Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Registered Blogger - IATEFL Manchester Online 2015

I have been selected as  Registered Blogger for Manchester Online Live Conference, which is going to be organized during 10 April 2015.



Click the Link to know more about the events and to register for free:

IATEFL - Manchester 2015

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Interview with Eric, IATEFL President


 Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to Liverpool Online Conference 2013. 

I am happy to share Eric, President IATEFL's interview with you all.  He has been responding to different queries from the selection process for IATEFL and the ways the members of IATEFL responded to it and the responsibilities.  Here is the link:
Interview with Eric Baber, IATEFL President

Happy viewing and enjoy...

Look for the updates,

Sankarakumar. S

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Registered Blogger for Liverpool Online - IATEFL 2013

47th IATEFL British Council International Conference,Liverpool 2013


Hello and Welcome to all,

Greetings.

I have been selected as a Registered Blogger for Liverpool Online by IATEFL - British Council
 for  2013.

Keep looking for updates...

Happy reading...

S. Sankarakumar




Thursday, 6 December 2012

Week 10 - Reflection on 'Web Skills' and a Big thank you to all

Hi Courtney and other Colleagues,

Greetings.

A pat on our own back and great applause to everyone for all the sincere efforts to accomplish this course "Building Teaching Skills using Interactive Web" from AEI, University of Oregon supported by US Embassy.  A BIG THANK YOU for the opportunity provided to look into the other dimension of our teaching profession and excel in it.

It is like a dream that the course comes to an end so soon (ten weeks) and we never thought of the journey is like a Super Sonic experience.  I came to know about the closure of the scholarship only on the last date, worked very seriously about the statement of purpose for the course and applied.  When I received the information from US Embassy, New Delhi, I was really surprised and into the cloud nine as if I got a seat in 'Titanic'.  I have never dreamt of a course on 'Web Skills' though I organized a workshop on 'Technology enhanced Learning:Innovations and Trends" during April 24-25, 2012 and that kindled my enthusiasm to know more about Web 2.0.

The journey started on September 29-30 as Opening Ceremony and from October 1 on wards, it sailed in full swing and I came across several things ...

Week 1, setting the ground rules for discussion in an on-line forum, creating a blog and opening an account in Nicenet which provided an opportunity for me to detailing of the different things that are going to happen through this.

Week 2, web searching through 'Noodle tools', a tremendous effort I had made and listed around 135 links and web search engines that are connected under nine different headings.  I was amazed by the quality of articles  and by the quantity of links through UNESCO, FBI - Intelligence Literature, tenbyten and many more.  Creating 'ABCD' model objectives are the first- of- its- kind to me and gave an insight into the topics which I am teaching during  this semester and stating the background of my class for the final project and dealing with Bloom's Taxonomy which provided an idea to refresh my thoughts which set the tone through out the course.

Week 3, On-line bookmarking through delicious which gave an avenue to access the book marking patterns and the different types of tags to be used academically. Randall's ESL Lab and aural /oral skills resources made me think different to use these resources into the classroom practices.

Week 4, Reading / Writing Skills building exercises and the use of e-books which helped me to look into the resources and to evaluate them appropriately when i do suggest to my students.  The introduction of multi-skill websites and vocabulary building website  like 'breakingnews' that introduced me to more than 1600 lesson plans and think how big the on-line resources are.  Further, during that week, I identified the potential issue for the project task where  my learners are really lacking.

Week 5, Creation of rubrics for the project task had enhanced my ability to create some thing new and the method of making an assessment for various topics which I was teaching by setting the standards. The alternative assessment tools provided an opportunity to assess the different methods of assessing the skills of my learners and their skills.  Project -based learning topics are wonderful to see that how the teaching environment in other areas / countries and how it can be converted into our learning environment.  Project task - describing the changes which alter my ideas to think into the big picture an d look for the minor changes I am supposed to do during the project.

Week 6, Teaching / engaging large classes which provided an insight into my teaching environment and  better solutions to resolve the issues in the classroom.  The creation of interactive p ower point through 'Rubrics' is an excellent tool which i can use it for my entire life, The project task- implementing the change helped me to assess the abilities of the learners that they are looking for and the potential threat to resolve it.

