I am delivering the final session for the DTE(E)LLS course next Friday
and the topic is Professional Development – what next? I have a rough
outline of the session ready, which includes asking the trainees to
create a visual representation of their CPD journey over the duration of
the course. I was going to give a couple of examples they could use, but
leave it open as to how they may want to represent this. The idea to do
this visually came from a couple of places, one was from a journal
article I read a while ago which reminded me of the importance of using
visuals in the classroom and the other is from the Reflect Approach and the use of visuals to
generate language. Then this evening, I followed a Tweet link which took to this Blog.

It was reading this that has made me realise that what I’m asking in the
session is for trainees to represent + discuss their own PLN in the
session, and then link this to the Reflection assignment. I also
remember seeing a video at the HUDDCETT conference of two students
representing their PLN, and I have now managed to find this.

From re-reading through the resources on the Reflect Approach I now plan to
use some question prompts for trainees to make a concept map to show
their PLN. I’m considering using the idea of a town map to visualise
this, what I need to decide iswhether if I want them to do this individually
and then share with each other, or to try to create a ‘class map’ to
show how learning has happened within and without the group.

This evening I have started to realise that what I am starting to do is
widen my own PLN, and that Twitter seems to be very central to this, but
that I have a lot to learn.

With this realisation, I would say that I use facebook for my personal stuff,
while Twitter is much more a learning tool. I don’t have any friends on
Facebook that I don’t actually know and have never had any intention of
accepting invites from random people. This may explain why it is only
since using Twitter have I so consciously been thinking of my audience.
How much of your character comes across in 140 characters?

In terms of using Twitter as a CPD tool, this is a really interesting
post about why (EFL) teachers should be using Twitter – a link that I found by following a link from a blog that was Tweeted.
It goes through the pros + cons of twitter, and how a pro/con is the
addictive nature of Twitter (definitely know about that) especially if
using TweetDeck with the instant updates.

  1. Cathy says:

    This was probably one of my most overplanned sessions, in terms of amount of thought that went into it vrs no. of activities actually done in class!
    The only paper I took into the session were some vignettes from EFL teachers on how they had used different CPD activities, such as recording yourself, journal prompts, materials groups. The plan for these were as a ‘filler’ task to be done while we waited for late-comers. Good job I did, as due to another training event I only had two people for the first 30 minutes!
    The CPD case history went well, it was interesting to see how each trainee used different visuals to represent the activities they had been doing as well as hearing about the actual activities. Everyone talked about how different activities have impacted on their practice throughout the course, for one person the process of writing has been really important, while another has used a dictaphone to record herself.
    Following this there were three groups looking at blogs, MAs and professional bodies which they researched and presented to each other. After this I showed my presentation on Twitter and talked about my ideas for asking tutors to engage with Web 2.0 technologies and take part in research to investigate the impact of this on their practice. I can;t say that I felt there was a great deal of enthusiasm for it. I need to think about if I want to approach particular people for this.

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