Last Friday 17 July 2015, I had the great pleasure to broadcast live at the 30 Goals e-Conference, where I shared the keynote entitled 'My Students Are My Champions!'
Read it all at http://30goals.com/mjgsm
Now I would like to share with you all both the recording of the live keynote as well as its slideshow and transcript in case you might find it useful.
My Students are my champions - 17th July 2015 - 30 Goals e-conference
What I’d like to share with you this afternoon from Spain is the happy experience I have gone through my teaching and learning via accomplishing some of the goals within the 30Goals Challenge for Educators.
Specifically I’d like to tell you about three of them: ‘Be someone’s champion’, ‘Plant a seed of belief’ and ‘Support a movement’, although for me the achievements of these goals along with my students are strongly linked and mixed up, that is, when you are on goal-oriented work, and trying to achieve one goal, you are crafting others even without noticing. Sometimes I have not even noticed about that until the very end, when coming back to the whole goal achievement process to reflect on it and it has been then when I have realized that there were more than 2 goals being accomplished, so that is killing two birds with a stone.
But let’s focus now on the Be someone’s champion Goal. Let me tell you a story first and then leave a question for you to think about.
But first, the story:
Everything started in 2014, when I met my bunch of future Primary Bilingual Teachers at University King Juan Carlos in Madrid, and they accepted a package of various challenging projects.
Check the link at Twitter #ictclil_urjc: and their digital outcomes at http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/p/ictclilurjc-blog-roll.html
There was one team in particular, encouraged by a young talented enthusiastic pre-service teacher, Billy Joel Ramos, who went for a project they called the Book-ME Library project: http://bookme-library.blogspot.com.es/ and crafted a sweet virtual library of books and stories for young readers, which soon connected with several Primary teachers in Spain who were also to become champions for them, as they twinned and presented their own young learners with the Book-Me Library original storybooks: http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/2014/05/bringing-colegio-san-gregorio-and-book.html , in what came to be known as the timeline of an econnected story: http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/2014/09/webinars-for-iatefl-ylt-sig.html , ending up with awesome enriching peer to peer feedback and spreading the word at virtual conferences and live sessions. http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/p/webinars-and-live-sessions-archive.html
The school year went by and they flew off to their actual classroom and real teaching, but there was one who came back to me, stood out and was ready for the championship, and that was Billy J. Ramos @somar0209: https://www.wiziq.com/billy-joel-ramos4394846 , now an inspiring teacher himself, ready to present and co-present in live sessions, to spread the word, to create his own virtual classes and courses, to support others.
And so there I was, happily viewing how he grew up as a connected teacher and with new proposals to do my best at accompanying him to stardom.
This is why we started The EduPower of Blended Learning live sessions at WizIQ: https://www.wiziq.com/course/83754-the-edupower-of-blended-learning , a series of three virtual classes Billy and I delivered in pairs between november and december 2014, whose aim was to go through the advantages and drawbacks of blending learning with ICT; to show a sample of blended learning using a virtual classroom, collaborative blogging and teamwork. The live classes were designed for teachers who would like to gain confidence when going into blended or e-learning or need to give their virtual teaching a boost.
The topics covered in the series included tips, advice and resources to set up an online classroom, craft blended learning challenges and show real examples of this type of teaching. Core teaching methodology followed was prompting participants with lively relaxed educational pills, keeping up casual conversation and inspiring interaction.
There you are the recordings of the series in case you feel like viewing them. They might help you realize why I am so proud of Billy and why I am asking you the question I promised at the beginning: Who is the champion in this experience? Am I his champion, or is he my champion? Honestly I feel he is my champion, rather than me being his.
I do think that our role as teachers is to let them be our champions and that the way to do it is showing confidence in their intelligence and talent, motivate them and foster their creativity and encourage them towards success. In the end, when they succeed, it is our success as teachers too, and so our students are our champions.
The whole experience is available for you at the blog Stop and Learn English: http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/2015/02/be-someones-champion.html
This goal is closely linked to the next one: Plant a seed of belief, as it is essential to believe and to plant in order to harvest, reach success and win that championship of learning that I’ve been sharing with you. So now, I’d like to present you with another tiny experience: this time to accomplish the Plant a seed of belief goal.
The story this time takes place in 2015, again with a new group of pre-service teachers from Madrid, attending their Master’s Degree Module on the use of ICT and Web Resources for Primary Bilingual Education at University.
Fortunately for me I teach potential Primary Bilingual educators twice a week, as you may have realised by now, and I guess that allows me to envisage if CLIL methodology in the classrooms is going to be just a name again in coming years, and if we are actually taking the right steps to have real innovative Content and Language Integrated Learning Teachers in the classrooms, and how we are going to actually accomplish that in the adequate way, that is, how we are training CLIL teachers, and if that training is turning them into innovative enthusiastic educators, who will be absolutely convinced that integrating Content, Language, ICT, PBL and lots of Pills of Enthusiasm are the ingredients to cook a classroom of bilingual students who will be ready to manage their lives in the real world, in two languages.
