Sharing Teaching Experiences

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search
240 × 80 px

Etni Rag Online Journal

Etni Rag, an online journal for teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages is inviting teachers around the world to share their teaching experiences. Teachers can write on any topic related to second and foreign language learning specifically EFL/ESL or on integrating technology in any content area in K-12 or higher education or in any area related to instruction and learning. --Nellie Deutsch 12:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)



Current Edition

Edition #8

Edition 8

Past Editions

Edition #7

Issue #7


Welcome to Edition #7 of the Etnirag. You may think that we have been quiet, but in fact, David and I have been very busy locating writers for issue #7. Etnirag is becoming more and more popular with readers and writers from many parts of the world. Many international writers are interested in sharing their ideas on how to improve instruction and learning. Although the theme of the current issue is literature in the EFL classroom, many writers preferred to focus on writing. Writing seems to be gaining momentum due to the increasing number of bloggers and text chatting via instant messengers and other online web 2.0 tools such as facebook, twitter, myspace and so on. Are web 2.0 tools affecting best practices in writing? Is technology helping students improve their writing or destroying it? Research seems to indicate that online writing practice facilitates English writing (Armstrong & Retterer, 2008). Students are writing more, but will quantity lead to quality?

Please share your thoughts on the current and future of electronic writing.

Thank you.

Nellie Deutsch

Armstrong, K. & Retterer, O. (2008). Blogging as L2 Writing: A case study. AACE Journal. 16 (3), 233-251.

Teachers' Reflections

Sharing Teaching Experiences

Share your teaching experiences with educators around the world.

Please Share Your Teaching Experiences Here

Seth Eisenberg

  • Country of Residence: USA
  • First name: Seth
  • Last name: Eisenberg
  • Gender: Male
  • Organization: PAIRS Foundation
  • Title/Position: Executive Director
  • Email address:
  • Topic of Interest: online learning, educational technology, working with diverse populations

PowerPoint animations for online and classroom learning

"Students in classes using the animated PowerPoint presentations demonstrated significantly higher levels of understanding, integration and retention of key concepts and skills."

When using PowerPoint both in traditional classroom settings and online, the effective use of animations is critically important to students’ knowledge and skill retention.

PAIRS (“Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills”) classes have been taught worldwide for nearly 30 years, long before the advent of personal computers, the Internet, and the broad array of educational software that has become ubiquitous in both traditional Western classroom and online learning.

Over the past decade, our educational model rapidly evolved from blackboards and chalk to markers, flipcharts and whiteboards, to projectors and PowerPoint presentations that have become increasingly detailed. Projection and PowerPoint technology has been invaluable in assuring consistent standards of excellence in curriculum delivery and quality control for classes taught in many languages and settings by facilitators from diverse backgrounds, educational levels, and professions who are trained primarily through intensive four-day seminars.

Recent experience delivering relationship skills training to special needs populations, including (1) veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, and a range of other visible and invisible wounds, (2) classes in English to non-native speakers, (3) work with low-literacy audiences, and (4) workshops to highly distressed couples offered the opportunity to reevaluate our use of PowerPoint – specifically to extensively integrate animations -- to convey key curriculum concepts.

Our revision of the PowerPoint presentations principally involved creating new slide designs to have content appear sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph to assure a concept was thoroughly explained by the instructor before additional information appeared on the slide and also dividing graphic images into multiple sections that unfolded through the lecture rather than appearing at once.

Observations of multiple classes in which these revised, extensively animated PowerPoint presentations were utilized indicated significantly higher level of participant knowledge and skill retention at the end curriculum delivery.

Beyond the technical work needed to integrate animations into the PowerPoint presentations – some of which include hundreds of slides -- and train instructors on the effective use of animations, the impact included the need to scale back the quantity of content included in each curriculum segment.

The outcome, however, demonstrated that the effort and resources required were well worthwhile, both in traditional classroom and online environments, as students in classes using the animated PowerPoint presentations demonstrated significantly higher levels of understanding, integration and retention of key concepts and skills.

