Laura Loves Languages

A place for many opinions

NECTFL 2008: languagelabunleashed

Big props to Felix Kronenburg to come to the Marriott Marquis in NYC  all the way from Pomona California to introduce East Coast language educators at NECTFL to languagelabunleashed, a professional development gem on the web that is so much more than a blog. One of the topics that came up during a very insightful and comfortable conversation about technology-enhanced language learning was how to engage the many FL faculty who never make it to a professional conference for whatever reason.   LLU regularly hosts informative sessions and live webcasts where listeners can join in easily  both to listen and  chat . Tech o’ Tuesdays feature tech tips on topics like recording skype, file conversions and new 2.0 applications. Other webcasts cover topics like using skype for language exchanges, Wikipedia in the classroom and a very interesting show that I heard myself on foreign language learner anxiety. The beauty of these programs is that they are archived and serve the PD needs of all the FL teachers who have the LLU URL.

In addition to the live broadcasts, the LLU team are seasoned backchannelers. They go to conferences and blog about sessions while they are sitting in them. This is a very inclusive approach to sharing ideas at conferences linking those who were there to those who were not. In effect, it extends the conversation and the networking well beyond the original talk so that a multitude of participants can potentially benefit. However, live  backchanneling, that makes conference proceedings available in real time, presupposes an Internet connection in the session room which is not routinely available in many conference venues. When broadband connections become truly ubiquitous, more teachers will be able to join in the discussions -some in the session room and some in blogs. It is up to all of us to imagine the kinds of discussions that technology will enable to make professional development available to all.

April 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

1 Comment »

  1. Laura:

    Thank you for the comments and for the kind words about our LLU.

    I should mention that Felix is one of (now) 5 bloggers that frequent the site, each of us with different “spins” on using technology for teaching languages (why so many? Well, because there is no one way of doing what we do, and we believe that we can all learn from each others’ expertise vs trying to do it all on opur own).

    Jan Marston from Drake University just joined us and she will be talking about teaching Culture and Languages acroiss the Curriculum. Doug Canfield talks about virtual worlds an SLA, Felix and Ryan do a masterful job of talking about the tools, and I tend to talk about teaching with social software (blogging and Skype in particular)

    We would –love– to have a K-12 teacher/tech person/blogger join us… hint hint hint

    If you have any suggestions about topics and threads you would like for us to pursue, by all means, let us know!



    Comment by Barbara | April 14, 2008 | Reply

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