Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Try ChatButton to Get a Chatbox for Free!

http://www.chatbutton.com/
Retrieved Dec. 24, 2013
My students badly needed a way to get my instant help when blogging for the first time. I just wanted to put all things together in the class blog to make this experience easier and more interesting. I spent a lot of time trying some tools for live chatting, but unfortunately most of them need accounts. Of course, this is a kind of headache when it comes to signing up for many websites to do a certain task. Then, I found ChatButton. It is a free and easy-to-install chatbox for use anywhere. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hover over Words to Get the Meaning for Blogger and WordPress

Retrieved Dec. 20, 2013 from here
I'm working on a blogging project with my first-year high school students. During this experience, there are a lot of things that I have to learn. As a sharing fan, I decided to write a series of posts to document every skill I acquired and every tool I explored to accomplish the aims of this project and meet my students' needs. Among many things that my students need is a way to find the meaning of the new words that they encounter in the required tasks. I thought of some ways like linking the class blog to an online dictionary, and embedding a Bing or Google widget to translate the whole site, but they didn't work well with my students. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let's Enter the Project Competition and Win ...!

Are you interested in doing a creative project with your students? 

Then, 
Why not enter the Project competition. It is an international competition that encourages the use of language through projects.  

The task is very easy:
  1. Ask your students to create a class poster on "Communication in the 21st Century" either online or physical. 
  2. Once your students finish, complete the entry form posting either the link to their online poster or a j-peg image of the poster.
  3. Click here to find all about this competition and the attachments you need.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ghost: A New Blogging Platform is JUST Born


I have just received an e-mail that the new Ghost blogging platform is ready to the public. Ghost is a free platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. It's beautifully designed, completely customizable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even fun to do. It's simple, elegant, and designed so that you can spend less time messing with making your blog work - and more time blogging. There are a lot of features of Ghost that can make it the future of blogging:

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Don't Miss 6 FREE e-Conferences in October 2013

Retrieved Oct. 4, 2013 from here
I can't travel by my body, but my mind can go around the whole world connecting to a variety of  brilliant networks in minutes. These FREE online conferences add a lot to my expertise, skills, and knowledge. As a teacher, I always search for such opportunities to update myself professionally and academically. They provide me with a solid theoretical background and applicable ideas of the most recent trends in education and teaching English in particular. In such online conferences, I meet new educators, follow them on their various social networking websites (e.g., Twitter, Google+, Facebook, ....), collaborate with them in international projects, share ideas, build online communities, and create new collective knowledge. During this month (October 2013), there are SIX online educational conferences that will be hosted online and can be attended for FREE:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Register for Google New Online Course "DAF"

Digital Analytics Fundamentals

Registration is now open and the course begins October 8. 
Register Now 

This three-week course by Google provides a foundation for marketers and analysts seeking to understand the core principles of digital analytics and to improve business performance through better digital measurement. Check out the course FAQs for more details.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

15+ FREE Webinars Stations to Update Your ESL/EFL Practices

Do you want to update your ESL/EFL practices for free? If yes, webinars (i.e., web seminars) can be a great way to promote your professional development. They not only provide you with opportunities to know the most recent trends in teaching English, but also connect you with a variety of professional educators from all the corners of the world. You can share and discuss ideas, collaborate with other teachers via a variety of social networking websites, and create new personal learning networks. You just need a computer with an internet connection to get started.  

Below is a list of the most wonderful stations to drop by and attend a webinar. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Have you Tried to Draw Like Picasso?

 

Picassohead is a lovely digital tool that allows users to create their own masterpieces using famous features drawn by Picasso. Teachers can use such an amazing website to unleash their students' creativity and bring the magic of arts into their classes. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Humanizing Your Online Class

This title completely captured my attention when I first saw the announcement of the webinar by Michelle Pacansky-Brock. I always stress the importance of the socio-affective touch between students and their instructors. In this digital era, it is considered the key behind any successful learning. Knowing more about students, what, how, and why they learn inevitably lead to an enjoyable and memorable experience. Students also want to know more about their instructors and connect with them for extended interaction. The question is "How to use digital tools to humanize this relationship?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let Pictures Speak!


