Even though I’ve been registered on Twitter since 2012, I haven’t really used it much. I suppose I didn’t find I had the time or the energy to actually learn how to get the most out of it, since I was so busy creating my own digital teaching material for all my classes. This summer, however, I started off the holidays right away by trying to get a serious hang of it. Basically, I landed straight on an IATEFL webinar with Jill Hadfield talking about internal and external motivations in L2 learners, and I was hooked. First of all, Jill Hadfield is kind of a hero to me ever since I was introduced to her Communication Games in my own teacher training a hundred years ago. Secondly, I was astonished to find that there were all kinds of first-class webinars out there absolutely free of charge! I loved the format – I could attend from home, didn’t have to dress up or anything, could have a cup of coffee or something to eat whenever I wanted, and the interactivity factor was a lot bigger here than at a regular IRL seminar at any of all the conferences I have attended around the world (and they were NOT free!) And lastly, I’ve learnt a LOT! Thank you, guys!
That was the start for my webinar frenzy during June. There were lots of webinars and lots of really knowledgeable, experienced people presenting, people I had known nothing about previously. To my shame I had to ralize that I had lived in a bubble until then, filled with my own ideas and ways to make those ideas happen in class. Okay, yes, most of the time I had been successful, even to a surprising extent if one can go after students’ course evaluations. They learned in new ways, and they were actually surprised to find that learning this way was actually fun. And that’s a lot, coming from teenagers ranging from 13 to 19 years of age.
But here were a lot of people that also found technology to be an extremely useful medium for learning, and they had all found their own ways, too – even though their journeys were different from mine. And I started to follow them on Twitter and found new webinars and new people and new organizations that were there to assist ELT teachers like myself. But they all had something I did not – a blog or a homepage. And again I realized that if I really wanted to play in the same league and actually contribute something myself and give back to them, I needed to have that too. And here I am.
For those of you who haven’t been bitten by the Twitter or webinar bug yet; here is a list of all the webinars and conferences I attended during my June+ vacation, including the presenters (all great and really worth following on Twitter) and the organizations behind.
31st – Jill Hadfield – ‘Motivation, Imagination and L2 Identity’ ; IATEFL.org
14th – 2nd Web Conference: IATEFL LTSIG & TESOL CALL-IS – Gaming and Gamification – a Win-win for Language Learning
Vance Stevens & Ellen Dougherty/Nicky Hockley & Elizabeth Hanson-Smith: Welcome Address
Karenne Sylvester, UK – Honey Coated Peas vs Chocolate Covered Broccoli, Part 2
Jeff Kuhn: The World is Not Enough: The Need for Game Design
Dawn Bikowski: Training Teachers to Think in Games
Graham Stanley: Gamification – Magic Bullet or Broken Sword?
Paul Driver: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”: Gaming the System with Mary Poppins and Mr T
Julie Sykes: Out in the World: Place-based, augmented reality games and language learning
Closing Panel Discussion
16th – Teachers Teaching Online – Intro; www.wiziq.com
16th – Teachers Teaching Online – Shelly Terrell: Virtual Makeover; www.wiziq.com
17th – Teachers Teaching Online – Nik Peachey: Getting the Most Out of Online Video Resources; www.wiziq.com
19th – Teachers Teaching Online –Vicki Hollett: Every Teacher a Video Maker; www.wiziq.com
21st – Teachers Teaching Online – Jack Askew: The Successful Online Teacher; www.wiziq.com
21st – Lindsay Clandfield: What’s hot and what’s not in coursebooks; IATEFL.org
22nd – Madeleine du Vivier – ‘How to write an effective IATEFL conference proposal’ ; IATEFL.org
23rd – Teachers Teaching Online – Heike Philp: How Do I Find Online Students; www.wiziq.com
23rd – Russell Stannard: Flipping your classes; Landesinstitut für Pädagogik und Medien
24th – Teachers Teaching Online – Vicky Loras: Across Time and Space; www.wiziq.com
25th – Teachers Teaching Online – Barbara Sakamoto & Chuck Sandy: Building a Community of Leaders; www.wiziq.com
25th – Teachers Teaching Online – Rich Kiker: Google for Productivity in Online Learning; www.wiziq.com
25th – Teachers Teaching Online – David Deubelbeiss: Blended Learning – Woven Curriculum Design; www.wiziq.com
26th – John Hughes: Critical thinking skills in Business English; elt.oup.com
26th – Different approaches to teaching language – PPP to TBL; cambridgeenglish.org
26th – Teachers Teaching Online – Sylvia Guinan: Managing Group Dynamics; www.wiziq.com
28th – Teachers Teaching Online – Jack Askew: Getting Students; www.wiziq.com
30th – Teachers Teaching Online – Graham Stanley: Engaging Online Learners; www.wiziq.com
30th – Edmund Dudley: Approaches to Culture with 21st Century Teens; elt.oup.com
1st – Teachers Teaching Online – Marisa Constantinides: Essentials for Teachers New to Online Teaching; www.wiziq.com
1st – Teachers Teaching Online – Jason R. Levine: Getting to Know the Virtual Classroom in WizIQ; www.wiziq.com
3rd – Teachers Teaching Online – Dr. Nellie Deutsch: Leading from the Inside Out; www.wiziq.com