The Fair List web site was launched on Saturday, September 28th 2013. The response has been great. Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support and offers of help. It’s been very encouraging. And here is our first Guest Blogger, Nicky Hockly, Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E.
Welcome Nicky, and thanks for contributing.
Women and Webinars
I work with technology. Specifically, helping teachers integrate new technologies into their language teaching, whether online or in the face-to-face (f2f) classroom. And although the stereotypical image of someone interested in technology is a geeky teenage boy, I know lots of women EFL teachers who are involved too. But interestingly, when you look at conference plenary speakers on technology (and indeed on any topic), the majority are men. Working as the IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group (SIG) Online Events Coordinator from 2011-2013, I saw my chance to even things up.
Under the auspices of the SIG, I launched a series of webinars (online seminars) on topics connected to technology and language teaching. Who should I invite to present at our webinars? A whole host of very competent women teachers and trainers immediately sprang to mind. I made a deliberate decision to ensure that our first series of webinars included women presenters only. How often do f2f events include male plenary speakers only? I didn’t have a problem with a bit of positive discrimination!
From December 2011 to July 2012, we ran a total of seven webinars with women presenters, on a range of ICT and ELT related topics: Mobile Learning (with Caroline Moore), Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) (with Barbara Gardner), Implementing ICT in your Institution (with Lauren Brumfield), Collaborative ICT Projects (with Shelly Terrell), E-safety (with Carol Rainbow), Using Social Media with Learners (with Petra Pointer), and Self-development with ICT (with Mariam Attia). How did I choose these women? I knew they were all doing interesting and innovative things with technology in their English language classes, I knew they had a lot to say, and I knew they would say it extremely well. I wasn’t wrong.
Our second series of webinars kicked off in November 2012, and this time I aimed for parity in our speakers, with a balance of men and women (after all, fair’s fair). This time around we had
Karen Benson, Michael Griffiths, Sophia Khan & Kyle Smith from Australia discussing AusELT, and Zeke Pottage & Damien Herlihy (also from Australia) explaining how they use VoiceThread with students. Starting in January 2013, we had Pete Sharma and Gavin Dudeney debating the pros and cons of IWBs, Kristina Smith discussing online correction tools, Carla Arena sharing her mobile learning projects from Brazil, Paul Driver also on mobile learning, and Karin Tiraşin & Çigdem Ugur talking about how they use smart phones with their learners in Turkey.
Given that there are so many talented women speakers on technology (and other topics) in our profession, I wanted to use the modest platform of the IATEFL LT SIG to promote many of those I knew to be doing excellent work in the field. I hope I succeeded!
Note: Members of the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG can watch video recordings of any of these webinars on the SIG website: www.ltsig.org
Nicky Hockly has been involved in EFL teaching and teacher training since 1987. She is Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E (www.theconsultants-e.com), an online teacher training and development consultancy. She is co-author of How to Teach English with Technology, Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies, Teaching Online and most recently of Digital Literacies (2013). She has published an e-book, Webinars: A Cookbook for Educators (the-round.com), and is currently working on a book on mobile and handheld learning. She maintains a blog called E-moderation Station at: www.emoderationskills.com. She is also currently joint Co-ordinator of the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG.