Sunday, 31 August 2008

Holiday Homework 3: Social Networking for the Next Academic Year

It is official. My name is Isabelle and I am a Ning addict.

I like the fact that you can associate with groups of fellow professionals and find out about their experience of education in their own country, although Ning languages network seem to be dominated by American and Australian “educators”-not a word often used in UK edu-speech.

I have gradually got more involved with Talkabout Primary, my first Ning, created by "Ning Queen" Jo Rhys-Jones, a teacher from Devon, my favourite part of England and another fellow Ning anonymous member??. I often call it my "favourite Ning" as it was the first one I ever joined and I have seen it grow and develop. I am not always as directly involved as I would like to be and I am still to write a blog post a la Lisa Stevens, who is another active contributor and constant source of inspiration.

However, I have really enjoyed participating in the conversations on the forum and trying to get to find out more about each member from as they join. I even created a Spanish group when I found out I would be concentrating on Spanish Primary liaison. I have not really done a lot with it yet but the fact that some people already joined it make me aware of where to find support or where to go to pick other people’s minds-I will have to make sure all members feel the same…

Over the holidays, I also found out about the RezEd Ning, a Ning dedicated to teaching and learning in Virtual World. As part of my holiday homework was to start with Second Life, I joined the Language teachers’ group set up by Baldric Commons -Graham Stanley in RL- which has provided with some support with my SL holiday homework.

I am also moderating the Fabulous French Teachers group on Jess McCullough’s Technolanguages. Jess is a teacher of Chinese based in Australia and she is also keen to promote ICT integration into language teaching.

With the sad situation of language learning in the UK, getting involved with the FFT group has been a breath of fresh air as it has made me stop the navel-gazing to finding out about what is happening out there in different parts of the world including mostly the US and Australia. I find the Technolanguages Ning a constant source of personal and professional development and I am grateful to Jess for allowing me to get more involved in it.

I also joined the fabulous EFL Classroom 2.0 Ning run by David Deubel , an experienced teacher of ESL/ EFL from Canada, who has taught all over the world including the Czech Republic , France, Ukraine, Canada and Korea.

I feel that languages teachers in general have a lot to learn from what is happening in EFL as it is represented all around the world unlike the teaching of some other languages for various cultural and sometimes also political reasons. For instance, and I stand to be corrected, I am under the impression that Spanish is not selling really well in Australia whereas it is a certainly a very popular subject in the US! This Ning is a goldmine of ideas and resources to integrate ICT in lessons, an area in which we can all contribute and benefit from.

Finally, I decided it was time to join Nings directly run in French and Spanish, so I joined Internet en el Aula some time ago and I decided to set up a “FLE dans le monde” group on Florence Meichel’ s Apprendre 2.0.

Florence has set up a fantastic platform with Apprendre 2.0 and I really welcome the opportunity to connect with fellow native speakers as well as using French as a lingua franca with French teachers from all over the world.
Alors si vous enseignez le francais ou si vous voulez enseigner le francais, n’hesitez pas. Rejoignez-nous !


Karen said...

Thanks so much for the links. I shall look into them - especially the Spanish language and technology groups

Graham said...

Hi there! Nice blog - I'll be back as I need to brush up on my French and it looks like you have a lot of resources here...