7 Free Online Courses in October

7 Free OnlineCoursesin October

This year’s IATEFL Poland conference was just awesome – I had so much fun and I can’t wait for the next event which is, as you know, eduOctoberfest, a month full of webinars (2 sessions per day!). Alas, you need to pay for this event and it is in Polish, yet fear not for here I come with a bunch of free online courses you may enjoy in October!

1 Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential by McMaster University

Starts: 29/09/2019

Duration: 4 weeks

For whom: people who know that one never stops learning

This course will help you learn more about your hidden capabilities and assets as well as how to learn more effectively. You will see how to tackle procrastination and use some mental tricks to help you focus, relax, and reframe (reframing is key). More than this, you’ll be exploring how and why to keep yourself in the “mindshift” mode. I believe this course is great not only for teachers (as teaching is lifelong learning), but also for their students: maybe it’s not a bad idea to incorporate this course into your classes?

2 English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development by the British Council

Starts: 21/10/2019

Duration: 6 weeks

For whom: parents, teachers or practitioners interested in teaching languages

The thing about the adult is that they tend to extrapolate their educational experience on children – and children learn in a totally different way! This course will show you how and why children learn best through play and what parents and practitioners can do to enable children to get the most out of a learning experience. I guess this course will be great for not only parents, but also those teachers who have just started teaching kids and are not quite sure what to do with them.

3 Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University

Starts: 7/10/2019

Duration: depending on module

For whom: aspiring writers

This is more than just a course, it’s the whole specialization in writing fiction. You may pick the course you like: the craft of plot, the craft of character, the craft of setting and description, the craft of style – and pursue it for as long as you want. If you think of writing in English – and writing beautifully, this course will definitely be of help.

4 Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms by Relay Graduate School of Education

Starts: 21/10/2019

Duration: 5 weeks

For whom: teachers who want to integrate character-based objectives into own teaching

This course explores key ideas of positive psychology and shows how teachers can apply those lessons to maximize student engagement in their classrooms. You will learn how to observe your own strengths of character – to see those of your students, how to introduce character-building activities in your class and how to integrate those lessons into our daily lives.

5 Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment by the National STEM Learning Centre

Starts: 7/10/2019

Duration: 5 weeks

For whom: teachers who want to apply formative assessment for learning approaches

If you haven’t used FA yet, you should definitely start as it’s something that may create your classroom a far better place, which is more friendly for both students and teachers! You’ll plan to identify your learners’ thinking, clarify learning goals, and learn how to use success criteria, and develop your classroom questioning to adjust your teaching approach and respond to student learning. Experienced mentors support this course until 22 November 2019.

6 Managing ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Concussion in School by the University of Colorado

Starts: 30/09/2019

Duration: 4 weeks

For whom: teachers working with SEN children

In this course, you will learn about the most common developmental and behavioural disorders affecting children such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, learning disorders, and concussions. You will learn about recognising and diagnosing various learning disorders and disabilities, so if you work with children (any, not only whose with diagnosed SEN), this may be the right course for you.

7 The Science of Beer by the Wageningen University

Starts: self-paced

Duration: 6 weeks

For whom: people who want to know more about beer

Being a teacher, it’s important to be a responsible drinker and to know what effects beer has on your health. This course will definitely help you learn all about beer, including how it’s made, the raw materials used, it’s supply chain, how it’s marketed and the effect of beer consumption on your body. Fun fact: it’s a course made by students supervised by professors and experts in the field, so maybe this will inspire your students to create their own MOOC?

And you can celebrate the Oktoberfest… for science!

I hope you’ll find something useful from the list above, and this October will be educational for all of us.

Enjoy!

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It’s alive! Alive! (Role-Playing Teaching: Part 19)

It's alive! Alive! (1)

There is no blog post today, and the reason is very simple – this weekend I have two sessions on IATEFL in Gdańsk, Poland, so I’m preparing my presentations, materials, looking for appropriate outfits… so much to do that I have to skip this week on my blog.

But I’m alive! And more than that – I even went live once, so what you can do today is actually watch my first workshop on RPG in teaching ever – it was recorded last year, on Zlot Nauczycieli Angielskiego. I talked about RPGs, showed some easy exercises and was terribly stressed!

It’s funny, watching myself only a year ago and seeing how much I’ve changed. What exactly changed? Well, you can see it if you come to my sessions, this weekend in Gdańsk.

Meanwhile – Role-Playing Teaching: Madness is Magic. Enjoy!

Back to Basics: ClassroomScreen for IWB

Back to Basics_ ClassroomScreen for IWB

The thing about technology is that we’re all supposed to use it, and for those teachers who only start their adventure with education, or those who return to teaching after a long break, it may be quite overwhelming, to switch on an IWB… and have no clue on what to do next.

I believe there is an application that may be a great beginning of the adventure with technology in the classroom – it’s a simple page with many widgets easy to use for most non-technological activities in the classroom.

Meet ClassroomScreen!

What you need to do is simply open ClassroomScreen on your laptop and project it in your classroom. That’s it – but since I’m not taking part in the competition for the shortest blog post ever, I shall elaborate a little bit.

You can use all your favourite widgets here – clock and calendar, and timer (something really useful during various activities), for starters. Obviously, you can type and draw there, you can also upload various images and draw on them. You can also use various backgrounds, so you may upload the one that matches the lesson topic.

