Concurrent Session 1 – Burcu Akyol – Teaching and Learning Beyond the Walls

Burcu AkyolBurcu started off by saying that today‘s children are very much exposed to various stimuli so their thinking processes are also very different. To illustrate this point, Burcu showed us an example of a paper boat she could make when she was a little girl – then goes on to show us a paper laptop her son made last year, when he was 6!).

She brought us examples of older English books, which are memorable, but then she showed us a text from a modern coursebook – and how we can integrate technology into the lesson. The text was about the environment, so Burcu then says that you can find relevant material on the internet – moving from the textbook word to the real world.  Children can sign up to newsletters.

–         Another example Burcu mentioned was Skype and specifically Skype in the Classroom which has a very active Facebook page with classrooms from all over the world.

Through this page, many teachers can Skype with other classrooms anywhere and the children can interact and even do projects together.

–         Webquests: structured, online activities which are based on inquiry.

–         Glogster: students make online posters on a specific subject. If yu create it on Glogster, it allows you to embed it onto your web platform (a website or a wiki).

–         Blogs: very flexible tools a. class blogs, b. student blogs, c. teacher blogs

Teachers, students and their parents can interact on them and leave comments – a member of the audience mentioned it is something that can be kept forever.

Burcu showed us one of her class blogs where her class interacted with another from South Dakota. The children left each other comments, read each other’s comments. The classwork is documented, the parents can also see what is happening in class and classwork is more open to the world.

–         Start building a PLN. Burcu mentioned the work teachers do when connecting to each other, sharing their blogs.

You can find Burcu Akyol online at:

–         Email:

–         Blog:

–         Twitter: @burcuakyol

Vicky Loras, Roving Reporter for Yildiz University, Istanbul