Monday, 30 March 2015

IATEFL Manchester 2015



I have booked my train ticket to Manchester and I will spend 2 days there, more or less.  I haven't attended a live international conference like this since IATEFL Brighton 2011, when I presented as well. The past few years I have kept extremely busy attending and presenting at online conferences, and I have to admit, the experiences have all been just as exhilirating and exciting!!
 
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I wrote a few blog posts about my time in Brighton:

IATEFL Brighton 2011 Rocked! http://civitaquana.blogspot.it/2011/04/iatefl-brighton-2011-rocked.html
The King & I at IATEFL Brighton 2011: http://civitaquana.blogspot.it/2011/04/king-and-i-iatefl-brighton-2011.html

The question is: does attending a conference in person have the slight edge over an online conference?  Well the obvious advantage is that you can physically meet and greet someone, you can have coffee, lunch or drinks with them, you can go dancing, you can share jokes, you can take group photos, selfies, swop business cards, swop stories and so on.

However, believe it or not, at an online conference, you can do all of the above, virtually, 24/7.  In 2nd Life I have attended a virtual drinks party and lots of food was present, and dancing too!  In online webinars I have shared virtual food and drinks from around the world, and attended farewell parties, the EVO Podcasting webinar, being one of the most amazing and memorable ones.  Also singing and dancing along to rap tunes at an online conference closing ceremony springs to mind....

So, what is the verdict??

I can't wait to meet members of my PLN on Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th!!  Please do come up and say 'Hi' if you see me!! I am very excited about the chance to catch up with so many people!!  It will be a dream come true....

I will be meeting members of The Consultants-E team on Sunday! 

You can read about when they are presenting by reading the cool newspaper article in this blog post: IATEFL Manchester Edition

You can find out more about this great international event by clicking on the image below:

Tune in for live coverage from 10th April 2015
 http://www.iatefl.org/annual-conference/manchester-2015



Sunday, 22 March 2015

Spring Blog Festival - Slides for A Blogger's Story: Top Ten Topics

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting at the Spring Blog Festival 2015 on Saturday March 21st.
Below you can see the slides for my session.  I do hope you like them.  There is a full list of resources from the session and they can be found on the last page of the slides via QR codes.



I was able to attend three wonderful presentations and learned a lot from them. 

1. SBF15: Halina on Competence in Communication and Interpersonal Skills 


3. SBF15: Blogging and Logging conversations among educators

Hopefully I will view the other presentations as soon as I can :-)

I would like to thank Dr Nellie Deutsch for organizing such an uplifting day of bloggers showcasing why they blog, and also thanks to Maria Jesus for moderating my session and Brian Boneham for providing lots of links during the session..  Thanks also to everybody who attended my talk.  It was lovely to see you all.  Sorry you couldn't see me, but I think I could be hard loudly and clearly :-)



Thursday, 12 March 2015

Spring Blog Festival!


I am delighted and very honoured to be one of the presenters for the Spring Blog Festival on Saturday March 21st. This free annual event is hosted by Dr Nellie Deutsch and it will be a day-long extravaganza of bloggers highlighting the ways blogs can be used in education and much, much more!  It is hosted on WiZiq platform and you simply need to register, details below.



My talk will be based around my main Janet's Abruzzo Edublog, and I will highlight how it has helped me to develop both professionally and personally.  I hope to see you there!

Link to class: https://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2605177-sbf-a-blogger-s-story-with-top-ten-topics

More information about the event from the official WizIQ blog: http://www.wiziq.com/teachblog/spring-blog-festival/

Below, the notes from the WizIQ site, kindly reproduced with permission:

Join the Spring Blog Festival
You're invited to join the 2nd annual 12-hour Spring Blog Festival on March 21, 2015. Just click here to get the live online sessions and recordings, the content, and a chance to view the recordings when the event is over. You will also have a chance to connect with the presenters and other bloggers in the course feed.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Some Special Numbers for Janet's Abruzzo Edublog

This special post focuses on three numbers connected to my blog.

