Afterthoughts

Posted: October 6, 2012 in Thoughts

I know I haven’t written on my beloved blog for a while now and I am a bit ashamed, however, I do believe that certain things have to happen when they are meant to happen. The time has come again for me to share something with you :)

I have to warn you though that this is not an explanation of another Web 2.0 tool or any other technological tool for teaching purposes. These are just some of my thoughts on how it was for me to hold my first presentation at an international conference :)

This is an annual conference called IATEFL and I’ve been attending it for the past 4 years every year and it was great seeing all the different teachers talking about different ways of making the classroom more comfortable for the teacher as for the learner. It’s been inspirational every time I’ve been there although I felt I was missing something lately. Since I’ve returned from Belgium, where I’ve participated in a great conference/workshop and had the wonderful opportunity to meet some great people, I’ve felt that I needed to do a bit more than just teaching. I got a taste of how it was working with adults but this time not the ones who wanted to learn a language but with those who wanted to learn how to teach others who want to learn. So I’ve had a small taste of what it meant and how it felt being a teacher trainer. It was short…I know…I think it lasted about 30 or 45 minutes but it was new and challenging but in the same time it almost felt like second nature. There are so many great teachers who are also researchers who have all these great ideas bottled up inside themselves and if they have the possibility they even share it with some or with the entire world.

At first I was a bit skeptical about writing even a blog because I thought no one would read it considering the amount of blogs out there online….full of great ideas and methods for teaching. Then I had a very inspirational talk with Jenny and Graham (my two great trainers from the TACCLE conference) and they managed to convince me that every opinion counts no matter how unimportant I had thought mine were. So, I started this blog with lots of enthusiasm but little feeling of appreciation. This is however how a blog works….it needs to be maintained in order to keep it alive for others to be able to read it and share it. But the moment I saw the number of people reading the blog and the comments some have left, I knew that what I wrote was appreciated by some and that felt good and was a good incentive for me to continue writing. I know I stopped doing this for a while though…and can’t say it was only the lack of time…sometimes I was just lazy or too busy with other stuff. Anyways, I think I’m slowly regaining my enthusiasm for writing on this wonderful blog of mine :) and hope not to have these long breaks anymore.

The main reason though for writing this entry is because 6 months ago I told myself that it was high time I did something about my wish to teach other teachers and as no one starts giving directly talks on TED (without some exceptions of geniuses maybe :p) I had decided to give a presentation on using Web 2.0 tools. And that’s what I did today (on the 6th October 2012)…I held my first presentation to teachers at an international conference :) ….I have to say..it was an exhilarating feeling :) These are the moments when I feel and know that I was meant to teach.

I’ve seen some presentations on ICT and Web 2.0 tools in the last 4 years and I thought long and hard about what I should talk about and how I should deliver it. I’ve seen teachers present loads of Web 2.0 tools in one single presentation, which might seem efficient and productive…having all those tools at your fingertip although I got to learn that the more online tools you share in a presentation, the less time you have showing how they actually work which can lead to frustrated teachers who have the resource but can’t figure out how to use it. I’ve seen teachers presenting with century old technologies and it wasn’t because the organizers wouldn’t offer them something more modern..no, it was because they were used to projecting long-winding presentations with sentences so long no one would ever read them; teachers who would just read out the things they’ve prepared on their PPT presentations and well….it was dull and not as efficient as it might have seemed in the beginning…and I’m referring here only to the first example…the rest was never something appealing for me.

In any case, I’ve decided to showcase just one particular tool and I though Skype would be a great choice. It even was. However, technology is unpredictable and evolves very quickly :) So after I’ve sent my description for the presentation and everything was set…I started using more and more Google’s Hangout and couldn’t possibly hold an entire 45 min presentation on how to use Skype for teaching without feeling just a bit guilty for not talking about Google’s Hangout at all. So I integrated Hangout as an alternative for Skype and actually as a much better but still different tool than Skype…meaning that Skype does still have some advantages. Of course, I couldn’t present the same thing I have on my blog so I created one from scratch, thought of different ways of how one can use Skype and also Hangouts and prepared a Prezi presentation….1 day before the conference :)

Teachers actually enjoyed the presentation a lot and it seems like it was a success :) Good. If I’ve learned one thing about presentation, it’s that I will never make one with and overwhelming amount of bullet points filled with sentences and information nobody wants to read, so I’ve barely used a few words in it…I’m pointing this out because I’m embedding the link of the presentation to this post but if you don’t understand much out of it…don’t worry…it’s normal. However, if you’re interested in using it for any educational purposes just contact me on this blog and I’ll help you make sense out of it and explain the points and my train of thought when going through all the points of it.

I’m just really happy everything went well and that I was able to share (also thanks to one of my good friends: Szilard, who was my Skype and Hangout assistant during the presentation. It was great that he had some time because I wanted to show teachers how to use the tools and didn’t want them to leave only with theoretical bla blas and no show of practical use) at least two online tools but many – hopefully useful and interesting- ways of using them when teaching. Well…they seemed quite curious and interested in what I shared with them….let’s hope they’ll be able to integrate them in their teaching.

P.S my next post will be on Google Hangouts… coming soon :)

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Comments
  1. Good to hear from you Rory. I’ll will get in touch with you in the coming months to see if we can share on the TACCLE2.eu project
    Jens

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