Here is a graph from the recent Language Trends survey carried out by CILT which shows most teachers still prefer their CPD to be one day courses, but the question is this realistic in the climate we find ourselves in?
Likewise Links into Languages has recently published the results of a survey they carried out last term which also revealed most teachers prefer face to face CPD and opportunities to network, but also a ‘demand for increased participation in online activities to share ideas on methodology, pedagogical approaches and resources that work well in the classroom’
The MFL Twitterati, a supportive group of language professionals interested in sharing good practice in language teaching with or without ICT. Now you may ask what is the difference between a language forum and Twitter. Well Twitter allows you to build your own personal learning network. You can follow and block who you like, protect or unprotect your tweets as you wish whereas a forum doesn’t allow the same degree of personalisation. You get what you’re given essentially. Twitter is also real time. You can keep updated about the latest events as they happen. Twitter is not about following the minutiae of your favourite celebrities, it is an awesome tool for improving your own continuing professional development or in the words of Isabelle Jones, a blend of the personal and professional For example through Twitter I know that ...Jose Picardo cooks a mean Sunday roast,Lisa Stevens and Chris Fuller are mad Liverpool fansAnnalise Adam has a dog called MerlinAnd Helena Butterfield loves her caravan.Why is this information important, you ask. Well it means through Twitter, I have got to know my virtual colleagues as real people not just names in a forum. This is why when the MFL Twitterati meet up at conferences like this there is such a buzz around the place because they feel as if they know each other already.
Here is a Wordle of the tweets sent in response to the question What does the MFL Twitterati mean to you? As you can see what the community values the most is the support and ideas it receives. Now let’s watch a short clip to see exactly what they wrote.
Continuing professional development this time its personal!
Continuing Professional Development.<br />This time it's personal!<br />www.joedale.typepad.com<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />
Links survey 1 in 4 find CPD hard to access<br />
Coming to terms with Twitter<br />‘What started as a few language teachers 'tweeting' about what they were doing has become well over 100 from around the world. It's quite hard to comprehend having a virtual staffroom of that many people with good ideas and opinions. It has led to teachers publicising articles on their blogs which ordinarily I wouldn't have seen, I find out about events for professional development that I wouldn't have known about, and it has, without doubt put me into contact with some very influential educationalists who have taken time to give me guidance and advice.<br />Coming to terms with Twitter - Alex Blagona April 2010<br />
The Mother of Invention - Make do and mend<br />teachers should develop their own personal learning network (PLN) using blogs, forums and social networking tools like Twitter. "There's a strong, vibrant, supportive community of teachers on Twitter, with many of them sharing resources and ideas,"<br />Joe Dale 2011<br />