Saturday, 11 April 2015

LT SIG Pre-Conference Event

Yesterday I went to Manchester to attend the LT SIG Pre-Conference Event.

I was very excited not only to be attending, but also to be included in the day's events. It was great to actually meet so many people I had previously only interacted with online: Diane Slaouti and Gary Motteram - my tutors on the (Distance) MA in Educational Technology & TESOL, fellow MA colleagues David Dodgson,  David Gatrell and Sophia Mavridi,  e-moderation tutors - Shaun Wilden & Nikki Fortova, Marisa Constantinides from ELT Chat, and other people whose names I am familiar with on Twitter.

Morning Keynote Talks

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme was the first speaker in the morning.  She told us about the pedagogy around a mobile learning project for ESOL students, which links classroom learning and the local environment, to take learning outside the classroom within the learners' context.  She provided  the following link for further very interesting reading about the project:

Mobile pedagogy for English language teaching: a guide for teachers

Liliana Simon was next.  She told us about her teaching context in Argentina and an innovative project called Digital Corner providing learner and teacher guidance on the use and implementation of educational technology with pedagogy-based training.  She closed with the following quote.

The morning keynote talks finished with a focus on correcting written work introducing Hypal - a corpus software.  This was a talk given by James Thomas about a work in progress involving error tagging which has been piloted on and by trainee teachers. 

Afternoon Showcase

The afternoon sessions were practical half-hour presentations on a variety of educational tools.  The first session I went to was David Read's on using Swivl  for videoing lessons, which included a fascinating practical demonstration.

The second one was on Evernote by Marisa Constantinides.  She talked about her transition from making written observation notes to using Evernote and incorporating images, video recordings and audio within the text for observation feedback.  This is definitely a tool I would like to explore and would also be ideal for taking notes at conferences.
What do you record when observing teachers

As Marisa pointed out, these two presentations complemented each other as they presented two alternative ways of producing video depending on available budget as Swivl costs about £300 and Evernote is free.
I gave a presentation on using Padlet, which is one of my favourite tools, and one I have used extensively asynchronously, but have recently tried using it in real time in the classroom to maximise learning opportunities.
Here are links to tools or blogs on other presentations which showcased practical examples of how teachers are using the following highlighted tools within their teaching practice.

Sharon Hartle       Socrative
Sophia Mavridi    Edmodo for YL
Rolf Tynan           ThingLink
James Thomas      SkELL (Corpora)
David Dodgson Game Based Learning
Carla Arena           Google Classroom
Vicky Saumell       Tellagami
Fiona Price            Padlet

Diane Slaouti gave a wonderful closing plenary on Theorising our Practice in which she linked back to issues raised in the morning and picked up on various points she had heard during the afternoon with a focus on post method thinking.
Some emergent themes and questions
Post method thinking: a teacher's sense of plausibility

She invited us to reflect on the talks and technology we had seen during the day with the following prompts and questions.
Macro strategic pedagogy
Educational technology in action: principled pragmatism

All in all, a fantastic event to attend, and many thanks for also being included in the LT SIG Pre-Conference Event.

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