Thursday 29 April 2010

My first take on IATEFL Harrogate 2010 - Part 2

So here's Part 2 of the highlights for IATEFL Harrogate 2010

Plenary 2: Students´minds and imaginations by Kieran Egan

Kieran shared a novel viewpoint of the process of students´ cognitive development by linking it to imagination and how it can empower language learning to make it more effective. A brilliant session!

Engaging lower primary students through web 2.0 tools by Ozge Karaoglu and Shelly Terrell

Shelly and Ozge conducted such a lively session! Both because they are very dynamic and because they showed actual videos of their 5 year-old students in Turkey and Germany. Those who were there were going “Aaahh!” and “Uuuhhh” when they saw these little angels producing amazing language through technology! The best way to convince anybody!

Web 2.0 tools that make a difference by Russell Stannard

Russell introduced screen capturing tools with a huge success. The reason was his innovative ideas on their use. You could actually hear people’s amazement! Russell has just won the ELTONS for innovation 2010. Check his website for lots of ideas.

The IATEFL 3rd Annual Pecha Kucha Evening

Although I could not attend it, there is no way I can leave it out! Just watch for yourself.

Plenary 3: Socialising students´motivation and autonomy in the English language classroom by Ema Ushioda

Ema reflected successfully on the importance of internal motivation as an essential aspect of successful language learning. She drew from the field of psychology and from current theories of autonomy in language learning to make a clear link between motivation and autonomy.

Breaking down the classroom walls: Web-based tasks with real outcomes by Ann Foreman

Ann focused on using web-based tasks to create a wider audience for students´ work. She shared some web 2.0 tools through examples of students´ productions. Good point!

Making digital sense in the classroom by Shaun Wilden

Shaun’s dynamic presentation addressed the issues of teachers’ attitudes towards technology and digital solutions at hand, including IWB tools, mobile learning and others.

Embedding creative thinking skills training into our EFL practice by Marisa Constantinides

Marisa’s session was serious and fun at the same time. She managed to walk us through the theoretical background and then surprise us with very creative examples. I loved it!!!

Task-based learning in virtual worlds by Shiv Rajendran

I am so sorry I missed this one! But I had to include as I am really interested in what Shiv does. He presented on task-based learning in Second Life by showing examples of a unit on innovations from the book Market Leader being turned into a series of tasks in SL. Worth checking out!

Final plenary: What is a storyteller? by Jan Blake

Again I missed this one because I was taking the train back to Heathrow… Thankfully it was recorded, which is both good for me and for you! Jan is amazing!

So this is the academic summary of the conference. I will soon post something more informal on what I learnt at Harrogate.

My first take on IATEFL Harrogate 2010 - Part 1

I have been lucky enough to be at IATEFL Harrogate 2010 to enjoy some of the best ELT speakers ever! The best thing about it is that most sessions have been recorded and can be accessed through Harrogate Online.

So what I would like to share is the highlights of the sessions I attended so that you can also check them out. The original post is too long so I decided to split into two parts to make it more readable.

Learning Technologies Pre Conference Event on the current state of technology for language learning. Discussion led by Stephen Bax, Scott Thornbury and Mark Pengrum was conducted face to face and in Second Life simultaneously. The technology aspects were brilliantly managed by Graham Stanley and LT sig team.

Plenary 1: The Professional Life Cycles of Teachers by Tessa Woodward

Tessa gave an enthralling talk about the different stages of a teacher’s professional life in which we could all feel identified.

Teaching the Mobile Generation by Nicky Hockly

Nicky engaged the audience with her fresh look at the potential of mobile learning by showing easily accessible resources and practical projects.

They just can’t hack it! by Gavin Dudeney

Gavin managed to address attitudes to technology through a witty presentation based around myths, which he attempted to demystify. And he certainly did!

Web 2.0: What’s in it for teachers? by Burcu Akyol

Burcu showed a variety of web 2.0 tools but focused mainly on the practicalities of blogs and wikis. As Jeremy Harmer pointed out later she “even made embedding widgets interesting!”

Before and after Twitter: Personal learning environments by Graham Stanley

Graham conducted the most crowded session I saw! His take on social networking tools to build your PLN was great!

What teachers do next by Jeremy Harmer and Carol Higho

Jeremy started the session with a personal anecdote which he then related to teachers’ need to feel alive. He then referred to professional development as a key element of keeping current. Carol finished the session showing some specific PD options. Unfortunately, there is no recording available for this session.

What students get out of Twitter by Petra Pointner

Petra’s session was incredibly effective in showing what you can actually do with your students using Twitter.

Computer gaming to learn by Kyle Mawer

Definitely one of my favourites because of my personal interest in Digital Game Based Learning. Kyle showed an amazing number of games that can be easily used for language learning.

Monday 19 April 2010

Free Professional Development Opportunity

The Virtual Round Table conference is a semi-annual live online conference on language learning with technology. The first 2010 conference is scheduled for April 22nd and 23rd and is being organized by Heike Philip and Shelly Terrell, who have an amazing experience in web 2.0 tools and language learning.

The conference is free and is held online both through web conferencing and Second Life. In fact, all sessions in Second Life will be screenshared in Adobe Connect Pro and all sessions in Adobe ConnectPro will be streamed live in Second Life, Viewer 2 is a pre-requisite.

Check out the programme, which includes several outstanding speakers, such as Nik Peachey, Shelly Terrell, Ozge Karaoglu, Marisa Constantinides, Valentina Dodoge and Russell Stannard among others.

I am honoured to be contributing with a worshop on Free Web Applications for Language Learning.

If you have some time to spare, try to attend a few of the presentations and will not be disappointed!!!