The author is Executive Director of the non-profit PAIRS Foundation ([1]) and a leading national trainer of relationship skills educators.

Nicola Avery

  • Country of Residence: UK
  • First name: Nicola
  • Last name: Avery
  • Gender: Female
  • Organization: University of Surrey
  • Title/Position: eLearning Adviser
  • Email address:
  • Topic of Interest: online collaboration, uncovering the mysteries of different technologies and how they can be used in learning
  • Please add your article below:

Blended learning for lunch at the University of Surrey

Virtual Classroom for Lunch

Video Recording of the Workshop

Watch the recording on bliptv


We were delighted to welcome Nellie Deutsch to lead a session on navigating the live virtual environment last week. At Surrey we have an internal network of academic and non-academic practitioners who are interested in exploring different technologies in their learning, teaching and research. We also had fantastic guest presenters - Gladys Gahona, Ludmila Smirnova, Gita Mathur, Sui Fai John Mak, Mark Cruthers – our Surrey network found the session really inspiring and carried on talking for ages afterward.

We hold bi-monthly lunchtime sessions (free lunch being the added incentive!) which provide an opportunity for staff to chat informally with each other, meet others and share experiences from both internal and external presenters. We have recently had growing interest in exploring technologies that allow students to connect with each other remotely and with their tutors in a shared space, especially many students who are on international or UK based placements. In healthcare placements the students are often in care homes where they may have limited or no access to computers because they are owned by the healthcare facilities management, although they may be able to use mobile devices.

It was wonderful to see Nellie smiling at us – it really felt like she was in the room with us physically. The majority of attendees had neither seen a virtual classroom or heard of one before. It generated huge interest and everyone wanted to go away and explore further

“…what sold it for me was the way they kept handing the microphone across the world from one country to another, that was incredible…”

We are launching a pilot soon with one faculty but we had all faculties, some central services and also an associated academy of music represented in the session and they have all gone away discussing lots of ideas including shared language sessions, music instrumental tutorials, placement interviews and sharing international research as part of an online program.

Setting up and running the session

This was probably one of the most interactive ones we have tried. Our average attendance now are around 25 – some regulars but generally we get different people each time – usually a mix of academic and non-academic staff and interested others. They are usually held in a room which has facility to present 3 projections simultaneously.

We set up 8 laptops on 4 tables – with chairs grouped around, at the front of the room and also projected one screen of Nellie inside the virtual classroom on the main wall at the front. Wiziq requires individual registration – so you can’t set up a class of logins – and because I left this too late, didn’t have time to speak with our internal IT services to see if could set up 8 internal accounts (the only way they could probably have done it was setting up visitor accounts so it wouldn’t have been ideal anyway), so ended up setting up 8 yahoo accounts and registered each one. Wiziq did offer to register them once we had the addresses. We did a test with Nellie the day before and it worked ok with 2 laptops so on the day, Each account was pre-invited to the Wiziq session so just had to launch it on each laptop at 12.30pm which was painless. Each laptop was connected via wifi, with the exception of my laptop on the front (it had been fine on wifi with the test but I decided to set up a wired connection on the day just to be safe)

In terms of other technologies in the room, we had a webcam on a tripod (actually held together by 2 elastic bands – we could have used gaffer tape, but the bands did the job) which was focused from the front of the room looking back which was USB connected to my laptop so that was the view that Nellie and others could see of us. On the day we also set up a larger camcorder at the back of the room facing to the front to record the video of the room. The camcorder had a microphone attached to it and on the day I was also hooked up to a radio mic. We used a speakerphone which had echo-canceling, for the overall room audio that everyone in the virtual classroom could hear.

