The Online Educator

A Personal Learning Network for Online Language Educators

Dear Readers,

My new e-newspaper is out today! I finally figured how to capture all the articles from my twitter list on Paper.li. Let me know if you’d like to be included, and I’ll include you in The Online Educator twitter list. I kept trying to create a particular hashtag to focus on online learning such as #online learning, #ESL, #EFL, #TESOL, or #EVO but wasn’t successful in obtaining a full-fledged newspaper until now. Basically, I left the topic for the newspaper blank in the Paper.li creation process. Since most of the educators I follow generally post professional tweets about integrating technology, I decided to trust their content.

Anyhow, here’s the link to The Online Educator: http://paper.li/teacherrogers/1301595898#.  The Online Educator eNewsletter will post daily content! It’s a great way for me to keep up with my peers’ articles, as oftentimes I don’t read all their tweets. You can view a previous how-to video about Paper.li by Benoit Curdy on my blog.

I was so impressed with the Paper.li outcome that I created another one for my nonprofit, BrokeButNotForLong, Inc.  It’s  called the Employment Social Network! It came out today, but I had a few unrelated articles. Therefore, I culled the list and “unfollowed” anyone who doesn’t specifically match our mission.

The use of these e-newspapers are endless. I noticed that beside aggregating your twitter feed, Paper.li now also will aggregate your facebook feed! “Feed” in this context refers to your followers or friends comments, articles, photos, and links.  Paper.li could be the next best thing for social networking for communities in need. Imagine what you could do with it for your school or project!

Best Wishes,

Sandra Rogers

Use Voki to bring someone else’s voice to your grammar lesson

In preparation for an advanced ESL grammar lesson, I wanted to integrate technology in a simple way. Usually the teacher is the one giving the examples. I had used Voki.com before to give a one-liner to visitors to my wiki. It dawned on me that I could use several Vokis to deliver one-liner grammar examples. I believe if you want the Vokis to say a speech, you have to pay for an upgrade. Otherwise, the service is free.

The lesson was on unreal conditionals, the “if I were president, I would…” I decided to make each Voki speak a different example, including some likely conditional statements. Additionally, I found that you can have a Voki speak with different English regional dialects—American, British, Australian, Scottish, et cetera. Since students often study abroad, I think they should learn a variety of English dialects.

Here’s the link to my grammar lesson with the Vokis on my personal learning environment (PLN):
http://mypersonallearningenvironment.pbworks.com/w/page/36864678/Sample-Grammar-Lesson

To create your own Voki, visit their Web site: http://www.voki.com/

Sandra Rogers

PANEL: EVO Session – Virtual Round Table Conference

I participated on this panel as part of the Electronic Village Online (EVO).  I talked about moderating an EVO session in 2010, Internet4YoungLearners.  EVO is an annual TESOL professional development session hosted by the Computer-assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS).

PANEL: EVO Session – Virtual Round Table Conference

Sandra Rogers

Assistive Technology Tools

Are you familiar with assistive technology? Do you have students with disabilities? Here’s a list of assistive tech tools and resources for you and your students to use:

1. Section 508 Checklist: http://webaim.org/standards/508/checklist
Standards for Website content to meet the needs of persons with disabilities based on the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.

2. iSpeech: http://www.ispeech.org/
Converts text-to-speech (TTS) or speech-to-text (STT) for free. You can control the speed of the voice delivery. It catalogs the number of recordings in its library.

3. US Government: http://www.disability.gov/technology/accessible_technology
Provides webinars and updates on the latest technology available or the lack thereof in various situations.

4. Boston College & Boston University: www.cameramouse.org
Assists individuals with limited movement to use their head to direct the mouse cursor. FREE!

5. The Principles of Universal Design (UD), North Carolina State University:  Universal Design poster
These principles will help you create activities and an environment accessible for all learners.

6. Internet Explorer (IE): IE is generally the browser that’s widely used by persons with disabilities because it offers special features to meet their needs.

7. Microsoft Windows: See Accessibility Tools

8. YouTube Channel: They offer an auto-caption feature that can benefits not only deaf users, but also people who watch videos in really noisy places, like airport terminals. The tool will be able to translate captions into your choice of 50 languages. For now, however, auto-captioning works only with videos in English.

9. Apple claims to create its products with accessibility in mind as standard features http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

10. Captioning Key is funded by the National Association of the Deaf and The Described and Captioned and Media Program. It provides a PDF document on specific quality assurance guidelines for closed-captioning.

