

Today, while I was working on completing my tasks for week 9, I received an email telling me that the book "CALL in Limited Technology Context" is being printed!!I have a chapter in this book which entitled "Bleeding edge challenges in Sudan: Limits on using CALL in EFL classrooms at the tertiary level".Yeees!

This is the link for the screencast sent to me.Or you can click here to see the title of the book of the sidebar.

Unfortunately, I can not access in Sudan. It's a problem with Sudan IPA address. Anyway, I hope I will be reading a copy soon. It’s a book by authors from different parts of the world. The main focus of each chapter is helping teachers figure out what they can do despite all the barriers and problems they encounter when using technology in classrooms.It a book full of practical ideas and inspiring experiences. It a book which is recommended for all teachers who live in limited technology context and who are using/will use technology in their EFL classrooms.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yeeeees!!!!!!!I am Hala Fawzi,PhD!!

finally got my PhD on Saturday May 15, 2010. It was truly a SUCCESS!!!It was supposed to be three days earlier, but the external examiner's nephew had a car accident and passed away. It had to be postponed to Saturday, allhamdu-ila-Allah. I will never forget this week in which my defended my 3 and a half years' journey.;-))))

Monday, April 05, 2010

Building Teaching Skills Through the Web Course

The American English Institute, University of Oregon  has offered
10-week online training course for English Language Teachers (ELTs) all over the world.  Participants in this course will build skills in English language teaching with technology. The overall objective is to enable teachers to understand and use appropriate technology to enhance the learning environment and outcomes for their students.
I  created a blog for the purpose of posting weekly reflections about what we will learn about/during this course. OK, then! Time for new chllaenges, new knowledge  and new info.Oh, and time for more long hours to sit on my long red chair.(Wondering when will the hours of sitting on this dear chair will ever be reduced!!). I am really exhausted:-(

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Portal to Media Literacy

A presentation by Professor Mike Wesch which I find compelling and inspiring!. "To learn is not to acquire information (data),but figuring out how to collect, evaluate, and analyze information". Schools need to teach students how to learn.The presentation worth every minute of the 1:06.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TKT at the British Council, Khartoum

The British Council, Sudan, has offered EFL teachers in Khartoum a chance to take the TKT course and exam. The course is offered on two locations (thanks!). The first one is in Khartoum, at SELTI premises, and the second one is running in Omdurman, at the Islamic University.It is a semi-intesive course, so being out there daily from 2:30 -7:00 P.M is very hard for me. This is a critical time for my kids to be on the door when they come back from school, bathing, lunch and homework, No mama, no home work, that seems to be their rule of thumb!!!:-)
Feedback? I have to wait for another two days to form a fair impression and a positive feedback.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Do I really have a Phoenix characterisitcs?

Today, while chatting with a very dear friend of mine, the  conversation held my complaining about everything around me; how terrible my academic situation is, how sad I can't work, how miserable all my life is...etc. He commented that I had the same characteristics of a Phoenix bird. I didn't know what were they. I went and Googled. Here what I came up with:
Rising again from the ashes, the beautiful scarlet and golden Phoenix bird is synonymous with rebirth or recovery, especially after calamity.
Calamity:An event that brings terrible loss, lasting distress, or severe affliction; a disaster.
The answer is, Yes, I definitely do!!