Learning Spaces

Getting ready for my first multimedia class at Saint Bartholomew Teacher Training College , where I’m an adjunct professor in Teaching Workshop III.

We’ll discuss the characteristics of physical and virtual learning spaces and their effect on the learning experience.

Professional Development and E-learning

E-duTraining, which offers educational services, development and training in foreign language teaching, was launched this morning at SBS Rosario. The event opened with Graciela Castelli’s academic talk, in which she stressed the importance of reflection and ongoing professional development to keep our practice relevant and updated.

She characterized the cycle of reflective practice as shown in the figure below and pointed out the convenience of e-learning for teachers with a hectic schedule and a growing list of academic demands.

BlogAfter the break, Verónica de la Encina presented a variety of online professional development courses for teachers and translators and I had the pleasure of introducing my brand-new Web-enhanced Language Learning (WELL) Online Course.

PPT images: www.lumaxart.com

It was also a pleasure to share the event with e-duTraining staff members Carina, Lorena, Damián, Valeria, Beatriz and Lucía.

Special thanks to Silvia Schnitzler for her IWB training!

Looking forward to the challenge ahead!

Twitter Fiction

This morning I finally gave my presentation Twitter Fiction: Social Networking and Microfiction in 140 characters at the III National Conference on Microfiction in Spanish and in English at UCEL in Rosario, Argentina.

I’m posting the abstract and the Power Point presentation together with the links to some Twitter Fiction writers in both languages.


Since the turn of the 21st century the web has evolved from a vast source of information into an ever growing multimedia platform –Web 2.0 – that allows users to share, (co-) create, (co-) author and (co-) edit digital content. At the core of these developments, social networks facilitate connections, instant communication and multimedia format sharing worldwide.

Among the most influential web 2.0 applications, Twitter is a social network and microblogging service that allows users to publish status updates, called tweets, of up to 140 characters, which are distributed to subscribed followers by instant messages, mobile phones, email or the Web. Although it was initially conceived as just a social medium for electronic communication, some users have stretched its limits and have now transformed it into an open publishing platform for micro fiction.

Far from belonging to a unified scholarly literary movement, Twitter fiction has emerged haphazardly from individual and collaborative experiments on the web. Its diversity can be illustrated in terms of a wide variety of genres that range from short stories and thrillers to haiku-style poems. In addition, the phenomenon has spread beyond its original web application to other electronic publications such as twitterzines and e-books.

Current information and communication technologies harness the weightless materialization and viral dissemination of new forms of literature in which the voice of readers and writers blend in participatory interconnected digital literary circles.

Some Twitter Fiction writers:











One-minute film based on Arjun Basu’s Twister: Life

Towards E-learning 2.0 in ELT

Yesterday we had the pleasure of giving a presentation called Towards E-Learning 2.0 on ELT with Jesica Bassani at the III SBS Conference for English Language Teachers Blending and Bonding.  We analyzed how we can build communicative online learning environments based on the principles of the Web 2.0. It was an amazing experience and we got a lot of positive feedback from the teachers who attended the session. Here’s the Power Point presentation and the links  to some of the tools we mentioned:


MobaTalk Comment System

Once Upon a Time There Was a Computer Lab …

My interest in ICT started in 2004 when I was offered to work at the brand-new computer lab that was going to be installed at my language school the following year. I literally started from scratch doing online searches for ready-made material. As I moved from basic point-and-click activities to more sophisticated listening exercises, I knew I was giving my first steps into an environment full of potential for language classes but that at the same time entailed a new approach to learning and teaching.

Combining endless web exploration with deep educational theory, I first learned about the scaffolded pedagogical design of webquests in 2005. Later, TESOL EVO 2006 sessions helped me discover the power of the Web 2.0 through blogs and wikis. I now coordinate a team of seven teachers designing and delivering computerlab sessions. In these four years we’ve designed sessions for more than twelve levels of children, teen and adult courses. I’ve also carried out a variety of online blog exchanges and projects with both my lab students and my regular classes.

Although at present the sessions are delivered only by the computer lab team, I’ve always felt that all teachers should be able to design activities for their own classes, so in 2007 I organized the first computer lab workshop and we’ve held training sessions every summer since then. Little by little, we see new colleagues overcoming their initial resistance and after three years most of the staff have attended the workshops and are at least familiar with and have started using some web resources with their classes at the lab.

We still have a long way to go until technology becomes fully integrated into language classes, but we can be sure we are going through the paradigm shift and it feels great to be a part of it!

Eternal thanks to my computer lab mates, the real pioneers! (in order of appearance!) Elida Fittipaldi, Leda Siburu, Patricia Stanley, Jesica Bassani (the e-learning diva!), Verónica Miranda and Natalia Furlán.

First published on ARCALL Blog March 10, 2009

Obama 2.0 for ELT

About a month ago,  I mentioned this to some colleagues at my workplace when we were talking about the wide array of  authentic material the web offers for EFL students, so imagine my surprise when I found this article by Simon Buckland. However, while Mr. Buckland refers to the richness of the new President’s rhetoric, which allows for deep language analysis, I was pointing out the fact that the new administration has refreshed the official website of the White House with a 2.0 style! The renewed  presidential site has a frequently updated blog citizens can subscribe to and also includes weekly video addresses by Mr.Obama himself. This clearly shows the extent to which the new technologies are shaping communication and the way we relate to each other, increasing transparency, even at governmental level. In addition, by using constantly updated authentic resources we are giving new relevance to our language classes and the old phrase that says that the whole world (wide web) is a classroom!

Digital Storytelling: More than Words

With the advent of the new digital media, the millennial practice of storytelling can take a compelling turn in the 21st century language classroom. It is a great way of integrating the four skills while fostering creativity, collaboration, cross-cultural understanding and sharing. It simply turns language alive!

Last month, I had the pleasure of putting together a collaborative article called Cartoon Festival: An International Digital Storytelling Project for TESL-EJ with two dear online collegues, Mary Hillis from Japan and José Antônio Da Silva from Brazil, about our experience during the “Learning with Computers” Cartoon Festival . Mary started a Google Doc where we worked on the drafts under the supervision of Vance Stevens. Besides helping us reflect on the project, it proved once again the power of the Web 2.0 to harness international collaboration and professional development .

You are all kindly invited to read it!

TICs y Lenguas

Having been an active participant in the English speaking edublogosphere for some years, I also feel the need to connect to Spanish-speaking edubloggers. After attending Rosario BlogDay, joining Edublogger Argento, and taking online courses in my L1 for teachers of different foreign languages, I became aware of the growing community of Argentinian educators who are integrating technology into their classes. In spite of being able to share knowledge, events, tools, information and, most importantly, our cultural identity, there was still something I could not share with many of them: my blog, simply because it was in another language.

I really treasure this space, not only because it witnesses my learning adventures and my professional development, but also because it allows me to connect with EFL colleagues all over the world and build virtual networks of collaboration. However, at a certain point, I also feel the need and the responsibility to help spread those networks f2f. I know that there are still very few EFL teachers in my area that would commit to such a venture, but what if we invited other (foreign) language teachers, of Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.? Then, the network would be stronger, allowing diversity while focusing on the special interest of language teachers, and in our mother tongue, letting us also become a part of the general educational community.

So I thought a team blog would be a good starting point. I contacted Griselda Sassola, a teacher of French who’s been working with ICT for a long time. We’ve started a blog called TICs y Lenguas (ICT and Languages), which intends to be an open space for discussion and interaction. We are going to invite teachers to publish their posts as authors and we have also set up static pages for announcements and resources.

I know this is going to be a long path, but we’ve already set the ball rolling!


A spin-off of RosarioBlogDay, MateyBlogs, the first collaborative blogging workshop in Rosario, took place today at CEC combining one of our dearest Argentinian traditions with the 2.0 spirit.

After three brief presentations conducted by Fernanda Rubio, Francisco Sanguinetti on how to integrate mutimedia content, and Federico Aikawa, who shared some practical blogging tips, we divided ourselves into three groups to share experiences and discuss questions with the coordinators. Surprisingly enough, I was in a group full of teachers! 😉 I was especially glad to meet Gabriela Spadoni and María Sabina Codarín, Edublogger Argento members, after our failed f2f meeting last night.

The wrap up presentation was in charge of Federico Picone who discussed the importance of social networks and other Web 2.0 tools.

Some tools that were mentioned:
Luna Pic
Photoshop Express


Once again, it was great to meet such an enthusiastic and diverse community of ArgenBloggers face to face.

See you all at the next MateyBlogs!