Posts tagged twitter

Walking on Clouds

Well, I got back early yesterday evening from the IATEFL BESIG Rome summer mini-conference and I still feel like I’m walking on clouds (hence the title!)

I gave a seminar, “Death by PowerPoint – and How to Avoid It,” which seemed to go really well. I got some great feedback from the folk that came to the presentation, which really left me feeling happy. I was especially happy seeing as the audience were such experienced and knowledgeable professionals.



Walking On Clouds

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The conference was really well organised, the IATEFL BESIG members and the staff from The Byron School, Rome pulled out all the stops to make sure things went smoothly. There was a lovely welcoming atmosphere and the seminars and presentations all seemed to go smoothly. If I had one minor criticism, it would be that the balance of commercial presentations “selling” a product to non-commercial seminars “training” the conference attendees was perhaps a little too heavily in favour of the commercial conference sponsors. It was however the first time this event has been held, so let’s see if we can balance it out next time. Overall, the conference was a really positive experience and I’ll give a seminar again if I’m invited back!

So what next? In the next 2 days I want to get my presentation up and on-line here on my blog as I promised all the lovely folk who came to watch it. I’ll try to get both the slides up here, as well as the video that Valentina Dodge kindly shot for me. I must admit I cringed to watch myself in it last night, but ah-well, so be it!

If you were at the seminar, I’d love to connect with you in the future. If use Twitter, (or even if you don’t, yet!) you can catch up with the various educational technology links, hints and tips I share here: You can also follow this blog (as I mentioned in the seminar) via RSS by clicking here and  signing up to my RSS feed. Finally, if you’re a bit more traditional, have a look up there in the top right hand corner and you can sign up to receive news of new blog posts via your email box.

What were your impressions of the conference. What went well for you and what would you like to see done differently next time. Let’s strike up a chat in the comments section here.



Milan IATEFL / British Council Conference ’09 (Part 1)

This year’s British Council / IATEFL Conference in Milan was on the theme of CLIL and Learning Technologies. I was really pleased and privileged to give a workshop there, especially seeing as so many of my fellow presenters gave great presentations full of great ideas and useful hints and tips.


By far the biggest highlight of the conference for me was the opportunity to work with such an enthusiastic and participatory group of teachers in my workshop. It was a real privilege  to be able to help such an experienced and  knowledgeable group of teachers integrate technology into their CLIL teaching. We had great fun during the session, and there was a lot of great positive feedback about the work me and my colleagues at Martino Martini have been doing. There was some great debate too about the practical time constraints of integrating technology into CLIL. I think, all told, we agreed the results are worth the effort.

As I promised the teachers at the conference (cross my heart!) here is the PowerPoint presentation with details of all the ideas and tools we looked at during the workshop. If you are one of those great teachers who came along, I hope this helps you! If you would like try something out with your students and want to talk about it, or if you just fancy a bit of help or advice on something we looked at during the workshop, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment (by clicking on that little box with a number on up there at the top left of this blog post – that will take you to the comments section.)

View more presentations from Seth Dickens.

Finally, be sure to check back again in a day or two and I’ll get the History, Science and Geography resources we looked at posted here as well as our fabulous videos!

All the best,


UPDATE: For some crazy reason I think anyone who uses Internet Explorer will not have been able to read this post until now. 😮 If that includes you, I’m really sorry! I hope you’ll now be able to read this okay. As always, I look forward to reading any comments and would love to continue discussing the work we looked at in my IATEFL workshop with you all.


Twitter – MicroBlogging.

I’ve just recently discovered “Twitter” thanks to online colleagues such as Graham Stanley , great blogs like Common Craft and (strangely enough) the BBC Radio 4 program “iPM” which recently discussed Twittering.

Twitter has been described as “Micro Blogging” or in other words: like a blog, but much smaller. When I write a Twitter post (a Tweet!) I can only use a maximum of 140 characters. These get sent to my Twitter homepage. Any of my friends or colleagues who want to have short, personal updates on “What I’m up to at the moment” can check by my homepage to read about what I’m doing and get a quick update on my life. They can also follow me automatically via RSS if they want to. This video by Common Craft explains the beauty of Twittering nicely:

One of the things I like about Twitter is the tiny size of posts you can make to it, 140 characters disappears really quickly. This means that language students don’t need to feel pressured into writing huge, long blog posts (which I have found can be off-putting for students who are writing a “normal” blog.) With Twitter the emphasis is on posting short, but sweet posts and often.

Another thing I really like about Twitter is that you can send your Twitter posts from a mobile phone (Moblogging?) This could also give our students more freedom to practice their English when it’s most convenient to them. Out in the centre of town? Seen something amazing? Let your classmates and friends know all about it! Practice your English while your doing so!

I’d also like to see if it’s possible to centrally “aggregate” several Twitter feeds. I was thinking of trying to set up a wiki which I’d use to tie all the Tweets from a class together in one place. It would also make for some really interesting inter-personal reading. Ever wondered what your class mates are doing on a Sunday evening? Check Twitter and see if they are telling you! If you look to the right of this post you’ll see my own Twitter feeds.

I’m sure I’ll be using this tool in my next A2 (Elementary Level) classes. I think Twitter will be a great way for my students to practice using the Present Continuous. I also want to try it out with a higher level class I am working with, we are blogging together, but not all the students are able to find the time to post regularly. Maybe they will with Twitter?

In the mean time, does anyone know about any “Twitter Aggregators” out there?I’d love to try out the idea of collecting my students’ posts together all in one, central place.

All the best and have fun!

Seth 🙂

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