miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2011

Reflections on week 3

The Web is growing rapidly; it is amazing the amount of information on the Internet. There are loads of websites on the Internet and many of them have links to many other sites. If using the Internet is seen as an option to enhance the learning process in the classroom, we cannot and should not let our students wandering online visiting any pages through just a click. A lot of the information online is not reviewed, unlike traditional printed materials such as books, magazines and newspapers; no one has to approve the content before it is made public. I doubt very much there’s a reviewing process by an authority before publishing information on a website. Anyone can say anything and students often believe "if it's on the Internet, it must be right."  I was a bit stunned after watching the video about web literacy. I wondered what would happen if that was happening for real and those students didn’t have anyone guiding them on how to carry out a search online, they would just believe anything that is on the Web; this is terrifying! Therefore, I believe it is up to us, teachers, to teach students how to carry out a search online effectively.

Now, regarding search engines on the Internet, I reckon Google is the best one. It delivers relevant and comprehensive search results, it loads quickly, you can do several searches such as images, videos, books, maps, you can translate words and sentences ( I don’t suggest to translate long sentences). I’ve used other search engines but I stick to Google. However, it is also useful to know a few tips in order to carry out a good search, for example the use of double quotes around a set of words, the use of – symbol before a word to exclude it from search, to define our keywords properly, etc.

With respect to copyrights, it is important to respect other people’s work on the Web. I guess if we don’t pay attention to copyrights online then someday people might not be willing to share their knowledge on the Web and we would have less new teaching ideas on the Internet.

sábado, 15 de octubre de 2011

Reflections on week 2

I believe that when we choose to use a website in class it is essential to critically analyse the information found in these resources. It is surprising the amount of people that are likely to take information on the net at face value and are not aware of the need to question such information they are exposed to. Several people don’t realise that some of the information which they may come across is inaccurate. Critical thinking must be done in order to carry out a proper website evaluation, some of the questions that we, teachers, should ask ourselves when evaluating a website include: does the information seem to be accurate? Is the content dated? Is it easy to understand? Is the website easy to use? How quickly does the page load?

There were some aspects that I thought trough when evaluating a website before I did modules 3 and 4 but there were other aspects that I didn’t take into account such as if the site contained any advertising and whether it influenced content or not; the intended audience and where does the information originate from?

I will certainly consider all these aspects from now on when evaluating web resources.

sábado, 8 de octubre de 2011

My reflections on week 1

A few months ago, I was talking to one of my fellow workers, Iraima, and she mentioned to me that she was doing an online course about learning technologies for the classroom and that caught my attention, I said to myself, hmm that sounds interesting, I could do one of those courses since I am into technology and that can help me to improve my ICT skills in my classes. I guess I’ve always been interested in technology; I remember when I was like 10 and I first saw a Walkman, I was like waow, this is great! I couldn’t stop thinking how fantastic this new gadget was; so since then I’ve been impressed by every new technological device or software that has been launched, and also how they’ve made our learning process easier and more fun. I believe that learning technologies are a great tool to use in the classroom, the effective integration of technology has the ability to engage learners in a variety of ways.

When Iraima told me that the British Council was going to offer another online course about learning technologies for the classroom starting in October I quickly went online and had a look at the British Council website and read all the steps to book a place in such course. Once I booked my place in this course I was really excited about it, I couldn’t wait to start and then the starting date finally arrived. I really enjoyed the first WizIQ session last week; I was like a child with a new toy.

Even though this week has been chok-a-blok, I’ve spared a few minutes when I had the chance to do the activities for Module 1 and 2, I guess this is the best way to do it, little by little when you get the chance on weekdays.

This learning process is really enjoyable.