Have you ever considered the good side of waiting in line, being stuck in a traffic jam, waiting at the doctor's office?  Well, you might feel mad, impatient, or even cranky. But wait? Is there a way to change all these negative feelings into the opposite spectrum, like feeling energized, inspired and wanting to change the world?! A loud YES to it. It might seem crazy at first, but this is exactly what happened to me after I discovered Podcasts in my life, not only as a means for...

Dear educator, You may think that your institution owe you something, like offering you proper professional development opportunities, but this is rarely the case. In fact, educational institutions have so much in their plates that they can barely scratch the surface of designing consistent, powerful PD development programs for their Academic and Admin staff. Considering this scenario and the fact that you are in charge of your own learning, don't outsource PD to anybody. Take hold of it, grab it, really, and invest your time, money and energy to get...

  Though the maker movement has been around for a long time now, and if we consider Dewey, Papert, among other educators, we'd say it's been around for decades! If we go event further and look at makerspace as those garages where kids used to work with their parents on projects, fix things and solve a problem, it's been really there for a long time.  However, the so-called maker movement in Brazil is really getting traction right now. Schools are making budgets, considering options to innovate, to change learning...

It's been some years already that we've been talking about m-learning and its promises, but with not much consistent use of mobile devices as a learning tool with extremely high computational capabilities, sometimes even bigger than our own desktops (certainly this is my case!). There are simply countless ways to deepen the experiences and learning opportunities in class by using the power of touch, the power of hands. It's not from banning cellphones, for example, because of our own fears and feeling of powerlessness due to our vulnerable...

There´s nothing new on the use of Youtube for learning, but how often do you use its features beyond watching the videos? I´d like to suggest three ways to enhance the use of Youtube videos in the classroom. First, encourage your group to create a collaborative playlist about the topic they are studying. By doing that, the students are watching, analyzing and making decisions about the best option to add to the grupo playlist. How do you do it? Start a Playlist on Youtube by choosing a video and clickin on...

There's no need to remind you that technology is pervasive in our lives. It's everywhere. However, my main paradox is that I see my kids going to school and having very little use of it as a tool for development, personal growth and inquiry. It is a huge paradox because for the past decade I've been working with educators and educational leaders to meaningfully incorporate edtech in their practices. Yet, in my own home reality is far from ideal. What I feel is that my kids are more...

Our humanity is expressed through our stories. More than ever before educators are in the look for different ways to engage their students by telling their own pieces of stories each class they meet their students, but they are also aiming to help their learners to tell their own stories. By doing that, a transformative type of teaching tend to come on the scene.  A deeper connection among everyone in the classroom starts to emerge with learning in the intersection of emotions, people, content and context. Magic happens then. Just this week, I came...

[caption id="attachment_5024" align="alignleft" width="640"] https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurgenappelo/5201275209[/caption] It´s been a while that educational communities talk about digital literacies. This has been a topic of my interest for a decade now. Still, what we see is a group of educators who follow exactly the curve of innovation in which we have the early adopters way ahead, investing in the development of their digital skills, but most who are still lagging behind. Reasons are many. Some feel overwhelmed, others don´t have any idea what is out there, most lack time to even plan...

I still remember when I considered productive having a big room full of teachers for a training session on computer skills. It is still vivid in my mind the beginning of Google in which I'd have trainings with teachers on "How to effectively use Google Search". Were you there when Geocities was around? That was the time when I used to help teachers build their own sites. It was such a huge task. Some were brave enough to endure the technical details. Others gave up quite easily. I...

In my daily job in education, I find the most talented and vibrant community of educators. Their very specific skills range from making, sometimes with hardcore engineering skills, to arts, with those amazing strokes of light and hope. Many, though, lack self-confidence. They perceive themselves as just one more in the crowd. Their talent is seen as ordinary, something that has been with them for so long that they don't even notice the distinguishing features of their own character and practice. I've seen many of them go unnoticed...

Instagram is part of my daily life, and I know it is also very popular among our teen students and some adults. Though the focus is social, the imagery and, depending on the user you follow,  Instagram can be a very powerful teaching/learning tool. You can explore with students from grammar aspects of the language to an in-depth take on cultural issues. The news is also there. Here, I've selected some of my favorite Insta IDs with some activities you might want to try in your next class: Natgeo Besides being...

