Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ATESL 2011

I'm still trying to get more people involved in blogging; there are so many good reasons both pedagogically in our teaching situations and also personally as we reflect on our craft and as we continue to learn and grow.

This time around, I'm going back to the basics with a presentation/workshop called The ABCs of Blogging. I recall the knowledge gap that was there when I first went to presentations about blogging--only six years ago! I was intrigued and excited about the possibilities, but I didn't know how to start. I'm not a technoology buff; there has to be a sound reason for me wanting to adopt the technology before I will look at it. I also have to have some confidence in the process.

For me, it was a course called Blogging4Beginners offered through the Electronic Village Online that got me started. It went through the whole process, and I, along with about 250 people worldwide learned how to use blogging in language teaching. Some of those people are still friends. The course provided me with the knowledge and confidence I needed to move forward. I have been using blogs with my own students for almost five years now.

I have also tried to develop a community of practice here in Alberta for practitioners to explore blogging, hone their skills, and reflect on their learning and practice. So far, there has been limited success. Hence the reason for this workshop--we, the people in the workshop, will develop a blog during the workshop. I hope this will give the participants ownership of the blog and provide the incentive to continue using it. I will ask for e-mail addresses, and I will add these participants to the list of "administrators".

Now all that will be left is for me to reflect on the success, or otherwise, of this latest attempt.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Where did the time go? I'm feeling a certain guilt because I haven't blogged for so long. However, conference season is upon us once again, so it's time for more presentations.
I'm very fortunate to be heading off to TESOL again this year, and I'm even more fortunate that it's in New Orleans--a city I'm really looking forward to seeing. I'm making a presentation at the Electronic Village: When is a blog not a blog. It's all about the blogging I do on the courses that I coordinate that don't follow typical blog format--they allow students to practice exercises that will help them to master certain skills associated with grammar vocabulary, writing and grammar. This is a low-key show and tell type of presentation--I will sit at my computer and a small audience--if anyone is interested--will gather around.
The other presentation is for TESL Canada and another nice venue. My only previous experience of Halifax was being lost around midnight and trying to find a cheap motel. All we could find was a 24-hour Tim Hortons and a helpful server who provided food (hadn't eaten since lunch time) and pointed us in the right direction for a motel. I should have done a commercial for them with that story.  I'm hoping to see more this time around. The presentation I'm doing for that conference is about reflective journalling; this is something I've been experimenting with on a couple of courses, and I'm pleased with the way its going.
I hope to see some of you in one or both of these interesting venues.