Additionally, check out the most thought-provoking YouTube video that I’ve ever seen on rethinking the concept and words associated with persons with disabilities called “Opportunity of Adversity” by Aimee Mullins.

Please share your resources for adaptive technology with me, and I’ll post them on this blog and my PLE.

Sandra Rogers

Telecommuting Jobs with ETS for Teachers

Dear Teachers,

Would you love to work from home?  How about applying for freelance work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  I’m an online rater for ETS and score the spoken Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), as well as the written California Assessment of High School Exit Exams (CAHSEE).  I have a California teaching credential and therefore qualify to score the CAHSEE, as well as a Masters in TESOL that qualifies me to score the TOEFL & TOEIC.  There are many other k-12 and college entrance tests that you could score if you qualify.

While at the TESOL convention, I spoke to ETS regarding my desire to score the written TOEFL, something I haven’t done before.  Plus, I love the job’s  high level of professionalism on a daily basis: interrater reliability calibrations, reviewing benchmarks, utilizing a rubric, and instant feedback from a scoring leader.  Moreover, I like the flexibility of telecommuting/working online.  ETS allows you to pick your work schedule: a.m., p.m., week days, weekends, even holidays!  One thing that I’ve learned is that you have to be flexible with your work schedule.

ETS handed me a flyer with a list of freelance work and internships!  Their summer interns develop test materials for the TOEFL, TOEIC and/or K-12 assessments.  View their internships online at http://www.ets.org; they have some in Princeton and Ewing, NJ and San Antonio, TX.  Send questions to the ELL Summer Institute Coordinator, Jeanne Malloy at jmalloy@ets.org.  I noticed that there are other internships  throughout the year.  Remember that you’re never too old to intern and/or learn something new.  Interns earn $25 an hour while online raters earn $15-18 an hour depending on the programs.

Freelance work includes writing for the TOEIC listening test; send your resume to Carol Gitzendanner at cgizendanner@ets.org.  As well as, rating TOEFL and TOEIC tests from your home computer.  Additionally, they’re looking for photographers at the professional and amateur level; send your email to pfreeland@ets.org or ncates@ets.org.  On their career page, you can also find full-time work.  I don’t live any where near Princeton or Ewing, NJ nor San Antonio, TX; consequently, I telecommute to work as an online rater.

Best wishes in finding your new online job!

Sandra Annette Rogers

We created a Wiki for our TESOL Intersection Presentation

How can 7 people plan a presentation for a TESOL Intersection?  By using Google Docs, wikis, emails, and Skype.  If you can’t make it to our TESOL 2011 presentation, you can visit our wiki and see all the details.  This intersection is between the Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL-IS) and Elementary Education Interest Sections.  Additionally, you can hear the webcast recording that will be hosted on the CALL-IS wiki.  See info about my schedule at TESOL in a previous blog.

http://esoltechprep.pbworks.com/w/page/36440308/FrontPage

Web cast recording of this session:
https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2011-03-18.0719.M.7AE801FFB697DA460D4BF25AA8C21B.vcr&sid=75

I’d love to answer questions or discuss your feedback.

Sandra Rogers

Blogging for the TESOL 2011 Convention!

I’ve been professionally blogging since 2009, so when TESOL asked for bloggers for their annual convention, I sent them my bio.  I was delighted to find out that I was one of six people selected!  Right away, I thought of ideas to blog: jobs, financial aid opportunities, superstar encounters, and professional development. Since then, I’ve been asked to stay on as a blogger.  Here’s a link to the following blog posts:

http://blog.tesol.org/author/srogers

1. TESOL Rock Stars

2. TESOL Financial Aid Opportunities

3. Great Job Opportunities at TESOL’s Marketplace: Part 1

4.  Great Job Opportunities at TESOL: Volunteer for the Peace Corps (Part 2)

5. Webcasts for those not attending TESOL

6. EVO Provides Free Professional Development Annually

7.   Japanese ESL Teacher Who Experienced Earthquake Determined to Attend TESOL

8. Did you find a job at the TESOL Marketplace? (Part 3)

9.  How to Use Paper.li to Enhance Your PLN

10.  EVO is for Newbies and Techies Alike

11. CALL Resources on Diigo for Teacher Training

12. 3 Basic Tech Tools for Beginning Online Teachers

13. Vote For EVO as a Top Tech Innovator on the Chronicle

14. Another Basic Tech Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

15. Join Your Organization

My humorous blog about the TESOL Rock Stars has garnered the most attention.  I even had TEFL International retweet my blog with a “congrats”.  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Your Blogger,

Sandra Annette Rogers