If you follow my blog, Twitter or various groups I'm a member of you'll have noticed that this year has been a particularly polemical one in terms of discussions about the 'good' and 'bad' of technologies in teaching. If you're like me, you may be a little overwhelmed with all this and - yes - perhaps even a little bored!
I suspect it's inevitable that at some point in my month-long tenure here on the site we will have that conversation again. That's perfectly fine, of course, but I'd also like to explore other aspects of technologies in education and I've got some areas which you might want to pick up on to get the conversation started...
For this initial discussion, I'd like to hear from you if you're using technologies in your teaching and training, and what form that takes? Tell us a bit about your classes: your learners, your access to technology, and (and this interests me greatly) describe an activity or class which involved technology which you think was particularly successful. Why do you incorporate technologies and how do your learners feel about that? Has it impacted positively on your teaching (and their learning) or is it simply another part of your repertoire. Is technology important to you as a teacher / trainer?
I'd also like to hear from you if you're not using technology: is it due to availability, lack of experience, lack of interest, target learners, or...?
I have to confess I'm currently putting together a talk for the annual IATEFL conference to be held in Harrogate next April and I'm researching teachers' attitudes to technology (both positive and negative), so I'm interested in both sides of the discussion.
And do you use technology in your own life (perhaps professional development online, or to take a distance course)? Do your learners use technology in theirs? Just exactly where does it fit into your existence, both personal and professional.
I think that's a good place to start, and I'm looking forward to hearing your reactions to these initial questions, as well as anything else you want to throw into the pot. I'll also be publishing a couple of articles over the month, the first dealing with the digital divide and how it impacts on some of the work I do, and the second about teacher communities online and how they help develop teachers above and beyond formal training and peer support in schools.
I'll be away from November 5th - 8th at the TESOL France conference in Paris, but I hope to be able to keep up with all your postings and look forward to the discussion.
Gavin's now finished blogging on the site - check the Guest Writers page to see who our current blogger is.