Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Miss Technology at Work

Most of my friends know me as Miss Technology. I can assure you it doesn't mean I'm an expert in technology! No. In fact, I learned how to use an ipod only a few months ago. Since I don't have one myself, and I haven't had a chance to practice, I may have forgotten how to use one by now!

You may be wondering what I'm doing making a blog about technology. Let me clarify this immediately. With the advance of technology, the world has gotten a lot smaller. Communication has become a lot faster and easier. I'm able to sit at my dining room table - my favorite place - and use the keys on my laptop to send a message to my best friend who lives on another continent, knowing she will get my message in a few seconds! Well, I'm thinking why not do what I've been doing my whole life - teaching - in the same way? After all, many teachers are doing it... and doing it effectively!

So, I'm trying to learn to use some computer tools in order to communicate online with my students. I want to be able to do online everything I do in my face-to-face classes. I want to teach my students everything I know by using different methods to reach all of them - those who are good at reading the charts and the rules of English grammar and structure as well as those who understand all that better when they listen to and watch me explain it.

Make no mistake. I'm still Miss Technology, the girl who doesn't know how to deposit a check through ATM. So when I say "I'm trying to learn," I don't mean by myself. I'm taking classes for this. I've so far managed to finish - successfully, I might add - five classes, such as "Effective Interaction" and "Universal Design," and I'm now taking my sixth and last class in the series of online instruction. Guess what this last one's called! "Technology for Online Instruction."

I'm in my first week of this class, and I've already been exposed to at least fifty different tools I'd never heard of. This should be enough for me - Miss Technology - to freak out and quit. There's probably one other thing I should've mentioned about myself, though, and that's I'm very stubborn. So, I'm going to ignore all these scary tools that I'm not familiar with and concentrate on the one that I've actually managed to use this week: Voki.

According to http://www.voki.com/, "Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages" and that's exactly what I did! I used a voki message in my invitation to an event I'm having. Check out my first voki creation. You will need to install Adobe Flash 10 or greater. www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html.

Cool! Isn't it? You can choose from so many different avatars and you can use your own voice - like I did - or type the text in the box and have it read. I've posted my first voki on my blog. Now, I'm going to try sending it in an email message.

I'll be back soon to share my new discoveries.

Miss T.