May 12, 2009

We're done here, move over rover.

I'm off to teach in China in T-minus 3 months. I've made a website to keep friends and family informed -- as well as chat and muse about all things (un)educational.

I don't think I'll be updating this blog anymore, so check out my new travel/education blog at Canadian Chalk.

Get it in ya!

November 04, 2008

Last week of school, practicum, elections, oh my!

Schools out for... 2008! Last day of school is this Friday until we get back in January for the last leg of my B.Ed. degree. To that end, it's very busy right now. Some how, and I'm not sure exactly how I've done it -- things are manageable. No all-nighters or terrible sleeping/eating habits. Guess I'm starting to learn a thing or two: don't leave the library until everything is finished for the day. K.I.S.S.

This will be my last post before I start my 3rd practicum block as a part of my teacher certification education at the University of Manitoba. I'm quite excited about it now that I have a feeling that I know what I'm doing and have some confidence knowing I did a good job last year. On the flip, I'm teaching middle years -- something that is completely new to me. Yesterday I had my first visit since September to meet with my collaborating teacher and determine my teaching obligations for this block. I'll be teaching two sections of grade 8 math, and one section of grade 8 science. It will be a unique and rewarding challenge I hope, and at first glance I'll definately be using some forms of behavior management that I haven't had to worry about teaching senior years students.

In other news, the U.S. presidential election is going on as we speak. I only have one thing to say about that: ROCK ON OBAMA!

October 30, 2008

Thoughts, Reflections, Stomach Grumblings Regarding EAL Technology/Online Resources

This post has one purpose: to fulfill my CS Professional Development. Well, that's not quite true. I can honestly say I found it quite a worthwhile endeavor to see what resources are currently available to EAL/ESL teachers. You don't want to reinvent the wheel when someone has already gone through all the trouble. From my limited experience already, I know one thing for sure: good lessons can take a lot of time to make.

The EAL Teaching/Student Learning Resources list that I've compiled for the past month showcases a lot of great resources currently available to teachers and students to promote English as an Additional Language -- both in and out of the classroom. The more and more I dug around the Internet, the more I realized that there is A LOT of stuff out there, and A LOT of useful things too. In fact, just today I stumbled upon The English Blog which is literally bursting with useful websites, multimedia, web 2.0 applications and other resources that are all related to EAL instruction. It was one first time in recent memory that I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information was out there regarding technology for EAL instruction.

It is apparent that many people are taking a focus at the issue I based my presentation on: Integrating Technology into EAL Instruction. It makes me excited, hopeful perhaps, that there are many creative people out there trying to create meaningful applications and online experiences to help facilitate the need of engaging EAL/ESL instruction. Babbel, which I've discussed in my last post, is a great example of this.

Hmmm, I'm not too sure what else to add for a summary or conclusion. I'm definatley not going to explain everything I've found and listed on my EAL Resources Page, as it's quite self-explanatory and many pages have a lot of overlap as to what they provide. Take a look and let me know what you (genuinely) think about them. Leave a comment. I dare you.

October 22, 2008

Welcome to Babbel-on.

So this post is directed to my Professional Development Project I'm currently working on the topic of resources for integrating technology with EAL learners. It's more difficult that you think. Just like there can be a lot of great things on the Internet, there is also a LOT of mediocre and subpar resources that teachers could fall prey to.

My job, and my rationale for this PD is to do all the hard work and provide to you - my faithful viewer/blogger - the fruits of my labour. And by fruits, I mean on-line EAL resources.

One such resource that I've found is Babbel. Babbel is a Web 2.0 invention, innovation, something-ation that is a step in the right direction towards on-line interactivity and language acquisition. With a combination of interactivity, text, audio, and visuals it makes the whole experience engaging and ... fun! I've been using the website off and on for the past couple weeks to help study for my French class, and it's been very useful (and ... fun!). I reccommend you check it out.

Also, the fine folks at Babbel also contribute to The Babbel Blog, which contrary to almost all other online service blogs: it actually has useful information beyond self-promotion and being an overglorified FAQ website. There is a lot of great information on education, technology, languages, and language acquisition - all wrapped up into a digestable relevant package. For instance, the new post is about at what grade levels did both of the USA vice-president runners speak at during their lastest national debate. Cool stuff... though disturbing/scary that Sarah Palin apparently scored higher.

October 18, 2008

The Disjointed Blog Update


Purchased one of the new 13" Macbooks that were premiered this past Tuesday.

I'm excited.

Saw the one and only Niel Young at the MTS Centre on Thursday.

I'm surprised I still have a voice after that concert.

Handed in our groups WestCAST proposal and ENREB submission forms.

I'm crossing my fingers.

Currently working on a educational/legal/social issue paper for School & Society.

It's on Metis Education.

I'm Metis.

So it's relevant.

Three weeks left of classes until our practicum block starts.

They'll be some more updates soon about my professional development plan.

It's on EAL resources available online/software/websites.

I should probably start that soon.