Sunday, 11 July 2010


This is a Tagxedo of my Twitter feed for the last 24 hours or so

I'm imagining a conversation with my dad:

Dad: What is #MFLSAT ?

Me: It's a hashtag, something you add to your tweet in Twitter to group your tweet with all the other tweets about the same thing.

Dad: Yes, but what is #MFLSAT ?

Me: It stands for "MFL Show and Tell". We've had two now. The first one was in Coventry in November 2009, and the second one was yesterday in Nottingham. It's where lots of like-minded MFL teachers give up their Saturday to meet together and share good practice and engage in professional dialogue. Some people give presentations about things they've done in the classroom. It's also an opportunity to meet in real life the people with whom you correspond virtually most of the time, via Twitter and other fora.

Dad: Well why didn't you just say that in the first place ?

Yes, yesterday I went to Nottingham High School with 46 other teachers from England, Scotland, Wales and Australia (yes really - it was great to see Fiona Rose there). After coffee and chocolate croissants - which were most welcome after the 3 hour drive - there were 7 presentations on subjects as diverse as recording from Skype and the French vowel Haka.

We were really fortunate that all the presentations were filmed and streamed live on the internet by @eyebeams, so you can watch them all here. Thanks to a tip-off from Lisa Stevens, I've been able to embed the video of my presentation below. I talked about my RecorderPen, about which I had already written a blogpost:

After a very nice lunch in the high school dining hall (gadget of the day - the conveyor belt where you put your tray afterwards!) we had some round-the-table discussions about, amongst other things, VLEs, Language Labs, using ICT to enhance speaking work, e-safety and international links.

The day was sponsored by the high school,
Links into Languages, Naace and Scholastic. The first MFLSAT cost us each £10, and was a more low-key affair. I had been concerned before yesterday that this event would be too "corporate" and that it would change the feel of the MFLSAT. But I needn't have worried. The sponsorship enhanced our comfort and the catering, but little else changed, for which I am grateful.

So what did I learn, and what am I going to try ?

  • You can export selections of an Audacity file as .wav My podcasts will be a lot quicker to do now I won't be cutting mp3s up into bits and saving them all as individual .wav files. (I know, Dom, I was a plonker not to know this before!)
  • Get KS2s to do writing on mini-whiteboards, then photograph them for assessment evidence. Cuts down on paper for them and me, mistakes are easier to correct, and I always have my camera with me anyway.
  • I MUST have a go with Prezi and play a bit with Sliderocket.
  • Have a go with Xtranormal to make starters and listening activities for KS2 and maybe KS1.
  • I love singing, the children love singing, so I must make an effort to do it more. And of course, the Spanish vowel Haka.

Do you fancy getting involved in something like this ? In these days of rarely cover and dwindling funds, teachers have to take the initiative as far as their CPD is concerned. Twitter is one way of finding out what opportunities are out there. You might also be interested in these:

Primary Languages Meet (#PLMeet) in Doncaster on Monday 27th September 2010

MFL Flashmeeting 8 - Monday 27th September 20.30-22.30, link to follow

And for you Mackems out there, there's the Sunderland TeachMeet on Thursday 14th October 2010.

Hope to see you there!

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