Five IATEFL members from around the world were asked to send in their views and predictions to the following questions: where will teachers’ associations be in ten or twenty years’ time? What future do they have? In my contribution to that article, instead of providing the answers, I decided to ask a lot of other questions. Five years on, I think that there are still many questions, but I believe teacher associations – be they small or large, formal or informal, face to face or online – will always have a place in teacher professional and personal development. Our essentially gregarious nature will always seek ways of bonding. The ways we choose to bond may change though. We may well spend less time face to face, though this will always be important locally.
But what I am especially thinking about now is that with the ever increasing spread of internet via mobile phones across the world, more and more people are and will be using social media for personal and professional development. The concept of setting up and nurturing your own personal/professional learning network (PLN) is gaining momentum on the web. It is an attractive idea as it favours autonomous learning, learner choices, flexibility, openness, etc. As such, this new option of professional development will certainly play a role in the professional life of our TA members – mostly made up of educators.
And I have got a new question to the list I wrote in 2006:
In the year 2015, will TAs have evolved into more open and fluid organisations as a reflection of the growth of PLNs?
What about you? What does the future hold for your teacher association? How will technology make you change?
Over to you!