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This week’s link…well links really

September 25, 2009 3 comments

This week’s link is to an online video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

At first glance you might think, well this isn’t the usual ‘something to do with a class’ kind of link, well that’s true but you could use the page with students (it’s a site that allows you to create and add subtitles to a videos – which has potential for language class exercises, doesn’t it?).

Anyway back to the video, by now you have hopefully been and had a look, I found it very funny, if you didn’t my apologies for taking 4 minute 21 secs of your busy lives.  May be it’s like most things in that you need the context.  If, like me you are an avid (some say) obsessive twitterer then you probably got the context. There are often little, generally good-humoured spats between Scott and various EFL twitterers usually over the things such as the use of technology in classes, and the position of technology within the dogme approach.  Added to that on Lindsay Clandfield’s blog (the creator of the video) – Scott was recently voted the most influential person in EFL. See now you have more context it helps understand the ‘tribute’

However the point of this post is not context or tribute videos.  It’s more about how we educators can learn so much, so easily now through the ease of communicating via the Internet.  The video hits upon the ‘hot topics’ for educators at the moment, no not how popular Scott is (though that is discussed :-)), but how technology is being used in the classroom, should it be used in the classroom or is it just another piece of clutter that gets in the way of learning.  On top of that if you follow the dogme approach then how can technology be implemented with it.  It also segues rather nicely in a much-discussed topic this week, – Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) for short. The ‘context’ I referred to earlier was all established via the internet – and it highlights how easy it is for the interested teacher (and shouldn’t we all be interested?) to develop for free.  Following EFL bloggers opens up a world of ideas, resources and discussions. Since joining twitter, I have ‘met’ so many incredible educators and been able to join in the daily debates, ideas sharing and good-natured banter.

As a freelancer, my own ‘online’ PLN (though I never really thought of it this way until the discussions this week) has allowed me to have contact in a way I haven’t had since I stopped working at a school fulltime. But then now, even if I did still have that contact, I know I can also learn from my time online.

Not convinced, well take a look at a few of the things that have appeared on line this week. For a start there was a free workshop online run by Scott – finished now but joining it, you can still see what was happening. Want to know more about dogme? Then join their discussion group or go read a personal experience such as on Karenne’s blog (which you should read anyway for its wealth of varied postings). Find out about how PLNs can help you on Marisa Constantinides excellent blog. Want to know more about technology then start at that’Slife or get ideas from Nik Peachey.  The list really is endless and there are far too many excellent blogs to name in one ‘small’ posting. Apologies to those not named, you can find them easily from all the aforementioned posts. Finally (and yes you have heard it before but it’s true), join twitter and follow EFL people you’ll be amazed at how many useful things you’ll discover.  And after all, doing all or only some of it will cost you, is a bit of time, which in what is generally thought of as a poorly paid profession can’t be bad.

Happy blog reading and have a good weekend

Shaun

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Categories: blogs, links, Teaching, technology