LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
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British Council: Learning - News

British Council: Learning - News | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

Call for presenter proposals

The British Council Seminar Series for English Language teachers is seeking potential presenters. If you are interested in giving a presentation or workshop, we invite you to submit an abstract using the proposal form below before the deadline of Friday 8 June 2012.

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Technology can sometimes be wasted on English language teaching

Technology can sometimes be wasted on English language teaching | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

Most important is the need for a different approach to teacher development that focuses on helping teachers with their own digital literacies. These are the skills to integrate technology into our daily lives and practices. Technology use, just like the language our students learn, needs to focus on things that are useful and that enrich and enable lives.


Via Nik Peachey
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MikeMathaess's comment, May 16, 2012 1:56 AM
An interesting article and I must agree. Classroom based technology and inter-active language technology will bring only limited benefits to the language student vis-à-vis deeper cognitive development, unless accompanied with rich tools to develop full social integration skills with information technology and these skills start with the teacher.
Terese Bird's curator insight, December 19, 2012 2:57 AM
Great article. Makes the case for some IT staff to be pedagogically trained... a universal need
Monicaaparicio's curator insight, March 25, 2013 10:09 PM

Td

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The Teach-Off – the premise Dogme vs Coursebooks

The Teach-Off – the premise Dogme vs Coursebooks | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

An interesting "competition" is currently happening in IH London where two teachers are teaching the same class using distinctive methodologies: Chia Suan represents the dogme corner while Varinder Unlu supports the coursebookers. Each lesson is meticulously reflected, and we can all benefit from "watching" these two great teachers at work.


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Q&A

Q&A | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut who teamed with Neil Armstrong to become the first humans to set foot on the moon.
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Newsmap

Newsmap | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator.
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China's collapse 'will bring economic crisis to climax in 2012'

China's collapse 'will bring economic crisis to climax in 2012' | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Leading City of London analyst says next 12 months will be one of 'pain and disappointment' if Chinese economy crashes...

 

 

A City of London's leading analysts has warned that the financial and economic crisis will come to its climax in 2012..

Albert Edwards, said the next 12 months would be the "final year of pain and disappointment".

Predicting a sharp slowdown in activity in the world's fastest-growing emerging economy, 

Although China emerged rapidly from the downturn of 2008-09, Edwards said the recovery had been the result of a massive reflationary (reactivador) package by the Chinese government. Edwards said exports were set to slow and a trade deficit was looming.

He added that despite the recent run of more upbeat economic news from the United States, the risk of another recession in the world's biggest economy was "very high". 

 

 

China has grown by around 10% a year on average over the past two decades, but the threat of recession in the west, with signs of over-heating in the Chinese property market, have lead analysts to predict severe problems ahead.

 

Edwards said China's recent economic measures included an uncritically assumed growth story, easy money and credit expansion, investment booms and the misallocation of capital, and conspicuous consumption.

 

The World Economic Forum points out that rising youth unemployment, pressure on pensions and a growing gulf between rich and poor were putting at risk the gains from globalisation.

 

The WEF expressed concern at the possibility of economic and social upheaval caused by the inability of the young to find work and the dependency of elderly people on states deeply in debt.

 

 (HAVE TO FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

 

 

China has grown by around 10% a year on average over the past two decades, making it the world's second-biggest economy, but the threat of a double-dip recession in the west, coupled with signs of over-heating in the Chinese property market, have caused some analysts to predict severe problems ahead.

Edwards's view was supported by the historian Edward Chancellor, who said China's recent economic performance conformed to the pattern of previous manias and bubbles in history. These included an uncritically assumed growth story, easy money and credit expansion, investment booms and the misallocation of capital, and conspicuous consumption.

The warning of fresh trouble ahead came as the World Economic Forum said rising youth unemployment, pressure on pensions and a growing gulf between rich and poor were sowing the "seeds of dystopia" that were putting at risk the gains from globalisation.

In its annual assessment of the outlook for the global economy before its meeting in Davos later this month, the WEF expressed concern at the possibility of economic and social upheaval caused by the inability of the young to find work and the dependency of elderly people on states deeply in debt.


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Is instability India's destiny?

Is instability India's destiny? | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Is historian Ramachandra Guha right to think India is destined to be unstable?

