Posts tagged EVOnline2009

EVOnline 2009 – Quality Community-Based Teacher-Training

That time of year has come around again when the fantastic Webheads and TESOL get together to provide free training in the use of ICT for language teaching.

This event is now in it’s seventh year and is going from strength to strength. This year there are more than 17 different courses to choose from, all of which are delivered by expert educators who give up their time to help the wider language teaching community.

The EVO folk describe the sessions like this:

For six weeks , participants can engage with ESOL experts in collaborative, online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the four-day land-based TESOL convention and will allow a fuller development of ideas and themes of the convention or of professional interest in general.

The sessions are free and open to all interested parties.

You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate.

Sessions are organized by TESOL’s CALL Interest Section and run wholly by volunteers who have donated their time to serve the profession.

If you want to enroll for the courses or find out more information, go to the EVO sessions wiki at:

For now, here’s a taster of the courses that are on offer:

EVOnline 2009 Sessions

Becoming a Webhead

Blog-based Lesson & e-Portfolios

Collaborative Writing

Conflict Resolutions for English
Language Learners

Designing Interactive Activities

for the Young learner EFL Classroom

Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces

Building a Professional ID in the 21st century

Digital Storytelling in ELT Classrooms

Enhancing Lessons with Web 2.0

EVO Video 09

Planning Video Projects


Exploring Images in the 21st Century Classroom

Internet for Beginners


Multiliteracies for Social Networking and Collaborative Learning Environments

NNEST: Networking Solutions for Professional Development

Teaching English through Drama: Dramatic Questions, Dramatic Answers

Tips and Tricks for Online Teachers 2009

Virtual Worlds & Language Learning

What’s in the Library for ESL/EFL Students?

See you there!



Would you like you students to see this?

Ning Social Networks – Unsuitable for Education?

Many educators may already know about Ning – the social networking site that has become more and more popular with teachers recently.

Ning - Social networking made easy.

Ning - Social networking made easy.

Due to its flexibility and ease of setting up, Ning offers teachers a simple and easy way to set up a website that is fun to use for students and (if used well) can help students to develop and expand their Personal Learning Network (PLN). This could and should be a really valuable tool for teachers to use more and more, but as it stands at the moment, I’d urge real caution. Want to know why? Then read on:

I love the fact that the Ning development team are constantly doing so much to continually improve the Ning experience for its users. I especially like the fact that users will be able to discover new, relevant Ning networks that are similar to our own. This will be great for my students’ PLNs and a fantastic way of starting to expand school-based Ning networks and turn them into e-twinning networks.
The catch is that the free version of Ning is supported by Google advertising and this advertising can be quite inappropriate and offensive as I discovered earlier today. I am taking part in the amazing EVOnline 2009 sessions where brilliant educators from around the world are giving up their time to help each other learn how to use Web 2.0 technology in their classrooms. They have decided to use Ning to facilitate these sessions, great idea, however the ads that Google and Ning are serving up on their pages would most likely offend both the teachers and participants of these courses. Take a look at the ad I have seen 3 times now on one of our Ning pages:

Would you like you students to see this?

Would you like you students to see this?

Thanks heavens I haven’t started using Ning with my students yet. I probably won’t until there is better filtering of ad supported sites – this could risk me losing my job. It’s really inappropriate, wouldn’t you agree? To be fair to Ning, they do offer an ad free service for 13 – 18 year olds, but I personally feel that these ads would be just as offensive and inappropriate for adults too.

If Ning wishes to expand into school PLNs and social networks via free ad-based sites, that later become  converted to paying sites, they really should do something about this. I have already complained to Google about this ad, but I also feel that Ning should be pro actively pushing them to filter content more stringently. Does Ning really want to financially benefit from this type of Ad? I hope not!

I’d be really intrigued to know if anyone else has had experiences with “bad ads” in education? Have you ever wished you hadn’t used a certain tool with your students? I wonder what Ning themselves will say about this? I’d welcome any comments and your thoughts on this.

All the best,


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