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Joining an online community of teachers

A video of Lindsay and Marie Therese talking about ways to join an online community of teachers.
Lindsay, we talked earlier about being a bit lonely being an online teacher and how isolating it can be. But there are online communities, aren’t there, that we also mentioned earlier? Let’s explore that a little bit more. There’s Twitter, isn’t there? Yeah, there is Twitter. So that’s a good place to meet other teachers. So if you go on and follow a few teachers that are already on Twitter or search for some of the people that you’re familiar with, people who’ve written books that we know on Twitter - - that we’ve probably mentioned earlier in the course, haven’t we? Absolutely.
And if you can follow them and you can see who they follow and you follow those people, then you start to develop this personal learning network. Yes. And you can comment on things that they post. You can post things yourselves. People will start to follow you. And this network grows, which is lovely. Nice. And there’s Facebook, of course. There is. So you can create your own Facebook group and invite other online teachers that maybe you’ve met at conferences or something like that. You can invite them to join. Yeah you could - - and you can share materials, can you? Share materials, share ideas for lessons. Absolutely, you could.
Yeah, you could share videos of your lesson if you’ve got the learners permission, of course, so that you could do observations of each other and peer feedback. Or you can join groups that are already created. So if you go onto Facebook and you search something like “online teachers” or “online teachers of English”, or even just “teachers of English”, you’re going to find other teachers. You can ask other teachers if - Sure, sure. And there are people that do regular blog posts as well, aren’t there, that are very experienced already in teaching online? So again, look it up on Google. Absolutely. So you can search for it online, look for online teachers online teaching English.
And then you know you need to comment I think, don’t you? Comment on the blogs, get involved in the discussion. And also it might be a way of helping solve problems that you have. Maybe you have problems with a learner that you can’t get motivated. Post a question. Somebody will answer it, won’t they? Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. People are so helpful online. It’s great. I agree.

You’ve heard Lindsay and Marie Therese suggesting that online communities are a good way for online teachers to connect with each other. They’re now going to suggest ways in which you can join an online community.

Task 1

Watch Lindsay and Marie Therese talking about online communities. Which specific online communities are they referring to with these suggestions?

  1. Follow a few teachers that you know or people who’ve written books.

  2. Create your own group.

  3. Share materials and videos of lessons for peer feedback.

  4. Join a group that exists.

  5. Comment to get involved in the discussion.

  6. Post a question to get a solution to a problem.

Check your answers.

Task 2

Join a new online community. Here are some suggestions:

  • Go to Twitter and follow three teachers you haven’t followed before

  • Go to Facebook and join an online teaching community

  • Find a blog on language teaching and add a comment

  • Choose a social network you like and find an online community of language teachers on there.

Reflect and share

Which online community did you join? Tell us about your experience in the comments. Read other participants’ comments. Do any of them make you want to join another online community?

This article is from the free online

Teaching English Online

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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