Blabberize is a web 2.0 tool that allows users to upload a picture, draw a "mouth" on that picture, and then record or upload a sound clip to make it speak or sing along with the sound. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chat on the Fly using TLK.io

Thanks to Kaushalya Mandaliya, I managed to embed a live chatroom on my blog. You can create your own using TLK.io [talk·eeo]. It  is a web chat that is open to anyone and channels are owner-free. It seems so easy to use and embed into websites and blogs. I love to use it with my students.They always need instant feedback when working on new projects. However, the public feature is not secure. Anyone can join the discussion and write their messages. The only way to create a little bit private chatrooms is to choose complex names using numbers, letters and character, so spammers can't see them easily. This tool is a little bit new and of course they will add more features in the future. Let's wait and hope!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Check THREE Promising Courses by Coursera

Coursera launches many courses on September 2013. There are just three courses that catch my attention. My only criterion of choice is watching the instructors' introductory videos. You will not believe it. I know that these short videos are not enough to judge the quality of the whole experience, but they have a very great impact on learners before starting their journey of learning. Please check this great article by Sarah Linden to know more about the reasons behind using video introductions rather than text-based ones when creating your online courses.

Kindly explore each course info and choose what you need and add to your expertise:

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Give Students a Voice by Audioboo


As I said in my boo above, Audioboo is a free tool that allows users to create podcasts or audio files up to 3 minutes in length using the website directly or the mobile app. There are a lot of features that make me choose this tool to use with my students:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cool FREE Site 4 Creating Cool Logos

I'm working on a new blog for my students. I'd prefer to build it from scratch. That's why I search for some tools and codes to add more features and touches. I always choose free and  simple tools, so students can use them easily without any problems. Cool Text is one of these tools that helped me create a simple, but an impressive logo. It is a FREE graphics generator for web pages and anywhere else you need a logo without a lot of design work. 

Please follow these simple steps below to create your first logo: 

2nd Round of DLT MOOC-Ed 4 Educators


 
Audience:

Digital Learning Transition in K-12 Schools massive online open course for educators (DLT MOOC-Ed) is designed for school and district leaders, such as superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, technology directors, financial officers, instructional coaches, library media specialists, and lead teachers, as well as university faculty, consultants, parents and any others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Have you found your blog work COPIED somewhere?

Thanks to Hafeez Khan, I managed to disable RIGHT CLICK feature to protect my blog content today. I'm so sorry to use this trick. But, you know it is so annoying to find your work copied somewhere without your permission or referring to your name. If you want to prevent others from copying and pasting your work, please follow the steps below:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Moodle MOOC 4 Teachers: Basics


 

 Course launch: September 1, 2013, 15:00 UTC
  
Teaching with Moodle: An introduction course is designed for anybody who wants to use the Moodle learning platform for teaching, whether it be in a school, a university, a company or just personal interest. The four-week course is also a great opportunity to connect with the vibrant Moodle community dedicated to sharing resources, ideas and anything that could help inspire better teaching practices everywhere.  

Course Details:

  • Starts: Sunday, September 1, 2013; 15:00 UTC
  • Duration: 4 weeks; expect to spend 2 to 3 hours a week
  • Facilitators: Mary Cooch and Helen Foster
  • Fees: None - Thanks to the support of certified Moodle Partners

Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Great Canvas MOOCs for Teachers

Canvas Network is an open online platform which provides lifelong learners with many chances and learning experiences. As a teacher, I always search for such opportunities to update my knowledge and find new people to follow and interact with. Here are some of the courses that can help teachers to develop their teaching skills and refresh their classroom practices.

Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference

Retrieved Aug. 19, 2013

Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference  is the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference will be held over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and will be free to attend. STEMxCon will be a highly inclusive event that will engage students and educators around the globe and will encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Prezi Webinars for FREE

Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations from monologues into conversations enabling people to see, understand, and remember ideas. To understand complexity, one must zoom out to see the big picture and in to see the details. Prezi’s 3-dimensional canvas is a virtual space where users can delve deeper and pan wider to broaden the conversation. To know more about this tool potential, please visit this link. Prezi team members always do their best to share their idea among a large audience of users. In this month, they will offer some live online training designed to help users gain a better understanding of getting started with Prezi. Register now and learn the basics on how to create beautiful Prezis from old PowerPoint presentations.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Glogster Summit August 28, 2013

