Thursday, July 13, 2006

Week 1 - Task 1 - The Blogging Take Off

About us
We have been teaching English at a Binational Center in Brasília for seven years. We are responsible for the school computer lab and website. We've been working with online collaboration and spreading the word about the benefits of technology in language learning. We'd like to share with you our enthusiasm towards blogging. Since we've started blogging with our students and friends, our classes haven't been the same! We haven't been the same. Now, we can have our voice online and give the power of speech to our students, too.

So, let's start this week by sharing our own ideas and experience on blogging. If you are a totally newbie to this concept and the tool, don't worry. By the end of this week, you'll be a blogger! By the end of five weeks, you'll have a whole new perspective on the infinite possibilities of uses you can give to Blogs.

So, Let's take off! Please, take your time, click on the "Comments" area below, and share with us what your thoughts are.

Have you ever blogged for fun?
Have you ever blogged with your students? Why/why not?
If you have blogged, which bloghost do you use? Why did you choose it?
Our group has a Wiki. Can you tell us the difference between a Wiki, a Webpage and a Blog?
Do you have any idea of what you can do with a blog in your classes?

If you are not a member of Blogger, write your comment, choose the option "Other", and write your name. We're waiting for your views on the topic to start off!

Carla and Erika
Two Brazilian Blogger-Teachers!


Andrea Giordano said...

Dear Carla and Erika,
I've just received your mail and I'm writing to you.
I have no idea of blogs, bloggers or bloghosts.
I've never had any experience in this field and I wish I could learn about it.
I like what you've written about the differences in your classes and in yourselves.
What are we going to do?
I'm eager to begin.Thanks a lot,

An said...

Carla and Erika,
I'm so anxious I couldn't wait for your answer so I've entered blogger and open an account: new-educational-center.
I tried to begin

Anonymous said...

Hi.Hala is speaking:-)I am a blogger who forgot his/her username and password!I will try to do my best to learn from/with you guys in this week.I have difficulty in using wikis and I dream of understanding how does RSS work and how it to have one/join/subscribe to one.I believe thsi is not the place,but just tiny dream to share with you !!!!Good luck to us all!

Rosane Domingos said...

Hi Carla and Erika!
I´ve worked with my students creating a blog using "learnerblogs", but it is our first one and it is very simple. I have to post a video we made during the final project but I still don´t know exactly how to do it. I´ll get there!!!!
I have a lot to learn!! Can you help me??
Rosane Domingos(Ability I.L.- CILT)

Erika Cruvinel said...

Hello An, Hala and Rosane
I was so glad to read your posts. I can see that all of you are really excited about our blogging weeks. In these first two days, we want you to share your previous experience with blogs; exactly the way you did here! On Saturday and Sunday we will start reading some texts and discussing about them.

An, great to know you have already created your account. We will start working with blogger this week.

Rosane, is this video you want to publish in your blog a file or is it already a link? We will try to help you. Why don't you give us the URL to your first blog?

Keep in touch!
Erika Cruvinel

Bee Dieu said...

I have just sent a message to our
EduTech SIG announcing your course in case someone wants to follow it online with you. Good luck and congrats on the initiative. I will talk about it when I am in Chile for the IATEFL :-)

Rosane Domingos said...

Hi, Erika!
The video I want to publish is a file and to visit my "incomplete" blog click on my name.It´s linked to the blog page.



Gladys Baya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gladys Baya said...

What an impressive response! I'm positive it's due to Carla and Erica's contagious professionalism... They sound so knowledgeable and ready to share we can only rush to join them and learn!

I have several blogs (one to reflect on my professional development,one for bi?-monthly news, several attempts with class blogs), but I wouldn't say any of them has been particularly successful, though it's a bit difficult to establish why... I think I'd better give this a thought and write an entry to one of my own blogs on this... ;-) I promise I'll then post a link here.



An said...

Dear Erika,
Thank you for your quick response.
I'm experimenting with the one I've begun yesterday.
I keep in touch.

carla said...

Dear Andrea and Rosane,

I was glad to see that you are as enthusiastic as we are! In no time I'm sure you'll be blogging for fun, blogging with your students, connecting to the world and giving online voice to your thoughts!