Thoughts for future sessions

We were very fortunate with Nellie because we didn’t actually get seated until they were at least 20 minutes into the session and Nellie had done a fantastic job of interacting with all the virtual classroom participants (some other presenters might find it challenging to keep sessions going when it is uncertain when the rest of the attendees are going to join). Everyone arriving into our physical room could see the session going ahead as soon as they walked into the room which immediately grabbed their attention. The virtual participants could see our room but the picture wasn’t too clear for everyone. In the future we would use a smaller videocamera or a webcam with better camera. Or possibly a webcam with a longer cable so we could have walked around the room with it a little – as a virtual teacher it would have been nicer for Nellie if she could have seen their faces and reactions from time to time too.

Also it would probably be better in the future to have our lunch/networking bit completed ahead of the virtual classroom session so that virtual participants do not spend unnecessary time waiting. Some of our attendees did not want to sit down at laptops with ’sticky hands’ so they waited until they had finished eating. We had decided that our speakerphone would be good enough (chat150) to risk turning back on the sound on the laptops (had originally muted all of them) on the back two tables but the second Nellie had handed over to us we had nice echos so had to re-mute them immediately. Most of our physical attendees could hear each of the virtual classroom presenters from our speakerphone ok although there were differences between each presenter, some were slightly clearer than others. I think if we had another set of tables further back in the room (i.e. 25+ attendees) then they might have struggled so we would have had to use different microphones and speakerphones.


We could also have explained a bit more in advance (such as pre-session information) about how a typical session works so when our attendees sat down they had a clearer idea of what to expect. Would probably also have done some re-introductions around the virtual classroom or asked a question in the text chat about where everyone was from so that our attendees could engage more quickly with the virtual attendees.

All the presenters were fantastic, some of our attendees experimented with the text chat by popping in the odd question, Nellie also provided opportunities for them to play with the tools on a whiteboard so they became more confident very quickly. Having a mouse with each laptop would have made it easier for some participants. The virtual classroom projected at the front was nice to see and easy to demonstrate things but there is a possibility that some of our attendees became more passive and started looking at that which made it less likely that they would engage with what they were seeing on the laptop in front of them – i.e. more likely just to sit and less likely to join in the text chat.

It worked over lunch where our attendees were relaxed and they were continually chatting to each other and pointing to things on the laptops throughout the session when we were un-mic’d, but this could be recreated in a non-lunch session too. We could definitely repeat this kind of session – possibly as a virtual classroom session in our pilot where some of the staff are not very comfortable using different technologies and it might be nice to bring them into a safe environment to play – although we are fortunate in the UK on the whole, with connectivity so if they just joined a virtual classroom session they could probably join in quite happily without training too.

It was great that Nellie had uploaded the session so quickly – we had quite a few apologies from staff who wanted to attend but couldn’t because of the huge piles of marking they need to complete for exam boards. Those who couldn’t attend could then pick it up straightaway. In the past we have made DVDs of our sessions and released them but we have recently launched a new media system so going to be moving towards releasing them online and more quickly than before. To create the DVDs – we just have the camcorder connected to a Mac which uploads it overnight then just reinsert as many DVDs as we need to. In this case, we are making a separate edited version so had to upload overnight twice. We will probably use either iMovie or FinalCut to edit but it would have been possible to do on a pc and use free software to edit it, such as Moviemaker or Eyespot – but it probably would take longer and possibly slightly less options. However, you could get a decent version out to everyone relatively quickly.

Rose Ann

  • Country of Residence: USA
  • First name: Rose Ann
  • Last name: Morris
  • Gender: Female
  • Organization: Mountain Empire USD
  • Title/Position: Teacher/Trainer
  • Email address:
  • Topic of Interest: Math, science, technology, education
  • Please add your article below

Technology, a Vehicle for English Language Learners

My English language learners, level two, recently read two stories about family ties in their textbooks. We then used to build a story of their own. Each student composed a presentation with a minimum of six pictures with spoken and typed comments for each picture. These were then reviewed with the LCD projector in the classroom and discussion and suggestions for improvement of the English were the result. We worked on making sure our message was clear to the viewer. We also worked on grammar, of course!


