Thursday, February 16, 2017

WhatsApp as a Platform for Instruction


Every country has states of emergency when schools get closed.  There are snowdays, and floods and all sorts of mishaps - short term and long - that bring learning to a screeching halt. In Israel, especially where I live - we also have security situations that keep kids out of school.

Just for such purposes, the Israeli MoE has run a special pilot for the past two years, training teachers and students how to be able to stay on the same page of their coursework, if they wish to, in times of emergency. Last year it was via online instruction. This year it was through learning how to teach using WhatsApp: the app that 99% of Israelis use to stay in touch.

The first stage for me, as a teacher, was experiencing a lesson run solely through a WhatsApp group. As usual, I was sufficiently inspired by the experience with Aviv Tzemach, to invest a ton of time in learning different techniques,and try it for myself.

Stage two was working with another talented and inspiring mentor from the Center for Educational Technology, Gilad. I "cooked" my idea for hours, and had two online simulations together with him and another "WhatsApp-teacher-in-training".  Through him I learned different techniques of a WhatsApp lesson: making eye-catching signs, using bold letters, replying to a specific message, preparing prerecorded messages, as well as sharing a location in WhatsApp became an integral part of today's arsenal of tools.



Stage three was to open a WhatsApp group. I have a "broadcast group" with my students, in which I send them messages but their responses come only to me. But for the purposes of this drill, I needed a regular WhatsApp group. 
The final stage -"showtime"- happened this evening at 6 p.m.

I was skeptical - even pessimistic - regarding turnout. I have a small class (19 kids) and Thursday evening is NOT a good time for something like this. I even tried to up the stakes and entice participation by getting permission from my vice principal to excuse them from one of my two lessons with them today, as compensation, but was denied that. Surprisingly, the bribery worked and 14 out of my 19 students participated, earning for themselves 5 extra points for their final report cards (aside from 2 who lost a point each for misbehaving). Students behave badly in class, as well, but on WhatsApp there was no need to raise a voice or pause to wait for quiet. The great majority of the entire lesson was in utter silence. The disciplining was either done in a comment in the group, or, for a more severe issue, I sent a reprimanding message to the student privately.

The students seemed to enjoy it (judging from the sample of emoji's I got from them when I asked for their emoji-feedback:


The topic I chose was Israel Advocacy. As an Israeli who lives on the border with the Gaza Strip, and has become very involved, herself, in advocating for Israel (even though I do not always agree with our policies) I feel very strongly about the need to give our youth the basic tools needed for periods of heightened tension and danger, to tell the world about what it is like to live here. It is an authentic use of English as a tool for an authentic need for communication. Teaching is best done when we are teaching something about which we are passionate. Hopefully, we will never need to use language, or the WhatsApp as a tool of communication for situations such as these, but hopefully, if we DO, my pupils will be a little more ready for it after tonight's lesson. 


Digitally yours,

@dele  

You can view the entire lesson here. Warning: it is uncensored.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

And the winners are...... EVERYONE!!!!!





As teachers, we are always looking for a way to make our lessons interesting enough to motivate our students to engage in what we want them to learn. Gamification has been around for over 100 years, but it was only at the beginning of the 21st century that it started becoming a legitimate player in the educational scene. (Unless you want to count Mary Poppins, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5IW9wK_HNg)  




“Gamified” is what Google did to their tool “Google Translate”, by developing a Google Translate Community, in order to improve its translation reliability from Google Gobbledygook into outcomes that are closer to accurate language. It started in other places in the world in 2014, but NO place in the world has done ANYTHING like what we have done with this tool, as a way to engage language students and improve the tool’s translation abilities for authentic users of Hebrew/Arabic-English!


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Al Ahalan JHS
Google Translate needs help because the translations between English and Hebrew, and English and Arabic just aren't good enough. The reason for that is the lack of a critical mass of online webpages which Google needs, to enable its mechanism of “machine learning”  in order to develop accurate translations. In comparison to more common languages, such as English, or Spanish, there is a much smaller quantity of webpages and digital online content in both Hebrew and Arabic. Although Arabic is spoken far more widely than Hebrew, much of the Arabic speaking population is not online. Another barrier to quality translation for Arabic, which I just discovered after meeting our group of winners, is that the Arabic used on the web is mostly literary Arabic, and the great need  for translation, is for spoken Arabic.