I can tell you that one year ago we were not bloggers ourselves and look how far we've got with the help of the online communities we are part of with lots of educators willing to share and teach us!

In fact, Bee Dieu, whom we just met face-to-face during the Braz-TESOL seminar in Brasilia, has been one great person and teacher who gave me a whole new perspective on blogging. Gladys, I shared the same feeling of not being so successful in blogging until the moment I got in touch with Bee and her ideas on blogging. Not that I'm an expert, but now I feel more comfortable in trying out different perspectives and approaches to blogging according to my professional needs.

Hala, about RSS Feeds, we're starting from the basics, but then we could think of a more "advanced" tutoring and I guess Bee would be the person to talk about those. Have you tried using "Bloglines"? This is where you should start.

Bee, Gladys is doing a fantastic job with this group and we are really trying to spread the word about it and the Webheads so that more educators in Brazil join us!

Well, hoping to hear more from you all!


carla said...

Dear Rosane,

I just checked your students' blog. Great start! After this starting part, we'll be talking about different ways to incorporate blogging into the classroom.

About the video, if it is a file, you need to upload it to a place online and then include the link in your blog. One place you can do it is Ourmedia. You subscribe to this site, you post your video there, and then you get the link and include it in your blog. If you need more information, don't hesitate to ask us.


Claudia Bellusci said...

Hi experts and bloggers-to-be!
Although I had opened and account with Blogger a long time ago, I didn't have an idea of what this was all about until earlier this year during EVO sessions. I met some of the most experienced and knowledgeable bloggers there, who gave me an insight into blogging in the classroom and as a tool for professional development.
At that time I started two blogs. The first one was based in Yahoo! 360. I was inspired by Gladys here. But I haven't updated it for a long time. Then I made my second and most important attempt at Blogger, which was the bloghost suggested at EVO. I found it easy to use and I liked its customizable template. I've been blogging for fun here, exploring interactive and multimedia features.
Finally I've been blogging with Erika and one of her classes as part of a collaborative project we've been working on.
And this is it. I'll be telling you more about each of my blogging experiences later on so as not to make this comment too lengthy.
Let's keep on blogging!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Carla and Erika ! You are always on the move!
Carla, thanks for inviting me to join in.

I'll introduce myself to the rest of the group. My name's Carla Raguseo and I'm an EFL teacher at A.R.I.C.A.N.A.,a Binational Center in Rosario, Argentina. I've been working at the Computer Lab since its creation in 2005. I've been deeply involved in CALL since then.
I met Carla Arena at BAW06 and we started to plan a Blog Exchange between our students. Thanks to her invaluable help and cooperation we've been able to start this exchange with teachers from both institutions. I still have a lot to learn on the use of blogs and how to integrate them successfully into our classes. I'll try to do may best at learning, experimenting and sharing with this wonderful tool.



PS. Can we invite other teachers to join in?

carla said...

Dear Carla,

Thanks for joining us so promptly! Of course you can invite other teachers to join us. It would be great if you subscribed to this e-group!

Blogging is about sharing and learning with one another. It's an open social space in which we can interact with people all over the world and as teachers are creative means by nature, there are many educators using blogs for pedagogical purposes and that's what we will explore in some days.

However, as Graham Stanley mentioned in one of the audios he sent us for a Teachers' Seminar, before blogging with your students, you'd better become bloggers yourselves!

Claudia, just like you, we're not experts. We've learned a lot in the past year and we still have much to try out and explore with our students and virtual partners.

Let's keep the blogging spirit!

More later.


Amora said...

Well, my ss have used an "audio blog" - as some people call podcasts. They really enjoyed listening to themselves as well as to their friends. It was a very rewarding experience.
In Portugal, as I heard, podcasts are broadcasting some university lessons so that ss can review the subjects they are studying. They are also being used as alternative and personal "radio stations".
Well, we could record simple posts or, for instance, stories told and produced by our students. Whenever they comment on each other's work they are very spontaneous and honest.
I am enjoying both blogs and podcasts. They are rather useful and motivating tools.

Amora said...

I forgot to say who I am.
Maria Luís (Portugal)

Erika Cruvinel said...

