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Professor of Spanish, MiraCosta College.
Recent Activity
End of my second week of CF, and even though I could only do 5 burpees (no weight) before I got a full body cramp, I loved this WOD and left super happy and looking forward to kicking my own butt again next week. I really appreciate the variety and creativity in the WODs.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2012 on Thursday 07/26/12 at Oceanside Crossfit
1 reply
Hi Andrea, I totally agree that providing information several times in different places is a mistake. This was the first hard lesson I learned when teaching online. At the time it seemed like a smart thing to do to make sure that students could find the information they needed by planting it in more than one area of the course, but all it did was confuse the students in the exact way that you have described. I can definitely appreciate the challenge of finding a balance between the need to cover the chapters in the text so that students can transition smoothly to the next level, and the desire to let the SLOs be the guiding force of the class. Good luck. Pilar
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2011 on C3, S2, week 3 - Online Syllabus at Pedagogy First!
Hi Linda, I like how you're thinking about how to repackage and perhaps separate your course content, procedures, policies, etc... Lisa's model is a good one. I know that many of us have found Jing to be a very useful tool to help students remember important course information beyond the first week. Good luck. Pilar
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2011 on C3, S2, W3, The Online Syllabus at Pedagogy First!
Hi Richard, Your second bullet point really resonated with me. Students do have unrealistic expectations of their online instructors and it can vary greatly from semester to semester. It seems that no matter how many safeguards I put into place to make sure students are getting the information they need (FAQ's so they can look for answers themselves, a Q & A forum like the one you described above, and video tutorials about how to use the course), some students still just want an immediate response to their questions similar to what they get when they raise their hands in an on-site class or when they text their friends about their plans for the day. Some semesters, everything goes according to plan and I think that I've finally found the magic formula, and then the following semester, a surprising amount of students will email me with questions that are all answered in the video tutorial, which is the first thing they are supposed to watch. In this 'texting' culture, I guess I've come to accept that there will always be students who want to text or instant message with their instructor on demand like so many of us do with our families and buddies. In many ways, texting and IM'ing rewards impatience.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2011 on C3, S3, W3: Ko & Rosen C5 at Pedagogy First!
Hi Andrea, In Elluminate, the drop down at the top gives you a choice of live sessions or recorded sessions. If you click on recorded sessions and then click on the entire month or entire week option under the calendar, it will show all of the recordings archived in that time frame. Your idea to communicate with online faculty in Italy is interesting. My experience has been that Europeans are great at rooting out the free resources, so I look forward to hearing what they have to share with you. Pilar
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2010 on Creating Community at Pedagogy First!
This semester I got to see more in depth how other faculty are using or planning on using different tools in their online classes. I was pushed to experiment more than I normally would, sometimes with tools that had not previously captured my interest. I learned a lot about getting my online world of bookmarks, videos, and links organized in one place so I can actually see what I have and maybe even get around to reading them. I am grateful for the posts about creating presentations, screencasting and online discussions as I prepare to spend the summer developing a... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Hi David, I have had an online student with severe hearing loss (even with the hearing aid) and he did not even notify me until the midterm when he asked if he could listen to the listening comprehension portion of the midterm 3 instead of 2 times. He did the same for the final. He did very well in the course and his speaking final with me was excellent.
Hi David, Yes, I still use voicethread. The students really like it and find it easy to use; no technical problems. Thanks for the iphone tip!!!! I didn't know that. Let me know how you end up using twitter.
Thanks, Lisa!
Ok... I have to admit, I usually need a tutor or an interpreter to get through all the copyright laws. Is there copyright for dummies? Maybe this week's reading was already masticated and spit out for dummies. Like some of my colleagues here on PF, I play it safe by using my own photos, recordings or videos or using photos from flickr and videos from youtube. The trend toward the creation of more open educational resources will make things a lot easier. However, as I've posted in other blogs, I'm frustrated with the quality of open ed resources in Spanish,... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Even though most Spanish language textbooks provide good cultural videos and podcasts of native speakers conversing, the videos often fall short of providing students with examples of the specific communicative competencies (and body language) for which they are responsible in any given chapter. A few years ago before I started to teach online, there was no way I was going to do it unless I could find existing videos online to supplement the textbook. At first I panicked and thought I was going to have to produce dozens of videos and podcasts to be able to teach effectively online because... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Like most of my online colleagues, I am constantly searching online resources in my discipline. I have found some great free videos and free practice activities for students, but have not found a complete program for introductory Spanish that is in line with my teaching philosophies -and that includes the two sites suggested for this activity. There are plenty of ebooks geared toward upper division and graduate level study of literature and culture, but not elementary language and culture. I have been able to provide my students with examples of Spanish speakers using the language in real situations through youtube... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Jim, I'm still not so comfortable with google docs and have more experience with wikis. We've had some formatting problems in google docs when people tried to copy and paste from other documents to the google doc that I haven't encountered on a wiki. I'm not crazy about google docs yet, but it's probably just be because I haven't used it as much as the wikis. I don't know. I'll have to get back to you on this when I get to play more with the power of google docs; I suspect I haven't yet scratched its surface. Yes, Laura, it's very productive. POT NEVER meets face to face except on Elluminate, Tokbox or Skype. We do everything via email, wiki or google docs.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2010 on Week 10: Google docs & Wetpaint at Pedagogy First!
