14 Jan 2010

Talking ICT and MFL at UEA

I was delighted to be invited back to the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia in Norwich today. In the 90s I was a student there myself, and have nothing but fantastic memories of the place, and consequently I always look forward to going back. It's changed a lot since I was there, but still possesses the same friendly atmosphere and vibe which made it such a great place to study.

I was invited to spend the afternoon with this year's cohort of MFL PGCE students, sharing ideas on using ICT in lessons, and a few thoughts about its use in the classroom. I'm continually inspired by the enthusiasm and motivation shown by these students; and being a PGCE mentor, I reckon that what is required of students wanting to enter the profession these days is greater than when I was studying for it back in 1996. You may disagree, but with the theory, teaching load, lesson preparation, assignments, observations, late nights, and no proper social life, the lot of the modern PGCE student is not an easy one.

Nevertheless, I spoke at length today about the various Web 2.0 resources out there, in a similar vein to my presentation earlier this year at The Language Show, and we also discussed wikis and blogs as well. I was also really keen to demonstrate the power of Twitter and in particular the vast number of MFL teachers that are active participants. I think many of the students were surprised at how many language teachers make use of Twitter to share ideas and resources and to help each other, and I'm really grateful to my colleagues who took the time to chip in and offer their advice to the students.

Photo by Leo Reynolds