miércoles, 2 de octubre de 2013

On attending and presenting a workshop at FAAPI, 2013, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Things learned at FAAPI13
My friend María Bossa (@mariabossa) is presenting at RSCon13, on the 12th October, 11am Argentina Time!
Gabriel Díaz Maggioli taught us a a ToT is a Teacher of Teachers.  In the course of our lives as educators we all end up doing some "totting".  Those teachers are no longer the experts, but teachers who have been in the profession for a longer period of time and they all posess the Theory of Experience and they apply it by using common sense.  I liked the idea of learning together as a community, a subject also brought about by Fernanda Coelo Liberali in her experience with pre service teachers.  Collective practive finds validity in the community who has agreed to construct knowledge together by negociating, reflecting, changing based on informed decisions. Never alone or in isolation.  Learning as participation.  Learning is messy, you don´t have to tell me! I know that!  I also liked the term: Technology Mediated Teaching and Learning, which also needs a special pedagogy so that it REALLY stands as something innovating and not more of the same old stuff with most appealing design.  Laurillard´s plead to educators to know what is out there, to assess their potential for educational use, not just use just for the sake of using it.
As Leonardo, teachers have all the tools to foster curiosity, to try, to reflect, to share, and by doing this in a supportive way we pave the way for the ones to come, who will in turn take their own ways.  Gabriel urged us to generate local research, valid to our own scenarios.  We owe it to our students.  Change one thing, and see what happens, he said.  Wise words.  In a world driven by change our brains tend to repeat learned skills.  Unfortunately or luckily our classrooms are changing.  Some of us teach at home, others at institutions but our students change, so we should too.
I heard about a new variety of English: Estuary English, it was new for me.  I loved the physical exercises introduced by Helen Ashton, I can´t wait to put them into practice with my students!
The British Council Programme for connecting classrooms is something I would definitely check if I had a primary or secondary school class.  PD, Workshops.  http://www.britishcouncil.org/es/argentina
I can´t wait to invite Fernanda Coelo Liberali to a Learning2gether session to learn more about her innovative practises at Pre-Service Teacher Education, because I believe that would be-teachers around the world would benefit from establishing connections with other student-teachers so that when the time comes to connect the bonds will already be there.

        Things I missed at FAAPI13

      My dear teachers from Santa Fe, especially those at Almirante Brown Teacher Trainning College, namely my Adscription teacher (Language II) Adriana Díaz, whose creative and inspiring work brought me to present at FAAPI and whose silent mission continued in their workplaces.  My dear teachers Daniel Fernández and María Isabel Recamán whose lively classes I was lucky to attend and who were there all the way.  One thing I am particularly proud of is also my two colleagues from the same institute who participated in a contest by the British Council, one of them the winner of the contest! Congratulations Letizia María Russo for winning, and  María Cristina Rivas for being selected too! You can check the projects here: ICT in Action.

     More twitter linked educators.  Guys, you are missing all the fun!
     More enthusiastic people like my friend Pía, who came alone, we found each other, again! Keep coming!  Or my friend Vance Stevens from EVO Webheads and Learning2gether another inspiring soul, who arranged the hangout (twice! because I had mischedulled the time!) so that people around the world would be able to join in a workshop about being connected!  Or Gabriel Díaz Maggioli´s sessions full of data, theory, inspiration.  Fun, facts and mentoring.  Such a thrill after having met both at the EVO Mentoring Sessions.  I was one of their EVOers last summer!
     I could not help to feel so sad for a teacher from a rural area whom, I was told later made a comment about not knowing what she was doing there, since her school lacked all the technology.  I wanted to find her and tell her that it was ALL about those teachers who are far away and technology brings us, human beings together and helps us not to feel alone anymore.  I couldn find her to tell her this, I wish I could.  I have one amazing educator from Australia.  Her name is Anne Mirtschin who is living in a rural area, and also Govinda Prasad Panthi from Nepal, who does not have electricity all day long, or Endang Palupi from Indonesia who are all strugling to bring their schools connected with very limited resources.  I wanted to tell her IT IS NOT ABOUT THE TOOLS, IT HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT THE TOOLS, BUT ABOUT PEOPLE.  Gabriel Diaz Maggioli mentioned this in his session.
      More clapping (and why not dancing!) like the spontaneous one when Sao Pablo based teacher Fernanda Coelho Liberali shared this archetypical ( Sing along and dance even if you don´t know the lyrics! ) song at the closing ceremony urging us to put Freire´s proposed theory of Happiness into practice.  Though I am not fluent in Portuguese, I could not stop my tears from falling at: "...a vida e bonita, e bonita.."  After all we are in the best time to be a teacher of English, we have a lot to celebrate!
     More TeachMeet/Unconference time where teachers could share what they are proud to have achieved with their students.  As I was walking down the hallways I heard teachers commenting among groups of friends about this and that that they were doing.  However these comments never left the small circles of close educators, they never reached teachers from different circles who might as well benefit from the experience of others.  As requested by the organizers, I had previously uploaded my presentation on Slideshare and it had already been viewed by at least 50 people BEFORE the 5 (!) attendees had the chance to take a look at them during my workshop.  One teacher from Canada even asked me if she could use the presentation for the upcoming and now running Connected Educator´s Month.  I said yes, of course, that´s the spirit!  Another pleasant surprise was the amount of people requesting permission to share the documents attached to the post containing ALL the materials in my workshop, which of course I also shared.

I left Buenos Aires under a persistent drizzle, the post began to take shape, and,  as I was finishing I realized the sun was making his way through the clouds and I remembered Fernanda Coelo Liberali´s Brazilian proberb: "Everything ends in the Summer!"  Let´s teach as if it was Summer all year round!  Our students will not probably remember what we taught them, but how we made them feel.

My friend Anne Mirtschin´s blog, from rural Australia


4 comentarios:

  1. Maria, what a wonderful, informative post. I love reading of all the latest educational catch phrases and emphasis on collaborative learning etc. I also remember attending technology conferences a few years back where there were few people on twitter and even now when the conferences are subject based eg commerce, few people are on. They miss out on so much of the sharing and learning. Glad the sun is shining and keep up the great work that you do.

  2. Maria, I forgot to mention that I also teach in a small rural school in Australia, and feel for that teacher who said she did not know what she was doing there! She would have the biggest reason to attend as she can make her small school and classrooms, the centre of the world, connect and communicate with anyone, anywhere and any time. The physical barriers of isolation can be removed completely and a whole new world of learning eventuate. Some of my online colleagues, simply have their own laptop or desktop to bring to school, yet they still succeed in connecting their students to the globe! I a admire them so much.
    Did you know that this month is Connected Educator Month?

    1. Your words come from an Educator who has been seriously involved in bringing the world into your classroom. I am lucky to have you in my PLN! I know that October is Connected Educator´s Month, and I am sharing my presentation with a teacher who asked it for sharing with her colleagues. Today I am signing up for RSCON4, which I consider an amazing opportunity for PD and sharing with likeminded educators. Thank you for your inspiring words!

  3. Hi Maria!! Your blog is awesome!!! The pics are fantastic and the comments are great!!
    Thanks for having mentioned me and for having attended my session today (Oct 12).
    Smiles from Rio Tercero, Cordoba, Maria :)