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16
TESL Ontario Conference - Day 1
October 16, 2014
Collaboration and Networking

Collaboration and networking are what the conference is all about.  I got to meet some bonifide ESL celebrities, well, at least in my opinion.  Met and talked to Joanne Pettis, and the English Online folks. They kind of stand out, in their bright orange shirts.

One thing that did stand out, and it was quite apparent, was that you were not there.  You, as in my fellow TESL London colleagues, and the many other "you's" from previously funded LINC programs.  Your absence was keenly felt, in the empty seats, and wide open spaces in the exhibitors's room.  I know that not all of our members are LINC funded and that the conference is expensive.  That said, I do wish that more of us could have had the opportunity to connect.

Workshop Tally

Attended 4 workshops today + the welcome reception. 

Workshop #1:  PBLA  Okay, we all know it's coming and there's nothing we can do to stop it.  Might as well ride this puppy and see where it takes us.  I'd rather be at the reigns then not.  There is some dissent in the ranks over implementing PBLA in the classroom, some resistence, and also, quite a few proponents.  Some think PBLA is a "passing trend" and "if you've been in ESL as long as I have, you've seen it all, this too shall pass".

I think they're serious about making PBLA The Process.  It will be a process that adapts and grows, and it won't always look exactly as it does now - future incarnations of PBLA will modify, grow, use technology that we haven't even dreamed about yet.  It's got to be a living, breathing organism if it has any hope of surviving.  I think one of the American states is called the "show me state".  That's what PBLA is - it's the "show me" process.  Yeah, it's Missouri.  I can google.

Workshops #2-3-4: The next three workshops I attended were all in the same room.  You'd think I was a genius for organizing it that way.  Truth be told, I was beat.  Just figured I'd stay put, kind of take a conference-roulette approach.  I had a comfortable seat, access to Wifi...  The first workshop was one I hadn't initially signed up for, but was persuaded to attend by the eloquent presenters who showed up for my first workshop (the one in the other room).  Topic - e-Portfolios.

For those of you who know me, anything with an "e" in front of it is going to get my attention.  Plus, I have my own ideas mucking about on the concept of an e-portfolio and wanted to see if the presenters and I would be on the same page.  Long story short, no.  But I did learn something. I know, because I tweeted it.  But now I forget.  Remember, long day.  Follow TESL London's tweets, then you'd know what a genius I really am.

The other workshops were about MALL - mobile assisted language learning.  It was about using "apps" on your "smartphone".

Psst, I'll tell you a secret.  I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm not The Tech Guru that many people think I am.  And, as I found out today, I am, officially, the Last Person on Earth Without a Cell Phone.  I have an iPad.  I use it regularly and often, but no cell phone.  After this workshop, I desperately want one.  The "apps" that are out there are awesome.  Highly useful and relevant.

Buzzwords of the Conference: MALL, digital literacy, e-portfolios, dead links, PBLA

Will keep you informed about tomorrow's workshops, my own presentation, and what's happening on Saturday.



Filed under: Teaching Tips, Lesson Plans

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