I forgot to celebrate the 6th Anniversary of Janet's Abruzzo Edublog in November 2014!  This 7th Birthday Blog celebration post by Natasa, prompted me to do something about it.

What an exhilirating ride this has been, since those early days!!

These six years consist of personal development, emotional growth, writing to my heart's content, sharing ideas and lesson resources, giving feedback on webinars I have attended, uploading links to webinars I have presented for, sharing all the presentations I have created, and generally recording my thoughts on teaching in general, and on occasions, my reflections on living in Abruzzo.

All those years before 2008, I simply recorded my notes in notebooks, and kept everything to myself.  I knew no better, and I will add, that in itself, all forms of reflection are good for the soul.  However, since writing to a wider audience via my blog, my life has been incredibly enriched by the exciting new horizons it has opened up.  This blog has led me to meet a lot of special people I never dreamt of meeting either in person or online.


The second number I wish to celebrate is my blog has reached over 300,00 page views over the past 6 years. This represents an average of 50,000 page views a year.  This is really unbelievable, and I am most grateful for those who have viewed these posts.  I sincerely hope you have learned something from passing by.   



The third number is 500.  To date, I have written 500 posts on my Janet's Abruzzo Edublog!!  This will become 501, when this post is published.



I used to love writing at school, but never really exploited my creativity until I started Janet's Abruzzo Edublog, as a result of the Consultants-e short 2-week course in November 2008.  I learned a lot during this first online course I ever took, and that is when I got the confidence to share my writing.

As a result of creating Janet's Abruzzo Edublog, I now have many blogs, including the following:
  • Janet's Test Blog
  • Project 52 Reasons to Be Thankful Blog
  • La Strada Blog
  • Janet's Podcasting Blog
  • Fluffy The Kitten's Blog
  • The Abruzzo Chicken Chronicles Blog
  • Janet's Comics and Cartoons Blog
I guess I am living out my dream, and for me writing has been a liberating and an enriching experience.  It has opened doors I never dreamed of going through, and for this I am most grateful.

Here is my first ever infographic I have just created, using Piktochart!

To enlarge the view, please click on the image.




Thanks so much to everyone for reading!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Feedback on Connecting Online 2015 Conference

The Wordle sums up a few key phrases I collected from the 6th Annual Connecting Online 2015 free econference held on WizIQ platform from 6-8 February 2015.


I attended or viewed the recordings of a total of 12 sessions over the weekend.  Each one of them was educational and totally inspirational!!  I found the topics engaging and highly instructional. All the presenters in the image (created by Dr Nellie Deutsch) below shared their passion for their particular areas of expertise, with great enthusiasm. I hope to catch up with a few more of the webinars over the coming days and weeks.  The one thing they all had in common was the muti-faceted ways that technology integration can enhance learning and teaching!


I enjoyed interacting in the chatbox with attendees and the presenters, and this informal sharing of information reinforced the fact that 'Sharing is caring'.  Communicating synchronously in the WizIQ chatbox with teachers from around the globe brought the sessions to life in a fun and exciting manner.

I had deliberately set aside parts of the weekend to fully immerse myself in this educational event, and I was able to place my worries about the current state of The Road at the back of my mind.  If you view the recording of my talk, you will know exactly what I am refering to .....!

The Witty Comics highlights a few impressions of the weekend event.  Please click on the image for an enlarged view:


You can catch all the recordings on WizIQ if you simply register for free, and then you can sit back and enjoy the sessions at your leisure!

The one person who was always central to all the live action was Dr Nellie Deutsch, the organizer and 'hostess with the mostest'.  I do not think she slept at all during the 3-day event.  She did a truly impressive job of moderating all the sessions, and helping each of the presenters to do and give their best, and putting everyone at ease. 

I wish to say a huge personal THANK YOU to her.  It was a pleasure to be one of the presenters of this exciting online event!