Retrieved Aug. 9, 2013
Glogster EDU is a social network that allows users to create free interactive posters, or Glogs. A "Glog", short for "graphics blog", is an interactive multimedia image. It looks like a poster, but readers can interact with the content. Glogster EDU provides an online environment to design interactive posters. The user inserts text, images, photos, audio files, videos, special effects and other elements into their glogs to generate a multimedia online creation. Posters can be shared with other users on the site, embedded in external wikis or blogs, and shared via many social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Glogs can also be exported and saved to computer-compatible formats (see more here). To hear more stories about how to use this tool effectively in your classrooms, please register for Glogster Educational Technology Summit: Tech, Tools, and Teaching. This summit will focus on the fully functional Mobile glog editor. VIP support program, Glog assessment, PD Trainings and many more things.

Find out the American English Treasures

Retrieved Aug. 9, 2013

American English is a resource center for teaching and learning about American English language and culture. This website provides a variety of engaging materials and resources for teachers' professional development and for students in the classrooms. Both teachers and students will find new ways to practice English. They can find classroom activities, audiobooks, MP3s, videos and pedagogical materials to assist in learning and teaching English as a second/foreign language. One can create his/her resource list to add favorite links and email or share it with others. Users can also add their suggestions and stay up-to-date by following the website calendar.

Here are some sections you can find in American English website:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Join EdmodoCon 2013 to Hear Stories of Edmodo

Retrieved Aug. 7, 2013 from here
Edmodo is a social learning network and secure microblogging platform where teachers and students can interact and collaborate online. It has an interface similar to Facebook, however it is much more secure since it is a closed network. Both teachers and students can share notes, links, files and resources with each other. In addition to this, teachers have the ability to post alerts, assignments, grades, reminders, conduct a poll and share events. Students have the ability to participate in online discussions on the message board, submit homework, view grades, and communicate with their teacher. Also, transmission is fast, and it saves paper (Jeff O'Hara - See more here). To hear more stories about using Edmodo in classrooms from all over the world, please register for EdmodoCon 2013 today. It is never too late to participate and share tweets using #edmodocon. Sessions are running now. Enjoy your time! If you can't attend this conference, all the sessions are recorded and will be uploaded to the website soon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Make Your Collages Interactive by ThingLink

Retrieved July 23, 2013 from here
is a free and user-friendly digital tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into an interactive graphic. It enables you to create multiple “hot spots” on specific parts of an image and turn that image into a multimedia launcher. You can include video, record audio or provide a link to any website with the click of a button. You can easily embed an interactive ThingLink graphic into any blog or website. ThingLink is a truly amazing tool that allows users to pack a lot of content into a normal space (Susan Oxnevad, 2012). To create your own interactive images, here is a great tutorial shared by our instructors in the GE4L Micro-MOOC:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

GE4L Store of Tools and Resources




In this post, I will collect all the resources and tools being mentioned during the 4-week GE4L MOOC either suggested by the instructors or my colleagues:

Game Elements for Learning

Retrieved July 2, 2013 from here
Another learning adventure just starts on Canvas. It is the Game Elements for Learning (GE4L) professional development Micro-MOOC. It introduces us to game thinking and design, game elements, and a variety of opportunities to gamify and play games. What attracts me is its clear objectives and the short time it takes (Just a month). Having a look at week one, we have a lot of things to do such as trying new tools, creating avatars, tweeting (#GE4L), blogging, attending webinars facilitated by gaming experts, playing game elements, discussing ideas, and sharing experiences. Moreover, I notice a lot of gamification features like points, leaderboard, ambassador badges, and many more things that we will see in the coming weeks. I hear that there are a lot of surprises.I'm looking forward to learning more about games, gamification, and how to create my own products. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My e-dventures of Writing

Retrieved June 20, 2013 from here
Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade is another amazing adventure that I have just completed on Coursera. It was offered by Mt. San Jacinto College, and instructed by Lorrie Ross, Lawrence (Larry) Barkley, & Ted Blake. The course was broken into five weekly units with each unit spanning one week. Each weekly unit had the following items: video lectures, in-video quizzes, readings, journal writings, discussion forums, peer reviewed writing assignment, and weekly quiz. Our first week started with a video by Lorrie Ross giving us some tips on how to become a successful online leaner. We spent the whole week reading the syllabus, taking the course guide quiz, checking the weekly materials, creating a success list, and a calendar as an effective way to organize the work. Then, we introduced ourselves in the discussion forum. It was just as an exploration tour for learners in order to be familiar with the platform of Coursera. By clicking each week on the sidebar, one can find all the required activities and assignments with links, benchmark dates, credit points, and estimated time to complete them. This well-designed format helped us a lot to be more organized, and saved a lot of our time. Here is a screenshot of week 2 activities:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Power of Peeragogy

