I am envisaging a fledgling online teacher training / professional development program to be held online (based at http://tappedin.org, meet there after noon GMT, then branch out at 13:00 from there) to link several balls I’m juggling. These are (1) a professional development course I hope to run face-to-face at my workplace, (2) a course I’m teaching in September for TESOL, (3) a PD series I’d like to organize for the TESOL Arabia EdTech SIG, and (4) an attempt to breathe life into the weekly Webheads sessions which have been going on each Sunday noon GMT since 1998.
I plan to start these events at 13:00 GMT this Sunday Sept 5, 2010, 5 p.m. here in the UAE. The first event will be held at EduNation in Second Life, hosted by Heike Phelp and others (http://webheads.grouply.com/message/149 for more information, and the event will take place at this SLURL
That day (Sunday) and time (13:00 GMT) is chosen for several reasons.
- It’s a good time for global networking. It’s early morning in the western hemisphere and around 1 to 3 or 4 pm in Europe. For people in Asia it’s no later than 9 or 10 pm. It’s on a Sunday which is free time for a lot of people in these areas, but a working day for us in the UAE, which also has its advantages, since people in the TESOL Arabia EdTechSIG in the UAE would have the option of connecting either from work or from home. Home might be most convenient for some in case of firewall issues at work
- This is at a time when the PLN Webheads has been meeting each Sunday at noon GMT for the past decade. As such it’s an established meeting time with people accustomed to attending to what’s going on at that time
- The start date coincides with a course I’m teaching from Sept 6 to Oct 3 for TESOL on Multiliteracies for Social Networking and Collaborative Learning Environments. For that course I’ll be scheduling some online events. For example I am scheduled to give a talk on PLNs for the YL (Young Learner) SIG in IATEFL on Sept 19 at 1300 GMT, or 5 pm here in the UAE, which will be a part of the above mentioned series, and anyone wishing to tune in will be welcome.
- The timing also coincides with a teacher training course I plan to propose for the Petroleum Institute based on my 21centuryskills4pdo model (http://tinyurl.com/21centuryskills4pdo). My plan has been to have a F2F course running here that would coincide with my online course for TESOL in September. This also feeds into preparation of teachers for some of the teaching materials I’ll be developing for Intensive English students this fall, dealing with Google Docs, Delicious, Internet Search, and so on.
I would be inviting all participants in any of these courses / networks to move within all at once and acquire 21st century skills for professional development through immersion and osmosis, as one would a language if one were to go to a country in which that language was spoken. This might not immediately appeal to people who prefer top-down guidance in their PD, though group members can be counted on to go out of their way to accommodate and guide them; we’re known to be good about that :-).
On the other hand, people who are ready to dedicate some time to taking advantage of opportunities for PD should find this a rich concatenation of events, which they themselves will be able to a certain extent to direct (as one would approach a berry bush, picking the most appealing and nearby berries, as opposed to learning through a conduit, another metaphor for information transfer).
If you are reading this post and would like to join us, you could do so
- through the Webheads list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evonline2002_webheads/,
- consult the events calendar for the Multiliteracies course at http://multiliteracies.ning.com/,
- or just turn up any Sunday noon GMT at http://tappedin.org and we’ll steer you to our current meeting point.
As we say in the UAE, ahlan wa sahlan, all are welcome,
A version of this post appears at: http://taedtech.ning.com/profiles/blogs/21st-century-skills-for-online
The Tiny URL for this post is http://tinyurl.com/curious100902