Hi Rose, can you add a bit more? Thank you. --Nellie Deutsch 06:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Carsten Ullrich

  • Country of Residence: China
  • First name: Carsten
  • Last name: Ullrich
  • Gender: M
  • Organization: Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Title/Position: Researcher
  • Email address: ullrich_c at sjtu dot edu dot cn
  • Topic of Interest: AI&ED, PLE, Web 2.0, Semantic Web
  • Please add your article below

Microblogging for Language Learning

Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence Kerstin Borau1, Carsten Ullrich2, Jinjin Feng1, Ruimin Shen2 1Distance Education College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 3/F No. 500 Jiangsu Road, Shanghai 20050, China 2Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1954 Hua Shan Road, 200030 Shanghai, China


Our work analyzes the usefulness of microblogging in second lan-uage learning using the example of the social network Twitter. Most learners of English do not require even more passive input in form of texts, lectures or videos, etc. This input is readily available in numerous forms on the Internet. What learners of English need is the chance to actively produce language and the chance to use English as tool of communication. This calls for instructional methods and tools promoting ‘active’ learning that present opportunities for students to express themselves and interact in the target language. In this paper we describe how we used Twitter with students of English at the Distant College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We analyze the students’ messages and show how the usage of Twitter trained communicative and cultural competence.

International Conference

Proceedings of International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) 2009, in press.

Article available here

Data sets available here

Declan McCabe

  • Country of Residence: USA
  • First name:Declan
  • Last name:McCabe
  • Gender:Male
  • Organization:Saint Michael's College
  • Title/Position:Associate Professor of Biology
  • Email
  • Topic of Interest:Biology in Elementary schools

Biology and ESL

Biology for elementary school students for whom English is a second language As part of my Biology_in_elementary_schools class for education majors, we develop and then teach science lessons for three partner schools in Burlington Vermont. The lesson plans are designed to address learning objectives provided by teachers in our partner schools. One of these schools includes a large population of students for whom English is a second language. After first working native English speakers, my students enjoy the challenge of altering their teaching style to meet the needs of ESL students. Working with experienced teachers in that school furthers their understanding of the unique difficulties encountered by ESL students.

My students are exposed to a range of tools geared towards facilitating learning for students for whom language is a potential barrier:

  • The school is equipped with a microphone system that provides surround sound for the students and makes the teacher's voice feel like she is just a few feet from every student, but without being an overpowering volume. This has the effect of making the all-important word endings audible to all students.
  • The teachers use a combination of clip art and simplified language on all written materials. In many cases, a simple visual breaks down that barrier created by an unfamiliar written word. Repeatedly presenting the written word next to a picture initiates the process of permanently breaking down that barrier and expanding English vocabulary.
  • Word banks on handouts for emergent writers in general, and particularlly for ESL students can engender confidence, and provide a viable option for answering questions in writing, when students lack the confidence in their language to give oral answers.
  • Providing an option to answer questions using drawings and/or words can be extraordinarily liberating for ESL students. One of my partner teachers showed me a drawn response to a question about gravity. The student in question had been in the United States from Sudan for just four months. His drawing of a person dropping a ball from a building, and the motion of the ball toward the ground made it crystal clear that he understand gravity at a level that was appropriate for his third grade level. Requiring a written answer to that same question would have resulted in a zero grade for that question, and would lead to the inappropriate conclusion that the child lacked an understanding of gravity. In this particular situation, a written test would not be an appropriate tool to assess this students knowledge and understanding.

It is important to note that my expertise is not in educating students for whom English is a second language. However by cultivating a collaborative program with teachers in carefully selected schools, my students are exposed to some of the diversity of tools employed by practitioners on the ground. This exposure compliments the science background that I bring to the collaboration. My long-term goal is to expand upon the ESL portion of my course so that the educators in my classes learn to better facilitate science learning for ESL students.

