Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Book Review of Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher's Cookbook

I am very pleased to post this book review of Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher's Cookbook by Silvina P. Hillar, published in July 2010 by Packtpub. It consists of 80 fantastic and ready-to-use recipes to achieve some great results.

According to the blurb contained in the packtpub site "This cookbook provides a practical, step-by-step guide to building a complete reading comprehension, writing, and composition course in Moodle 1.9 starting with simple activities and ending with complex ones. It covers many features and techniques in order to allow you to organize your ideas to improve writing using Moodle as a virtual learning platform".

The big question is ...
does Moodle 1.9:The English Teacher's Cookbook actually do what it sets out to achieve? I believe it does, and in the process, I certainly learned a lot more about Moodle features and in addition, new Web 2.0 tools, which particularly interested me. I believe the blurb gives you a lot more practical information about the content of the book, so I will base my review on a few of the features that I particularly liked.

The book provides very clear and thorough step by step instructions on how to accomplish the many and various tasks that it demonstrates. I had a lot of fun trying out the different techniques. In particular I liked the "Let's Moodle it!" refrain that came before getting down to doing each task for yourself.
Below, I couldn't resist creating a Tagxedo cloud of key words in the shape of a cockerel.

The book starts off with easy to use activities, which will enhance your students' reading and writing skills and leads to more complex ones. The use of images plays a big role in creating the activities in Moodle 1.9:The English Teacher's Cookbook and there are many excellent practical examples.
I found out how to create a comic strip using MS word and adding silhuettes and speech bubbles like my basic example below. With more practice, I hope to create some more comic strips which I will add to this post in the future.

I really enjoyed creating this comic strip from Superherosquad. I learned how to do this in Chapter 8, "Creating New Sceneries", which showed fun and versatile ways to enhance writing skills.

You can print the strips straight from the web site and you can download the comic as a pdf. I created a screenshot and then saved the image to my computer, so it's fairly straightforward to use. I really like it!!

In chapter 9 I learned more about the design and upload of different mind maps, Venn diagrams or tree diagrams, which can be uploaded into the Moodle course. This prompted me to start experimenting more with the Smart Art feature on the Microsoft Word programme and led me to do a few digrams for my Powerpoint presentations as demonstrated in my Language in Motion:teaching with the flow ppt, for example.

Below you can see some of the mind mapping tools mentioned and demonstrated in The English Teacher's Cookbook.

You can have a look at the sample copy Chapter 5 -Creating Stories using Twitter and Facebook.
This is a topical chapter, which shows you how to use and embed these 2 popular social networking sites into your Moodle course. Again, the thorough and detailed step by step instructions help you to create and design interactive activities, which are bound to engage your learners! This chapter will give you a very good idea of how the rest of the book is written.

I would highly recommend Moodle 1.9:The English Teacher's Cookbook, because it contains a lot of lovely practical lesson ideas which can easily be incorporated into a Moodle course. I found some of the ideas a bit complex, but on the whole, as demonstrated above, I was able to follow the instructions and create some very nice visuals.

Please note:I have received a free e-copy of the book in exchange for writing this book review in my own time. I really enjoyed reading it and I am very happy to own a copy as a really useful reference guide to dip into for inspiration.

Coming soon!
I look forward to reading and reviewing "Moodle 2.0 First Look" by Mary Cooch. This will happen hopefully in the next few weeks, so watch this space!!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Back into the Grove!

The cultivation of olive oil makes for a nice alternative to the day job. Recently it was a case of "straight off the plane from England, and into the grove". The olive grove now has 70 trees which were each individually handpicked for 3 days by myself and K. We aim to expand to 100 trees soon, with the help of Xmas and birthday present money from "la famiglia". The posts to mark where each young 2 or 3 -year-old tree will go have already been dug in, ready for the grand event. A 5-year-old olive tree costs 25 euros, and anything older costs much, much more.

