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Earlier this year I almost bought Canva Pro because I wanted to have more storage and use the pro features. I put it off, because I found a quick and free video editor, and I just settled for this temporary solution. I have been working with Canva since it was just a poster-and-business-card-design platform. I’ve seen it grow big and bigger, and then it exploded in the ionosphere: Canva for Education was launched. However, it was obviously not a very public event because I only found out about it a few weeks ago!

I can create designs in Adobe Illustrator…

One of my many Nearpod Badges 😁

I’d like to evaluate my favorite EdTech tool Nearpod against the UDL (Universal Design for Learning, CAST, 2018) guidelines. I will mention some advanced Nearpod features, so if you are a beginner user, do not worry — you are only a couple of hours of experimentation away! This will be a partially dry piece with sporadic personal opinions and views sprinkled with occasional metaphors and teaching suggestions.

The title idea has been roaming around my synapses and playing with three different facets of my mental space:

  1. The one that is familiar with theory,
  2. The second one that has first-hand experience…

Yes, it’s been a year…

This time last year we stopped going to school. I feel that in the last twelve months my life as a teacher has become richer and more rewarding. I have learned more about teaching in the past year than in the last twenty, since I finished University.

Since April 2020, I have done the following:

  • Created and conducted Zoom mini courses: at first, while there was a lot of uncertainty about when we would resume teaching (i.e. Start a new term), we connected to our students via Google Classroom and Facebook and organized a series of classes to fill the void. It was an experimental period, mainly dedicated to us teachers getting the technical skills of navigating Zoom and managing this new interface.
  • Attended a lot of online courses about teaching online (five in total!): mainly on Future Learn Platform. I have been a regular online course-taker…

This is a random event of a game master reflecting on the Classcraft experience. I will present my students’ opinions — grouping them into the positive and negative, and I will express my own subjective angle, as well as the reasoning behind my decision NOT to use Classcraft in the next term.

I went so far to engage my niece (@griffin_paints) to design a character for my original quest. His name is Shoodeye

Out of eleven students who took the survey, four of them gave Classcraft 10/10 stars! The average rating is 8.7. That’s a fairly vain result, and I might think the experiment has been successful, until I scratch under the surface.

But first, a little bit of a backstory, the glue that will connect the pieces together once they are all laid out: I found out about the Classcraft platform indirectly because I was doing a micro master course on creating online courses by Open University. The teachers-participants shared a lot of information, ideas, as well as resources. Following up on…

There’s a note I found among my ‘Medium Article Ideas’ section from August 18 2020:

Joscha Bach — the guru of the 21st century

And that was it, no other related ideas, links or sources. I think it refers to one of his interviews on Youtube I watched in between the busy summer schedule of creating teaching material for the forthcoming year.

So, let me try and unpack this non-sentence and the implications behind it.

Who is Joscha Bach?

If you happen to watch any of his talks, he will say: ‘I’m Joscha’, and leave it up to you to either ask him or…

This is not a text to be read, but an image to be ‘consumed’

I realized a couple of months ago that many teachers just needed the tiny hint and a sign post clearly stating where to find what. Yes, this is about online teaching resources, and — yes — this mind map is far from being exhaustive. In fact, I’d appreciate any tips on a new and useful tool, so I could include it to the map.


If you wish to embed the map on your website, feel free to copy-paste the code:

<iframe width=”600" height=”400" frameborder=”0" src=”https://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/1597106874/online-teaching-software?width=600&height=400&z=auto&t=GcoDn28TU0&presentation=1" scrolling=”no” style=”overflow: hidden; margin-bottom: 5px;”>Your browser is not able to display frames. Please visit <a href=”https://www.mindmeister.com/1597106874/online-teaching-software?t=GcoDn28TU0" target=”_blank”>Online Teaching Software</a> on MindMeister.</iframe><div class=”mb-5"><a href=”https://www.mindmeister.com/1597106874/online-teaching-software?t=GcoDn28TU0" target=”_blank”>Online Teaching Software</a> by <a href=”https://www.mindmeister.com/users/channel/47050204" target=”_blank”>Martina Matejas</a></div>

The longest, richest, and most eventful term has finished! In the midst of uncertainty of possible ‘back online’ directive, we were juggling the new LMS platform, in-person teaching, social distancing, talking through masks, and students failing to log in to the platform, as well as trying to find an appropriate online pivot for the young and beginner groups who were not Canvas users. I somehow though that would be easy and decided to put another full plate to the mix: a 12-week micro credential course with Open University on Creating Online Courses for Adults. …

Why are you asking questions?

For something as simple as this question, seems like there’s an obvious answer: to get information.

Well, let me see if I can write a whole article about it, and make it a bit more unpredictable.

The first thing I need to distinguish is the function, or the role, of the person who asks questions. Then, I will use my magic power of succinct metaphorical syntax to lead you to an unanticipated dive.

Let’s say that there are three kinds of functions: the speaker, the listener, and the non-listener.

The last one is the most obvious, and I just threw him in the mix, in order to have the magical number three. He can be a she, but ‘he’ has only two letters, so I will continue to use that pronoun, just to be in line…

This is not a full circle, because that metaphor seems flawed to me. In the same way as our Earth never returns to the exactly the same point in space every year, due to the rotation of the Sun around the Milky Way’s centre, and the Milky Way’s travel through the ever expanding space, away from other galaxies, our lives can never complete the same circle. It would mean that you are coming back to the same point where you were, and continuing on the same path, to repeat it all again. I would rather choose a chain-link or a…

What do a New Testament Personality and a Greek Mythological character have in common with a mid-twentieth century British Civil Service Expert? The former two were inspirations for how learning may be affected, and the latter explained how productive we can be in completing our tasks. So, when you mix them all together, you get a soup of explanation and understanding, and perhaps some tricks of how you can exponentially improve your learning. Not only yours, but your students’, children’s, friends’, colleagues’,… I’d go so far as to claim — even cats’! …

Martina Matejas

English teacher, yoga instructor, massage therapist and much more. Life in Morocco gives fresh perspective on all the weird accumulated experiences.

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