Retrieved June 19, 2013 from here
I have just completed one of the most well-organized online courses on Coursera "Statistics: Making Sense of Data" that was offered by University of Toronto, and instructed by Alison Gibbs, & Jeffrey Rosentha. It was about statistics and how to make use of this field in our lives. As any course I took on Coursera, we watched video lectures, took quizzes, completed, and reviewed assignments following model answers prepared by the instructors. What makes this course different from other learning experiences is its well-designed format, clear objectives, and high quality content. In addition, the To-Do-List provided on the top of the sidebar helped us a lot to know more about each week's tasks and assignments, and it saved our time and efforts. In contrast, I dropped another Coursera course running at the same time "Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence" because I didn't know what tasks and readings I should do in each week although the instructor was very creative and had a powerful impact on people. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Become a Digital Storyteller!

Retrieved June 12, 2013 from here

Glogster EDU is a social network that allows users to create free interactive posters, or Glogs. A "Glog", short for "graphics blog", is an interactive multimedia image. It looks like a poster, but readers can interact with the content. Glogster EDU provides an online environment to design interactive posters. The user inserts text, images, photos, audio files, videos, special effects and other elements into their glogs to generate a multimedia online creation. Posters can be shared with other users on the site, embedded in external wikis or blogs, and shared via many social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Glogs can also be exported and saved to computer-compatible formats (see more here). 

Mapping with Google

Thanks to +Roz Hussin, I would like to share a free online course offered by Google these days. Mapping with Google course starts June 10 and ends June 24, 2013. It is a self-paced, online course where you will watch videos (or read text lessons) and apply the skills you learn. During this course, you will be able to collaborate with a worldwide community of learners and experts in the class forum, Hangouts, and via Google+. Course completion requires an internet-enabled desktop or laptop computer. By the end of the course, those learners who are able to complete required projects using what they have learned can earn a certificate. 

 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Prezi: Bring your Presentation to Life

Retrieved May 10, 2013 from here
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software with a zoomable canvas that allows you to create visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery. It is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations from monologues into conversations: enabling people to see, understand, and remember ideas. With a few clicks, you can bring life to your presentations adding text, images, videos, background music, files (pdf, ppt, pptx), diagrams, symbols, links, and choosing a lively template. You can zoom in and out to attract attention and inspire your audience. You can share your Prezis with your friends to edit as a collaborative work or let the conversations go using the comment box. You can present online or download a portable version to use it offline. I think that Prezi can add a different taste to your presentations. Students will like because it addresses most of their learning styles and helps to extend their attention span.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

DNLE Brought Out the Best in Me!

Retrieved May 9, 2013 from here
I'm Azhar Youssef, an Egyptian EFL teacher who teaches high school students in a village. Learning adventures are only what I seek for since I became a teacher. Completing my post graduate studies helped me a lot to research and try out things to make my students happy while learning. My whole professional teaching life completely changed when I was nominated to take a 10-week online course offered by Oregon University titled "Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web" and instructed by Prof. Deborah Healey in 2010. This course was about how to integrate technology into curriculum. We were introduced to many tools that can make a difference in our classes. Once I got involved and found my way in the Nicenet platform, I started to help my colleagues as I always do. One of them called Roxana commented on my last post: "You became my trouble shooter. I am very thankful for all the pieces of advice you gave. They really worked." Helping people and drawing smiles on their faces is one of my dear things that I love to do in my daily life. As a result to my hard work during these 10 weeks, I was also nominated to attend the E-Teacher Scholarship Program 2011 hosted by Maryland and Oregon universities. This 3-week program was another amazing learning experience where I managed to meet 26 colleagues from all over the world face-to-face at UMBC. Really, I never forget all those sweet memories we spent together learning, discussing, creating, evaluating, presenting and finding time for chatting and laughing. I came back home with a strong desire to create a new life for my students. I used all  what I learned previously to encourage them to be more innovative and responsible citizens who are able to serve their country. They created  a wiki through which they invite tourists to visit Egypt again after the 25th Jan. Revolution. They won the First Place in the Regional Forum held in Jordan 2011 and also participated in the Global Forum held in Washington DC, 2011 to showcase their achievements. I was also Featured on Microsoft website to tell the whole world how a teacher with limited facilities can make a difference in her classes. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tasking Writing