An overarching objective that runs through my course is to share the lesson plans developed. To ensure that the lesson plans are in fact shared, my students develop them directly on Wikieducator, an online Wiki site devoted to the development and dissemination of educational materials for free. The approach offers significant advantages for collaborative writing. There is just one version of each lesson plan online, and the problems of version creep, and the stress of wondering if your collaborating student brought their piece of the work to class is effectively eliminated. Student effort is conveniently recorded, older versions of the lessons are preserved and can be recalled in the case of mistakes, editorial suggestions and comments and can be made online, and students can reflect on the successes and challenges of a particular lesson.

In summary, this class model works very well. It fits one definition of service learning in that students in the course provide a service that meets a need, they learn new material and skills while providing that service, and finally they publicly share what they have learned by uploading their lesson plans and by reflecting on their experience. The approach offers a unique learning experience that I could not emulate by lecturing and requiring students to develop lesson plans just for the privilege of earning a grade.

Nancy A. McKeand

  • Country of Residence: United States
  • First name: Nancy
  • Last name: McKeand
  • Gender: Female
  • Organization: Eastern New Mexico University
  • Title/Position: Director, ESL Institute
  • Email address:
  • Topic of Interest: technology in ESL
  • Please add your article below

Using WebQuests to Teach English


Often teachers are not sure how to incorporate technology into their classes. An easy and very effective way to do that is through the use of WebQuests.

WebQuests have been widely used around the world since they were developed in 1995 by Dr. Bernie Dodge working with classroom teachers. Dodge's WebQuest site, offers the most complete set of links and information related to WebQuests that can be found.

But what, exactly, is a WebQuest? According to Dr. Dodge on his website, a WebQuest is “an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web.” A WebQuest traditionally has 6 parts: Introduction Task Process Evaluation Conclusion Credits Those parts can be varied in some cases, but this basic framework developed by Dodge is the basis for almost all the thousands of WebQuests that have been created.

That sounds good, but how can we use WebQuests to teach English?


You are English teachers. Your supervisor has told you that you need to incorporate more technology into your classes and she suggests that WebQuests would be a good way to do that. You don't know anything about WebQuests, much less how you could use them to teach English. Your task is to learn as much as you can about what WebQuests are and to find ways that you could use them to teach English. At the end of your search, you will develop a WebQuest that you could use with your own students.


Step 1

Go to the following web sites and read more about WebQuests.

An early article by Dr. Dodge, Some Thoughts on WebQuests

Dr. Dodge's

An article on WebQuests published by the Saskatoon Public Schools

Step 2

Now look at some actual WebQuests. These links contain links to lots of examples:

WebQuest directory compiled by Lee's Summit R7 School District

Nellie's English Project s

Christine Bauer-Ramazani's list of ESL WebQuests

Step 3

Now that you have seen what a WebQuest is and can be, it is time for you to begin to develop your own . To start, ask yourself these questions:

1.What topic do I teach that could be investigated online?

2.What kinds of tasks would I want students to do as part of a WebQuest in connection with that topic?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you are ready to start thinking about designing your WebQuest.


Your efforts to create a WebQuest for use with your students will be evaluated by your students themselves. Their level of engagement with the task will be all the proof you need that you have been successful.


Now that you have seen what a WebQuest is and have begun thinking, at least of how you might create one of your own, I hope you will follow through and try one out with your students. I think you will be very happy with the results!


I have to give credit to Dr. Bernie Dodge for coming up with the idea. And after him, I must give thanks to Paula Emmert, who first exposed me to WebQuests in a TESOL EVO session in 2006.


That is pretty much the path I followed to begin using WebQuests with my students. As part of a 2006 TESOL EVO session, I created a WebQuest, Will the Real Thomas Merton Please Stand Up? This quest was used with advanced ESL students who were reading the works of Thomas Merton. It was actually quite successful, although it was very challenging for the students. We first read an article that talked about the different aspects of Merton's life. Then each member of a group investigated a different aspect of Merton's life. Finally they concluded by writing a joint diary in which they each added details from their research and put the different parts back together again.

