As half the world of ELT (or so it seems), heads off to Brighton for IATEFL 2011, I shall be off to the Black Sea coastal city of Samsun for the 4th Annual TED ELT Conference, this year themed as English Beyond Walls. Compared to the mega-event taking place on the south coast of England and the recent ISTEK Conference in Istanbul, this is a small affair - just one day with 5 plenaries and 12 concurrent workshop sessions. We will, however, have the pleasure of an opening plenary from Jeremy Harmer, whom I’m very much looking forward to meeting. Check out the official website if you want more information.
Having been blogging for nearly a year now and tweeting actively since last summer, I thought it was time I joined the ranks of those who have done a session on developing online PLNs. To fit in (loosely) with the theme, I named my workshop ‘Professional Development Beyond Conference Walls’ and I’ll be aiming to show how individual teachers can connect with each other regardless of geographical location and time zones.
As there will only be one computer in the room (mine!), I have some activities prepared to simulate the world of Twitter (I’ll explain in my post-session review but basically, it involves lots of Post-it notes) as well as networking information. These can be done within the walls but, in the spirit of the event, I’d like to take the workshop beyond the walls and this is where you, the people of my PLN, come in.
First of all, there will be the usual request for tweets to come in during the session and, in addition to this, I will be asking my participants to come up with teaching-related questions which will be tweeted with answers (hopefully!) coming in from you (my only concern here is that half of my PLN will be in sessions as IATEFL at the same time so I hope you’ll have your mobile devices or laptops with you and switched on)!
My second idea is a big ask but I hope some of you will find the time to help me out. I’d like to get some sound bites from you about what you use Twitter for and how your PLN has helped you develop as a teacher. It would be really cool if, instead of just quoting some text, I could get a short video or audio recording to include in my slides. There are various ways you could contribute: record a quick video with your webcam and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo; record yourself on Vocaroo or AudioBoo and send me the link; or record your video/audio and send it to me via Dropbox.
Any help would be gratefully appreciated! Hope those of you who are going to IATEFL have a great conference.