One of the highlights of my summer holiday this year was taking part in the 2011 LARC Social Media Workshop a week long programme of online presentations and hands-on workshops delivered through Elluminate on the use of ICT in language learning. Organised by Director of Instructional Technology and Design at the Language Acquisition Resource Center, Evan Rubin and his co-facilitator Kyle Murley from San Diego University, the totally free event was a great success and drew in participants from all round the world.
Toni Theisen kicked off proceedings with a great keynote followed by Michelle Olah and Catalina Bohorquez, Glenn Cake, Claire Bartlett, Dr. Trevor Shanklin, Dr. Sarah Eaton, Dr. Felix Kronenberg and Shelly Terrell. Sessions covered such tools and topics as Posterous, Google Forms, Weebly, Voicethread, Storybird, digital storytelling, and Personal Learning Networks. Archives of all the sessions can be found here and are well worth checking out. Recordings and resources from 2010 and 2009 are also available for your learning pleasure.
It was an intensive week and required a lot of commitment from organisers, presenters and delegates alike, but resulted in everyone having a rich and meaningful experience. The most memorable moment for me was learning how to use Google Forms properly thanks to Dr Sarah Eaton and thinking how they could work well on an iPod Touch when combined with a QR code and Flubaroo.
Glenn Cake opened my eyes to breakout rooms in Elluminate. Claire Bartlett taught me about Tandem Learning and Dr Felix Kronenberg introduced me to the wonderful site Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon for finding authentic images which promote intercultural understanding. It was also lovely to see a familiar face in Catherine Ousselin who generously shared some of her ideas and resources with other delegates.
I thought Ewan's idea of the Monday showdown where a couple of us had to light-heartedly pitch our preferred tool for delegates to use to present their outcomes at the end of the week was also a cracker.
Here is what they came up with:
- Edward's Posterous blog
- Tricia's Posterous blog
- Amanda Kennedy's wiki
- Mo's Weebly
- Gareth's Weebly and Posterous blog
- Tilla's Weebly
- Janis' Storybird
I very much enjoyed presenting my three hour workshop on easy classroom blogging with Posterous and it was interesting to compare the dynamics of a hands-on session delivered virtually as opposed to face to face. This was one of the topics Evan and I discussed in our post workshop chat over Skype which I've published here.
Thanks again to Evan for organising such a fab, fun and free learning experience and for my attendance certificate too of course! Much appreciated and see you again next year.