21cl – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Category: 21cl

I’m exhausted but I’m buzzing and can’t snooze until I’ve got some things off my chest!

#ILILC was brilliant. People who actually teach (predominantly) sharing what they do in their classrooms – not airy fairy ideas from a golden age but what actually goes on in classrooms up and down the country. And what should go on in more schools. Ideas that have been tried and tested on all kinds of pupils- the motivated, the bored, the disaffected, the enthusiastic and the ‘why should I?’ of all ages. And I’m not talking just about the ‘presenters’ – the tips, ideas and insights being shared over coffee (and stronger beverages) were just as interesting and important as the sessions attended. The problem was finding enough time to share it all. Thank the little blue bird for Twitter! And blogs. And audio recording. And the willingness of MFLers to share whenever,wherever.

Common themes?
The power of community – the ‘MFL Twitterati’ was much in evidence and more were added to the number.
The strength of support offered to others shown over and over – story swapping, idea sharing, shoulder lending, email exchanging, Savlon providing (thanks mutton chops!)
The conviction of many that the national plans for language learning are not going as they should for the good of learners – but rather than just moaning, offering ideas and solutions of alternative, better approaches. And those ideas can’t be way out or wacky as they seem to be fairly consistent – independent, creative, questioning, challenged, skilful learners; knowledge is important but the ability to select the relevant knowledge and apply it is far more valuable.
Noise. I know I contributed plenty of it – ‘down an octave Stevens’ was a constant instruction from Chris Fuller – but language teachers are a noisy bunch. I guess our trade is communicating so I shouldn’t be surprised. The addition of a number of parrots, toucan and hens (???) made it even louder! Especially once Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch was invoked.
Laughter. I have not laughed that much in a long time. Whether tickled by a mistweet (IanBootle was added to our number last night and @blaggers may well be confused man today!), laughing at exploding Red Bull cans and accident prone delegates or guffawing at a shared joke, the sound of laughter has refreshed me – and I suspect many others who are in need of some camaraderie and light relief from the job of doing our best for our learners.

As Chris Harte so eloquently put it this morning, Language teaching is not broken, it just has some out of date files, needs defragging and rebooting. This weekend I’ve met and spoken to, and heard from many people who I think have a really good idea about what our new upgraded device should be able to do.

Just hope that those deciding what type of device we get will delete the correct files, add the right programs and gives language learning the operating system that it needs and deserves.

Let’s hope they read and hear the voices that I’ve heard this weekend. we’re shouting as loud as we can!

MFL Show and Tell

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A not to be missed event fast approaching is the 3rd MFL Show and Tell.

Following on from the inaugural event at the Isle of Wight conference 2008, and the second edition held in Coventry in November 2009 , José Picardo (he of the sexy Spanish accent and highly informative Box of Tricks) has volunteered himself and his school for the 2010 edition.

As José himself explains –

The idea of the MFL Show and Tell session is to give teachers an opportunity to share good practice on the use of technology in the classroom in a relaxed, informal environment.

The session will take place in our brand new 6th Form Centre, where there will be access to a networked laptop computer, speakers, Wi-Fi, a data projector and screen for presentations.

If you want to sign up for the event, either as a speaker or as an attendee, pop along to José’s school site

The event is by teachers for teachers, and is all about sharing experiences.  Whether you’ve been teaching since the Stone Age or don’t remember life without the Internet, YOU have something to say.

I’ll no doubt throw in my ‘euro’s’ worth on a yet to be decided subject – good to keep you guessing ;o)

Thanks to Nottingham High School and Links into Languages East Midlands, the event is FREE!

Bargain!

Thanks to @joedale, I picked up the news yesterday that Voki has a new service.  I’ve never made any secret of my passion for these talking avatars and their uses for a variety of purposes, especially in the classroom.

The good news – classroom friendly, ad-free Voki

The bad news – you have to pay ‘ a small license fee’ per year

On balance, I’m not convinced of the benefits of paying $199 (which seems rather a lot to me) when I can use it perfectly adequately now for free.

However, I will await further details!

However, this news was accompanied by the realisation  that there is a ‘featured Voki educator’ section on the Voki home page.  And guess who features a the moment?

Oh yes – it’s me! If you want to see me in action, click here!
Very flattered! And wandering if they need a Voki poster girl…..? ;o)

Very challenging video that I’ve seen all over, but originally on JessMcCulloch’s blog.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VSymMbMYHA&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

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