I didn't get bored at all. I found it was a very relaxing exercise and the thought of being able to cook with 100% extra virgin olive oil for a whole year and beyond, was a big spur in terms of motivation. After a few initial showers, which hindered progress somewhat, the weather turned out to be perfect for olive picking. Blue skies, not too chilly and peace and quiet. The different types of olives and the colours were fascinating. Small, big, wrinkled, all sorts went into the bucket I had. Perched rather precariously along an embankment, some of the olive trees were a bit challenging for me to pick and I had to do so with great care.

I was aided and abetted by 4 chickens. We used to have 7, but 3 of them are now sadly defunct, due to being whisked away by external wild forces. Trying to remove Samantha from the branches was also a little bit tricky!

Below is a Tuxpi-edited "Swirl" image of Samantha.

Here's me relaxing on the edge of the embankment. Below you can see some more trees in the olive grove.

A view of the back of the car, fully loaded up with our freshly picked olives, ready to go to the local olive mill. We paid 30 euros to have the olives pressed and given back to us in containers. We then poured the lovely oil into a big stainless steel container, which now has pride of place in our cool (no central heating yet) hallway.

Can you guess which of the glasses below contain:

a) 2009 olive oil
b) 2010 olive oil (unfiltered)
c)2010 olive oil (freshly filtered)

If trends continue to go upwards, as indicated in the graph below, I wonder if in the future, I could devote myself more fully to the cultivation of olive oil? It would be something very exciting.

Here is a link to a post I wrote last year on the subject of olive oil cultivation in Abruzzo.
You might also like to read the latest post by About Abruzzo Blog, which tells you about the Abruzzo Sunday lunch that was recently cooked using some lovely olive oil. It sounds absolutely delicious!
Here is another interesting post you might like to read about Abruzzo olive oil.
Have a look at this video from the Guardian, which features "The olive harvest in Italy".
Many thanks to Bits'n'Bobs blog for letting me know about it!!

Before I sign off, I would like to add an image of little Al Capone, taken with his buddy Kelly, shortly before his unexpectedly sudden and rather dramatic demise a few weeks ago.

Lauretum Vinum et Oleum
The historic centre of Loreto Aprutino is hosting "Lauretum Vinum et Oleum" on 4, 5, 6 and 7th December. This offers visitors the chance to taste delicious local delicacies based on the local olive oil produced in the region, and sample the lovely local wine, all at the amazing price of 10 euros a head. The stunning and beautiful ceramics of Castelli will be on display in the Acerbo museum of Castelli ceramics, where part of the wine tasting takes place.

Image above of ornate Castelli pot found via Yahoo search on Castelli images

Here is a link to the information. K and I will be going to the event in Loreto Aprutino this Saturday. We'll miss you N and P!

Friday, 26 November 2010

IATEFL Brighton 2011 - Here I come!

I am delighted to inform my readers that my call for papers has been accepted for Brighton Iatefl 2011. My presentation is on "Teaching idioms effectively with web 2.0 tools". It will be my first time as a presenter at IATEFL.

Last year, the conference was in Harrogate and I wrote some feedback here. I also wrote a summary post of Tessa Woodward's really inspiring Plenary talk on "The Professional Life Cycles of Teachers". I was an online moderator on the Learning Technologies Forum and it was an amazing experience. Being in Brighton in person, and having the chance to meet so many members of my fabulous PLN, will be absolutely awesome, or should I say "wicked!"

I look forward to sharing my experiences in April 2011. See you there!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Language Flowed in Rome at Tesol Italy!

I am still on a high after a whirlwind 2 days fully intensive and literally flowing and stimulating Tesol - Italy conference in Rome from Friday 19th November to Saturday 20th November. I would like to sum up my experience of my time at the 35th National Convention of Tesol Italy so that I will remember it for a long time. There were over 70 talks and presentations, but of course I couldn't attend all of them. I will give feedback on the talks that I was able to attend. I hope it will give you a little taste of what it was like to be there in person. Below is a priceless magazine souvenir from the conference, courtesy of bighugelabs.