My next effort was Death Penalty Debate. I taught an advanced writing course around the topic of the death penalty, and I decided to add the WebQuest to the course the second time I taught it. The purpose of the WebQuest was to guide them through the research process prior to writing a major paper. I felt at the time, and still do, that the WebQuest greatly facilitated their research. It presented students with different points of view and required them to investigate all of them. They were encouraged to look for other sources as well when they were actually writing their papers, but the WebQuest provided much of the information they needed.

Another WebQuest I created as preparation for writing a major paper was Norman Rockwell and an American Utopia. This activity exposed students to many of the paintings of Norman Rockwell. At the end of the WebQuest, they wrote a paper in which they compared Rockwell's idealized America to the reality they saw around them. This is the only WebQuest I have tried reusing. The first time, it was very successful. The second time, I wasn't as pleased with the results. I failed to recognize how difficult the WebQuest would be for the second group. They had neither the cultural understanding nor the language required for it to be truly accessible. Although I adapted it for them once I realized this, it was not the success it had been the first time. This experience wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be, but the possibility of reusing WebQuests is an important thing to remember. While it can take a fair amount of time to construct a WebQuest, the WebQuest can be used exactly as is or modified and reused numerous times.

Recently, I have begun copying my old WebQuests and creating new ones in a wiki, Nancy's WebQuests. This has the advantage of giving me more control, I think. When I want to use them with a particular group of students, I can copy them to another context or just link to them in the wiki. I have found this to be really valuable. One site, which was reputable when I first used it to develop my WebQuest, now apparently has been labeled a malicious site. All my work on that WebQuest would have been lost to me if I hadn't moved it.

Once the WebQuest is developed, I can focus on the students, helping those individuals or groups who need assistance. I become a facilitator in the class rather than the expert. A WebQuest is not the only way to achieve this, of course, but I think it is a very good way. I foresee using WebQuests with my students for a long time.


This is a wonderful start. Can you write about the experiences you have had with using WebQuests in your classes. You may read one such reflection made on one of my WebQuests, The Last Spin. Take a look at the feedback. In addition, you may wish to learn more about some of the WebQuests I created for the EFL/EESL classes on literature and of the articles I wrote on Collaborative learning and WebQuests.

Stuart Walsh

  • Country of Residence: Australia
  • First name:Stuart
  • Last name:Walsh
  • Gender:Male
  • Organization:Dubbo College Senior Campus (Dept of Education & Training NSW)
  • Title/Position:Teacher (IT)
  • Email
  • Topic of Interest:Computing in general, and many others.
  • Please add your article below

I worked for the Railway as a Carriage Builder after leaving school at 16 then at 39 was retrenched as no more wooden carriages needed our attention. On the dredded dole for 2 years till an advertisement on the radio let me to study at the University of Newcastle. I finished a Bachelor of Art (Visual Arts), a Diploma of Education (Secondary), and all but, Bachelor of Design & Technology (Newcastle didn't have external learning and I had 2 10 point subjects to finish).

I was eventually posted to Dubbo (central NSW) from Lake Macquarie, (it could have been worse I suppose), and immediately I found out that they can change what they want you to teach at a whim. They found out I knew a little about computing (I have always been a nerd), also, electronics and of course wood, and after been hired as an Art Teacher, I had one Yr7 art class, and all the rest were computing, electronics and Design & Technology.

I now teach years 10 to 12 in Electronics (Yr 10), Information and Software Technology (Yr 10), Information Processes and Technology (Yrs 11 & 12), Software Design & Technology (Yrs 11 & 12) and Information Technology VET (Yrs 11 & 12)[VET is Vocational Education and Training).