Last spring, I sent out a call to ALL teachers of languages in Israel - but mostly to teachers of English, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian, to join us in our efforts to make a difference in the abilities of Google Translate, by having their classes participate in a competition. The first place prize: a fun visit to Google Israel!

51 classes from around the country registered in that pilot competition. The overwhelming majority were English classes where the students' mother tongue was either Hebrew or Arabic. The timing was VERY problematic. It was May - the season for many missed lessons (Holocaust Remembrance Day, Independence Day, English Matriculation....) and only 8 of those classes made it to the finish line.  I ran a website dedicated to the competition, which was the hub of it all. It included the submission forms for registering, for keeping track of the class' achievements, anecdotes and teaching ideas that participating teachers shared, as well as a weekly Leader Board to keep participants informed and to spice up the motivation!  The students from the pilot contributed a whopping 1 million translations/ verifications!

In light of the overwhelming number of contributions that were gleaned from that pilot, Google built a dashboard to make running the competition easier and more accurate, and this year, when I sent out the invitation to our 3 month-long competition, 235 classes registered!  I built a new site which included a wealth of lesson plans that teachers could use, developed by people at Google, in addition to some of my own ideas. The site also housed the leaderboard which was updated weekly. We also added tips, incentives and prizes along the way, to keep the momentum going!

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Salvatorian Sisters' School, Nazareth

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Yohana Jabotinsky
In the end, 152 classes participated actively, resulting in 3 million contributions for Hebrew-English and Arabic English! That means that altogether, the students of Israel have made 4 MILLION contributions that have improved Google Translate’s capabilities!!!! (That is more than had been collected altogether, over the course of two years by the community, before we and our students arrived on the scene!)  Our dedicated participating teachers and their classes have authentically caused a change in the way others in our world can translate our languages!

In light of these awe-inspiring achievements, Google is preparing surprises that will be rolled out in the coming months. They are not at liberty to go into any detail, for now, but they CAN tell us that it is thanks to the quantity and quality of the contributions from our competitions! (When we told them that the contributions were made by high school and even junior high school students they were flabbergasted!)


Nitzanim School


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Nitzanim School



There were also a few bumps in the road. Some of the words supplied to translate were inappropriate for students. We asked that they be shared with us via screenshots, and we took care of each and every one the best we could. Another complaint was that teachers are not able to follow the accumulated progression of their students as it was happening.

Finally, we received a couple of complaints from teachers of classes who felt that they had worked very hard and were dissatisfied with the results. Unfortunately, some of the students (and teachers) got so carried away, with tunnel vision focussed solely on the end prize (a fun morning in Google) that they forgot to stop along the way to enjoy - and be enriched by- the benefits of the journey, itself. (The benefits of enriching their vocabularies, assessing translations critically, working together as a team, enjoying the adrenaline of the weekly leaderboards, doing something as part of their learning that would truly benefit others, among other things.)

Thankfully, those instances were few. The overwhelming majority of the feedback we got was positive. Here are some excerpts:



Thank you so much for the amazing opportunity and this special challenge! We feel proud to be a part of this global community”

“The experience of participating in the competition was very positive and enriched my teaching. Any time that a student finished a task early or had a bit of time at the end of the lesson, they could be productive by going into the site and translating!”


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“...the experience was wonderful and students expressed a great interest in it, and to my surprise even my weaker pupils felt that they were able to contribute meaningfully”.

“This was a unique learning experience for my students; one which enriched their vocabularies.”

And now, all that is left to do is to send out the runner-up prizes from Google, the Google Cardboards for each of the kids in the classes that earned them by contributing over 400,000 translations or for rising to the challenge of the ones who most significantly improved their contributions by during the final two weeks of the competition! We also will be sending surprises to the 15 top teams on the leaderboard, after those who took the main prizes! To see who those schools were, check out the competition site! We on the Google Translation Community Competition team have our work cut out for us.

Oh, yeah….and we have to plan the NEXT competition!!! We have already starting getting requests!
Want to join in the fun, too? Send an email to googtranscomp@gmail.com!

Digitally yours,

@dele
















Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Using WhatsApp for Teaching

As a part of a country-wide activity to prepare for emergency situations, (צו 8 חינוכי) teachers around the country are learning how to teach a lesson via WhatsApp. I was really sceptical at first, but am totally enjoying the process of "cooking up" my lesson (which will take place next week) together with Gilad - a creative, inspiring mentor from CET (Matach).

