Friday, 7 May 2010

Week 5

Week five already!… Uau!

Who would have said we were going to get here so fast!


Now things are getting really hectic! I`m preparing my project but I don`t know if my students are going to finish it till the end of our course, I’m getting a bit worried about this… I`m trying to implement a medium or long term project based on their final project for English 10, so things aren`t going to be so immediate, even though we`ve already started the activities that will lead to the final product! Let`s see next week how things are…


This week there was something really new to me: building a WebQuest! Even though I had already read about it and even seen some examples I had never built one myself! It`s been a great experience and right now I’m trying to complete it little by little, to see if I can try it out with my students.


This type of web resource is, from my point of view, invaluable for students since it promotes their independence and responsibility and at the same time it represents a challenge to be overcome, which normally pleases students, motivating them as well. For me they are "projects in action", and have a great advantage: their structure - the division in parts allows teachers and students to define, organize and guide their work, whether it is on-line or on paper.


As for Project Based Learning, I, like many others from our course, have already worked with projects, especially short term mini-projects, like writing about a famous person, talking about traditions and so on. I also have access to a lot of project suggestions in the course books here in Portugal, normally at the end of each unit! I had already read about this topic but the material presented to us here at the course (theoretical and practical) has completed my knowledge about it, since I consider it of great quality.For me there is no doubt that project-based learning, together with WebQuests, as they are learner-based, are priceless because they make our students more autonomous and promote learning by doing. In this type of work the teacher guides the students and acts as a facilitator, and counselor. When they do the projects, the students feel more motivated and are aware that they have a large degree of autonomy within the work they are supposed to present.


This has really been a great week! I`ve enjoyed a lot reading my colleagues` comments and projects and visiting their WebQuests! They are all doing a great job!!


Learning, Unlearning and Relearning! That`s the spirit!


Susana

4 comments:

  1. Hello Susana,

    Wonderful course and a great week-absolutely agree with you. Your theme learning, unlearning and relearning fits so well with the process.

    Well! Best of luck with the project. I have more serious problems regarding the project. I am far away from my teaching site because of a research project in my home town. I have outlined the course like this one for the teachers in my office-has not been advertised yet. I am also worried.

    I enjoyed the webquest thing like you. I only heard about it but now I have one my own which is great accomplishment.

    I have enjoyed reading your reflection and best of luck with the rest of the course.

    Piar

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  2. Dear Susana,

    I hope everything will go smoothly with you project. To be honest, I, too, have some concerns that not all of my students will interact with my project (integrating blogging). But you know, when I feel concerned that I will fail to do something, I usually end up doing it very well! I hope this one will be the same!

    Yours,

    Mohamed

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  3. Hello Sunsana,

    I have the same problem regarding the project: we are very close to the end of the school year (about a month left) and I feel my students are not so much interested in learning now. Maybe, I will make just a scheme of the project and I will start it over in autumn, when students and teachers will be fresh.

    The week was really interesting, and what I liked most about us was the WebQuest. As for projects, I consider them to be the best way our students can learn.

    Good luck,
    Nadina

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  4. Dear Susana,

    Your students don't need to finish the project - they just need to do enough to give you a sense of how they are responding to it. You can certainly say in your project report that you are still developing the project, so what you are writing about is just preliminary. The key is to be thinking about what you are doing and observing carefully to see how students are responding.

    Yours,
    Deborah

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