Saturday, 23 January 2016

EVO 2016 - Week 1

It's the busiest time of the year. EVO sessions have started. I am one of the eTextbook Teachers (#ebookevo) moderators, but I wasn't too busy last week. I am moderating Week 3, which means that I am warming up right now (expect another blog post really soon). In Week 1 I re-introduced myself to the community, caught up with some old friends and met a few new ones. We have 100 new members! This promises to be another great year for #ebookevo.

I have joined three other sessions: Media Resources and Emotions (a fascinating topic), Teachers as Designers and Class-Based Research. I have also signed up for ICT4ELT. I take this course every year simply because I like to be a part of the community, but I don't always participate. Last year I decided to take a refresher and to devote my time to doing the exercises. I collected the badges and received the certificate. Which means that I will not be participating so regularly in ICT4ELT this year. I did sign up and I'll check in from time to time. One of the reasons I want to do this is to support my BFF Sneza, who is a first-time moderator this year. I am so proud of her.

In most courses this was the intro week, but we also learnt a lot. In Class-Based Research we watched this video and read this text about action research. Some of you may remember that I did action research in 2012 as a part of my Oregon Webskills course. It was really useful and it helped me grow as a teacher. Reflective practice does that. It was also very useful for my students to participate in this project, which lead to this presentation later on. I would really like to do action research one more time. I have a vague idea that I would like it to be about how my students learn vocabulary, but I am still not very clear about what I want to do.

I always attend four or five EVO sessions and people often ask me how I manage. Now, here's my secret: I focus on a single thing that I would like to do (for example a question or a problem I would like answers to) and do it from different perspectives in different courses. Or I focus on a single group of students and their needs. It works, believe me. This year my question is: How do my students learn vocabulary? To make things easier, I will focuse on my B2 students. I have two B2 groups - one is doing a general English upper-intermediate course and the other one is preparing for the Cambridge First exams.

In Teachers as Designers Week 1, we did something called The Dream Bazaar. Here's mine:

Now, this was what I came up in Week 1. In the meantime, I have had other ideas. Why limit the project to just one type of vocabulary-learning activities? Why not give the students a taste of various activities to choose from? And why not ask them which ones they like best? And why not put all of these activities into an ebook chapter, which is my Week 4 #ebookevo homework?

Stay tuned and let's see how this idea evolves.

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