12 July 2020

Goosechase with Me?

From online tools to mobile apps, there is a myriad of choices for educators and learners to engage with. Consider this infographic on messaging and web- browsing below:

There is a world of apps for all purposes, including learning and learner participation. 

is a tool which creates scavenger hunts for learners, while motivating participation in online learning. 

Learners can participate as individuals or in teams,  they can submit images, videos, a text response and even check in at a specific location (though this last feature may be more difficult these days, especially on a course where learners are located around the world). 
GooseChase - Overview from GooseChase on Vimeo.

For anyone interested in knowing more about GooseChase, there is a clear FAQ  which helps teachers start up their own game for students.

Are you ready to start scavenging?

Further Suggestions:

Internet Scavenger Hunts

Writing - Blogging or Setting up Shop?

Again I turn to writing. 

How does one begin?

Where does one begin?

Zyro is an interesting place to start off. You can simply create a blog or even an online store - an interesting challenge for learners who may wish to try their online business skills. 

As Grant Snider so well illustrated, the hardest part of writing is actually showing up. 

Beginnings are never easy. Showing up to start off a project may, however, be the best start a learner can engage in. 


For anyone who may be interested in educational technology, there is going to be a webinar with Audrey Watters and Paul Prinsloo, held on 20th July, 2020 - "Building Anti-Surveillance Ed-Tech! In Conversation with Audrey Watters". 

This webinar will be held with :

" Dr. Paul Prinsloo as he hosts a conversation with Audrey Watters, “an education writer, an independent scholar, a serial dropout, a rabble-rouser, and ed-tech 'Cassandra” as they explore the following issues.

How we often overlook one of the most pervasive trends in education technology over the last few decades, rarely featured in lists of "what's new" and "what's hot"- surveillance.

How by embracing surveillance as a core tenet of education technology, we are sacrificing students' privacy and their safety.

How too often in education and ed-tech, we confuse surveillance for care. We need to watch students closely, we tell ourselves, because we want them to be safe and to do well.

How caring means trusting, and trusting means being able to turn off a controlling gaze.

How we can imagine (and build) a different set of ed-tech practices, one founded on trust rather than suspicion, on care rather than on control."

Definitely a talk not to be missed!

Developing Writing for Oneself - Sharing is Optional

There are many reasons to write and for learners, that often takes the purpose of essays and assignments. Sometimes the challenge comes from cultural explanations, e.g. is a certain culture more oral based or written based? 

However, that seems close to a cliche these days, when so much is read online, hence, whoever can, will definitely read and reading will in turn, foster writing, if given the opportunity. 

Writing for oneself is a process which I sometimes find is overlooked. In a world anxious to share everything, where does a quiet space for writing have a place? Having been born BG (Before Google), I still blend analogue and digital; i.e. I use both pen and paper as well as the keyboard. Whatever one may think of journaling, whether one does keep a journal either with pen and paper or in digital form, writing a daily entry helps with overall writing skills. And more - writing helps clarify the mind, random thoughts, wild dreams, reflections and desires. 

Below are some suggestions for digital writing - either to be shared or used for journaling. 

Write Next is another option. Writing is a habit. 

Minute is for reflection and journaling. Minimalist, clean and simple. A good habit for writing. (though only free for 30 days;). 

And then there is, Imprint -
a blogging platform which a novel format and form of sharing. 

With so many years of pressure to "think outside the box", I wonder how many of us retreat deeper and deeper into our own heads. I wonder too about the effects of constant zoom meetings and the transition from F2F teaching to remote emergency. 

Quiet time to recapture oneself. Quiet time to reflect, to write, to dissect one's head and feelings. 

Quiet time to learn. 

Writing daily, keeping a journal (whether analogue or digital) keeps one's head space open for new ideas and learning. 

Further Suggestions: 

I'm afraid I don't have an attribution to the image of the head; should anyone who passes by here happens to know, please do share as I would like to acknowledge the author/source. 

10 July 2020

Prism and Prism for Learning

Photo by Rio Kuncoro from Pexels

Tell me what you see. 