Like last year, I stayed at the delightful and very welcoming Casa Betania, which is situated right next to the SGM conference centre. Sister Serafina welcomed me back with open arms and showed me to my room. After a long train journey from Chieti I was quite happy to retire for the night. I read a booklet about the life of Sister Scolastica, who is buried in the crypt of the church, right next to where I was staying. It was written in Italian and I was pleased that I was able to read it easily.

Talk 1
My first talk of the day was by Jenny Dooley, teacher trainer and ELT author. The title was "Developing communicative competence" and it was fantastic. I loved Jenny's style, presence and dramatic way of presenting. In addition, I loved her elegant LBD and choice of jewellery! She wowed her audience by being lively and very entertaining. "Activation" of the language is key to developing communicative competence, and with the use of mind maps and plans, students can be guided towards this objective. She discussed the merits of fluency over accuracy, the use of proper scaffolding, exposure to real-life language tasks, and the need to expose students to authentic materials. I agreed with everything Jenny said and it was good to be reminded of all these points.

Talk 2
"Sociable media and language learning" was a plenary session by Steven L. Thorne, the renowned author and researcher. I was fascinated by his talk and his research into statistics regarding the use of virtual worlds, including Second Life, computer games, FaceBook, Twitter and WoW (World of Warcraft), which I didn't really know a lot about. He also mentioned fan fiction authors such as Rebecca Black. Bring the world into your classroom was a key message. A lot of theoretical background information was imparted and I learned a lot. It opened my eyes to a new world. A world which could soon become an integral part of everybody's lives.....

Talk 3
"Good lessons: the role of flow and transformation" by Luke Prodromou, the well known ELT author and teacher trainer. This was an entertaining and practical session, which I enjoyed very much. Luke Prodromou was able to craft the session in a very skilful way, showing us examples of lessons with students he has taught. A variety of metaphors including music, were explored in a fun and motivating manner.

"Language in motion:teaching with the flow" was presented by Janet Bianchini, teacher, blogger and olive oil cultivator. She spoke about the new words coming into the English language like a fast-flowing torrent. How could teachers keep up with this ever rapid flux?

She outlined some sources where words came from, mostly from the Internet. She showed some web 2.0 tools that could be used effectively to teach, review and recycle new words. You can see her presentation here. For some unknown reason, she didn't feel at all nervous, even though it was her first big presentation at an international conference. She just "went with the flow" and enjoyed herself to the full!

Note to presenter: Next time, maybe at IATEFL Brighton (???), she should use a remote control to control the slides so that she can walk around and participate more with the audience?

She was asked some very pertinent questions by members of the audience, including the one below:

Q How do you know which words to teach, which words will "stick"?

A. Ermm, I don't really know, I just use my intuition and see how often the emerging word is used in the papers, internet etc.

Janet stressed to her audience that because of the evolving nature of English, she had to keep herself up to date the same as everyone else. Being a native speaker does not give her an extra advantage as a lot of the new words are new to her as well. Her fave site is www.wordspy.com.

She demonstrated a few activities such as the one below. Can you match the pairs of words taken from the Top 20 words from Word Spy?

Did you guess them correctly? Below is their definition.

Hobby bobbies
Flash mobs
Laptop zombies

I have recently found out that there is an Abruzzo "CouchSurfing" wiki network.
Here is an informative post on "Searching and requesting a couch".

You might be interested in this article: 50 Coolest Online Tools for Word Nerds". I think it's a very useful collection of some great sites!

"Shaping the language of the future via the Internet" by Yulia Sergaeva from Russia was a very informative talk, which I enjoyed immensely. She is presently doing research in Neology and Lexical Creativity. I learned about Urban Dictionary containing examples of newly created slang terms.

