Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Journal article version

Wow, after months of hard work, here finally is a journal article version of my Web 2.0 presentation, published online as part of the JALT2007 Conference Proceedings. This is actually my first ever publication! Here is the abstract:
With the rapid development of the Internet, emerging technologies are reshaping the context of web-based information and creating numerous opportunities for enhanced classroom practice and professional development. Blogging, wikis, podcasting, and social networking are a few examples of so-called Web 2.0 technologies that language teachers are currently exploring. While early adopters have made impressive use of these new tools, many ELT instructors remain on the outside looking in—wanting to know more, but overwhelmed by the rapid pace of change. This article challenges the assumption that only those already in-the-know can keep up with educational technology. For educators new to the Web 2.0 evolution, clarity and direction is provided through defining Web 2.0 in layman’s terms and introducing key technological concepts such as folksonomy, RSS feeds, and syndication. In addition, a theoretical foundation for a technology enhanced pedagogy is outlined, one that places Web 2.0 within a social constructivist and connectivist context. Finally, an overview of relevant technologies applicable to ELT is provided, along with successful classroom usage models and links to online resources.
What's interesting is the changes I was encouraged to make and how the article differs slightly from the live presentation version. The differences reflect my growing learning on the subject as well as the differences between text and live presentations. One key difference was that I totally dropped the Why Bother section. The reviewer made a good point that its "negative" tone detracted from the overall quality of the piece. I'm really happy with the way this came out. Please feel free to link to or use this article in any way you see fit.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Audio "Slidecast" version

Finally, after a lot more work than I expected, here is an audio slideshow version of this presentation. I've posted it over at slideshare.net, and have used their service to create a "slidecast," which is accomplished by creating an audio mp3 file and then syncing it to the slides with their online syncing system. Due to the length and complexity of my presentation, this was A LOT of work! Still, it's very nice to have the presentation in somewhat of a final form. Any comments on it would be most appreciated.

Oh, one more thing: If you wish to view the slideshow fullscreen, just click on the "view" link below. Doing so will take you to the slideshare.net website, where you can then click on the "full" link in the lower right of the slide screen.

UPDATE (August 5th, 2008): I'm happy to report that my first ever slidecast has, to date, been viewed 3,862 times! I've also gotten some very kind feedback and several bloggers have embedded it into their sites. This is all very exciting to me and speaks well of this Slideshare service. It's a great feeling (and rather adictive, I may add!) to know that people value your efforts. This must be what a student feels like after receiving praise from their teacher! Something teachers shouldn't forget! :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

How it went

I'm back in Toyama after having survived my first ever presentation. It was such an intense experience! From throwing up the day before, to having to redo many slides due to lack of Internet access (only to finally figure out how to connect a few hours before, thus having to frantically redo slides again at the last moment), to there being WAY more people attending than I had expected (and thus not having enough handouts), to the presence of CALL experts such as Bill Pellowe and Arron Campbell (both of whom I featured in various slides)... wow, it was all too much.

I was so nervous that I don't know how I got through it, but somehow I managed. I had sort of an "out of body" experience, with a feeling of watching myself detachedly as these words came out of my mouth. Seriously, it was a surreal feeling. In addition, I seriously over-prepared, and had to really rush at the end, nearly completely skipping over the "Social Networking" section altogether (thus negating all of that last minute panic work).

After it was all said and done, several folks came up and graciously offered me some kind words. That felt immensely fantastic. A couple of dear friends were also able to be there, and it meant all the world to me. I learned a lot from this experience, and I look forward to presenting on a related topic again next year. Next time I won't attempt such a grandiose theme and focus instead on something smaller and more practical. For example, I could do a session just on simple social networking applications, making up for what I missed...

Anyway, I'm grateful to all who attended, and I'm looking forward to continuing my investigations on this topic. There's a lot here I can work with, and already some ideas are coming to mind. I'll be using this blog to work these out.

For anyone interested, I've updated the presentation references. The pdf file can be downloaded here, via the link on the right, or from the JALT 2007 Handout Center. This paper contains links to all of the articles, resources, and websites mentioned in the talk.

Oh, and one other thing: in my nervousness, I failed to operate my digital recorder properly, and I got nothing!! Strangely I'm not too broken up about this. I'm busy at work now on a video slideshow version of it, so give me a week and a day or so to get that posted. I'm currently mulling over a few options, such as posting it over at VoiceThread so I can continue a conversation about it.


Finally, I'm especially grateful to my co-workers at TCFL for all of their help and support. Couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The day before my JALT 2007 presentation

I leave for Tokyo tomorrow, and I hope to successfully present on the following topic: "Web 2.0 in the ELT classroom: An introduction." I'll be recording it, then posting the audio file here. You can also download my list of references, here. This is my first-ever presentation, and I'm looking forward to it.