I like the traffic lights option – you may use them for students’ self assessment (red if they don’t understand the material, yellow if they have some issues, green if everything is clear) as well as classroom management – green light may mean students are working as a class, yellow may mean groupwork and red may be for individual work.

The widget I like most is definitely work symbols. You may clearly indicate what kind of activity you’re doing at a particular moment – silence, whisper, ask neighbour or work together. It’s a brilliant widget for longer exercises, requiring various forms of activities – all you need to do is switch the icon and everyone knows what to do.

Another useful widget is QRcode generator – you may immediately share anything you want, just paste the link and generate the code. Ask your students to read it with their mobiles and presto! – they all can read an article, see a film or do the exercises you’ve shared.

Monitoring classroom noise level may be a perfect solution for all those working with big groups or small kids (or big groups of small kids) – all you need to do is use the microphone widget to set up noise level and your students may observe how loud they are. Let’s say, they’ll be given a sticker is the noise bar doesn’t get red, and chances are you won’t get prematurely deaf.

Random name picker is the best solution for “why meeeeeeee agaaaaaain” kind of students – just write your students’ names in the text field and roll dice. Why am I asking you again, Brian? Because the computer said so!

The feature I find particularly useful is that you may use widgets more than once – you may use two timers (for two groups), divide your class into three groups and give them various work symbols etc.

I hope you’ll find this site as adorable as I have – sometimes simplicity is key, and in this case I’m more than happy to use it and have quite a lot of fun. So it looks like I’m going to have a break from canva, youtube, quizziz and twinkl, and introduce a little bit of good old-fashioned IWB screen.

Enjoy!

7 Free Online Courses in September

Seven

Can you feel Back To School vibes? I sure can, and to be honest, I love it. The very first day of school is my favourite one to have a cup of tea (necessarily with cornflower, I love blue cornflower spots in my tea) on my balcony, relaxing… and looking at kids trotting back to school. Call me evil, but I do enjoy some schadenfreude! Nevertheless, I’ve always liked September (in a childlike way as I have my birthday then), getting new school stuff, the smell of new books – and, of course, new things to learn!

Today I have some brilliant courses that I hope you’ll find useful in some kind of Back to School style:

Understanding ADHD: Current Research and Practice by King’s College London

  • Start: 2/09/2019
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • For whom: people with ADHD and anyone working with children and adults with ADHD

What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? What are the symptoms of ADHD? How is ADHD diagnosed? With more and more ADHD students, teachers should be more aware of potential issues stemming from this disorder. You will learn about the latest neuroscientific and psychiatric research, discuss the core challenges faced by those with ADHD and learn an empathic understanding of the experiences of people living with ADHD.

Start Writing Fiction by the Open University

  • Start: 09/09/2019
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • For whom: anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing, recommended for 16+ students

Ever wanted to ditch teaching and become a writer, sipping coffee on a balcony with a view on a sea and not being bothered by others? On this online course, established writers – including Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey – will talk about how they started writing. You will learn how to create great characters, perfect plot… and undergo some critical remarks by your fellow classmates.

Corpus Linguistics: Method, Analysis, Interpretation by Lancaster University

  • Start: 16/09/2019
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • For whom: people interested in the study of language

I did my MA in linguistics and I swear I had oh so many opportunities to use it in the classroom as people want more than learn a language: they want to know how language works! With this course you may not only broaden your horizons, but encourage your students to embark on a great journey to understand the language. Corpus linguistics is the study of language presented by the “real world” text – something we come across everyday.

Understanding English Dictionaries by Coventry University, the Alan Turing Institute and Macmillan Education

  • Start: 16/09/2019
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • For whom: anyone studying or teaching English

Admit it – when was the last time you used dictionaries in your classroom? Like many other teachers, I stopped using them the minute I discovered Google on my mobile – truth be told I still entertain my students with some activities, but I think this course offers much more than just a bunch of activities. You will learn how dictionaries are created and who decides what words go in.

 

What Makes an Effective Presentation? by Coventry University

  • Start: 16/09/2019
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • For whom: anyone interested in developing their presentation skills 

Being a teacher requires presenting ideas in an interesting, eye-catching way. We’ve seen many workshops that were destroyed by the mediocre presentation, and this course will help you evaluate and improve your presentation skills. Moreover, at the end of the course you will also have the opportunity to deliver a mini presentation and receive feedback from your peers. I think this course may be a great idea to take in the class, with your students: this way they’ll learn English and some other skills at the same time.

Filmmaking and Animation in the Classroom by Into Film

  • Start: 23/09/2019
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • For whom: anyone who would like to enrich their lessons through the creation of films and animations

This course will help anyone working with young people aged 5-19 to engage them in learning through simple filmmaking and animation. You’ll discover how film and animation can be used as powerful tools for encouraging active learning and enabling students to establish strong connections with any area of the curriculum. I believe this may be a great course to start in the classroom and turn into a long project.

Using Technology in Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning by the Chartered College of Teaching

  • Start: 23/09/2019
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • For whom: teachers and education professionals in either the primary or secondary school setting

It’s not easy to start with technology – there are so many solutions to the problems one hasn’t even thought of! Fortunately, this course will not only show you the areas where technology supports effective teaching and learning, it also helps you select appropriate technologies and implementation approaches – you will be able to choose applications you really need in your classroom rather than try everything and panic.

That’s it – seven courses that may influence your back to school mood and hopefully make this school year the best ever.

Enjoy!