Previously, it was all about looking back at my journey this year through my favourite 11 posts, but that journey is much more than just my blog, it’s path is woven through the winding, twisting, infuriating and inspiring blogosphere out there. This review of 2011 is made up of blog posts that members of my PLN wrote that I wish I’d written, but I didn’t and am eternally jealous.
The zombie apocalypse and its role in the ELT classroom by Adam Simpson
With the Walking Dead entertaining us with hours of character development (and some bloody disgusting zombie destruction) on TV, my appreciation for the brain-loving undead forced my eye to catch Adam’s superb ideas surrounding a choose-your-own-adventure zombie youtube video, a format I’d never seen before this.
The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators #30Goals by Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Pushing teachers out of their comfortable ruts is an enviable challenge. With her incredible efforts and enthusiasm (short term goal, long term goal, podcast, video), Shelly inspired educators everywhere including several of my posts this year. Plus, they gave her a reason to visit me in Toronto.
My (initial) two cents on Assessing students… by Cecilia Lemos
Though I’ve never fully believed in standardised tests like TOEFL or TOEIC thanks to years watching Korean private language schools teach the test not the language, Cecilia’s post about e-folios pushed the debate further and gave me that push to try out portfolios in my own program. This is what is supposed to happen from a post–real change.
my FAVORITE etymology EVER [1-min blog blast] by Brad Patterson
One of my favourite skills to practice with students is connection building. Another is vocabulary building. I envy anyone who is proficient in more than one language and a deep understanding of how words across languages are related. Brad’s passion for etymology is infectious and this post that connects intelligent with collectivism and logic is an epitome of connection and vocabulary building.
Gavin Dudeney’s comment on his post On PLNSs by Gavin Dudeney
There is a certain you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours love fest within the blogging environment. There also tends to be a fear of criticising, even if constructively, PLN’s lessons, activities and posts. Where once the Internet was filled with anonymous (and misguided) courage, now taking responsibility for comments can suppress real professional growth. This comment, even more than the post itself, is often something I’ve felt.
Presenters in peril – is Twitter to blame??!!! by Jeremy Harmer
Aside from the sheer number of comments on this post–a dream of any blogger to inspire such diverse dialogue–being a relatively new conference presenter and keynote speaker, the quandary of my talks being recorded or posted in some way has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Though I think I’d be flattered if someone tweeted my talk concurrently, I’m at the newbie end here. Read the dialogue that follows the post for some great insight from many speakers.
Willing to share but not willing to pay for the privilege by Dave Dodgson
Among several other reasons that I dislike certain large ELT organisations is the fact that at their conferences, presenters are not only unrewarded with any honoraria, but in fact must pay regular registration fees. Because of Dave’s post, I’ve realised that this is usual, even though the board that I sit on, TESL Toronto, does the opposite. Why is sharing so often unrewarded unless you’ve got a book under your belt?
An urban tale by Ceri Jones
I couldn’t have written this post because I didn’t know this activity exactly, but it’s one that really caught my attention because of its collaborative and narrative nature. Ceri has given many activities in her posts, but this ‘trapped in an elevator’ premise is real enough to elicit powerful and personal writing.
Five minutes to live — lesson plan by Mike Harrison
To be honest, I feel like I’d favourited this video before Mike’s post, but I couldn’t figure out from where, so I’m just going to go with the idea that it was Mike who found it first. It’s one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever seen and his lesson that goes with it is one that brings up a lot of ideas for ways to use it.
If “Google” is translating then I’ll start revamping by Naomi Epstein via Vicky Loras
Naomi makes the point that you shouldn’t fight the technology, but work with it to make your lesson planning more effective–an approach to a common complaint that is more affirmative and productive than most others I’ve read.
What exactly is the round? by Lindsay Clandfield via the round
I’ve been involved in the publishing industry from the retail side and gained a lot of experience with who the big publishers are as well as intimate exposure to the truly helpful and true crap they put out. I’ve always wanted to contribute to the former and even came close to collaborating in a new publishing company myself, but ultimately, what there’s a mass market for and what will sell is more important than what I’m passionate about. This is why the round’s birth intrigues me so much, because it’s heading in a different direction and promises niche titles for a niche market (not to mention the whole mentorship gloriousness).
So, you little inspiring monsters, continue to write out your thoughts and don’t let anything stop you. I’ll try to do these equal justice so I don’t have to make a post like this again next year. ;)