The theme of the conference was ‘inspiration’ and so there were a lot of talks about motivation in the classroom.
My own presentation fell into that bracket: Motivation Zero to 2.0 Hero
Josh was speaking about professional development and how important it is for the teaching staff to be encouraged into CPD and how he does this at SGI. He also outlined how he recruits teacher nowadays on the basis of their clear evidence of career progression. (He also speaks about this here in an mp3 interview)
Here’s a super quick excerpt of the SGI boys doing their thaang…
The IATEFL roving reporter got her hands on me and Josh to have a quick ipad interview…
but much more interesting is the effortlessly personable, Ken Wilson (below). Ken gave a fantastic plenary called ‘Ten Memorable Quotes’, which was thought-provoking, entertaining, loud (in terms of audience participation) and incredibly smoothly delivered. All of the quotes were from famous people throughout history and none of the quotes were specifically about teaching, but Ken cleverly explained how the quotes could be taken on board to inspire your teaching. My favourite quote of the ten was by Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It’s so true, isn’t it? Everybody remembers the best teacher from their school days and also, the worst teacher, don’t they?
I also really liked Roland Straub‘s talk about SKYPE lessons. He had a really nice section where he was interacting online with his ‘nerdy, but cool coz he’s a nerd’ friend to show off Google Hangouts for group lessons and also how to use PAMELA software for recording students’ skype classes and using the emergent language for further lesson material.
Google Hangouts looks particularly useful for online classes as it has some excellent features not yet available in SKYPE, such as:
1) Multiple users in the conversation – up to 10 people…. Skype only has this as a premium service
2) Users sharing and editing documents in real time
3) Users all watching a youtube video together at the same time and being able to comment (with the sound cleverly turning down on the video so that you can hear what the person is saying.
I currently use Googledocs in conjunction with skype to give online lessons, but this Hangout solution seems to rule out the need for SKYPE in future. Well done, Google! And well done Roland for making all his attendees aware of this in a laidback talk.
That’s the best thing about conferences, taking something away that you weren’t aware of beforehand and meeting like-minded professionals who have got an interesting story to tell.