Thursday, 24 November 2011

Confessions of a twitter stalker? Meeting Shelly Terrell

Shelly Terrell addresses the tech converts, JALT 2011
The highlight of my weekend was meeting Shelly Terrell, even briefly, and to see her present two workshops at this year's JALT Conference in Tokyo. I have been 'following' @shellterrell for some time now on twitter; she is a very healthy spider in the middle of an extremely useful network of teachers/ideas/links & inspiration.

And in person, she's a delight. It's always a bit uncomfortable meeting fellow twitterers in person - "Hello, I follow you" makes you sound like some kind of stalking perv! A good friend of mine was once approached in Tamita Gumtree with "Hi, I've been watching you from across the room". To which he replied "Well you f*** off back to the other side of the room!" Fortunately, Shelly is more approachable : )

A lot of people, especially here in Japan I think, don't "get" twitter. I did, very quickly, after overhearing Barbara Sakamoto (@barbsaka) at JALT two years ago, and deciding that if something was working for her, it should be worth investigating. Since then, following the likes of Barb and Shelly has opened up my professional horizons beyond all imagination. I am trying hard to make sense of and share on (if that is good English?) the useful bits and bobs I come across.

On Sunday I saw Shelly present on using an iPhone with learners - something I am particularly interested in as my daughter mastered my iPhone from the age of two. I would LOVE it if all of Luna's students could arm themselves with an iPod Touch - or even better, it is, lending my phone to students is the best I can do, and on a limited basis as there is only one phone to go around. Whatever we do with it needs to be co-operative and simple.

Shelly mentioned a number of apps that I am familiar with, and a couple of others that I downloaded immediately afterwards! I also had the pleasure of finding myself sitting next to a former ESOL examiner trainer & ongoing football fan, and catching up as best we could in between furious note taking and app sharing ideas! Here is one link to take you the rest of the month to research. Find out what and how Shelly shares her great ideas here, and find her kitchen sink over here.

One thing I will be searching out for our YLE preparation is the Story Robe app and key words "learner autonomy" & "collaborative stories". You can see our Monday students working with a couple of these apps in use here...would love to hear some feedback.

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