Stuart, can you write a little more your teaching experiences. How do you conduct your classes? What instructional methods do you use? What works best? Thank you. --Nellie Deutsch 09:06, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Dr. Gita Mathur

  • Country of Residence: India
  • First name: Dr. Gita
  • Last name: Mathur
  • Gender: Female
  • Organization: Gargi College, University of Delhi
  • Title/Position: Associate Professor of Botany
  • Email address:
  • Topics of Interest: Botany, Environmental science & Innovations in teaching.
  • Please see my article below

My Experiences as a WikiEducator

WikiEducator to me is not just a website, it is a means of sharing my rich experiences as a teacher with the global community of teachers and students.

I am Dr. Gita Mathur, Associate Professor of Botany at Gargi College, University of Delhi, India. I have been a Botany teacher for more than 25 years. I am a trained Botanist, with a Ph.D. in Botany from University of Delhi, India, but over time my interests have diversified to issues related to the environment, science education and innovations in teaching methodologies. I teach a full paper on Plant Ecology and Environmental Management. Plant Biodiversity is another major area I teach.

I strongly believe in free access to educational content and in collaborative learning not only among peers but also between a student and a teacher. I am an Ubuntu user as I am strongly committed to the 'Free & Open' culture. Besides my academic responsibilities, I spend a lot of time working on innovations in teaching Botany including designing experiments which can be done with minimum facilities.
I am very fond of photography, especially close-ups of plants and flowers. I like colours and understand their role in production of visuals for teaching. The importance of good photographs, diagrams and images in teaching is what I work towards. For years I have been using overhead projection(OHP) transparencies and 35 mm photo-slides to support teaching my subject. Then digital photographs & ppt presentations replaced them. Now with WikiEducator I am supporting my classroom teaching with collaborative content development. I used to email study materials and useful links to my students. WikiEducator has given a new perspective to my mode of interactive teaching. Now I have a two-way joint/collaborative approach. I have started special sections related to Bryophytes(moss-like plants), Pteridophytes(fern-like plants) and also a Glossary of Technical Terms in Botany on my user page.

I wanted to share this with my colleagues in the college hence organised a F2F workshop for them. More than thirty faculty of Gargi College became WikiEducators. A Multi-Disciplinary Academic Advancement Hub on my user page is linked to the contributions of all the Gargi faculty. I have also jointly facilitated two online eL4C workshops to encourage my students and more faculty members to learn the Wiki skills, hoping they will collaborate with me on my Botany pages.

Within a month of starting on wikiEducator I was nominated to the Interim Advisory Board of the India-Chapter of WikiEducator. I was the first Indian to get a UPE Award for my user page and now I have reached the WikiArtisan certification too. At present I am the Featured WE on India Page. I have a global group of very close WikiFriends. I am an active WikiNeighbour and WikiAmbassador too. WE inspires me to think of new ways of using technology for education. For making it more interesting to learners, use of colours and images for visual impact are my favourites. Hence, I have also been contributing to tutorials for adding colours and images on WikiEducator.

My landmark dates as WikiEducator are listed here.
I am very happy to be a part of this committed and dedicated community of Teachers and Educators.

Julia Zhou

  • Country of Residence: China
  • First name:Julia
  • Last name:Zhou
  • Gender:female
  • Organization:
  • Title/Position:EFL teacher
  • Email
  • Topic of Interest:e-learning,e-teaching,literature for children
  • Please see my experience below

I used to be an EFL English teacher in my hometown—it’s in Hubei Province in central China (2000-2004). I had taught in a Junior middle school for three years, and half a year in a high school. We taught English in a very traditional way, so to speak, and to some extent perpetuate the system by which we ourselves learnt a foreign language. We didn’t have the access to internet yet, so blackboard, textbook and tape-recorders are the main support for our curriculum. Our students varies from about eleven to thirteen years old. We did a lot of reciting and dictation, dialogue and grammar exercises. I had tried to blend the activity--“sing an English song” to the teaching process. The class was carefully controlled and planned. I think it’s a very positive experience for both teachers and students. I wish I could add more to this sharing space. I'm grateful to be involved, thank you. --heyjulia 16:45, 21 June 2009 (UTC)