Is light and lightness?

Or the darkness of shadows?

Prism and Prism - both digital tools but like the image above, they are different, yet both can be shared with learners for their learning processes. 

Prism is a visual curation tool, in a way similar to Wakelet which allows you to keep your curated boards private or shared. 

Simple to use, it is yet another option for curation practices. It also serves as a personal book-marker for students who often are overwhelmed with links and web references. Having these organised in boards so that they can return and review these references is a great help for learners. 

Prism is
for collaborative learning; a tool for collaborative interpretation of texts. 

It may have been designed with K12 in mind, 
but also is great for those studying on EAP courses. 

Both these tools are online and available for learners - so many who are currently studying online. 

Light and darkness. 

Both belong to nature. Just as learning. 

Learning too doesn't have to be only a solitary, (sometimes dark) affair. There is collaborative learning, light, and lightness. 

Further Suggestions:

9 July 2020

Generating Headlines - A Writing Task

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

It may not necessarily be the most sought after profession at the moment, yet the truth is, we have always needed journalists and writers. More so today, as we live tethered to screens, flickering with regular updates on news around the globe. 

For learners who are going to take journalism, here are some interesting sites which focus on generating headline titles and more. 

Headlime offers to generate headlines by the user answering different questions regarding a service or product, for example. 

is slightly different.

Begin by typing in a topic and then click on search; several titles will appear, along with the suggestion to find out more about it. Once you are in the dashboard, there is quite a lot to explore as you can see from the screen shot below:

My last suggestion today is .
Headline Generator

Headline Generator has other features which I find interesting for learners - namely that it includes a text analyzer as you can see below:

Do these exercise encourage more online clickbait?

Do they take away the opportunity for learners to think of their own headline without resorting to a digital tool?


Then again, learning is also about evaluating web tools and deciding which are in fact practical and those which are not; which enhance learning, which hinder learning and inspiration.

More than ever, however, is the right to learn, the right to think critically, the ability to make informed choices. Those choices come through exploration, evaluation, exchange of opinions and views and learning experiences.

Choices are what one has after the opportunity of learning.

What open, learning opportunities are you giving your learners these days?

Further Suggestions:

Writing Prompts and EAP Support

Writing Prompts for Those Days When Things Go Wrong

Writing with Minimalist Prose

Quiet Writing

Revealed: the most overused pop culture references in academia

Interactive Media Bias Chart® 5.0

Image : Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

8 July 2020

Making Dreams come True with Creativity

Making learners' dreams come true?

Isn't that what the majority of teachers would like to do? To ensure that learners have learnt and are prepared for their next steps in learning? 

As so many educators know, there is always that pressure of learning tasks to be effective, efficient but also creative. As much as one would like, creativity is not quite like turning on a tap of water or switching on a light bulb. Nevertheless, there are practices which do foster creativity for everyone - including educators and learners. 

Before sharing this visual (below) with learners, learners could work in pairs/in small groups, brainstorming their own ideas on how best to become creative and "unleash their creative genius". After exchanging ideas, learners can compare their own ideas with suggestions offered in this infographic:

What inspires your creativity?

Further Suggestions:

7 July 2020

Engaging Learners with Memorable Lines from Literature

Photo by Elina Krima from Pexels

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

Opening lines. 

Lines of poetry. 

Opening poems to pasts and presents. 

Poems that linger, poems that feed the mind, the rhythm of days, of lifetimes. 

Words that string together, locating one in a certain point of time, yet, transporting one to different dimensions of time. 

An interesting activity for students is for them to share opening lines of poems or novels that they have read and remember. These can be collated into a group infographic or shared in a Padlet (or any other collaborative tool which offers imagery as well). An example is here below:

Learners can add images to their opening lines, reflect on how and why that particular poem/book is significant for them, generating a whole world of meaning and collaborative learning. 

If a group of students is reading the same book/poem, another alternative is to have them select their favourite lines from what they are reading and to then explain how that short passage is relevant to them. 

How do you engage learners with reading?

Further Suggestions:

Photo by Ena Marinkovic from Pexels