Hiya everyone! This is Fulya from Turkey. I'm an English teacher at Terakki Foundation Schools in Istanbul. This year I'm teaching 10th and 11th graders. Teaching teenagers can sometimes be difficult, but I love their abundant energy, curiosity, and critical awareness.

Well, this is my first e-portfolio on the Internet, so I still need some time to improve it. I will try to reflect my personality, my hobbies (history, religions, movies, books, cultural studies, etc.) , my students, and my work here.
Please check out my BLOG...


Here is the short video of the projects that were done in my IM classes by my students.

Children in the Holocaust and World War II


I found this touching book in a bookstore in Kadikoy while going through different historical biographies. I love reading anything about the period from the 1920s to 1960s. This year we covered an extract from The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank in the class. We did various activities on the subject and watched videos and documentaries. Our students understood the feelings of a teenager who was trapped in an attic for 2 years.

This book helped me see a different side of the war because the diary entries were written by kids that had to suffer on the streets, in the gettos and concentration camps. As it is painful to think about the effects of the wars on children, like the writer said, I only wanted to believe that Anne Frank reflected the lives of the kids during the war. I wished i had found this book before covering the subject in the class to be able to show the lives of the kids living on the outside.

I guess, any teacher who is covering the topic of war can take extracts of the diary entries written by kids aged between
10-18 in this book. Below is the review written by a reader.

"Children" has been one of the hardest books I've read, other than Schindler's List. It hurt, made me cry, and angry at the same time. I was once again reminded that this life is not all peaches and cream. That there are things we don't get or understand. Bad things happens to all of us including children. Hopefully we can come away stronger and wiser than before."

Technology and ELT: "Teaching and Learning English with the Cyber Generation" Enkaschools ELT Conferencetechnology.gifWell, today I went to a seminar with some of my colleagues. It was quite surprising to see that the first presenter was Gavin Dudeney. ( the writer of 'The Internet and the Language Classroom' Cambridge University Press 2000.) My colleague and coordinator, Isilay, found this book in our school library 1 week ago, so we have been going through it since then. Gavin's presentation was great and full of hints for us to apply in our classrooms. He showed us some of Plain English videos that we hadn't seen before.

Now, I'm more familiar with the terms "digital native", and "digital immigrant" As a digital immigrant :), it was also good to see the activities that were done in the classrooms at Sabanci University with podcasts, blogs,etc. thanks to Sevhan Acar. Because I found it a bit difficult to create different activities on weekend worksheets with podcasts. DFL ( digital as a second language) and DSL (digital as a foreign language) were also the terms that I understood better today.

Simla, my collegue, and I had a chance to see an e-porfolio that was created by a 5th grade student. She told us that she followed customized systems approach. Her e-portfolio was impressive and she was so proud of it. The teacher who is in charge of the e-protfolio pilot project also told us the difficulties they had and their future plans. She was quite impressed when we mentioned about our e-portfolios. She said she even met Dr. Helen Barrett in person :) All in all, it was great to see views of teachers from all kinds of schools.

Now, I'm thinking, maybe I should start my own blog :)
If you haven't seen any of the Plain English videos, please click podcasting, blogs and wikis. I think we can even use them in our classes next year.


Well, it's the end of the school year and only one day to go. I have tons of ideas to put into my e-portfolio, but I think I want to focus mainly on blogs as Kate, my colleague, has started a pilot work on class-blogging and it was amazing to see the outcome. Her students loved it and contributed to it. Here is the link to her student's blogs.

Today, I have also started going through Larry Ferlazzo's recent lists ( so easy to get lost whilst checking each link as there is so much to read and see). I decided to take everything slowly and reflect especially on the ones that are more appealing to me and my students. I came across a letter written by a teacher entitled "Letter to my Colleagues". The letter is based on 21st Century Learning and the changes we are going through. She put up the chart below next to her letter which made me think about where my place is as to the technological changes in education :)


The most interesting part in her letter is where she gives an example of a blogger who is only a 5th-grader and managed to get the attention of 30,000 people and big companies. In her blog you can find her work, the causes she supports, things from her daily life and school. What an extraordinary blog done by a 5th-grader. Here is the link to Laura's blog. Below is an extract from her blog proving the attention she gets from big companies like SKYPE.

"Today, while I was super bored (my little sister is at a birthday party) and leafing through an old crafts book, my mom opened my 25 Days e mail and guess what? I got an email message from Sara Schoenborn. She works for SKYPE !

I'm sure I will find more examples like hers before the new school year starts so I can help my own students create their own blogs like Laura (btw she will be on my blogs i read list on my e-protfolio from now on and I've already subscribed to her RSS feed).

FRESH START!!!Today is the second day of our new school year, and there is a lot to do and a lot to catch up with. Hereis my link to the assingments we are required to do as a deparment. Please spend a minute or two to read my reflections and comments on blogs, articles and websites by people who aim to improve 21st Century Classrooms...