 

Summary:

This is about an interview about the instability of the destiny of India.
The journalist writes about Mr. Guha, a historian and author of “India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy”, who says that instability is India’s destiny, explaining why he thinks so.
In that way Mr. Guha says that democracy and nationhood in India face six complex challenges.
The first challenge is the large portion of population of Kashmir that wants to break away from India.
Secondly, Mr. Guha mentions the Maoist insurgency that threatens the integrity of a vast India’s region.
The third problem is the religious fundamentalism that prevails in the country.
Another challenge is the corruption of the public institution and the political parties.
In the fifth place the environmental degradation is mentioned which promotes scarcity of resources to the poor people.
Al last, Mr Guha mentions the inequities of the economy in India.
The article ends with these words “With the weakening of the state and the deteriorating quality of India's political leadership distinguished by weakness, sectarianism, dogmatism, authoritarianism and lack of proper credentials" - India is a considerably weak nation today”.

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How to keep your new year's resolutions - live chat

How to keep your new year's resolutions - live chat | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Are you hoping to be happier and healthier this year?
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Who's your person of 2011?

Who's your person of 2011? | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

Open thread: Protester, politician, celebrity or scientist? Who represents the spirit of 2011 in your eyes?

As an independent thinker and a woman, I believe that the Nobel Peace Prize given to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work" clearly represents the spirit of 2011. We might agree or disagree with Government policies but women are taking very important leading roles, like the Presidents of Argentina and Brazil, and the Chancellor of Germany. Organizations like Vital Voices, whose main voice is Hilary Clinton, works towards the empowerment of women. Because I believe in the empowerment of Women, I think these three WOMEN represent the spirit of 2011.

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Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers?

Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers? | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

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A Call to Arms for ELT.

A Call to Arms for ELT. | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

On Sunday I wrote about a couple of the themes which emerged over the course of the week at IATEFL. Here I will continue! Demand More, Be More!  How much do you challenge your students? Do you get...


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Discuss it

Discussion questions for study and use with EnglishCentral videos - to learn and teach English.

Via David Deubelbeiss
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The Guardian on Facebook | Facebook

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.
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He Raped Her, She Forgave Him, They Got Married, He Murdered Her - Hispanically Speaking News

He Raped Her, She Forgave Him, They Got Married, He Murdered Her  - Hispanically Speaking News | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
An Argentine 18-year old was stabbed to death in front of her child by the man who had raped her, before she forgave him and accepted him as husband.

 

An 18 year-old Argentine girl was stabbed to death in front of her child by the man who had raped her, she the forgave him and also accepted to marry him.
The victim reported that the man had sexually abused her; he was arrested and imprisoned for 8 months, until the same young girl forgave him and she dropped charges.
The pair married this past October 28th, while he was still in prison.

Last Saturday, the man stabbed his wife to death, in front of their three year-old, as well as his own mother. The police found him in his own home, holding the three year-old with bloody hands.
He was arrested and refused to say anything to investigators. Later he tried to hang himself in his cell using his own pants.

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The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot: extract

The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot: extract | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
Our brains may be hardwired to look on the bright side, says neuroscientist Tali Sharot in this extract from her new book...

Our brains may be hardwired to look on the bright side, says neuroscientist Tali Sharot.

We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. But both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic. We tend to expect things will turn out better than they end up being. People rarely bare in mind they can get divorced, lose their job or be diagnosed with cancer; but we expect our children to be gifted; envision ourselves achieving more than our workmates; and overestimate our likely life span (sometimes by 20 years or more).

The belief that the future will be much better than the past and present is known as the optimism bias.  People might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods. Collectively we can grow pessimistic – about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient.

Overly positive assumptions can lead to disastrous miscalculations – for ex. make us less likely to get health checkups or open a savings account. Without optimism, our ancestors might never have ventured far from their tribes and we might all be cave dwellers.

To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities – better ones – and we need to believe that we can achieve them. Such faith helps motivate us to pursue our goals. Optimists in general work longer hours and tend to earn more. And although they are not less likely to divorce, they are more likely to remarry – the triumph of hope over experience.

Hope keeps our minds at ease, lowers stress and improves physical health. Researchers studying heart-disease patients found that optimists were more likely than non-optimistic patients to take vitamins, eat low-fat diets and exercise, thereby reducing their overall coronary risk. A study of cancer patients revealed that pessimistic patients under 60 were more likely to die within eight months than non-pessimistic patients of the same initial health, status and age.

This theory could fuel a revolution in psychology, by accumulating evidence that our brains aren't just stamped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by the future.

