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Barb's Bits and Bytes

Web 2.0 for learning and teaching - the continuing online adventures of a not-so-techie teacher

January 06, 2012

TESOL Electronic Village Online: free professional development as close as your computer

For professional development, it's hard to beat the quality and range of sessions offered each year in TESOL's Electronic Village Online. The sessions are free and open to all teachers. (You don't have to be a TESOL member to participate.)

For five weeks starting in January, participants can log on and engage in discussions and hands-on virtual workshops with other teachers and ESOL experts around the world. Carla Arena, one of the coordinators for this year's EVO provides more background in "Come Join the Electronic Village Online." If you're interested in understanding more of the "big picture" about this annual event, I recommend an article in the TESOL Italy Newsletter (pages 9-10).

Registration continues through Saturday, January 8th. Sessions begin on January 9th and continue through February 12th. Descriptions of the 14 sessions being offered this year are on the TESOL EVO wiki.

I'm an unabashed cheerleader for EVO because the Becoming a Webhead session is what gave me the confidence to start trying things online. In addition to introducing me to a candy store of online tools, EVO introduced me to a network of amazing teachers around the world, who are still showing me new ways to teach and learn!

This year, I'll be co-moderating a session on Digital Storytelling for Young Learners with Shelly Terrell (who recently inspired people in her Mobile Apps for Digital Storytelling workshop at JALT in Tokyo) and Ozge Karaoglu (who is going to be the JALT Junior Plenary speaker in Hamamatsu in October), in addition to David Dodgson, Michelle Worgon, Sabrina de Vita, Jennifer Verschoor, and Esra Girgin. I'm quite nervous as this is another first for me, but excited as well.

I'll also be doing a webinar on using technology to enhance low-tech lessons as part of the IATEFL Young Learners and Teens EVO session (on January 22nd).

If you're uncomfortable with online tools, or connecting with teachers online, I hope you'll check out the Becoming a Webhead session. It's a very gentle introduction to an incredible world. If you are already comfortable online, check out some of the other sessions. There is something to interest everyone. I think everyone ought to enroll for the IATEFL YLT SIG EVO since you can pick and choose which of the speakers you want to listen to.

Once again, registration continues through the 8th and the fun begins on the 9th!

I hope to see you around the Electronic Village this year!

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