Hello Maria Luís! Nice to have you here! You are right, students are really enthusiastic about listening to their own voices online. I started using podomatic this semester and my students recorded simple audio files with their introductions and they also talked about their pets. If you want to check it, there was a lot of interaction going on...
My audioblog

Nahir said...

Hi, Everybody

What a great start!Congratulations.
I heard about blogs early this year(Thanks, Bee) since then I've been looking for ways to include them in my courses.

Right now, I'm carrying out a project with some of my students on using blogs for practicing writing.I want to see if they can transfer the process of writing on paper to online writing.

Students from another course (ELT Research Seminar)are using blogs as well: to report their projects.
It's been nice to see how they comment on each others' blogs.

I'm also experimenting myself with my blogs: podomatic and wordpress(I could finally upload sound and video here!)I still have so many things to learn, and share with my students: my reason to be here(I've been lurking in the group,though)

Nahir C-:

Illya said...

I'm a bit late at posting, but even though you've moved on, I'm hoping someone will read this :-)
I made my first encounter with blogs on the online-teaching course from London U. School of Education. I found blogger very easy to use, but I wanted a bit more experience so I tried Wordpress. There I found I couldn't use different colors, so I went back to blogger. I'm still interested in other blogtypes, though. I started one for my class, which died and another one for my point of interest, namely multiple intelligences in online teaching. I'm glad we're working on blogs now because it's soooo motivating to know people are interested in your blog and will be reading it . update to follow!! ;-)
I also wanted to add a video sequence and tried a couple of times, so I'll try again with the advice you gave Rosane. I'm also interested in how to add tags like the world clock, flicker slides, chat boards and message boards.
Finally, I'm very encouraged to hear that you, Carla and Erika, bagan blogging but a year ago. I'll be submitting an article in the national English Teachers Magazine and will maybe be giving a presentation about blogs in January, so I'll be paying close attention!!!
Thank you for the great start :-)

Erika Cruvinel said...

Hello Illya
You are not late all! We have just started. I have mainly been using Edublogs and Blogger with my students. Adding videos, clock and flicker slides to a blog is not that difficult. We will be working with these extra features in the following weeks, but we have to start slowly because many people in the group are blogging for the first time! I guess the biggest challenge in blogs for me is how to motivate students to keep working and interacting! It's great to know you have been using wordpress, so you will be able to add a lot to our group. We are all here to learn from one another! Hope to see you around!

carla said...

Dear Maria Luís,

It's great to see that you've been working with podcasts and adding an audio element to your students' interactions. They really love it! I've worked on a podcast with Cristina Costa in Portugal and her Naval Petty Officers students. My students and I loved the experience and there was much interaction going on there.

As you mentioned, there are many pedagogical possibilities for podcasts and we will be discussing that in the near future. Thanks for sharing your own uses.

Nahir, Bee is our great blogging online tutor, too! She's the one who changed my perspective on blogging and the way I blogged. We hope to hear more from your own experience.

Illya, nice to hear from you in Switzerland and your blogging take off! As Erika mentioned, Claudia Bellusci will deal with the special features you can use in your blogs. Well, one year ago we couldn't do half of what we are doing now! So, how encouraging is that?


Horacio Idárraga Gil said...

Hello, Carla, Erika and all.........................
Just a while ago I sent a message to María Claudia asking for help.
I hadn´t seen this blog.
Like Andrea, I am eager to begin, but I don´t know where or how to do it. Best wishes, Horacio.

Mary Hillis said...

Hello Carla, Erika, and everyone!

I am also very interested in learning more about blogs. During BaW06 I created my first blog on Yahoo 360. I am still trying to use it as a way to keep my family and friends updated on my daughter's latest happenings.
More recently, I started a professional development blog on Blogger, but I haven't added much to it because I needed this course! Gladys called this my "baby" blog. So, I guess my goal is to get this blog to "grow up" over the course of this month!
So far I haven't used blogs with any of my classes, but I would really like to get some ideas for doing that as well.
Looking forward to this experience a lot. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us,

silvia said...