With my head in "WhatsApp Mode" today, I started to teach my class the HOTS of Inferring, using a worksheet I have used a gazillion times before.



When it suddenly dawned on me that these are not the emojis that my students are used to any more. And that the short and sweet sound bytes in which they communicate via the different social networks - prolific with emojis - require more inferring than ever before!

Luckily I had my laptop with me, and I cracked it open to WhatsApp Web (which - if you do NOT know what it is, you MUST check it out! It's a life saver for whoever works a lot on the computer).  I then sent the following message to my students:



I gave them the option of either doing the activity teaching the HOTS of Inferring, via the worksheet they already had OR via WhatsApp!  Here are a sample of the responses I got in our WhatsApp Broadcast Group*



Some of them needed a bit more explanation, and some of them chose to do the activity on the worksheet, in the end, but they were ALL engaged!

I promise to write a blog next week about how my REAL WhatsApp lesson goes, but in the meantime, I have a feeling that WhatsApp is going to start being more than just reminding my students what to bring to the lesson, or if they have to do to their classroom or the computer room from now on! Like they say in the field: catch them where they are!

Digitally yours,

@dele  

                                                                                          

* A WhatsApp Broadcast Group is different from a regular WhatsApp Group. Most teachers I  know use regular WhatsApp Groups with their classes. In a Broadcast Group, the Admin can send a message to everyone in the group, and when the participants reply, the reply goes back ONLY to the Admin (moi) rather than it being a place for interactions and discussions. This year I decided to use a Broadcast Group with my class this, and that was where we did today's activity. For next week's lesson, I will be opening a regular WhatsApp Group for them, so that it can be a lesson where interaction between the students is actually encouraged. Stay tuned for THAT blog post! (I can't wait!!!! ;-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Google Cardboard: Six Easy Steps to Getting Started

Being a teacher can be a tough job. There's the creative part, where you get to make up activities and plan lessons that you think will be absorbing and fun and drive your point home. Then you have the soul slaying-parts of teaching such as marking tests, writing report cards and, yes, sometimes dealing with other people who are not as excited about what you are trying to do with them as you are and would rather Whatsapp on their phone/talk to their friends/flirt with the kid in the next seat- let's call them "students" - for lack of another word. 

But then there are those days when everything just flows: You get that convenient parking spot (thanks to the suspicious object that was in the parking lot and forced the other teachers who would have gotten the space before you to move to an alternate parking lot, but was found to be an innocent sleeping bag forgotten by some poor kid the night before, just in time for you to pull in.)

Or when your class of challenging learners who have all the learning disabilities and frustrations in the book, get into working on their Googleslides presentation that is going to help them sail through their oral exams.

And if, on the same day you manage to get all your ducks in a row (different tasks gleaned from previous years and updated, incorporated into your Google Classroom), AND you get the computer room, AND not ONE of the students are absent, AND they are all engaged......you KNOW you are on a roll!

But then the cherry on the cake was when I came home and was doing some OTHER mind-numbing work that is part of my other job (wrestling with a computer system to send out testing assignments to teachers all over the country from my region) and decided to take a break. That's when I picked up my Google Cardboard, and started playing. 

TIme out: One of the other things I do as part of my passion for teaching, is all of these cooperations with Google Israel, and in the framework of that, I have been running this Google Translate Community Competition (already written up in a blog post from last year). In the framework of this year's competition, we were able to hand out Google Cardboard as one of the prizes for each of the students in the top classes. So I told Google: "If I want to be able to get teachers excited about Google Cardboard, I need to get my hands dirty." So I was given one, by one of my well-loved colleagues from Google who shall remain unnamed (so they all think I am talking about them ;-), but had not really had time to play with it. 

Until yesterday. 

Actually I started playing a week ago - and saw that when I opened it, I would NOT break it (providing I actually followed the simple picture instructions before mangling it) and that it was a really effective - and CHEAP (it only costs a few bucks) way to use Virtual Reality (VR) for teaching! And I sort of noticed that there is the option to actually MAKE my OWN 360 degree movie, and then SHARE IT... but didn't have the time to check it out at the time. 

Fast forward to yesterday:

So you know how the first YouTube movie ever was just a mundane 18 seconds of this guy standing in a zoo in front of the elephants and talking? So I made my own ground breaking first 360 degree cardboard movie tour of my (messy) work room!  And if you click on the link and view it in Cardboard, you SHOULD be able to hear me showing you around! ( should be too embarrassed to show you the state of my work room, but I am too psyched up about this for my brain-filter to click in - I'm sure I'll regret sharing it here someday - because what you put on the web, stays there FOREVER.)