I have had the opportunity to use both Google Docs and Wetpaint to collaborate with colleagues. I have yet to use these in my classes, but can enumerate many benefits it offered my colleagues and me: we never once had to meet in person (which I wouldn't have minded, but is extremely difficult given everyone's crazy schedules) the groups were extremely productive because we could logon whenever each of us had time and make quality contributions we'd had time to think about we could go back to the document or wiki and make changes later (in the middle of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
I was away from my computer for 4 whole days. Oh my! Luckily, I've already got My Delicious up and running, so I just need to blog this week. I use social bookmarking primarily for my own professional development and to keep track of cool teaching resources such as activities, audio and video for use in my classes. Problem is, I bookmark so many sites I think have potential and then forget what I have or don't have time to go through them all. Still, it's good to know that when I need to find them, I can do so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Thanks for the guidelines for using Ning in the classroom link! Pilar
Hi Andrew, I like your blog title; playing with potential online teaching tools can really make you feel like you finally "get" what other people have been talking about. It's good to know what tools are out there so that when you do start teaching online and you get an idea about an activity you want to do with your students, you'll know which tools work best for what you want to do and which ones are just plain noisy. I enjoyed reading your blogspot blog; you're a natural. :-)
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2010 on Was lost and I am now found at Pedagogy First!
Hi Claudia, Love the logo. Clearly, I NEED to take a MAT class. Maybe this summer? I totally understand how you feel with ning. I use ning for my classes and when I started, I decided it was best to keep it simple; I used it as a place for students to post their bi-weekly blogs. They could read and comment on each others' posts and edit their own after they'd read my comments. I made the video and photo sharing functions available so that students could make their blog posts come alive and build community (I left them in the left hand margin). I put a text box front and center on the main page to post a photograph and instructions for that weeks' post (the blogs right underneath the text box). Ning has a lot of power, so it is tempting to want to take advantage of it, but for the first time, I would suggest choosing what is most important to you for this summer's class. Happy creating!
People always look at me cross-eyed right after I tell them that I teach Spanish online. If I had a nickel for every time a person raised their eyebrows at me to say that they were very sorry, but language just couldn't possibly be taught online because students have to have that face to face. While I agree that on site classes can be wonderful and I recommend them to everyone, learning a language online can also be very rewarding and in some cases, better. It is better when technology gives my online students more access to their classmates' speaking... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
This is great, David. Let us know how this goes with your classes. This makes me want to go and resuscitate my voki. I had used it to embed on Blackboard with one minute reminders before we got Wimba, but the idea of having students use it is cool!
Toggle Commented Mar 14, 2010 on Week 6: Jing at Pedagogy First!
Hola, As an online Spanish instructor, I had to familiarize myself with presentation tools. I do enjoy the convenience of jing for responding quickly to student questions with a narrated screencast, but for course content, I prefer presentation tools that allow students to interact with each other and me by adding audio or video comments. Online language students have to: hear the language and the structures and vocabulary they are practicing repeated MUCHO get talking immediately and be given opportunities to practice speaking and listening with each other see me and their classmates so that they can feel like they... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
About the title.....I went on a tapas tour of Salamanca that was part of the curriculum for my class and paid for by the program, so blame it on the Spanish wine.....err, I mean the Viticulture and Enology curriculum. RSS that! Seriously though, I have google reader and an RSS feed that goes to my mac account and I like them both. Google reader gives you more information at a glance about what is contained in the post, while the mac reader looks like an inbox of an email account. Mac is clean and uncluttered, but I slightly prefer the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
This week, a professor here in Salamanca led us on a wonderful cultural tour of the city. I uploaded a photo I took from the roof of the cathedral here in Salamanca. It was freezing cold up there; my poor California students have a new point of reference for the word COLD. I started to annotate the picture to highlight the points of interest such as the University of Salamanca. My mind is swimming with teaching ideas as I take video and photos of my students here. Creating a yahoo and flickr account was quick and easy. I agree with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
Ok, so I am in Salamanca, Spain now and it turns out that getting wifi connected in my apartment was a lot more challenging than I had expected. First, all of the companies refused to hook me up unless I opened a bank account in Spain. So I am now a proud holder of a Banco de Santander bank book. Once I did that, they were happy to allow me to get hooked up, but for three times the price since I am only staying for 3 months…understandable, I guess. The cable/internet/phone company signed me up then sent me home... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at Pedagogy First!
How I describe my teaching method differs depending on my audience. To my colleagues I say my teaching method is eclectic and centered in real communication. I try to create a classroom environment that is interactive and dynamic, where students are encouraged to be creative with the language and broaden their world view. Here's how I get my students to understand that there is a method to my madness and to prepare them to break away from the traditional linear teaching and learning methods with which they have become so comfortable. On the first day of an introductory Spanish class,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at Pedagogy First!