Hi Carla, Erika and everyone else!!!
My name is Silvia and I'm from Rosario, in Argentina. I'm a colleague of Carla Raguseo, who has invited me to join in. I've been learning about blogs since 2005. Rita Zeinstejer,a webhead, is our mentor and we belong to a group called "Call Sig". We've been experimenting with this tool which I find really motivating. I've also blogged for fun. I feel I have a lot more to learn before I put it into practice with my students. No doubt, blogs offer students a high level of autonomy while creating a new opportunity for interaction with peers. They foster the growth of communities and collaborative learning.
I wish I could learn more about this useful tool.
Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

carla said...

Dear Horacio,

It's a pleasure to have you here, and I know you've already started blogging, so I'm sure you'll get great tips here from this community to improve your blogging skills.

Dear Mary,

Nice to see you around after our January-February course Becoming a Webhead 06 (baW06). We hope that you enjoy this tutoring and start blogging with your students. Could you give us the link to your professional development blog so that we have an idea of how you set your "baby blog"?

Dear Silvia,

It's great to see that Carla has been encouraging other teachers to join us! She's a wonderful online partner and you are all very lucky to have Rita around! She has a true Webhead spirit of sharing and caring. I'm sure that by the end of this practice, you'll be confident enough to start blogging with your students and maybe even join us in our blogging partnership Brazil-Argentina! (Brazil-Argentina, Brazil-Argentina1 )

You are all right about the blogging potential to enhance our students' learning. However, nothing happens if the teacher doesn't facilitate the process and encourages the students to be part of this new online world of adventure, learning and fun!

More later.


carla said...

Dear Mary,

I checked your "baby blog". I'm sure that by the end of this talk on blogging, you will make it even better! Congrats.


Erika Cruvinel said...

Hello Horacio, Mary and Silvia
I guess you are at the right place to learn about blogs. We will be discussing the uses of blogs and working with different bloghosts in the following weeks. Hope you find this discussion useful!

andrea said...

Dear Carla and Erika,
I heard the word "blog" last year when I asked a colleague where she had taken some information from.Of course I couldn`t get what a blog was at that moment:(.Some days ago a friend of mine asked me to post a comment in his newly created blog and I couldn`t say no.So I contacted Gladys for help and she invited me to join this group.I've been visiting blogs since then but yet creating my own blog seems mission impossible!!
I'm eager to learn though and I`m sure I`ll succeed since you all seem to be so enthusiastic and supportive.Thanks for being there for us all!

carla said...

Dear Andrea,

Welcome to the group! Next week you'll have your own blog and will be blogging as crazy! It is contagious and I'm enthusiastic about its possibilities in the classroom. I've been experiencing a lot of positive results and fantastic feedback from my students.

You just need to find your own blogging style that enhances interactivity and encourages your students to communicate.

Don't worry. Keep cool. This group will give you all the support you need to be a proficient blogger in no time! Just be patient and take risks.


Silvana said...

Dear LWCers,
Although I had worked in many collaborative environments,I had never tried blogs till last February when I joined BAW06. After that moment,I started creating different blogs for different purposes and I can tell you that I found them very useful to increase communication with my students and to foster interaction among them.
I'm glad you have started this journey along blogs with experts such as Carla and Erika. In a couple of days,I will do my best to accompany you in the second step of this trip.

Anonymous said...

Hey what a great site keep up the work its excellent.

Erika Cruvinel said...

Thanks Silvana
But I will have to tell everyone that I only started blogging this year, just like you! And you, my dear, were one of my first online teachers! I just have to be thankful for that!

Nina said...

Hi here!

I am new to this collaborative, friendly and enthusiastic group of Bloggers. I am not a blogger at all yet, but do hope to learn how to blog and will do my best to create my own one for my students whom I am planning to involve into international communicating and learning around.
I have read your messages here and actually feel a bit late to join your wonderful cyber surrounding.

You've been doing a great job! Thanks a lot for the opportunity given to everyone who are crazy of using new computer technologies.

The best,

Claudia Ceraso said...

Dear All,

I started my FCE Blog in March 2006. Let me invite you to come and browse at

Blogging to me is just one more tool to aid me in my work. I must say that I've learnt something new everyday since I started. The possibility to foster students' learning self-reliance is probably the main advantage I see in this tool.

Last week I prepared a presentation to share my views on this with my workmates. You can find the slides here

All best,


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