Harrogate Online: reports, interviews and analysis


Welcome to my first report for Harrogate Online as a registered blogger. Harrogate Online covers the the 48th Annual International IATEFL Conference & Exhibition. As not everyone can be at Harrogate, we registered bloggered are bringing Harrogate to you through live-streamed events and reports.

This is my contribution towards online professional development and a tribute to creative leaders in our industry.

I’m going to start off by sharing a overview of the events as well as dip into two areas that interest me in particular;

Creative Story-telling & Educational Technology.

Why cover these events?

Here’s a quote from my interview with Elena Mateeva:

“I have many reasons to be interested in this. The practical reason is that I can’t just hop on a plane to attend such events as my kids need me, so being an online registered blogger is my way of connecting from home. Other reasons are my love of blogging, and the excitement of learning from the online coverage.

I find that blogging about what we learn deepens the experience considerably. I also have a kind of reporter instinct and often interview other teachers, review their books or write about what they are up to. Finally, I believe that the British Council does a great job in bridging the gap between traditional learning and online education.

I appreciate that a lot as more and more teachers are getting access to professional development online.This may also be a stepping stone towards the future when I’ll be able to travel more and experience the best of both worlds. “

Let me start off by sharing the introductory video with IATEFL president, Carol read.

It’s such an exciting line-up of events. Here is the a detailed programme. The internet and facebook, in particular, is buzzing with photos of colleagues travelling to Harrogate, meeting up with virtual colleagues for the first time, and, generally, sharing their excitement at being there.

Watch the video to get a bird’s eye view of the events. Carol read describes everything in inspiring detail, from plenary offerings to unique events such as ‘Speaking a World Of Words”. This is one of the creative events that resonates with me, as it’s a spontaneous, fun, collaborative type of poetry and story-telling show where individual contributions are welcome.

Speaking a World of Words” Thursday 3 April 1930-2100
OPEN MIC evening with Rakesh Bhanot and David Heathfield.

“We invite you to share the words that mean most to you. Come
and join us performing poems, telling stories and reading aloud short passages of prose from all cultures and languages!
Individual or joint performers welcome – contributions can be anywhere between 1-7 minutes in length. Please let us know
in advance
if you wish to contribute or just turn up and ‘do your thing’.”

My second topic to dip into is ‘Digital Skills for Employability’ by Nik Peachey.

As an online teacher, I find that Nik Peachey is one of the best sources on Educational Technology, so this is an exciting part of Harrogate conference and exhibition.

“Nik talks about the upcoming Digital Skills for Employability panel which will be streamed live on this site at 5pm Wednesday (02 April) UK time. He also talks about his recent project to crowdsource funding for a digital publishing project.”

Nik’s interview takes place against the noisy excitement and flurry of activity going on in the background. If you find it difficult to catch all the words or want to know more about the digital classroom project you can read my two articles below:

Exclusive interview with Nik Peachey on WiziQ

Top Ten Things Teachers Want From Their Digital Classrooms:


I will also be reporting from the WiziQ blog. My reports will mainly be reviews of live-streamed events, such as Nik Peachey’s event today, April 2nd at 5pm UK time.

Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with fellow blogger, Larissa Albano, from Larissa’s Languages . The blog interviews are part of a challenge initiated by Adam Simpson, another fellow reporter and creative educator.

Finally, don’t forget to check out my review of Nik’s live event later today, which will be published on the WiziQ blog.

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Sylvia is is an online teacher & writer with a background in English Literature, history and education. She is also an award winning blogger featured by The British Council, online teacher, official blogger for WiziQ, professional development organiser, and passionate researcher into creative learning via Educational Technology @Eslbrain. She is currently focusing on ELT publishing and children’s publishing. Her personal projects for 2014 include writing ELT books through story-telling, comics, poetry, and social and emotional learning, while continually creating and sharing brain-friendly learning materials and ideas online. Her other main interests are art, writing, poetry, and psychology, which which help her to create fun quality time with her children and add colour to her language lessons. When she's not teaching online, she's writing course books, blogging or running her English language Facebook groups.
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