Posts tagged video
For the first of our posts as one of the official bloggers of IATEFL Glasgow 2012, we spoke to Paul Maglione, co-founder of English Attack, an innovative start-up using movies, games and entertainment news to teach English.
Paul talks to us about the highlights so far of the IATEFL conference for him, what he thinks are good and bad uses of technology for teaching and, most interesting of all for me, gamification.
We’ve got some more great interviews coming up in the next few days from IATEFL. So keep your eyes peeled for Graham Stanley, Pete Sharma and the great digital sceptic Scott Thornbury talking about times when he think technology is right for teaching languages among others.
Lucio Bragagnolo was one of the key speakers at the recent Erickson “Schools in the Digital Era” conference. Introduced by the Eriksson host as a “guru” in the Italian technology world. I have to say after seeing his talk I wholeheartedly agree!
Lucio was one of the penultimate speakers at the conference, which had dealt with several extremely interesting, but fairly heavy themes to do with students and the “dangers” of the Internet. It was in this highly-charged atmosphere, where many of the teachers present were starting to wonder about the risks of using technology with their students, that Lucio gave his talk. And wow, what a talk!
The incredible TED, purveyor of fascinating video talks on Technology Education and Development by some of the world’s most interesting people, and a personal online favourite of mine, has announced this week that they are starting up TED Ed, a series of lessons by some of the worlds best educators, which will be available online for free.
As well as a set of “powerful learning tools” that Ted has announced will be launched in April, they have a mission statement which, If the quality of their wonderful talks is anything to go by, will mean some pretty awesome teaching and learning opportunities are on their way.
TED-Ed’s mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos.
Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) are nothing particularly new, fancy, or special: just by being here and reading this you’re becoming part of my network in a way. PLNs have such a huge potential, which I still don’t think is being talked about widely enough.
I was doing some e-tutoring for The University of Dresden recently, working with a great bunch of PhD students looking into digital literacies together. The group were really mixed, with engineers, forestry, medical and humanities students all in the same group. In the final week of the course I wanted to encourage them to create their own Professional Learning Network (PLN) so that after the course they would become more autonomous as learners and hopefully pick up new digital lietracies as they went along.
I wanted to show them a simple video to start off the week’s learning that would define PLNs in general terms. Try as I might, every single video I could find on YouTube was aimed squarely at teachers, or educators (and many of those were aimed at language teachers, too!)
So cutting a long story short, I decided to make my own video which in under five minutes could explain in clear terms:
- What a PLN is – and why it’s worth having
- Things students should consider before setting one up
- Some basic web-based tools that will help you get started
8 hours later, after lots of cutting clips, editing audio, shunting slides about to fit the narration, the final product is here.
Please really do feel free to use this with your students, trainees and colleagues – I made it using a Creative Commons license deliberately so that other folk could also use it. The only thing I ask is that you kindly credit me as the author of it 🙂
So, like I said at the end of the video: Let’s try to get as many useful PLN connections going on as possible in our network. I’m @SethDickens if you want to connect on Twitter, alternatively, if you have any other questions, queries or are looking for help in setting up a PLN, do please ask away by posting a comment in reply to this post!
I don’t mind admitting to having a really pleasant surprise with this company. I had never heard of Frog before, which seems quite strange considering how big they seem to be in the UK. Frog had a huge stand at BETT, with loads of people working for them, and looking at their product you can see why.
Frog is a virtual learning environment (VLE) that has something of the social network about it, something of Google IG, something of English360, and generally speaking looks really nice. It’s not really possible in just a short four or five-minute demonstration to get a good in depth idea of the strengths and weaknesses of something as complicated as a VLE, but the first impressions of frog were very good. What’s more, the guy that I got to do an interview for Digitalang was none other than the CEO Gareth Davies.
I asked Gareth the same three questions I asked everyone else: “Why do you come to BETT”, “What have you been talking to people about most?” and ” What are you doing to make teachers’ lives easier?” I thought Gareth gave some good answers.
For the third in my series of Best of the BETT interviews I spoke to Anne Gilleran, from eTwinning.net. I’m happy to say that amongst the hundreds stalls at BETT, eTwinning’s area was a real breath of fresh air. Their service is a real help for language teachers who want their students to get some authentic speaking practice, it’s also huge (currently there are more than 150,000 members) and best of all it’s free. In their own words:
eTwinning is the Community for schools in Europe. Teachers from all participating countries can register and use the eTwinning online tools (the Portal and the Desktop) to find each other, meet virtually, exchange ideas and practice examples, team up in Groups, learn together in Learning Events and engage in online-based projects.
I’m a big fan of free stuff that makes teachers’ lives easier and I’ll definitely now be looking into eTwinning.net further. I’d like to see how I could work it into some of the seminars I teach at the moment.
Anyhow, over to Anne, who describes (in a very noisy BETT conference hall) exactly what eTwinning.net does:
Tomorrow’s post will be my last, but I’ve saved the “big one” or scoop until then. I was very lucky to get an interview with William Florance, the head of Education at Google for Europe The Middle East and Asia.