Develop Your Students' Composition Writing Skills Using Task-Based Learning is my first book published by Lambert Academic Publishing. To view its details, please click the image below:


This book deals with a very important area of learning English as a foreign language. EFL students spend a hard time struggling with the written tasks. They always suffer from many problems when writing. That's why I selected this area to study and suggest some easy-to-follow solutions for other teachers. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Different but not Less

Retrieved Feb. 10, 2013 from here
Task 3 in the Neuroscience in Education session caught all my attention this week (4th). This is the first time to hear about Temple Grandin. Googling this name, I found her an autistic scientist, professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, designer of livestock handling facilities, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, inventor of the "squeeze machine," a system which tightly hugs people to relieve stress, bestselling author, speaker and more. Although she is an autistic person, she found her way to excel and innovate using her gifts and special visual thinking skills. The questions that come to my mind while reading about her are "Who is behind her success? Who pushed her to do all these things? What kind of motivation she has; inner or something comes from outside?"

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Anita's Story and Memory

The third week of Neuroscience in Education session was about attention and memory. We first watched two interesting videos showing how our attention works when we expose to many stimuli at the same time. 


Part 1



Part 2


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Know your Students before ...

Retrieved on Jan 29, 2013 from here
Here we are in the second week of Diffimooc. I still admire Twitter live chats and tweeting all what we do and share what we read. The task of this week is to explore tools that might provide me insight into the learners in my classrooms and how might I use this information. Lee Graham shared a lot of resources that can help us to get started our exploration journey. Among the tools that she shared is SurveyMonkey which is an online tool for creating surveys of 10 questions for free. I use it frequently with my students when creating new online classes to identify their needs and skills before they get involved. Ready-made questionnaires and tests of interests, personality or multiple intelligences are also great tools to know more about what students have so I can modify my teaching style and approach to match their expectations. As teachers, we don't know what is going on in our students' minds. These tools can help them express what they can't say to us directly. However, we shouldn't only rely on such inventories, surveys, questionnaires and tests because some students don't respond honestly or they don't have the ability to identify their goals, wants and needs. We can also use our eyes as Joshua emphasized in his post. Observing students while they are working on activities, working in groups, or presenting their products provides us a lot of spontaneous and honest information about them.

Microsoft! Are you ready for MOOCing?

Retrieved on Jan 29, 2013 from here
I never forget Microsoft Partners in Learning experience 2011. It was a hard way from a marginalized village in Upper Egypt called "Sohag" to the Global Forum held in Washington DC. 2011. Microsoft provides educators with a variety of free tools that can address their students' learning preferences, in addition to great opportunities for training and growing in the field of teaching using technology. The Egyptian Team of Microsoft Partners in Learning exerts huge efforts to encourage teachers to know more about this digital culture face-to-face or online. Microsoft Partners in Learning Network is another great space to connect educators to share tutorials and activities, and find opportunities for professional development. I completed some online courses and seminars offered in the "Professional Development" Tab like "Windows in Classroom". IT Academy Program also provides a series of courses that helps educators to build a theoretical background as well as finding some applications and solutions to the challenges they might face when integrating technology into their curricula. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Do you have Tonys in your Classes?

I started week 2 of the Neuroscience EVO 2013 session by watching the video of Tony. First, I would like to thank Mary Hillis for her narration to the story and Cleide Frazão for drawing these amazing images. This story is taken from a book by James E. Zull titled "The Art of Changing the Brain". Let's watch this video or read the excerpt below and then discuss what is behind Tony's problem.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tweeting, Sharing and Blogging ... 3 keywords for DiffiMOOC