The possibilities of using this in the classroom - both for just viewing as well as for having your students use it to speak in English and to produce 360 degree clips for others to view - is MINDBLOWING! (See? Who says I'm difficult to please? ;-) )



Here's all you need:

1) A Googlecardboard (There's a bunch of ways you can buy online, for example here  or here on EBay - or get your class to participate in the next Google Translate Community Competition, and win them :-) but in any case, they are not expensive.)

2) Download the app to your phone from your Google Play Store or iTunes. (It's free.)







3) Install it on your phone. 




4) Follow these instructions (see you don't even have to figure out the drawings on the box for yourself, like I did). 





5) And start playing!

6) Once you have got the idea (within about 5 seconds) you are ready to make your own movie.

I plan to convince my school to buy a class set of them - I'll let you know when we've started! 

Have YOU tried using Google Cardboard for your EFL teaching? If you have, please share your experiences AND activities! I am gathering them to share with everyone on a new portal for digital activities for the MoE and would be happy to showcase them there (giving credit, of course!)

Digitally yours,

@dele

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Powered by Passion: GEG ILs

Last year, way back in November 2016, teachers of languages got together in Tel Aviv to kick-start a new Google Educators Group in Israel (GEG IL) for teachers of languages. The goal was to  organize  teachers of all and any language in Israel to share, explore, innovate and learn how to harness the power of the digital tools we all have at our fingertips, to further our teaching goals.  

After we saw that we had an enthusiastic population with whom to work, WE got to work! “We” meaning four of us, who were Google Teacher Academy cohorts and one extremely talented teacher who had not been through the GTA but is no less capable in digital pedagogy, as well as the Google-communities’ leader. We dreamt, planned, scouted venues, hungout, emailed, and Googledoc-ed our fingers off, putting our heads together to set up the regional meetings.

Fast forward to January, when we convened in the different areas around the country.  Most of us managed to hold our get-togethers on January 19th; the Jerusalem crowd met on January 5th. Altogether we brought in around 40 teachers of languages who have a passion for teaching, learning, languages and digital tools. OK - we were hoping for a larger turn out, but since one of Google’s Eight Pillars of Innovation is “Think big but start small”, I see the fact that 40 teachers were willing to leave their cozy homes on a wintery afternoon, after a long day - a long WEEK - at school, without getting points or remuneration, as an encouraging achievement. And from the feedback we received, I believe we’ll be seeing them again.   

Each of the venues took things in slightly different directions, but kept some of the activities in common.

In Jerusalem, since Google-star Irit Merchav co-leads another GEG with the unstopable Yair Farby, for educators of all different subjects, she incorporated her Jerusalem Teachers of Languages branch, into the bigger meet-up, on the 5th.

In Haifa, the talented Leah Doryoseph brought her teachers together for a slightly abbreviated meet up (time constraints of her Pisgat Haifa venue) making it short and concise, yet efficiently leaving her participants looking forward to more.

Rania Essa, a superstar on YouTube in her own right, with tons of clips which can be used for teaching English  (Google her!) had the largest group in the matnas in Kfar Kassem where, in addition to playing languages bingo, she gave her group of Arab and Jewish participants the opportunity to experience a rich collection of  apps for language learning.


Together with Hanan Perlman, we brought our GEG IL to the Western Negev, in Sderot, to a magical venue! Our get together was held in a meeting room which can only be accessed by traversing a colorful indoor, rocket-proof  playground, generously built for our region by the good people in the JNF, and warmly hosted by Shmuel Ochayon and his dedicated staff from Sderot! We began with a QR Treasure Hunt, for which our participants had to sprint between the swings and the bouncy castles, in search of the treasures (which were the 8 Pillars of Innovation …. but we didn’t tell THEM what they were - otherwise they could have just Googled them and found them without running around ;-) .


QR Treasure Hunt in Sderot:




Following their jaunt around the playground, the culturally diverse teachers (including Jewish and Bedouin, English and Hebrew language educators) discussed the relevance of the different Pillars that they found, to their work as teachers of languages. They played “Languages Bingo” (discovering that there is more than one way to translate with Google Translate…. including cameras and handwriting!) talked about their needs and dreams, and then virtually met other branches of our community: the participants in the Kfar Kassem group, Leah - the leader in Haifa, and Yael - Israel's Google Education Lead, excitedly interacting in real time over Google Hangouts).