I also found out about a delightful site called Verbotomy, where you have the chance to create a new word and definition in a competition. I had never heard of this site before, and so I will definitely be looking into it, as it looks fascinating and I love new words!! I was surprised to hear that the average age of the people who submit definitions for new words were in their '80s. Coining neologisms is an excellent brain exercise for "silver surfers". I also love the cartoons which accompany the activities.

This excellent talk finished at 6.15pm and it was time for the special event of the evening: "La Dolce Vite", a play on "La Dolce Vita", an evening of Italian cinema and wine tasting. Bocca di Gabbia , from Le Marche region, was the fabulous choice of wine and I enjoyed some glasses together with strong Parmesan cheese and lovely nibbles and canapes.

I mingled with teachers from all over Italy and abroad. I also chatted to the teachers of L'Aquila whom I had met in L'Aquila last month. It was lovely to see them again! Hopefully, I will be returning to L'Aquila in the new year to do another seminar there.

I hit the sack, very happy after a wonderful first day of events.

The following day I attended sessions until 2.15 pm. I had an action-packed and exciting morning.

"English as a Lingua Franca: idioms as tranlingual flows" by Luke Prodromou, was a great entertaining session, and I enjoyed the focus on idiomacity, "which by definition, is fluid and innovative and at the heart of ELF". Luke pointed out that stress and intonation must be observed for idioms to work. He also gave us some wonderful examples of what happens when students mix idioms up or don't use them appropriately.

The key to being fluent in English is "phraseological fluency". I always stress to my students that idioms, phrasal verbs and natural English (colloquial English) used in the correct context, are vital elements of becoming a proficient speaker of English. The puzzling aspect for students, however, is when an idiom is changed for fun as in "It was raining kittens and dogs!" or "That was a teacup of a storm!"

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbraine/2346699537/

"Learning English through the media: from language to culture" by Roberta Facchetti from the University of Verona was another highly interesting talk. The speaker demonstrated the topic with authentic materials, showing us lots of newspaper headlines, cartoons, comic strips and advertisements, which focused on the social life and cultural aspects of the English language.


Plenary: Talk8
"Flowing in new directions" was the wonderful talk by David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics, prolific writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster on Linguistics and the English language. I sat totally engrossed for the full 45 minutes of the talk. There was no Powerpoint presentation, no great fanfare. David Crystal stood and talked without notes, and brought his subject alive with his quietly spoken and convincing demeanour.

Language is like a river, with many new tributaries. Nothing is ever going to be the same again. Two important factors have changed everything: the Internet and Global language. The electronic world is taking over our lives! In fact at exactly 11.55 am, David Crystal coined a new phrase, which with the age of Twitter, would become a possible new word. That newly made up word is "retesolisation". One needs to respect the power of technology!

There is a seachange of language change as I write.
I was surprised to learn that in the future, varieties of Indian English will have a massive potential effect on the English language with phrases such as "I'm knowing it!" becoming commonplace. Note the use of "I'm loving it" - this expression is now no longer frowned upon and corrected. It has become a part of our daily usage. David Crystal stressed the plurality of the English language. We should teach this "global" English from a very early stage.
I was absolutely fascinated by the talk and it has provided me with great food for thought.

Talk 19
The final talk for me was Susanna Licciardi's session "Teaching language in the 21st century: the next platform in education". Susanna is a teacher trainer from Italy. I enjoyed her talk very much and I was able to identify with the challenges she mentioned facing teachers with regards the new media that surround us. "Smartphones, iPhones and iPods have broken the barrier to real communication in real time in the language classroom" Susanna explained. We also watched a very interesting video of what K12 pupils expect from their teachers - to be taught using technology, as that is the world in which they were born. There is no hiding place for teachers who refuse to adopt the new media. We have no choice but to learn about these new technologies. As David Crystal said, we are living in a "Brave New World" and we must deal with it. As teachers, though, are we ready and prepared to change the way we teach? Or will we get lost by the wayside?