After living through 9/11, in New York City, I had set out to investigate people's memories of the terrorist attacks. I was intrigued by the fact that people felt their memories were as accurate as a videotape, while often they were filled with errors. A survey showed that memories were poor at remembering details of the event, such as the names of the airline carriers. Where did these mistakes in memory come from?

The core function of the memory system could in fact be to imagine the future – to enable us to prepare for what has yet to come. The system is not designed to perfectly replay past events, the researchers claimed. It is designed to flexibly construct future scenarios in our minds. As a result, memory also ends up being a reconstructive process, and occasionally, details are deleted and others inserted.

To test this, I decided to record the brain activity of volunteers while they imagined future events and compare those results with the pattern I observed when the same individuals recalled past events. But something unexpected occurred. Once people started imagining the future, even the most banal life events seemed to take a dramatic turn for the better.  "I was getting my hair cut to donate to Locks of Love [a charity that fashions wigs for young cancer patients]. "I asked another participant to imagine a plane ride. "I imagined the takeoff – my favourite! – and then the eight-hour-long nap in between and then finally landing in Krakow and clapping the pilot for providing the safe voyage," she responded. No tarmac delays, no screaming babies. The world, only a year or two into the future, was a wonderful place to live in.

If all our participants insisted on thinking positively when it came to what lay in store for them personally, what does that tell us about how our brains are wired? Is the human tendency for optimism a consequence of the architecture of our brains?

(To be continued ...)

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Facebook Timeline: 9 things you need to know

Facebook Timeline: 9 things you need to know | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it

Answering your questions about the new Facebook design before you even have them.

With the introduction of the timeline, Facebook users can now easily scroll back to previous years and see what they were saying and what they were doing.

Some will be a bit terrified to see posts from the early days of Facebook, when college students shared way too much.

Our privacy settings on old posts will remain. A post shared four years ago that was set to be viewable to just friends will continue to be viewable to just friends. The concern here is thta your "friends" might be your "co-workers" now. 

Facebook has built a very helpful new page called the Activity Log, which can be accessed from a profile page, that shows every single piece of content Facebook has from a user. Each item can be deleted or tweaked from this page.

For your eyes only. If there is a post in your Timeline that you don't want to zap completely from Facebook, but don't want anyone to see, you can change the post's visibility to "Only Me."

There's no sense in holding out. Facebook Timeline will eventually go live for everyone on Facebook, whether or not the user has taken the time to prune and optimize the Timeline view. It's best to be proactive and make sure what people will see is what should be seen.

My comment: I think that privacy is important while sharing is a "must" nowadays, promoted by most working networks. I guess some will feel betrayed, as it's like a contract we have no choice to sign or turn down. Anyway, I'm sure we will all be more careful with what we publish. But I wonder, maybe because I'm not tech expert, why  Mark decided to introduce this timeline. What pushed him to do it? Any possible answers, please share ... but be careful!

 

 

 

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Environment world review of the year: '2011 rewrote the record books'

Environment world review of the year: '2011 rewrote the record books' | LEARNING & TEACHING - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | Scoop.it
The ecologically tumultuous year saw record greenhouse gas emissions, melting Arctic sea ice, natural disasters and extreme weather – and the world's second worst nuclear disaster...

Brazil showing deforestation in the Amazon region had fallen to the lowest level for 23 years. Extremes of heat and cold in the US, droughts heatwaves in Europe and Africa and record numbers of weather-related natural disasters. The world continued to warm throughout 2011. The Arctic sea ice hit a record low. 2011 was described as the "year of the tornado". The worst drought led to the death of thousands of people and millions of animals in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. Major earthquakes hit Argentina, Chile, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tonga, Burma, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Sulawesi, Fiji and New Zealand. But by far the most damaging quake was the one that led to Japan's deadly tsunami on 11 March. It killed 15,500 people, caused the meltdowns of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

I feel a huge sad feeling when I read about these records. It's hard to fight against Mother Nature. On the other side, I belive that Governments and Educators together should expand their programmes to raise awareness on the protection of the environment. There are many things we can do as individuals, participate in events organized by Greenpeace, or asa ctive citizen in everyday life.  

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Cheryl Oakes's comment, January 29, 2012 2:04 PM
I really like your reflection of this news article. Keep up the great work.
Datenglish's comment, February 1, 2012 7:17 PM
Dear Cheryl, thank you for your kind comment. I feel we have great responsibility as educators, parents, friends. If we spread the word, maybe more people will be aware of the fact that this planet is our home.