THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thank You 2007 Students

End of 2007 Academic Year

Dear Students,

In an hour we'll meet again one last time. I wanted to write this post to thank you for sharing this learning experience with me. I also remember the people who had to drop the course. You certainly have taught me much more than you are aware of.

I would love to share some good news. Our last post on got a fantagtastic response. I want to thank this user for sending us excellent resources that I will use in future posts. So far the account is empty and it seems to have been opened just to share those links!

Our open classroom spirit is felt by teachers also. I want to thank Carla Arena and Alison for their collaboration spirit and ideas. I think you'll see our Collaborative Projects section of the wiki grow in 2008.

What will happen to our wiki?
I hope it grows and grows.Our wiki is a heritage project. By which I mean, that future students will
a) Benefit from your extensive production (so far over 160 pages). Your samples will be their study material. As such, they are as valid as the coursebooks you have used.

b) Edit your work. Our Collaborative Edition section is a work in progress that future students can improve, mix, remix, add...

However, this is not just for the benefit of others. Although your portfolio samples will be protected from further edit, discussion forums remain open. Forever.

By subscribing to your own pages, you will learn what students-to-come think of your work. You might as well learn over their shoulders by reading the conversations your work inspires. You see, same time and same place are no longer requirements to learn together. When we are online, we are in a third place.

I am happy you now know how to tag, RSS and open wikis. I hope you continue playing with Netbives and Flickr. Remember to think before you post.

I know, I know. This is the time for another kind of advise. For the killer exam tips and nervousness management! I hope that by now, you feel that, although a challenge, this exam is doable and you are well equipped to succeed. Now we know that what we need is not a collection of tricks, but some knowledge, a set of tools and sensible use of them. I hope that more expert voices, such as my last year students, drop their comments here and we all learn from them as well.

Oops! Time is up and I must cease.

Much love and success to all my students -past and present.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bookmarks are Tagtastic!

How can our bookmarks bring us together?
We all love surfing the net and discovering great sites. Then we bookmark in our browsers to find them again, we want to share with friends via e-mail (so last season!) and then... chaos. You like bookmarking so much the collection of links is unmanageable. Or worse, some computer crash makes you lose months of work at collecting! Ouch.

Wouldn't it be great if we had access to the bookmarks of people round the world studying the same you are trying to learn? Wouldn't you like to contact people who have saved the same sites you did? Like-minded people around make a difference.

Ok. Let's do it!
The trick is this. Forget about the Internet as a source of information. The Internet is folks trying to learn just like you. When we decide to share, we can create a meeting, a folksonomy. We can find each other.

Two key words here:
a) -the tool. You'll need an account.
b) Tagging -the action. You'll associate key words to your favourite sites. What they are about and why they are important to you. Rule for good tagging: The more, the merrier!

In this 3-minute video you will see where, why and how to tag.

Video source for us is fantagtastic!

I've always loved bookmarking. I think it was my first natural step towards online learning. Apart from my fceblog account to connect with teachers, I have created an account for my class. You can find it here:

My students are creating their accounts and joining our network. If you are a student, save the FCE Blog in your bookmarks, write a message in the description box and we'll find you.

Would you like to see what we are doing?
Here is our wiki page on bookmarks.

So let's tag away!

Special thanks to ijohnpederson for helping me shape this idea.

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