Beautiful Flowing Music Rising from the Ruins

Before I left the conference, I attended a wonderful harp concert from a young girl, whose beloved harp was practically destroyed in the L'Aquila earthquake in April 2009. "Atlantide" rose again from the ashes, like the Phoenix, and I witnessed a fantastic and stunning performance from Claudia Pintaudi.

This lovely harp which had been buried under the rubble in Claudia's house for months, was for her, the symbol of rebirth. I was moved to tears. I sat amongst the brave teachers from L'Aquila, who had made me feel so at home in their city last month. The power of hope emanating from the sweet melodies being played so exquisitely by the young and beautiful harpist was something I will not forget in a long time.
Original image of Great concert harp from http://blog.collectables-now.com/tag/musical/


I congratulate TESOL Italy for choosing such a topical and absolutely vital modern theme for the conference. Many thanks for providing an inspirational and wonderful event. I'm already looking forward to returning in 2011!!

Dear Marina, Rosanna and Tesol Italy team ,

I appreciated your very warm welcome. It really made me feel at home. Many thanks!

You may like to read this guest post I wrote in May 2010 on OUP ELT Blog called "Renew the Passion and Go with the Flow!"

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


My blog was officially 2 years old on 9th November. I was in Oxford at the time and very busy, so I wasn't able to focus on doing a post, so here it is!

2010 has been an incredible year for Janet's Abruzzo Edublog. It has given me a lot of pleasure and I have met so many people and via my sidebar PLN, I have learned so much in the process. Thank you very much to all my readers for viewing my blog. I appreciate it a lot.

This is what I wrote on my first year anniversary called "Uno".

The Menagerie
Apparently, according to the recently introduced Google "Analytics" on my Blogger dashboard, which mysteriously just appeared, my most popular post in my second year of blogging is "Let Sleeping Cat Lie", which I did on the theme of animal idioms, a recurring topic. Incredibly, it has had over 1,200 page views!! As you may know, here in the wilds of Abruzzo, I am surrounded by my menagerie. The animals inspire me constantly to write up posts such as "Chicks'R'us", "And Then There Were Three" and "An Open Letter from Samantha to Valentina".

Here is a new Animoto that I have created:

Sadly, little capon "Al Capone" is no longer with us, as he was eaten by a wild Goshawk a short while ago. Life moves on, and I am now in the process of preparing myself for the arrival of a multi-coloured cockerel that will be named "Fred". Ever since I bought this Cockerel mug and coaster set, I have wanted to buy a similar looking chick. I would like to train him to wake me up at 6.45am on the dot! We haven't bought him yet, but it's good to imagine what he will be like......

Key Events
On a more serious note, in my second year I have reflected and given feedback on the live webinars that I have presented at, which include the Reform Symposium and 3rd Virtual Round Table conference. Both these online conferences were truly fantastic, and they were skilfully organised.

I have written book reviews on Moodle for Packt Publishing:Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching, Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques, and Moodle 1.9 Theme Design :Beginner's Guide. I am currently finishing off my latest review on Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher's Cookbook.

I also enjoyed writing a book review of the wonderful "Zen and the Act of Teaching" by David Deubelbeiss.

Lifelong Learning
Why do I write my blog? Well, it is a learning diary, a place to keep all my ideas and emerging lessons, a place for feedback on what I have learned, a place to share new ideas, a place to keep everything under one roof, so to speak. I also write it to give encouragement to teachers who may not already have a blog, but who are tentatively thinking of starting one.

I never thought it would lead me to where I am today, but it has. It has completely revolutionised my way of life and I am very happy as a result. It has also made me a much better teacher and most importantly of all, it has allowed me to keep up to date with this new, fast evolving era of digital technology. Can you believe I was a technophobe just 2 short years ago?

