In the lead up to the 2014 IATEFL conference, the registered bloggers have worked together to start a ‘chain reaction’ blog challenge: I choose two or three of this year’s registered bloggers and introduce them on my blog. These bloggers have then in turn chosen other registered bloggers and interview them… and so it goes on until you all have a good idea of who will be blogging about this year’s event. So far I’ve kicked things off with this interview from Lizzie Pinard, this one from David Petrie and this one from Christina Rebuffet-Broadus. I’m delighted to be able to finish my ‘shift’ today with the legendary Graham Stanley:
Please introduce yourself
I’m Graham Stanley and I moved to Montevideo after 18 years teaching English in Barcelona, Spain. I work as the project manager for the British Council on the Plan Ceibal English project. We are teaching English via video-conferencing in primary schools throughout Uruguay and are currently expanding to teaching 2,000 classes a week. I am also a teacher trainer and author of books for teachers. My first book, Digital Play: Computer games and language aims (Delta, 2011) was awarded the British Council’s ELT Innovation award (ELTon) for Teacher Resources and my second book,Language Learning with Technology (CUP, 2013) won the English Speaking Union Duke of Edinburgh ELT Book of the year award and has just been nominated for an ELTon.
Could you give us brief details about what you’ll be doing at IATEFL 2014?
For the first time in seven years, I won’t be at the conference, but I will be keeping a close eye on proceedings through the Harrogate Online site, and plan to participate in the After Hours webinar on Friday afternoon, which is open to everyone (physiscally at the conference or not) to discuss ideas on different talks they have seen.
What areas of the conference are you interested in?
My main special interest is in using learning technologies and how they can be adapted to help teachers and students in the classroom and outside of it. During the conference, I’ll mainly be trying to keep up with what my peers in this field are doing. I’m also part of the online team for the IATEFL Young Learner and Teenagers SIG, so I’ll be taking a keen interest in any sessions related to this too.
Do you blog? Could you tell us about it?
I’m proud to say that I was one of the very first ELT bloggers, and have been blogging at blog-efl.blogspot.com since 2003. I first planned to use my blog with students, but over time it evolved into an online notebook that I used to record and share my reflections on teaching and learning languages. During conferences, I often live blog, and write summary reports of the sessions I see – I expect that I’ll be doing some of this during IATEFL too, even though I won’t be physically present for the talks.
What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?
Normally I’d be looking forward to catching up with people I know from my PLN (Personal Learning Network) over a coffee or a beer, but since that isn’t possible, I’ll be trying to interact as well as I can with the people at the conference, using the Harrogate Online forums, Twitter (@grahamstanley) and Facebook, etc.
Why did you sign up as an IATEFL registered blogger?
I actually administered this for the British Council three years ago when they first had the idea of doing it, and when I was social media manager for the British Council English websites. I signed up then because I thought it was a great idea, did so last year and will be doing so this year. I like the idea of the registered bloggers being listed on the IATEFL Harrogate Online website as it brings people’s attention to what effectively is an extension of the conference into the edublogosphere, which despite what some commentators are saying, is very much alive and kicking. This initiative of yours, Adam, is also a great idea and will also help to create a community of teachers who are blogging during the conference.
For the next week or two I’ll be focusing on the IATEFL Conference here on the blog. I hope you’ll join me.