Week 7, the articles related to Learner autonomy made me finding out the real learning environment that the student are really looking for in an English classroom.  Suggesting a partner to  review the project draft made me threw light on the several partners which I looked into them.  Wallwisher made me to post new information which I try incorporate in the project task to the students.

Week 8,  I created a classwiki, class blog and online class using Nicenet to my students where they register and reflect the practices that they had in the English Classroom.  I created some on-line exercises to the students using 'tools for educators' and the students worked out with a lot of enthusiasm.  I submitted my draft copy of project to Courtney's wiki and looked forward to the checklist from my peer reviewer.  I have not had any inputs from my reviewer and resolved it with the assistance of Courtney, my instructor through Jasmina who showed her willingness to review my draft project copy.  She showed her mettle and suggested excellently to enhance my project task.

Week 9, I learnt the different concepts of multiple intelligences and the different learning styles of students through excellent articles.  I tested my self in order to know which intelligence is predominant in me and I posted the ideas of learning styles.  I submitted my final draft of the project task before the due date and I found some technical snag in it through 'accessibility rights' area.  I resolved the issues with the assistance of my wife and from my EDP staff and posted my final project draft again  with all tension in mind.

Week 10, I have come closer to end of the course 'web skills' but the Technology implementation survey made me to think deeper the areas that I am supposed to improve with in the next one year / six months.  I do look forward to a lot of comments from my colleagues and I suggested the ways to the future participants to make their course complete and fruitful.

I wish the future participants a great success and I thank whole heartedly my course instructor Courtney and my colleagues for showing great support and encouragement in all the walks of this course.

I am very much convinced with the kind of inputs provided through out the course and I have found  this entire journey memorable.

Look forward to collaborate more with all in all future endeavours...

S.Sankarakumar

Sunday, 2 December 2012

My reflections : Week 9 Web Skills course

Hi Courtney and my dear colleagues,

Greetings.

We have come closer to fulfill the requirements of the Web Skills course and I am happy to reflect on the practices and the experiences that i gained during this week.

First of all, I show my gratitude and heartfelt thanks to our course Instructor Courtney for being an excellent personnel and extending her help to me in accomplishing the project preparation task.  When I was in despair, she suggested Jasmina and Ashish to finish the draft review.  Finally, Jasmina, in no time, accepted my request and did complete the review with in three hours and sent her suggestions for the final draft preparation.  I extend my gratitude and my heartfelt thanks to Jasmina, without her help, I could not have completed my project work at all. A BIG Thank you Jasmina.

I am really elated to write my reflections on the Week 9 topics related to learner styles and the use of technology and Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences" theory and its implementation in our teaching-learning process.  I accessed Multiple Intelligences and found excellent resources with different  intelligence and its related applications in our teaching using different skills.   I downloaded Gardner's article 'MI after twenty years' and found its amazing methods to assess the learners'  styles  and the ways to improve the intelligence of the learners.  What an amazing visionary he is!  Then I explored some other topics such as "MI", 'MI Smart program', 'MI a theory for everyone'','Research results of a MI classroom' and found excellent resources which are useful to understand the needs of each learner and to cater to the requirements of a classroom.

Then I accessed the MI Activity Chart, Multimedia and MI and worked out to find out my own learning style questionnaire.  I got excellent results related to that and reflected it in Nicenet discussion forum.  I identified an excellent activity that led to the different intelligence and to satisfy the learners' needs through Tony Buzan's 'Mind Mapping' activity.    There is always a method to make the topics interesting and I have learnt this through ennumber of activities.    Then I learnt another aspect of the learner styles through NCLRC - Sailing with 5-C's such as 'Communication, Culture, Communities, Connections and Comparisons' and how to link the different learning styles in our classrooms.  The major learning styles like Meta cognitive strategies and Task-based learning strategies  namely 20 types and referring all with different learners in order to attain self-efficacy and improving in their learning abilities.  Further, the different strategies to be taught to the beneficial of the students and the different instructional methods to be followed.  Finally, the article has shown the ways of creating different activities using different learning styles.

