#KELTchat preview: 31 March, 2013

Hi everyone!

#KELTChat returns again at 8pm today (Sunday) for another round of chatting. This week’s poll winner was the topic “Tech tools we should be using”.

Seemingly few people these days have a completely technology free classroom, especially in a country as connected as Korea. Tonight’s chat gives you the opportunity both to share your technology tips and to hear other peoples’s success stories. We’d prefer to keep this a positive sharing experience, so tonight’s discussion is not intended to be a debate as to whether or not we should be using technology, though if it goes that way, then so be it.

In preparation for this chat, here are a few questions to think about.

  • How much do you use technology in class, and how much would you like to?
  • What tech tools and resources do you use to provide input to your students?
  • What tech tools and resources do you use to provide a platform for student output?
  • How do you use technology to help students in class (for example planning speaking or writing)?
  • Do you have any useful tools to help with admin?
  • What challenges do you face in using  technology and how can these be dealt with? 
  • How can students use technology tools to keep learning outside of class?

We look forward to seeing you at 8pm tonight! Happy tweeting!

If you’re new to Twitter chatting and aren’t sure quite how it works, check out this handy guide. If you have no idea what #KELTChat is, have a look here or here. You can also contact us through Twitter (@breathyvowel, @JosetteLB, @michaelegriffin, @alexswalsh, @annehendler, @johnpfordresher) or on our Facebook page.

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#KELTchat Poll for March 31, 2013

Hello #KELTchatters and friends,

Our last chat on experiments us all thinking about what else we can try in our classrooms. If you feel stuck in a rut and need a little inspiration, check out last week’s freshly published summary to see what changes you might be interested in making.

We’re back for a chat on Sunday at 8pm and we would love to know what you’d like to talk about! Please click on your favorite choice below to vote. You’ll then see a handy preview pop up on Twitter and Facebook closer to the time of the chat.

Thanks for voting!

Experiments We’re Trying: KELTchat Summary (March 17, 2013)

For the first KELTchat of the new school year, we thought it might be fun to learn more about the experiments teachers were interested in trying. Despite the lack of talk of bunsen burners and beakers, there wasn’t any shortage of experimental thinking during this chat. We discovered that many teachers are excited and eager to try new things, and that KELTchatters are adventurous learners.

“We are all learning here” — My mentor. #memorable #KELTchat > @michaelegriffin

Laboratory Equipment from ELTpics http://www.flickr.com/photos/eltpics/sets/

photo from #ELTpics

Our non-experimental, tried-and-tested moderators for the evening were Alex Grevett and Mike Griffin. And in case I’m not able to bring a voice to each teacher who joined us, I’d like to list them — and also recommend you follow them on Twitter — to show our gratitude for making the chat such a lively and inspiring one: @TomTesol@RhettTeacher, @bryanteacher@AnneHendler@AmelieKelly@GemL1@citoyennemondia@hallg@AlexSWalsh, and @ChopEDU.

Alex G. offered up the first question:

Why should teachers experiment?

Many of us agreed that experimenting keeps teaching fresh. This freshness is connected to the learning — about learning and teaching –that Gemma believes is important. Rhett’s take on experimenting is that it is play and that we all learn while we play. :)

A few spoke of the idea/importance of change:

  • Tom: “Because it helps us change, and the world’s always changing, so sort of implicit that we need to change witht he world? If we resist change, we’re changed anyway. Experimenting is embracing change, controlling the way we change, for the better.”
  • Mike: “I also think experimentation is a nice way to “try on” a new technique and a chance for us to learn as teachers. Otherwise we are just prisoners of what we have seen and done thus far.”
  • Georgeanna: “There’s always a different &/or better way to do things because each group of students is different. I also have to experiment because at KAC, we often have new courses given to us so I experiment based on similar experiences from the past.”
  • Amelie: “I think experimenting requires embracing challenge and requires being somewhat organized to do something new!”

Amidst all this, a small discussion about the value of “set procedures” came up:

“I think set procedures tend to ignore the differences in students to some extent” , stated Alex G.

“always thought of set procedures as a framework that allows useful experimentation,” replied Tom.

“agree as long as the T is flexible with their ‘set’ procedures and whats within them,” intervened Gemma.

“sometimes frameworrk is imposed… makes experimenting a fun creative challenge,” shared Tom.

And with this, the discussion ended.

Mike then asked:

What kind of experiments/changes do teachers usually make?

  • Trying new activities
  • Altering order of items we cover
  • Adding new features (such as journal groups)
  • Playing around with warm ups
  • Timing teacher wait time to make sure students have enough thinking time
  • Experiment with student attitudes and risk levels
  • Asking students to talk more in their homework assignments. > @AmelieKelly will bravely be fielding KakaoTalk messages to help them achieve this goal.
  • Starting new schools! > @RhettTeacher :)

@citoyennemondia instigated a little back and forth exploration on seating arrangements. Circles? Lines? In one of her experiments, Anne found out that circles were the least successful. Tables or no tables? After a trial, Suzanne discovered (and perhaps triumphantly), that tables were the way to go… for that particular context. It of course all depends on who and what is in the classroom.