From my viewpoint, that type of training is the only successful one as well as the kind of training which will plant a seed of change in CLIL lessons, and so, that is part of what I try to transmit my groups of future Primary Bilingual educators every year.
I have been fortunate once again, as only after 4 lessons, that is eight hours face-to-face and when we were just getting to know each other virtually too, was when I quickly discovered that I had an outstanding learner who needed me to believe in her and whose work deserved the seed to be planted. Her name is Marta and you can follow her at Twitter, too. Her Twitter handle is https://twitter.com/MartaLFabero28
So I sent them on a learning mission, following Shelly’s inspiration, and asked them to write a tiny story about what CLIL means for teaching and learning that allows the reader's imagination to run with it. They should start their tweet using #ictclil_urjc, that was the only condition.
And what did Marta do? She took a step ahead and summarised her own aspirations and opinions on CLIL teaching in an awesome clip she recorded with VideoScribe and that she later tweeted.
But before actually going live, she carried out wonderful preliminary work, which I observed dumbfoundedly in class.
The careful steps she took can be summarised as follows:
1. She gave her tweet a thought or two,
2. reflected on the tiny story,
3. came up with an idea,
4. scribbled the clip in a piece of paper,
5. drafted her ideas,
6. recorded the clip including her drawing with Inkscape,
7. uploaded it to YouTube and spread the news on Twitter.
On top of that, she kept on with her own impressions and reflections when describing her upload at her YouTube Channel.
Let’s view her awesome digital artifact at YouTube: https://youtu.be/jImVYyJayMM
So, again, after having played the role of observer at Marta’s job, I am asking you the same question as before: Who is the champion here? And, Who’s planted the seed of belief? Have I or has she?
In my opinion, she is my champion, for being able to go ahead from a tiny little mission; and, she has planted the seed of belief in me as teacher, as thanks to her job, I did believe that there is a future in educational innovation and that talent, enthusiasm and good intentions are lying there, in promising young teachers like Marta, who will for sure keep on inspiring all of us, and that our role is believe in them and help them with training.
The whole experience and accomplished goal is available for you to visit at our blog: http://stopandlearnenglish.blogspot.com.es/2015/02/once-upon-time-tiny-story-about-clil.html
And last but not least we have the Support a movement goal, which I think is an underlying goal that should be accomplished together with any of the proposed goals in the Challenge, while you send your students on learning missions or ask them to craft activities, because, if we are not part of an educational movement and support it or if we do not encourage our learners to connect with peers, we are not giving them the full picture. And that is why whenever I am carrying out goal oriented practices, I always try to connect them with collaborative projects, such as the 30Goals for Education itself, or any other educational movements worlwide, as I believe e-connections are essential.
It is essential to be an up-to-date connected teacher who can bring learners close to the global world we are living in nowadays.
Professional networks of inspiring educators, ready to work in collaboration, share their ideas and findings, willing to innovate together, are the best movement to support, as well as the most nurturing environment for one's own learners to find the right path in search of becoming globally connected citizens.
Being part of a virtual community of persons worldwide is an asset for one's teaching life, and not only from a professional viewpoint, but also from a personal one, as when one feels part of connected movements, one establishes personal links too; above all, one establishes strong personal links, yes, above all; emotional rewarding relationships that help you stay focused and keep going when education goes rough, and sometimes it does go rough, doesn't it?
That's why I am proud to be part of a wide range of collaborative movements worldwide, to support and be supported by their members, to stay connected, to learn and be inspired by their awesome ideas, tips, pieces of advice and, especially, by their warmth, proximity, energy and generosity even though they are actually based at the other end of the world.
And sometimes, one wonders: 'How come that I can find it so smooth to cooperate with somebody in San Antonio, Texas, or in Toronto, Canada, or in Greece, or in Argentina, Hawaii, Venezuela, or Abu Dabi, to name but a few?'
Well, that is the beauty of networked educational movements, and I can't find any other reasonable explanation for it. It just clicks and you know those movements are your movements too. It is mutual and it works!
So, why not join any, or all the movements I support and become an e-connected teacher/learner/individual as well? You are bound to love them all. Support your Movement now and get your students in the picture too! That way you are also planting your seed of belief and you are bound to become someone’s champion, or flip it and see how they become your champions!
And now, it is time to sit back, grab a cup of tea, coffee, or your favourite drink, relax and think of which goal you’d like to accomplish next school year with your own learners.
Thank you very much for your attention!