Google Hangout:





A few of the common threads between the different venues were a desire to connect and share, to build and develop activities together, then tailor them to our individual needs. To  learn how to support each other. The need to commit.


Here’s a taste of what went on in the different venues, courtesy of Rania’s clip-making skills!






The atmosphere was totally uplifting and it was an inspiration to see others, like us, so passionate about the joy of thinking and learning together, to build a community of teachers of languages who yearn to harness the power of digital pedagogy for their educational purposes.

We would love to have YOU join us! Remember: this is NOT exclusively for English teachers - even though I am writing this in English - it is for teachers of ALL languages! You are all invited to join our Facebook Group to stay in touch and updated! Invite your colleagues who teach other languages! If you are willing to join the lead team, we will help you open a branch of our community near you! Together with the other leaders of this community, we will be working out the details and planning future meet-ups around the country!

To those teachers who joined us in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kfar Kassem and Sderot: thank you ALL for putting your trust in us, jumping, into the deep end and starting to swim.

And a final “thank you” to Bar Umansky (our GEG IL beacon) and Yael Doron Drori - the Google Education Lead in Israel!

Digitally yours,

@dele







Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ever feel like you're talking to the walls. Let the walls talk to YOU for a change!

This blog post finds me buried deep in the process of learning how to explore and harness Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for pedagogical purposes. I was first exposed to the idea of augmentation a few years back, and got REALLY excited about it (like I do about everything new), but after playing around with it, decided that it was just too fiddly and complicated. Since then, different apps and opportunities have been developed, and this exciting option for the classroom is getting more accessible all the time!

"Wallame"  is one of the simple apps that can be used in location-based learning, to spice up a task, get students to work together, actively and interactively. It really is easy, but dependant upon a few things:

1) Participants have to install the app. (Having said that, if you get people working in groups, only one has to actually install it)


2) You have to be AT the location: both for devising the activity AND participating in it. (Which is actually something I love about it because it gets the students OUT of the classroom and INTO the world.) 

3) Good Wifi is a definite advantage (if not - a good, fresh Internet package).   


Using walls, signs, artwork, anything that is tangible and in a specific location, you build a virtual layer needs to be discovered. The virtual layer of information will seem to appear on the wall when scanned. The virtual layer can be a message for a Treasure Hunt, another picture, or any digital object.  Here's how it works:

1) Install the app. (Be sure that your GPS is open)

2) Click on the + to make a new Wall,




3) Take a picture of the object upon which you want to embed another layer of information. 




4) Add either text (as I did here) or a picture (with or without text), or draw something! Then save it. 






5) Have participants search for the "Walls" around them. 


                             





Yesterday, for example. I used it in the Museum for Eretz Yisrael in a fascinating anthropological, historical exhibit about Tattoos in different societies throughout the ages. We had to make up a sample Wall, in order to experiment with the tool. While in the museum I remembered a fantastic story about a TOI blogger I follow (Sarah Tuttle-Singer) and her story of how she got a tattoo. Low and behold, the tattoo artist who performed the body art on her, was shown in the exhibit! So with my team, we prepared a Wallame leading participants to Sarah, and to find the connection between her and tattoos through reading her blog post. If you go to the museum, you are invited to seek it out and tell me what Sarah's metaphor for mermaids is!





Use Wallame for a Treasure Hunt, or a fun way to review a topic taught, or as a trigger for a new topic! The hard part is thinking about how it can help  YOU liven up your teaching. The EASY part is making it, with Wallame!  :-)

So! What are YOUR ideas for using this tool? Download and sign up for the app. Play around with it. Share your ideas below!

Digitally yours!

@dele

Saturday, November 12, 2016

United we Sit: Embarking on a journey of cross-lingual teacher collaboration

After months of dreaming, planning, talking, thinking, wishing and hoping: it finally happened! The Start up Event for a new GEG IL (Google Educators Group of Israel) for Teachers of Languages. The kick off was in Google Tel Aviv, but the continuation will be regional. (Because what isn’t accessible, isn’t sustainable).