I am very much happy with the final out put of the project task.  Till Tuesday night, I have not had  any clue at all regarding my final project and its outcome due to my non-receipt of the draft report comments.  Finally, our course instructor suggested the names of the Saviors who have accepted to review my project report.  Jasmina showed her willingness to review my draft and with in three hours sent her report.  The comments are really worthy and made me rework on some parts of the project report and upload it on time.  It is an amazing experience to be shared and thanks to all the colleagues who had given me different inputs through out the course.  Yesterday, I went through most of the projects submitted by my colleagues and every one is unique in identifying the research problems and implementing the solutions and the changes to be done are quite convincing and some are exceptional and innovative.  I was amazed with the typical experience.  When I accessed my class Wiki inter link from the view part of the project (in word document), I was shocked  to see that  'Oops, the link cannot be connected', I was really upset with that.  I contacted my institution's Electronic Data Processing (EDP) personnel, Mr. Anu Prakash, he lent his helping hands to sort out this issue.  Even though, he was away from the office  at 7 P.M., he accessed it through 'Team Viewer'.  He also found that the link has not been connected message when he clicked on the link I inserted, which linked with the domain 'wikispaces.com' but does not lead to my webpage psgtech first year engineering due to permission restriction error.  I was unhappy with this technical - accessibility problem, I uploaded another copy of my project stating the reasons behind it.  My classwiki can be accessed by copy and paste the link in a new browser page and the same information also accessible from my blog psgtech students class blog where I uploaded the same input given in class wiki. I do apologize for the technical lag and I learnt so much out of this experiences.   I overcome this by the encouragement from my peers and the support from my family especially my wife, Suriya, who is a system administrator.

Finally, I received the communication from our university regarding the course feedback and I am working on it.  Thanks to all the support from our instructor and from my colleagues in this course.

S.Sankarakumar

Saturday, 24 November 2012

My reflections - Week 8 Web skills

Hi Courtney and all other colleagues,

Greetings.

It has been a great pleasure to share my experiences with the Web Skills - Week 8 Tasks.  First of all, let me thank Courtney for making great explorations to be tried out to this week through several ways.  I have learnt so many things in this week and excited with the different websites to be tried out with.

Firstly,  I have created many class sites to the students especially when I come to know that I can create a class using 'Nicenet', I am really impressed with that.  I created one namely 'psgtechstudents' to the students who are pursuing 'Communication skills in English' course during this first semester.  I shared the classkey with the students and I have informed them that 'what i am getting through 'Nicenet', you are going to get the same.  The students had promised me to join the class once their internal test 'Continuous Assessment' is over in the mid of this week.  I am happy with that.

Secondly, I created a class Wiki to the students prior to this week namely 'psgtechfirstyearengineering.wikispaces.com' and shared with all the students because through this classwiki alone, I have passed the information about the final project task and in which I have incorporated my rubrics, youtube videos, listening task transcript and my interactive powerpoint and the guidelines etc.    The students are really giving excellent feedback about the implementation of the project task.

Thirdly, I created a blog to the students to comment on the various inputs they received from this course and I specified them the link 'psgtechstudents.blogspot.in' .  They were quite happy with the exploration of different tools for the class and methods to link their ideas in  future. After that, I am impressed with the different online exercise creating websites and amazed with each sites capacity to bring the best input and look forward to the enormous out put on the part of the students.  I accessed the 'tools for teachers' and happy with different types of templates to be used for the creation of different types of exercises.  I shared this web link with all my colleagues and they looked at me with jealous that I am getting such an input from this course.  Then I accessed 'lanternfish' and 'easytestmaker' and found that the excellent things from each site.  I created an account with each site for the free edition.  I found interesting to create on-line exercise for my students under the topic 'Emotional Intelligence'- a reading comprehension task including MCQ and Matching the phrases with the summary statements of the passage.  But I was upset that I could not make it on-line because it needs 'pay and use' but I had downloaded the paper-based test in PDF file and happy with it.

I had installed 'hotpotatoes' in my PC and going to create exercises based on the six types of task templates. I am going to explore more on this site and I am planning to set the 'final assessment of Objective test' for my students using this.  I believe that the students are going to be exposed with this new tool.  After reading the comments from the instructor, I wish to make an attempt on 'ANVILL' and created the course for 'ESL' and 'ELT'.  I am planning to upload the contents based on these two.

