No time, and not enough leave to attend conferences, but the good ones are online these days.
For instance: http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2014/sessions/index
Two talks I watched were:
Nicky Hockly: Teaching with mobile devices: choices and challenges http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2014/sessions/2014-04-02/teaching-mobile-devices-choices-and-challenges
Gavin Dudeney: Together in electric dreams: pondering the future of EdTech http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2014/sessions/2014-04-02/together-electric-dreams-pondering-future-edtech
Both are well known names in technology and EFL. Both gave quite good talks. I notice now that there seems to be a tendency for speakers to get their audience to talk in groups for 5-10 minutes. I guess at the actual talk this is makes it a quite a bit more interesting, but can they cut it out of the video? Gavin Dudeney opens to the floor for the last few minutes, which I liked as well.
Nicky Hockly – three questions she asked (or put on a slide) which were though provoking.
1. When devices are mobile (something you can carry around)
2. When learners are mobile (the learner is not stuck in one place; learning vocab on the bus)
3. When the learning experience is mobile (move learners around the school, or city, as they are learning)
Gavin Dudeney had an interesting technique – he randomised his slides and then asked the audience to decide whether each one was an opportunity or a threat. For instance, ‘shared study’ where people get together and ‘produce language learning opportunities’, or platforms where teachers can sell their services. Is this a threat or an opportunity for me? MOOCs came up at the end, and Gavin was not very supportive of them – “Do the certificates have any worth?” – For his company he has a maximum online group size of 14 and 2 tutors if the group size is more than 10. A new Coursera course for language teachers was mentioned.