The first day of school is over, and we are back to our hectic routine. As I was going through Larry Ferlazzo's amazing list and getting lost (yes, as usual because you can't help it, it's so addictive) I came across this utterly great website where you can prepare your own online quizzes and share it with your students on your class wikis or blogs.

Our new topic is "Adrenalin Rush", so I tried to prepare a short extreme sports quiz to put on our class wiki where students have to search on the internet to find the right choice. You have so many features to make your quiz interesting. I didn't put a time limit as I want my students to take their time while searching for the answers. Please have a go at the quiz and see what you think...


Lately I spend most of time searching on class wikis. I'm one of the luckiest teachers in the world as most of my students are getting into it. Please check my class wiki links to see the brilliant work they have produced. Of course' I have some shy ones who only check the regularly and tell me their opinions in the class instead of reflecting them on the wiki. I'm working on how to make them be more open about it...

I also came across international projects related to technology and Web.2 tools. I would like to share one of them. If you click on the link below, you will see the Voice of the World project organized by a teacher in Scotland. Every month the students are given a task which should be done on the internet. Each month the web tool changes so the students become familiar with different tools such as voicethread, voki... and share their work with students from all over the world.



As language teachers we are all familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy. I have been reading a lot of articles on his processing information theory and more importantly I have had the chance to read the articles by people like Andrew Churches. He helped me to see the other crucial side of this thinking process. Yes, we are 21st Century teachers and learners. We have been trying hard to apply Bloom's elements into our classrooms, and we are the lucky ones as we aren't only obliged to use the materials such as books, workbooks and grammar books to facilitate learning. We all have the technology in front of us to facilitate HIGHER ORDER THINKING and LEARNING as Mr. Churches and other scholars constantly mention. Bloom's Taxonomy represents how we learn:

Before we can understand a concept we have to remember it
Before we can apply the concept we must understand it
Before we analyse it we must be able to apply it
Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analysed it
Before we can create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analysed, and evaluated.

How about applying this great idea into 21st Century learning by giving examples from Web.2 tools and other technological applications. In my opinion the map below not only summarizes Bloom's ideas but also shows the path of today's digital immigrant teachers becoming digital natives. Colloboration is the key word in this map. It is one of the reasons why all the blogging, commenting and wiki spaces have started. Learning is enhanced by colloborating. I know this from my own experience. My students get more enthusiastic when they read a comment or suggestion about their blogs or wikis or when I mention a new international project. Colloboration and reflection are becoming more and more important as Mr. Churches says:

"Collaboration is a 21st Century skill of increasing importance and one that is used throughout the learning process. In some forms it is an element of Bloom's (moderating is an element of evaluating) and in others (emailing, instant messaging, texting etc) it is just a mechanism which can be use to facilitate higher order thinking and learning."


Here is another brilliant website full of interesting ideas and links regarding 21st Century classrooms. The thing that makes this website different from others is that it deals with different languages. There is a misconception in language teaching that it is hard to find online blogs, podcasts, and websites in German, French, Spanish etc. ( well, to be honest I was one of those misconcepted people.) Now I can see that the changes in language teaching is happening all over the world and in all languages.

As I was going through Lexiophiles and the top 100 blogs, I decided to read the posts written by writers&editors of the website and came across this hilarious article by Mr.Jonas in Germany. We (non-native language teachers) always try to find ways of learning English (outside classrooms) for our students in our countries. He wrote the top 7 ways of learning a foreign language without going abroad. Please read the article and choose the best way :) My favourite one is number 7. (living in a commune-Why not?)


In our school we were assigned to form task groups related to three subjects namely CEFR, Technology in FLT and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Each group has been working on their topics for the last two months and the time has come to do the first 3-minute presentation. 5 of my friends and I are in the Technology group and we chose Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and its applications. As one of our assigned readings we read Andrew Churches’ phenomenal integration of Bloom’s Taxonomy with technology to facilitate HIGHER ORDER THINKING and LEARNING. As a group we worked on each level in the Taxonomy and tried to find examples both from our classes and from other schools across the world. The result is amazing because it reflects both the path of 21st century learning and how people collaborate as learning also takes place beyond the classroom walls.


I'm very lucky to have students who are very willing to learn more about Web.2.0 tools. They are very busy with their preparations for the SBS exam, but still find time to take a new step in our experience with technology. I'm very proud to say that I'm learning with and from them. For example, Dilara from 804 created her own blog without any help from me. She decided to use Weebly to host her blog and the result is amazing. Plus, she reflects on our work in her blog, too . Thumbs are up for her.

I also (finally) created my blog called A Bit of Everything where I reflect on my area of interests and required readings by our deparment.