Finally, the draft for the final project, which really stirred my effort to make the best out of it.  I enjoyed the painstaking effort and pleasure to do the task based on the project task template.  It needs meticulous planning and i am really trained to internalize the topics under each section.  When I read the project draft of other colleagues and my project review partner, I identified myself that how this on-line course has a tremendous influence on each member not as faculty of English but as the first-learner of this course.  We are highly indebted to the organizers of the course especially Courtney.  Without her help, this dimension of each one of us could not have brought out.  After assimilating the input from the colleagues and from my project review partner, I worked out the checklist for the project task. Each and every section of the checklist made me not to give the ejust like that but to do justice to the belief with each one of us.

At the outset, my experience with this week is highly motivating and happy to be the mirror of my inner voice to reflect the practices of every single attempt to make me excelled in the profession.

S.Sankarakumar

Sunday, 18 November 2012

My reflections on Week 7: Web skills



Hi Courtney, Nate - the guest moderator and my colleagues,

Greetings.

I am indeed happy to post the reflections on Week 7 tasks of Web Skills course.  This week, I learnt so many things especially the articles of Samuel P-H sheu's "Learner Autonomy: Bird-in-the-Hand or Band-in-the- Bush" and Thanasoulas "What is Learner autonomy and How it can be fostered?" provided an excellent input on the areas of autonomous learning and self-directed learning.  The earlier article focussed on the teacher who followed the systematic approach and how the foster the habit of learner-centeredness in the classroom.  Further, it presents the information on the standardized tests that the teacher is imbibed to follow and help their learners do good in the exams.  There were no room for the teacher to inculcate the habit of making their learners to learn from outside.  As Anderson (2000) pointed out that the real learning takes place outside the classroom and the learners are given freedom to try new methods to complete the tasks.  The latter article gives an insight into the autonomous learning, its definitions, and characteristics of autonomous learners, the predominant theories such as constructivism, critical theory and positivism.  Further, it deliberated on the issues of the learners and their strategies like cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies, learner attitudes, self-esteem and the use of diaries to make a note of the reflections of the learners.

Secondly, I learnt the basics of making of use of a single computer in a classroom.  I have understood the strategies and applications for using a single computer for learning purposes.  It gave me ennumber of ideas though I did familiarize with the tools which the basic learner knew about the use of computer.  But, the identity of the learner is that how effectively he can use the computer as a resource and the computer as a tool and effective methods for assessing the learners.  Further, the seven steps/ categories of using a single computer in a classroom have made me think the effective methods of using the computer.  The seven categories which are highlighted are the administrative tools, communication station, presentation tools, information station, publishing tool, learning center and simulation center.  It makes me understand the different issues to be handled while using a computer in a classroom and outside.

Thirdly, the additional resources are very handy to work on the various topics related to learner autonomy and the teacher autonomy, 25 ways of integrating the computer into the classroom, self-access materials are assimilated and practiced throughout.  The designing of activities using ABCD model with the assistance of a single-computer which made me think innovatively and implement the creative skills of the learners.  The majority of the times the teacher has not had the autocratic approach to decide upon the kind of input to be given because of the constraints created by the system in an educational environment.  But the learner-trainer has the complete and controlled freedom to use the computer in a classroom and to make the classroom more interactive and appealing.  This systemic-approach of the teacher is many a times quiet handy to him. 

Fourthly, the use of ‘Wallwisher’ is an effective tool to create a web page posting and up loading of websites and videos and notice board, incorporating audio, .doc and .pdf files for effective use with fellow colleagues.  My experience with the wallwisher tool is really interesting.  I have added certain web links and video files with relevant activities to be tried out with the learners are worthy doing.  I have added an article and a book for the colleagues of this course concentrating learner autonomy in mind.  My perception of learner-autonomy has enriched by the inputs given. 

Finally, I was nominated by a colleague for the final project review to give the constructive and critical feedback.   The willingness to work in a collaborative environment makes each one of us more responsible.  I look forward to comment on others work as well to be commented upon my work. 

When the root of the tree has not been split and sprawled, there is no branching out of establishing the vast spectrum of knowledge.  Thanks to Courtney and her team.

S.Sankarakumar