I can't believe it's already done! These ten weeks went by really fast! I'm happy we finished, but at the same time I feel something is going to be missing for the following weeks. I guess all of us got a habit of reading and then posting every week. It felt a bit heavy at times, but it was just because the course was carried out at the same time as other activities, but it was really rewarding, interesting and encouraging!
|Sometimes this is true...|
I really enjoyed exploring the technology options we have to enhance and improve our teaching practice. As I have mentioned before, I had heard of some of these tools, but to be honest, I had not really grasped the potential these tools have for our teaching practice. The WebQuest in particular turned out to be motivating and important for my students, and I feel veryproud and happy they worked hard for it. Even though it was for a short time, they were really engaged and made all the decisions by themselves, with only some guidance from yours truly. This course has also helped me "stay" in the role of a student, as I have been an online advisor for almost four years. It's always refreshing and useful to be on this side of the course in order not to forget what a student feels when they have to upload assignments, read texts, prepare files, work on final projects, etc. Besides, Sean is a great example of an excellent advisor: He's punctual, friendly, open to questions and comments, respectful, and he always shows interest in what his students are doing. That is simply priceless. I feel thankful for this course and I really hope to someday become a great advisor, and Sean is my role model at that. In spite of my own shortcomings, he was always supportive and understanding, and I really think that's what makes a big difference: someone who is not really "there" but who helps you no matter what.
During the course, I sometimes felt a bit overwhelmed, as I thought I would not have enough time to finish reading or to post something meaningful on Nicenet and this blog. I really wanted to contribute with something valuable and not fill spaces with irrelevant lines, and I assure you I did my best to avoid "shallow" comments or responses. I also was a little distracted due to other things I had to do, but whenever I had to come back to the Webskills course, the fact that my classmates and Sean were working so hard pushed me to offer something good. At least I tried.
During the course, I came to appreciate Google Docs more; I learned what a WebQuest is and how it can be applied with our students. I saw how to create online and offline activities for my students. I got to know Padlet, which is so flexible and attractive that I hope to use it in the future, too. I also came to understand the purpose of blogs a bit better. It's not really easy to keep up with everything, but as long as we keep practicing and clicking on everything (as in "hands-on" learning), we'll find something that can be used with certain students.
In my opinion, the most important topics were Learner Autonomy and Learning Styles. I believe that as long as we consider what our students do to learn, how they go about doing a task and how much they want to do by themselves, not only will we be giving them the chance to explore their own talents; we will also be accepting them as they are, warts and all, and (as I have said several times, for which I apologize) they will end up having a sense of achievement, of accomplishment for doing things which are meaningful for them.
Finally, I want to thank Sean and all my coursemates for this wonderful experience. I look forward to applying for more courses, as we should never stop learning and improving if we are to be efficient, professional language teachers!!