Last September, my teacher partner, Danny, and I decided to enter the ThinkQuest competition 2009. We formed our team with 6 students from grade 8. Our students decided to pick a topic that needed to be addressed, but also one that had viable solutions. They wanted to do something that has not been given the attention it deserved. These considerations brought the topic of “Child Labor in Turkey” to our students’ minds. We voted and we agreed on this idea. That is how and why we came to choose “Child Labor in Turkey”.
The students worked collaboratively for months and even stayed after school at their own time. I felt so proud of them because all of them were also studying for SBS exam which was going to determine the high school they were going to study at. (If you want to be a student at a good college, there is a standardized test that you have to take very seriously and get a high enough score.) They did a wonderful job and even involved the other students at school by organizing a slogan competition. They felt privilaged to have an impact on the society around them.
On July 1st, we found out that we won the second place . It has been a great experience for all of us and in October we are going to San Francisco for ThinkQuest Live to receive our prizes.

Here is the link to our website.


Now that I’m in my last week of the online training program, I wanted to share my experience with everyone. As 21st century teachers, most of us are somehow involved in youth media making. Likewise, there are also educational programs and organisations to help educators to get more involved in media making. Adobe Youth Voices Program is one of them.
Adobe Youth Voices Program helps educators to see the bigger picture of youth media making. It also helps you to guide your students to create a media piece with a purpose.
In the 8-week online training, you are able to collaborate with teachers from across the world, reflect on media pieces created by students from different age groups, learn how to use sofware like Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0, and even create your own media piece before starting a project with your students. The facilitators are always there to help and guide you. The tutorials are easy to follow and apply.
During the next eight weeks, you learn how to build on your knowledge and skills to create media with young people as it says on the course website.
The course requires 4-6 hour work every week, but the outcomes and the overall experience are invaluable.
Thanks to iEarn and Adobe working collaboratively to help teachers improve their ability in supporting their youth while creating media, I have learned a lot, and I hope to guide my students in the most efficient way in the future.


Being one of the largest and fastest growing online communities, ePals
was founded in 1996. K – 12 students and teachers across the world meet in the safe environment ePals provide them and safely collaborate with each other.
This year among their many projects, ePals in corporation with

Team Earth
organized a contest for K – 12 students where students from around the world can express their opinions on a very serious subject, ‘Global Warming.’ The winning entries were delivered to world leaders and climate experts at the Copenhagen Climate Conference on a DVD.
There were 497 entries in PPP, video and audio format. All the entries were impressive and addressed the issue.
My Grade 7 student, Deniz K. was very willing to enter the competition and she wrote a poem to convey her message. She writes stories and poems as a hobby, so she decided that poetry would be a very effective media to convey her message to the leaders. She recorded her poem at school, and we submitted her entry.
Her work was chosen as one of the top 15 winners overall and was compiled on a DVD to be handed to the world leaders. Click hereto listen to her poem in English. I’m so proud of her. Once again I witnessed how powerful and confident the new generation is. They have all the good qualities that most of us don’t have. Congratulations to Deniz and to all the other students who were brave enough to have a say in a serious matter that keeps getting worse and worse.
Please click here to see the top 30 entries.

The Children’s Garden was created by 7th grade students at Terakki Foundation Schools in Istanbul as a part of the Adobe Youth Voices- iEarn Project that aims to provide students with the critical skills they need to become active and engaged members of their communities. As a result, the team followed the phases, brainstorming, production, post-production, critique/revision and exhibition/distribution during their media creation process.

The video is a product of a team that worked collaboratively for 7 months during their club hours. The topic “importance of pre-school education” was chosen as it is a global issue that needs more attention in many developing countries like Turkey.

The video is in the format of a very short educational video as the aim was to give the message by showing correlated videos to show the possible pros for having a pre-school education while showing the possible cons for not having it. The video also includes the statistics from Turkey and ends with a reference to the most powerful campaign in the country to increase the number of the children who can have access to pre-school education.


Football is one of the global topics that some teachers (including me) use a lot in the classroom to attract students’ attention. I am sure at least once in class, we’ve all heard a student mention Messi, Ronaldo or Beckham or asking us which team we support on the very first day of the school. To give an example, when I put up the Barclays Premier League poster provided by British Council on the wall, it suddenly became the center of attention. My students now know all the vocabulary on the poster.
Today’s teenagers love football and follow it regularly. As it is a very global topic, British Council has provided us with a website where they cooperate with the Premiere League to deliver community sports development aound the world. They launch projects in different countries like China and Uganda and coaches and players from different teams visit these countries, too.
This year, they have organized a competition where students connect their city to the city of their favourite Premiere League team. 20 winners will win the shirt of their team and one participant of 20 will have the chance to travel to the Uk to watch a football game.
The instructions, guidelines and suggestions are clearly mentioned on their website. Two of my students who dearly love football worked hard and prepared their videos. The research and media preparation processes were very informative for them. The competition helped them widen their horizons in many ways such as copyright issues, surfing on the web with a purpose, higher thinking skills, media creation and working towards deadlines… The result was very satisfying for them as they prepared a media piece based on their favourite sport.

Below are the videos by my students:


British Council regularly organizes workshop for language teachers who are keen on professional development. Language teachers from Istanbul attend these workshops to collaborate, innovate and enhance their teaching skills. This week I blogged for their blog and shared my experiences and reflections regarding the workshops. Please click here to read my post.



The link will be added soon.