Are we stealing dreams?

Seth Godin, who is an internet/new media/publishing/idea guru, just published a manifesto aimed at starting (or continuing) a conversation about the future of education. Very much in the same vein as Ken Robinson’s famous TED talk¬†on the same subject, Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?) is a 30,000 word ebook that is currently available for free. Based on his previous work, it’s probably worth your time.

Another view of the future of education?

The latter half of this video may be of interest to teachers (the first half is just generally interesting, particularly if you are a closet entrepreneur wannabe). Similar to Ken Robinson’s famous talks on the same subject.


Social Skills Written Test

You’ve probably seen this already, it’s all over the English J-web, but just in case (thanks to goodandbadjapan):

My favourite conference in Japan

The call for papers for my favourite conference in Japan just came out -you can see more here.

The 2011 JALT Pan-SIG Conference will be held in May in Nagano. I really recommend it. Smaller, more relaxed, and friendlier than the national conference, the real selling point is the distilled value.

The Pan-SIG is made up of all the special interest groups in JALT, groups that specialize in things like computer assisted language learning, extensive reading, teacher training, pragmatics, teaching adult learners, and many others. These specialised groups then choose the presenters they want to represent them. In practice this means that the quality of presentations tends to be very high. I seldom feel I am wasting my time at the Pan-SIG.

I will hopefully be presenting on extensive reading (that idea that Eleanor told me to develop). I hope to see a lot of friends there too!

Raising Expectations, Measuring Results

It was a great honour to be asked to present on student learning outcomes by OUP. I seized the chance to talk about how important expectations are, how raising expectations (of students, teachers, and institutions) is likely to be the key to improving English education in Japan, and how important effective assessment is. Of course I also talked about student learning outcomes and how useful the CEFR can be when thinking about our courses.

101121 OUP Q presentation

I had a great audience for this and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

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