However, I have to add, the image of the blackboard below is there to remind me that all will not be lost if technology were to let me down. Give me a basic board and a pen and I would be able to deliver my lessons, in the "Unplugged Way". You may like to read this fabulous series on the Dogme Blog Challenge by Karenne Sylvester on Kalinago English blog.

Education Needs Reflective Educators
A terrific new educational initiative has just been set up by Shelly Terrell and Gret Sandler in the shape of a Blogs 4 Edu wiki. "Education Needs Reflective Educators" is intended to help all new bloggers and existing bloggers to help spread the word. As Gret says, "Blogging is a great way to share what is happening in every classroom". Please do read through both blog posts and I hope they will inspire you to start a blog!!

I am thrilled and feel privileged to be currently tutoring online for the Consultants-E and proofreading for Macmillan. At the same time, I can stay at home and tend to my olive trees, my plants, check up on Samantha and co, and write my blog and tweet. I really couldn't ask for more.

I will leave you with a fabulous image taken by K in our garden. The thousands of starlings were flying over the olive trees and K was able to take this amazing shot. This is what life in Abruzzo is all about.

Coming soon!
Feedback from TESOL Italy
Back to the Grove
Moodle book review

Sunday, 21 November 2010

TESOL-Italy: Language in motion, teaching with the flow

I have just had an amazing time in Rome at TESOL Italy's 35th National Convention. The theme was "Language Flows".

I would like to say a huge thank you to TESOL Italy organisers for putting on a fabulous action-packed 2 days of exciting talks and presentations. I will do a feedback summary of the talks I attended as soon as I can. I learned soooo much, and met so many people from Italy and abroad. I want to write my incredible experience down, so that I can share all the excitement and "buzz" with my readers.

As promised, below is my presentation from TESOL Italy's 35th National Convention. You can see it in full screen if you press the icon on the slideshow. Thank you to all the teachers who came to my talk. It was lovely to see you in Sala Antioca on Friday at 2.15pm.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Preparing for TESOL Italy National Convention 2010

A little taster of what I will be presenting soon in Rome at TESOL Italy.
I've been having some fun experimenting with www.photopeach.com, one of my favourite sites for using photos.

Language Flows on PhotoPeach

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Learning Curves: Lake School of English, November 2010

Photo above courtesy of Veselin.

I was very excited when I was asked to teach on the Teachers' Refresher course "Learning Curves: Making Use of New Technologies in English Language Teaching" at the Lake School of English, Oxford. Without hesitating I immediately agreed to do this exciting new course. Teaching with technology seemed like a tailor-made project for me, especially as I enjoy using new technologies.

I hope to showcase some of the tools demonstrated to the 11 teachers during the one week intensive course, and also anything that is created by them after the course, which is sent to me. We covered a lot of ground in the one week intensive course, culminating in a workshop / swapshop on the final day, with some Karaoke music and singing, courtesy of www.tuneintoenglish.com, and lovely drinks and nibbles in the last half an hour!

My lovely group of "Learning Curves" teachers at the Lake School of English, Oxford.