Sharing is a fundamental part of the massively open online courses "MOOCs". It is not only sharing resources, but  experiences, recommendations, and attitudes as well. I have known about Differentiating Instruction through Technology "DiffiMOOC" from another MOOC called Educational Technology and Media "ETMOOC" started a week ago. These MOOCs are open spaces in the clouds where people can meet together in one place to share, research, connect, discuss, interact and reflect. By doing all these activities, they learn and build new knowledge merged with real personal experiences. It is the power of socialization that makes MOOCs unique and different kind of learning. Technology provides us with a variety of tools that help us to connect and create networks. Twitter, for example, is a great communicative tool that helps me a lot to meet a lot of people with the same interests. DiffiMOOC helped me to use it effectively for the first time. We use it to introduce ourselves (Here is my intro), share resources and products, ask questions, create PLNs, give feedback and many more things. Google Group is another tool that we used during the first week. It is a way to interact and discuss topics in detail as Twitter allows just 140 characters. This means that we start small by using Twitter and grow more via using Google Groups. This step of interaction via Twitter and Google Group is involved in all stages diagrammed below:

Retrieved on Jan 22, 2013 from here

Maybe I would like to meet new people before researching, curating and sharing. This is what we did on last Tuesday, the day before starting this awesome experience. Interaction can also happen during the output stage through reading posts and leaving comments. These comments are very valuable for each one of us; the writer of the post and the writer of the comments themselves. I think that commenting can be an outcome of our learning, understanding and digesting this huge flow of information. To sum up, we can go through these processes not as a sequential step model from input to interaction and then output. This is one of the outstanding features of MOOCs. You can start wherever you want and working on your pace. 

Once we got connected to each other, we were introduced to some tools for sharing and organizing resources, e.g., Diigo, Delicious, Pinterest ... etc. This could be a great way for finding rich and suitable input about the topics we are going to talk about. Lee Graham (Our Instructor) recommended to use Diigo. Really, it is a great tool for bookmarking, highlighting, creating lists and groups, taking notes and other features that can help us organize our new learning experience more easily. I have created a diigo list for the first week called "What is MOOC?" I shared some articles, posts and videos about what MOOC is and what we need to succeed in MOOCs. At the same time, I joined Sandy's diigo group for DiffiMOOC where we can collaborate with each other to create a resourceful space for us and for other people who follow us. 

Until now, we interacted via Twitter, Google Group and built a good background through sharing resources via Diigo. I think that it is time to transform all what we have done and learned in recognizable products. Blogging was one of the suggested tools for the output stage. I have been blogging since 2010. It is not an easy job to start a post, but you can't stop writing once your first post gets published. You don't only develop your reading and writing skills, but creative and reflective thinking skills as well. Blogging experience goes far from just writing some sentences.  It carries both cognition and emotion; what you learn and what you feel. We will use it here to respond to questions and reflect on our experiences. 

These are the 3 things we did in the first week and will continue to do throughout this course. The more you tweet, share and blog, the more you connect, gain and learn. This is my advice to novice people who want to participate in such MOOCs. I tried both xMOOCs and cMOOCs (Read Lori's post to know more about the difference between them) and found that there are some characteristics we need to succeed in such massive open online courses. I read some posts by my colleagues (e.g., Aktwin, ChancyzahrtLindsey, Lori, and Technology in Mathematics and Education) and found some common buzzwords such as openness, positive attitudes, organizing, setting goals ... and more. My list is not different from theirs, but l prefer to express my experience with MOOCs using a concept map (Click here to view it in a new window): 




I think that I completed all the tasks required in week 1. Here is a summary list of what I have done in points:
  1. I created an intro using Smore.
  2. I tweeted all the week sharing resources, asking questions, and following people to create my PLN. The hashtag of our course is "#diffimooc".
  3. I already have a Diigo account. I just created a diigo list for the first week sharing resources about what MOOCs are and how to succeed in them. I also joined Sandy's diigo group for the same purpose.
  4. I joined our Google group and interacted with people leaving some comments.
  5. I successfully managed to access our wiki to be ready for the coming weeks' collaborative projects.
  6. I already have a blog. I didn't need to set up  a new one.
  7. I posted my first week reflection answering an essential question that was about the characteristics we need to be successful in this MOOC.
  8. I created a concept map using Bubbl.us to sum up the characteristics of a successful MOOCer.
  9. I read some posts of my colleagues and left comments waiting for responding and interacting.
Thanks so much for reading my post. I'm waiting for your comments and questions.  I will be so happy to get connected and keep discussing.