Monday, July 24, 2006

Test your personality

Haven't done any online tests lately, so when I ran across a couple on Miguel's site, I had to try them. I won't tell you which President I am most like because I refuse to believe it. But my personality came up just as I expected it to: I am a Nurturer.

You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Actually, this is interesting because last semester I sat in on a Psychology class with my students, and we did official personality tests and I came up with the same type.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Advice on wikis, please!

I am going to be using a wiki this fall. It is a new venture for me. It seems like it will be easy, but I am afraid I might be kidding myself. I want to use the wiki well, and I am not sure what I need to know or remember. Any suggestions?

In one class students will be reading a variety of material about the Civil War. I want them to post it to the wiki so the information that each gathers from individual reading will be available to all. In this case I guess I am using it for notetaking. Students will be able to get information from it to complete their final project: a "magazine" about the Civil War from the point of view of either the North or the South, depending on which group they are in. While students will be put in North/South groups about halfway through the unit, they will do initial readings about both the North and the South.

In another class, a writing class, we are going to be looking at famous documents and speeches from US history and then writing about them. I am basing this course loosely on an MIT Open Courseware course called American Classics. I am not exactly sure how I will be using the wiki with this class, but I imagine it will be for notetaking, too.

I am excited about this, but I am not sure how it is going to work. My initial blogging attempts were less than successful, and I hope to do better with wikis. I appreciate any help anyone might be able and willing to offer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blogathon for Katrina Relief

Joanna and Sharon have a great idea for raising money to help Pearlington, Mississippi recover from Katrina. They are going to be blogging for 24 hours. And you are invited to help by blogging or donating money or both. Check it out here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Choosing literature for ESL

I am in the process of getting ready to write the final paper for a course I am taking this summer on young adult literature. I think I want to write it on evaluating YA lit for use in college level ESL classes. So I am sending out a plea to those of you who teach ESL at the college level or teach adults in other settings: Have you ever used YA lit with your adult students? How did you decide which books to use? How were the books received by the students? What books would you recommend and why?

If you don't teach adults but are an adult yourself, have you ever read YA literature? Why? What was your reaction to the book?

If you teach young adults, which books that you use with your students do you think would be appropriate to use with adults?

I really appreciate any insights you might be able to give me. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The best of times and the worst of times

Seeing your name in Stephen Downes' Old Daily definitely qualifies as a high point! I was shocked, to say the least, to see that he was referencing a post by Jo McLeay about my Creative Commons license post.

But why, oh why did I forget to run spell check on the post that was going to be seen by lots more people than usual?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Writing with online word processors

I am writing an article on online word processors for my state LaTESOL newsletter, and I decided to check out some of the features of Writely that I hadn't played with before. Posting to my blog is one of them. I am anxious to see how this works.

If you have ever used Writely, ThinkFree, Zoho Writer or Writeboard, I would love to hear your experiences.

I am not really sure why I would want to write my posts in an online word processor and then post them to my blog. I am not sure I see the reason for the extra step. But for people who work and rework their posts (like Miguel) I guess I can see it.

These tools are more important to me as another way for writers to collaborate. If we're not connecting with them, what's the point?

Just a thought

Reading Stephen Downes Half an Hour, I came across this line that I just wanted to share.
You cannot incite a revolution. You have to be the revolution. There is no other way.

What else is there to say?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Copyright issues

Jim over at Blogging Pedagogy has a post about selling course materials and comments on the fact that he has added a Creative Commons license to the blog. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I can't believe that something I have written is copyrighted just because I have written it. But it is. I can't find the sites where I originally read about it, but Wikipedia has an article about it here.

Anyway, I decided to add a Creative Commons license to this blog. Not because I am worried about anyone stealing anything they find here but rather because I want to make a statement. I believe in Creative Commons licensing. I believe in sharing our thoughts and ideas and our words.

As far as I am concerned, this license doesn't change anything here on the blog. But I want to make it official.

Grammar with a little help from some Legos

Dennis Jerz has created a presentation unlike any I have ever thought of doing: active and passive sentences with a little help from a Lego man! Check it out here on his blog!

Monday, July 03, 2006

A cool resource

I have just been playing around with a cool resource at ESL - a BINGO card maker for vocabulary words. You can insert up to 25 words and their definitions and it will create the cards and allow you to print the BINGO cards, print flashcards with the words and their meanings, and print a call card for the instructor to use. You can print from 1-99 BINGO cards, and the words are scrambled so they are not in the same position on all the cards.

Now, most of you may not be interested in this, but it will be really great for those of you who could use it. Check it out! They also have a crossword generator, but I haven't checked it out yet.