I was about to start this post, and had a totally different idea in mind. But then I couldn't miss sharing with you such interesting, simple and effective idea for the classroom with all resources already there, a click away. I've just come across this post "Interactive Learning Menus (Choice Boards) Using Google Docs" , which gives a practical idea of how to prepare a learning menu based on a Tic-Tac-Toe using Google Docs. The idea behind it, giving choice, control and autonomy to the learner is such a simple...

We all deserve rest, relaxation and some time off. Educators are working during class time, before and always in late hours, correcting, planning, preparing, researching. So, yes, school recess is certainly a time of a certain relief and a bit of goofing off. However, after reenergizing a bit, meeting friends and family, taking care of our more mundane daily lives, celebrating the end of the year, you might feel ready and eager to learn something new, to connect, network with other like-minded professionals. Numerous free professional development opportunities...

For the past year I've been interested and have intensely studied, researched and explored the Maker Movement. First, just out of curiosity as I was being fed through my Twitter stream (remember I mentioned in other posts how Twitter is still my number one source of inspiration and daily doses of professional development?). The feeling that the Maker movement just made total sense to any classroom got even stronger after attending Giselle Santos's presentation on the topic at the BRAZTESOL International Conference in João Pessoa. Fate or destiny, the...

I´m a mother of teens. As a mother, it is almost unavoidable to ask too many questions, and to my despair getting monosyllabic answers. The story goes more or less like this, "So how was school today?" "OK". And sometimes the most I can get is, "boring as always". Well, being a teacher, this questioning mindset simply doubles! By observing classes for the past few years, I came to realize that we teachers have this question system ingrained in us. Many times we consider that a pre-listening activity and post-listening...

by @KUUNSTKUULTUR , at Flickr, Creative Commons After an exciting and reinvigorating presentation of my co-workers in our 10th CTJ TEFL Seminar in which they inspired teachers to use art in different ways to foster communication and critical thinking, as well as to develop visual literacy, I felt inspired to start my semester using a simple, but effective icebreaker with my adult group. I showed my students some images  of famous painters (feel free to use the slideshow and remix it) and asked them to answer the following question,...

The discussion revolving around the use of mobile devices in the classroom is still strong. Some teachers have embraced the gadgets, feeling that they are powerful learning tools. Others, due to insecurity or strong beliefs argue that cell phones and tablets are a poor replacement for traditional teaching, just substituting what is already done well without them. For those teachers, the place of mobile devices in the classroom is in silent mode in the backpacks. There are others who say that students will be browsing through their social...

[caption id="attachment_1010" align="aligncenter" width="640"] https://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com[/caption] I still haven´t convinced you to try out Twitter even with Twitter for Professional Development and Try Twitter Before Ignoring It? Here are two additional reasons for you to join the educational crowd on Twitter. This week, the international education conference, Transformar, A Educação Está em Evolução, is happening in São Paulo, and you can follow along where?! You know where. TWITTER. Many of the participants are backchanneling, which means they are broadcasting via Twitter the interesting things they hear and pointing to resources, as...

  In my last post, I focused on giving Twitter a chance. Before saying No, try a resounding YES! And if I haven´t convinced you last time, how about considering Twitter as your daily professional development hub? For most ELT conferences, there are great tweets coming from the backchannel. Educators who share the resources of the presentations they are attending, ideas, thoughts, quotes. If nothing appeals to you, PD in microdoses might convince you. Here´s a list of the conference hashtags I´ve been following lately and also sharing. If you couldn´t be...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] @rosaurochoa in Flickr[/caption]   So many times I´ve heard teachers saying that Twitter is not for them,  they don´t get it,  it is a waste of time. Before you make up your mind, just give it a try. Start using it in very simple ways. My first suggestion is searching for resources educators are already sharing in their timelines. In my case, for example, I´m interested in the use of mobile devices in the classroom, so I´ll look up "mlearning", using the Twitter search feature. Give it a try....

  Recently I watched an inspiring interview with  entrepreneur Pam Slim at The Good Life Project site. In fact, if you want to pick incredible people´s brains about topics ranging from design to entrepreneurship, that´s exactly where you should land. At the end of her interview, Pam Slim mentioned that, for her, to live a good life was to live it full color and full contact. If we consider the beginning of the year for many educators around the globe at this time of the year, that´s maybe the wisest...