I am an English teacher. I am also a kibbutznik. Both of these roles afford me inspiring opportunities to work together with others, to build something that is bigger than me, letting me rediscover daily that : “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” (Phil Jackson)

While psyching myself up to write this blog post, I went hunting for definitions and quotes about collaboration. I especially liked the third definition given by my Ole’ Faithful Merriam-Webster online dictionary:


Because that is basically the essence of what we are trying to do in our spanking new GEG IL (Google Educator Groups of Israel). “...to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.” Therein lies the spark, the innovation, the brilliance from which we can all benefit.

English teachers are a great bunch of professionals when it comes to collaborating. We have ETAI and ETNI, as well as a gazillion facebook pages, and we are probably the largest group of professionals who teach any one language in Israel. Even larger than Hebrew teachers! (I figure this because English is mandatory from 3rd - 12th grades, as well as passing a proficiency test in any institue of higher learning in this country.) Other languages are far less prevalent and have a much smaller critical mass of teachers with whom they can collaborate.

Concepts, skills and tools used for teaching a language often cross the lingual barriers, and so my dream for the past few years has been to encourage teachers of all languages in Israel to share their tools, experiences, insights especially on the digital front! The Internet and digital technology are giving birth to new apps and tools on a daily basis. No one can possibly know them all. There is always so much to learn - so why shouldn’t we learn from and with each other?

Of course the www enables collaboration to all those who wish to reach out to teachers of their own language - experts even - from all over the world. But sometimes nothing beats being in the same room at the same time with the people with whom you are collaborating.

The people at Google recognize this fact, which is why GEGs are popping up all over the world. I had the great privilege to be among the 50 or so educators who participated in the very first Google Teachers Academy in Israel in 2011. I can say in all honesty that it was a life altering experience. Despite the fact that  such GTAs are few, teachers can still experience the magic without attending a rare academy! The GEGs are able to bring Google to the teachers. Independently, we will be able to devise our OWN agendas, seek our own directions, provide for our own needs!   

And so, GEG for Teachers of Languages was conceived. (The "teachers of other languages" being the "agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected".) But, essential to its success is its accessibility. GEGs need to take root all over the country. Luckily, I have found some other first followers, who were willing to go out there on a limb and not leave me to be the lone nut prancing around. (If the reference is lost on you, you MUST watch this.) Because “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Together with Leah, Irit, Rania and Hanan and with the encouragement and support of Bar - the head nut GEG IL - we brainstormed, hoped, planned, discussed  and built our way. Joined by approximately 40 teachers of languages (English, Hebrew, Arabic and French) from around the country, who travelled - some for hours- battling the weekend Tel Aviv traffic after a long day at work, we held our gala Start up Event at the Google Campus on Thursday November 10th! (40 more first followers…. I’d say we’re a Movement! :-)


The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other. —Thomas Stallkamp


The evening began with a short intro and then we dove directly into “tasters”. We set up four activities at four different tables in the Hackspace of the Google Campus. Leah’s table was all about context. Rania took playdough and, using an animation app, made a movie which was shown to participants before the evening was over! Irit introduced participants to the coolness of Quizlet Live and I shared the addiction of the Google Translate Community Competition with my participants. The participants divided up into the different groups, and after 8 minutes, moved on to the next activity.

 


The excitement in the air was palpable, and it was clear that people wanted more. We then moved into the Small Space where teachers were asked to write on  post-its what they wanted from their own communities , and then to respond to others’ ideas.




  


Each of the regional leaders spoke a few minutes about themselves and the regional group they were dreaming of. Bar (our GEG IL mentor) provided the bigger picture of GEGs in Israel and abroad, and Yael (Education Head of Google Israel)also shared a few words. Rania screened the clip she had made earlier in the evening, with participants of her Creative Flexibility activity!

video


Time on the 34th floor flew by and in the end, we left excited, invigorated and Googled up to our eyeballs, happy to meet new colleagues from different languages and in anticipation of regional meet ups of teachers of languages with a passion for teaching and digital pedagogy.



We are finally organizing  teachers of of all and any language in Israel to share, explore, innovate and learn how to harness the power of the digital tools we all have at our fingertips, to further our teaching goals. So please share this with colleagues who teach EFL as well as other languages, join our new FB group, and find (or build!) a GEG IL for Teachers of Languages near you!!!

We're in this together, and if we united and we inter-culturally cooperated, then that might be the key to humanity's survival. —Jeremy Gilley, TEDTalks lecture
If you're interested in finding out more about our GEG IL and how YOU can participate (or lead!) please fill in this form.