Saturday, January 30, 2016

Facebook and Connected Learning

I believe that Facebook is a great tool to use for connected learning and annotation. It can be used for  communication and sharing information. Examples of these capabilities include sharing ideas, images, and videos. Its social aspects also allow for asking questions and commenting on posts. 

Educators benefit from Facebook in communicating with colleagues all around the world while students can use it for an array of functions including group study, helping with homework, collaborating projects, test review, etc. 

Are there any disadvantages of using Facebook? Yes there are. There are many disadvantages of Facebook especially to children and teens vulnerability, including but not limited to, password hacking,  cyber addiction, and it is a gateway to the whole internet. There is also the threat of outside parties preying and abusing children on social media that must not be taken lightly. Because of these disadvantages, I think Facebook should not be used as a teaching tool for children or teenagers, but rather reserved as college level tool.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Second Week find 5 Friday

1- First of all, I would like to thank Ryan Berger for encouraging us to participate in working out. I really needed that push to do some exercise during this very busy semester.

2- I watched the video Stephanie provided us on her blog about the cyber school. I think it is a great idea for students in states which have heavy snow during the winter. Yet I still believe the social aspect of going to school is good for child' development.

3- Looking for more deeply explanation of annotation, I found the website Hypothesis. Hypothesis is made for teachers and their students to collaboratively annotate the course readings. For more information, please visit

4- In the weekly ACTFL SmartBrief  news for and about language educators. I found an interesting article on how technology can help students open up in the classroom. For more information please visit

5- While reading "Confronting  the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education of 21st Century", I found what Bertram said on page 21 is very helpful. Link as follows:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Dream Came True

When I was a little girl in elementary school, my favorite game was to pretend to be a teacher. I always imagined that I have a classroom full of students. My blackboard was the brown door in the family room and the coffee table was my desk. I created lessons, quizzes, and tests, spending hours and hours pretending to be a real teacher. When I got older, my happiness was when I helped someone learn.

When my family and I moved to America, I attended the ESL program at Delaware County Community College. My reading instructor there was and still is my idol; I learned a lot from her. The best thing I learned from her is how to make my students love the subject I am teaching and how to create a friendly learning environment in the classroom. When I got my first teaching job at a private school as an Arabic language teacher, I felt that the game I was playing when I was a kid is becoming reality. The principal I worked with was a big help and a great mentor to me. Since then, in every school and university I work at, I always find great mentors and colleagues to share their ideas and help me when I need their support.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

                I am a Syrian-American woman who is married to a Syrian man, and we have five kids. I am  friendly, motivated, and enjoy collaborating in teams.
                In my professional life, I am an Arabic language instructor at two Pennsylvania Universities. At Villanova University I teach Beginner, entry level courses. At West Chester University of Pennsylvania I focus on teaching both Intermediate and Advanced levels. I love my job, and I am always looking forward to improving teaching methods.

Find 5 Friday

1- I enjoyed reading the personal story of Kim Jaxon, "Empowering Students through Co-learning", and completely agree with her that students should talk more than the teacher in the classroom. The classroom should be a student-centered environment, not teacher-centered.
2- One of Kim Jaxon's ideas particularly caught my attention. Kim says, "Do the thing. Most of the work students would do outside of class--reading, writing, talking, playing, making--we do in class too. I like to think of my classroom as a big activity space where we are always taking curated material and making something with the ideas and materials of our discipline."
3- it is very true that the teacher learns from the students' experiences and feedback about how to make the course more effective. A personal experience, for instance, I never heard of GroupMe until one of my students sent me an email asking to add me to a class group he created. This group is for chatting and practicing the Arabic language, asking questions, and having fun too which makes the class more exciting and enjoyable for students.
4- Reading the personal story of Dr. Jaxon motivated me to read "Situated Learning". I mostly enjoyed exploring the elements of situated learning, which are; content (facts and processes of a task), context (situations, values, environment cues), community (the group where the learner will create and negotiate) and participation (where a learner works together with others in order to solve the problem).
5- My eleven year old daughter is a Snapchat user. My husband and I don't feel comfortable about her using this service as it leaves room for issues you would not normally encounter using a more antiquated mode of communication. After reading how Dr. Jaxon let her students use in her class and her stance on the technology, I feel more relaxed about my daughter using it, and am currently brainstorming ideas to find a way to let my students use it in a productive manner in class.