Saturday, January 24, 2015

Whatsapp on YOUR computer?

WhatsApp is on Mine!

I am on the computer. A lot. 

Whatsapp has become one of the most popular ways of keeping in touch with groups as well as individuals. My family has a group, my coworkers at the different frameworks in which I work, I even find it the best way to update my students about homework, what books to bring, or just to go check their emails. They are on Whatsapp much more than they are on their emails. 

Ages ago I thought it would make sense for the Whatsapp and internet to be able to talk to each other. I am not sure why it took so long in coming, but it's finally here. And it's EASY! 

Here's what you do: Go to in your Chrome browser (apparently, it must be Chrome - which is my default browser, anyway - but you can try Firefox as well, maybe it will work). 

You then get to a page that has a barcode which you need to scan from WITHIN your Whatsapp on your phone:

Once you have done that, you are set! You can communicate via your Whatsapp with any of your contacts. I am sure this is going to be the best thing that has happened to me since sliced bread... but... I'll let you know!

As with the regular Whatsapp, you have the little blue checks that shows you that the person has seen what you have written, and you can also add a picture / attachment. You can even TAKE a photo and send it with your webcam!

(This all works on Android only, for now. You iPhone people will have to wait a bit longer, I'm afraid.)

Let me know if you find it useful! (I'll let you know if I get sick of it and remove it ;-)

Digitally yours,


Monday, January 12, 2015

Meaningful Learning: When School and Reality Meet, Continued.

Back in November, I wrote about a writing project I was doing with my students, encouraging them to write about what it was like for them to live through a war. The project was named: "Kids on the Front Lines". Most of my students live very close to the border with the Gaza Strip. Others live farther away, but regardless of their proximity to the violence that reared its ugly head this summer, they all were affected by it, to one extent or another. 

I, myself , found that writing about our lives here, describing my fears, my concerns and the realities of living in a war zone, helped me analyze and digest what was going on. I thought that maybe it would help my students do so, as well. 

By now (January 12th) I have finished uploading all of the reports that they wrote and shared with me on Googledocs.
Out of 31 students, 23 actually completed the process of writing their reports (including comments from me, improving and rewriting using the Googledocs) and gave their permission to post them on CNN iReport.

 AdeleEFL Kids on the Front Lines

As a teacher, it was easy for me to keep track of their work and editing, (as long as I filed their original report as soon as it was shared with me, in a folder designated for their reports) thanks to the "Revision History" capability one has in Googledocs.

In conjunction with another project I am doing, I made a webclip explaining my reasons and the process. I am sharing it here, and hope it serves to clarify even further.  

Have any of you out there ever done a similar project? Are you interested in using Googledocs for process writing or CNN iReports for authentic writing? If so, share your ideas here! 

If you have any questions or suggestions, you are always welcomed to contact me!  If you need a tutorial about using Googledocs for process writing, give a yell, I'll make one and do my next blog on it!

Digitally yours,