Thursday, January 10, 2008

Child computer and Internet safety

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In this day and age, you have to be proactive with your child’s safety online. Here are some great tips sent in by a community member, to help get you started (or help you continue) with Internet safety.

  • Monitor use of e-mail programs, for programs like MSN, AIM, and Yahoo! Messenger. Make sure you know who your child chats with, and when they are chatting with those people. Make sure if they get into a chat room, you know if they are getting into private chat with others, or make sure they know to get off if some one makes the feel uncomfortable.
  • Keep parental blocks turned on, and block all sites that could harm your child, or violate their privacy. Block all pornographic sites, and sites like My Space, or Facebook, because people may be able to find to much personal information about them. If they do get on a site like My Space, monitor their friends list, and look at all pictures that they upload to make sure it wont give a stalker a perfect hunting photo. Also, make sure there at not any inappropriate comments on their profile. If they are on YouTube, be sure they don’t upload have inappropriate videos on there, and make sure they don’t have dirty comments on there like “Your Hot” or “Hey Hot Stuff”.
  • Limit time on the computer. If you limit the time your child is on the computer, you can better monitor what is going on. Also, if they spend less time on the computer, there is less time for them to get in trouble on there. Don’t let them go on the computer with friends while you are gone, because they may get into way to much mischief. Also, don’t let your child spend time on the computer past their bedtime, because it will interfere with their sleep. Don’t allow the computer to be turned on while they are dong homework, unless a computer is required to do it.
  • Keep the computer in a position where you will always be able to see it, so you are able to see what is on the screen. Every now and then, walk by the computer and glance at the screen to see what they are typing, or saying in they are on MSN or Yahoo! If your child’s computer is located in a different room than the one your computer is in, consider setting up a web cam so you can see what is going on in the room with the computer your child is on. Always let your child know what your are doing, and if you are looking at their history, so they don’t feel your are invading their privacy.
  • Make up a contract for your child to sign, so they know all the rules that are supposed to be followed while on the internet. If the contract is broken, punish your child, but don’t threaten to take the internet away from them. All that will do is just cause them to get mad and start to not like you. Punishment could be banning them from MSN or YouTube for a few days, or cutting their time on the computer short every night for a week. Just remember, don’t take the internet away, because some people have part of their social life on the internet, or may even want the internet to learn new things.

Taken from:

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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