Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Flash Forward

The premise of the American TV series FlashForward is that everyone on the planet (well, nearly everyone) simultaneously loses consciousness and experiences a blackout of two minutes and seventeen seconds.  During this blackout they have a vision of their life six months from that point.  The characters spend the series trying to come to terms with and to understand what they have seen in their "flash forward", and to discover who or what is responsible for it.

"Flash Forward" is also the title of an article in last Friday's TES magazine about MFL teachers who are using Web 2.0 and social networking in their work.  I was extremely flattered to be interviewed for the article by its author, Yojana Sharma.  I spoke to her for about 45 minutes about the tools that I have been using, about my websites and about my school blog.    And I am equally honoured to be mentioned on the same page as Joe Dale, Isabelle Jones, Suzi Bewell, Chris Harte, Helena Butterfield, Alex Blagona, José Picardo, Jo Rhys-Jones and Lisa Stevens.  The article is very positive, and makes it clear that what we are doing has not been imposed by the DCSF or any other agency.  It is grass roots - real teachers finding things that work and sharing them.  I'm proud to be a part of it.

I sent the link to the article to my line manager.  Part of his reply read "It's really pleasing to see that you are at the forefront of new technology use.  What can we do to share this practice further in Sunderland ?"

Interesting question.  If I were to put on a training session next week for language teachers, in particular secondary language teachers, they would either smile and nod politely and then forget all about it, or go back to school all fired up with new ideas and find that all the important websites were blocked.  I don't think that there is any one easy solution to this problem of getting more teachers on board, so why bother ?  Well, we are ceaselessly trying to show our students that knowledge of another language is an important skill for the modern world and for the future world.  So we need to present it in a modern way which looks to this future world, and which speaks to the students in their language, the language of the digital native.

So, now to more thinking about parallels between FlashForward the TV series and Flash Forward the article.......

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