The course comprised of the following:
  • Introductions and Icebreakers with web 2.0 tools including Wordle, Xtranormal, Photopeach and Go Animate.
  • "Coat of Arms" introductions: drawing and speaking activity
  • Presentation and discussion on a wide range of web 2.0 tools including Voki, Glogster, Voicethread, Wordle, Wallwisher, Fotobabble and ToonDo amongst others.
  • Language update comprising of idioms, phrasal verbs and colloquial English including examples of new acronyms in the context of authentic materials. I showed the teachers this recent lesson from my archives.
  • Presentations on the Interactive Whiteboard at Oxford University Press, and also at the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. The talk and practical demonstration at the vocational college included references to digital materials and VLEs. We were then treated to a fabulous 3-course meal prepared for us by the hospitality and catering students, who also served us in a very efficient and friendly manner.
  • Presentation on the use of images, with reference to image editing sites, such as Image Chef, (always a winner!), Tuxpi, Big Huge Labs etc.
  • A session on "Britain Today", which included a discussion on current social issues. We also looked at some Cockney rhyming slang for a bit of fun. We learned "Take a butcher's at this!" = Take a look at this! and also "Not a bad Dickory Dock" = clock!
  • Discussions based on input from the teachers, eg dogme teaching, the validity of text speech etc
  • Pair forms / group forms using language / vocabulary taught in class
  • Storybuilding from picture prompts.
  • Community dictation activity using new words studied. Please see below.
  • Introduction to the social networking site Twitter, with a live exchange on Twitter with my PLN and the teachers. (Thank you so much once again to all the members who responded to my call out. It was lovely to see so many messages and my teachers really appreciated it all. Unfortunately, we were not able to participate in the ELTChat as originally planned.) Hopefully, there will be some new members of Twitter joining the ranks soon!
  • Other topics which cropped up "unplugged".
  • Introduction to "Quizlet" a site for creating dynamic quizzes for revision purposes. I created a set on "New Words".
  • A lovely presentation on Webquests by Elena from Romania on the final morning.
  • A final workshop / swapshop where participants were able to practise what they had seen during the course.
The classroom became a hive of activity with fabulous creations on computers including blogs, wikis, animations, wordles, glogsters and wallwishers. I floated around the classroom(s) monitoring the teachers' experimental activities. I stressed to them that learning new tools needs a bit of practice and patience, but with Russel Stannard's excellent Teacher Training Video Tutorials to hand, they would easily pick up how to use a lot of these web 2.0 tools.

Below is a lovely photo of some of the teachers taken by Veselin Chantov, from Bulgaria, and turned into a Glogster.

Below is a Fotobabble created by me of Veselin's photo.

A screenshot of a lovely Glogster created by Stella Mastruzzi, Marinella Adamo and Paola Biancolini from Italy.

Here's a fab Glog that Stella created on Environmental issues. Please click on the link below.


Below a fab "Wanted" poster effect from www.tuxpi.com from Veselin, who embraced the new technologies with great enthusiasm. I think this is brill!

You might like to read more about Tuxpi "Photo Effects" by the amazing Alex Francisco, on her Zarco English Tool of the Day blog.

A lovely Wordle of some of the new expressions we looked at, from Lorella Paltrinieri.
A poster that we saw, which contained a lovely example of a phrasal verb we had discussed in class. Photo courtesy of Lorella .
Below is a wordle summary of Day 2 vocabulary, edited with Tuxpi in 3 different ways.
I had a lot of fun!! Which one do you prefer???

A Wallwisher Feedback for all the group. This will be added to over the coming weeks. Contributions so far: myself, Connie Burchert from Germany, Dana Muntean from Romania, Stella and Lorella from Italy.

"The Oxford Experience", a fantastic Bookr created by Dana, using www.pimpampum.

You might like to view this lovely post entitled "Drilling with Bookr" by Eva Buyuksimkesiyan.

My very first Voicethread! This was a great opportunity and learning curve for me as well to try out something new. I had contributed to other people's Voicethreads many times, but not created one myself.

A lovely newspaper article feedback summary of the course by Veselin:

GoAnimate.com: Talking about a city also by Veselin.

A Special Message
To all my Lake School Learning Curves teachers: many thanks for being such a fabulous group! Keep in touch! I really enjoyed teaching you, and sharing lots of new things. Take care.

To all my lovely Lake School colleagues: It was fantastic being in the staffroom again for 2 weeks. I loved all the chats and fun that we had. Hope to be with you all again in the New Year.

To Susan, Carmel and Lilly: Thank you for welcoming me back so warmly. I look forward to working with you again soon.

Future Blog Posts in the Pipeline
TESOL-Italy Rome National Convention 2010
Packt Publishing - Moodle Book Review:Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher's Cookbook
Olive Tree Picking - Back in the Grove!
My 2nd Year Blog Anniversary.