Reporting from the IATEFL Brighton
This is a quick report of the Pre Conference Events I went to and the first day at IATEFL – there were various PCE events but I briefly went to Associates’ Day to be there for the book launch for which Sara Hannam and I wrote a chapter and a wiki and then on to the Learning SIG where the main topic was Interactive Whiteboards. A good day at the LT SIG – the highlight for me was Luke Medding’s session in which we looked at the why’s and how’s of IWB and Dogme.
Pleanry speakers are very important to conference organisers.
I remember spending long and agonising board meetings in the days when I helped organise a teachers’ association conference. Who will be your plenary speakers is felt to be giving a message, the tone, an atmosphere to the whole conference; no wonder we spent lots of time making these decisions.
As a conference goer, however, I have, more often than not, enjoyed and felt a conference was great, mostly because of the speakers in-between the plenaries.
For me, they are the ones who make the conference and that’s where a conference organising committee has to be very careful reading abstracts and accepting proposals.
On day one of IATEFL, I saw some great talks and none of them were plenary talks:
Amanda Wilson and her colleague Susan Demspey from the UK showed us how time spent time on Twitter and learning about all the tools you all share translates into great classroom practice of usinf Web 2.0 tools to prepare their students better for the IELTS exams. An excellent presentation putting a variety of tools to good use in the IELTS context.
Antisoara Pop from Romania talked about how she integrates asynchronous tools like voicethread and class blogs to supplement and enrich face to face teaching in her country and showed us some great examples of student output.
Burcu Akyol gave us a lesson in cool by not losing it completely even though there was no wifi when her presentation was based on using it (talking about setting up school and teacher blogs). Burcu eventually had to use one of the participants’ dongle – had that good lady not been there…. – but she did a great job of showing us the benefits for teachers and for the learners.
Nik Peachey talked about digitising your course material and to a packed room, he went through a wonderful list of tools which can transform your coursebook and engage your learners in talking, e.g. by sending you recorded messages via email, or by using vocaroo.
I will be posting links related to these talks when and as they become available.
The conference is also a social event, and there ahs been a serious amount of socialising, meeting for coffees, teas, drinks, going to pubs, having meals together, dancing till late….
Today, the programme looks equally promising so I must get out and about if I am to report anything later.
Right now I am following Sophie Georgiou-Ioannou’s
session on CLIL in pre-primary and primary education in Cyprus and being thrilled by the concepts of CLIL “showers” , i.e. short bursts of content-based teaching in the primary and pre-primary class (safety, hygiene, physical education, road safety)
Wish you were here Mark to report this better
It’s a great conference but the social life is killing me!!!