Wednesday, January 02, 2008

ICT Reminiscence for 2007

Yes, it’s been a long time since my last entry, but professional development and work commitments kept me at bay from writing more entries along 2007. But I will start 2008 by writing a bit on some ICT experiences I had during this year and some killer ICT tools that I currently use and I believe have got potential in ELT.


AVEALMEC ( Asociación Venezolana para la Enseñanza y Aprendizaje de Lenguas Mediados por el Computador) is an educational association which started as an idea on March 14th 2007 in a national forum entitled "What's next? The Future of English in Venezuela" at the British Council. During the concluding session, a group of teachers from different universities agreed on setting this association up (Read blog entry about AVEALMEC).

I‘m currently the secretary of this association along with a group of hard working teachers from different universities in Venezuela: Teadira Pérez (President, ULA), Liliana Buitrago (Vice-president, UEFM); Víctor Ojeda (Treasurer, Colegio Emil Firiedman); Dafne Gonz{alez (Acting member for the president, USB), Nahir Aparicio (Acting member for Vice-president, UPEl-Caracas), Evelyn Izquierdo (Acting member for secretary, UC), Benicio Galavís (Acting member for Treasurer, CUFM), Yuraimig Rivero (Vocal), Elvina Castillo (Acting member for vocal), Lisbeth Jimenez (UPEL-Barquisimeto) , Mary Pinto and José Luís Gómez(UDO).

AVEALMEC November event

The Web 2.0 for ELT teachers: Podcasts, Blogs, Wikis, Virtual Worlds and Digital Games was one of the first event organized in joint venture with the British Council Venezuela by AVEALMEC. The British Council Venezuela also helped sponsor this event. The seminar leader was Graham Stanley. During one week Graham Stanley shared with a group of Venezuelan EFL teachers his knowledge and experience in the use of Web 2.0 tools and showed their potential in ELT.

Also, this event became a good opportunity to add more members to AVEALMEC. From 13 to 30 (founding and active members). During this week AVEALMEC board of meeting programmed two main events for 2008. A series of simultaneous workshops in different places around Venezuela in April and a seminar in October 2008.

British Council Projects

The British Council Venezuela kept developing its ICT projects in public/private schools and universities during 2007:

1. In a joint venture project between Alcaldia de Chacao and British Council, a group of teachers from public schools were trained to use ICT tools in their school CALL labs through the workshop Integrating ICT into the classroom and the support of online tutors (first semester of 2007).

2. A group of teachers from Bolivarian schools in Mérida were trained to use Hot Potatoes (July 2007)

3. A group of university teachers from Universidad del Zulia (April 2007) and Instituto Universitario Tecnológico Americo Vespucio (November 2007), were given the ICT workshop. Also a group of teachers from a private school, Unidad Educativa San Ignacio de Loyola, were trained to integrate ICT into the language classroom.

Also, The British Council Venezuela shared projects developed in public schools and university in national and regional events like VenTESOL (March and May 2007).


Apart from being trained on Moodle and E-moderation by Consultants-E, a company of consultants offering online courses, I was given the chance of becoming an online tutor for this company during 2007. I started observing Carl Dowse tutored the ICT in the classroom course and then helped Valentina Dodge tutor this ICT course from October to December 2007. This turned into my testing ground for applying what I had learned in the Moodle and E-moderation course and also a way to reflect and get deep insights into online tutoring. Gavin Dudeney is the project director and Nicky Hockly is the director of pedagogy for this company. I had the chance to meet them personally at a seminar in Manchester in 2006 and Gavin Dudeney came to Venezuela that same year as seminar leader to give this extraordinary and professional training to University teachers on ICT in Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela.

SL Online workshop

I attended my first serious ELT event in Second Life last December 1st (yes, I had been wandering off and dancing my SL life away up to that moment. OK I still do!:- )

Gavin Dudeney gave this interesting and very informative presentation on teaching tools in Second Life. You can see and hear the whole presentation in the archive space on Edunation II. Teleport to this SLURL:

Further presentations will take place on a regular monthly basis as part of the series organised by the EduCation & EduNation group in Second Life. Join the group for further information.

2008 Killer ICT tools

In my humble opinion, these are the killer ICT tools for 2007:

1. Second Life (virtual world for social networking):

2. WiziQ (online board)

3. Quizlet (Online Vocabulary learning)

Some other tools:

4. Ning (Social networking)

5.Twitter (Social networking)

6. UstreamTV (live, interactive broadcasting)

Videocasts to hone IT skills, learn about new gadgets/software (and have some fun!):

7. or Chris Pirillo Live

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