@hallg and @TomTesol discussed ways the use of Twitter, Google Docs, blogs and other things tech to monitor and engage students in online discussions. I recommend tweeting them with any requests for details on this matter. :)

Many teachers mentioned they wanted to engage students in reflective activities. Georgeanna mentioned that she is consciously doing this and also trying to get the students using the word “reflection” more. Alex G. is “trying to get the students to be more conscious of the learning process. I’m trying to ask a reflective question at the beginning of the week, so that it’s already in their minds……and then they write a short journal entry at the end. Eg question: “What did I notice about Eng this week?” Alex W. shared his idea of reflective “Exit Slips” (Here is a lesson plan and here are example exit slips).

What are you trying out this semester?

  • Rhett: I am testing out a 12 week journal. Exit time = journal (feeling, participation and learning) and I am experimenting with advertising, selling seats in my class, while focusing on having fun.
  • Georgeanna: major exp: I’m trying out journalling groups in one class of Integrated Skills. they have a small slip of paper they’re intro’d to, & print or handwrite then fill it out each class – give to me @ end.
  • Bryan: with help of @gemL1‘s blog I’ve started filming/self-observing my teaching. Want to experiment w/ lots of little parts of lessons. I also want to design more content-focused lessons. I’m teaching 중 writing now. So experimenting with ways to build content focus. This sem I have more to prep…have given self permission to plan more quickly for adults class. So gonna exprmnt with quick! prep
  • Chop: Inspired by @GemL1 and @breathyvowel micro-reflections, I’ve started experimenting with these in class. bit.ly/WD7un1 I’m planning on having a ‘silent day’ in the not-too-distant-future as well. Nice idea @GemL1!
  • Gemma: This week I’m going 2 experiment with silence-try to speak less & give Ss more time 2 answer qs etc mayb try a whole class silent
  • Mike: I am back to using wikis after a couple year lay off. :) I find pbworks to be pretty intuitive and easy for all involved.
  • Josette: I repeat my instructions too much. 10sec silence after instructions. New exp.
  • Alex G.: I’m experimenting with not monitoring too much in fluency activities (or any time), and encourage students to try to self-monitor. Guided reflection forms and recording may feature heavily. Questions (pre-introed) about things they found difficult, things they think might be wrong. Then they can ask me Qs.
  • Alex W.: encouraging St reflection (not easy with high school Ss) is my big experimentation this semester.

And that was it! Jam packed with trials, goals and great learning. If you think I missed something here, please check out the word for word chat at Storify. Remember to click through the pages at the bottom.

Blogs about experiments

Video about tinkering (Thank you Bryan!)

#KELTchat preview: 17 March, 2013

Hi all #KELTchatters out there!

I hope your new school years are going well. After a long and restful winter break, #KELTchat returns this weekend with our first chat of the new semester. The topic has been democratically dictated: “Experiments I’m trying/ would like to try out this year.”

Experiments don’t have to be large and dramatic (although they can be). One theme that I have noticed coming up more and more recently is that of small changes (see @GemL1’s blog post and @breathyvowel’s recent post for a start). Small changes are another type of experiment. For this chat, we will discuss the experiments we are doing/ plan to do this year.

In preparation for this chat, there are a few questions we can think about (although we are, of course, happy for the chat to take the direction that most interests our chatters):

Why experiment?
What changes, big or small, are you making this year?
What experiments would you like to try out?
If you have been trying out something new, how is it going so far?
How will you assess the results of your experiments?

We look forward to seeing you at 8pm on March 17th! Happy tweeting!

If you’re new to Twitter chatting and aren’t sure quite how it works, check out this handy guide. If you have no idea what #KELTChat is, have a look here or here. You can also contact us through Twitter (@breathyvowel, @JosetteLB, @michaelegriffin, @alexswalsh, @annehendler, @johnpfordresher) or on our Facebook page.

Photo Post: KELTchat at the KOTESOL International Conference

– Pictures of the KELTchat presentation at the October 2012, KOTESOL International Conference, Sookmyung University, Seoul, South Korea –

To read more about KELTchat and the aftermath of the conference, check out Alex Grevett‘s article, What is KELTchat? (p.28), in KOTESOL’s The English Connection.

The following photos were taken by John Steele. Check out his fantastic photography at John Steele Photo.

And these were taken from an iPhone. Tweeting may have been involved.

Thanks @michaelegriffin for the abstract below. I’ll take credit for that snazzy title. ;)

#KELTchat: Professional Development  at Your Fingertips

In this session we will be sharing our experiences and thoughts on the formation, continuation, practices, and future of the #KELTchat group on Twitter. At this point, #KELTchat is basically four different but interconnected things. First, #KELTchat is a bi-monthly moderated chat on Twitter where educators from around Korea and the globe “meet” to discuss topics of interest to teachers in Korea as we draw on the thoughts and experiences of participants. Secondly, #KELTchat is a twitter hashtag so that educators in Korea can keep track of links, questions and ideas relevant to the teaching community in Korea. Third, #KELTchat is a blog that features summaries of the chats and acts as a resource. Finally, #KELTchat is a loose collective of individuals seeking to improve and understand their own teaching practices defined by curiosity, open-mindedness, a desire to help others greater awareness of our own teaching practices that makes up a supportive and dynamic community. Audience members can expect to hear about the community and perhaps decide if and how they might like to participate.