Online CPD – Updated Bloglist

On the desk
Blogging? (eltpics via Flickr)

Having recently updated my Twitter for Educators page, I felt that it was time that I did the same for my page on teaching blogs (Click on the link in the top right box). This is partly because there are a lot of good blogs that I hadn’t got around to adding yet, but also because, as with Twitter, following blogs has issues around signal-noise ratios and the sheer weight of information. As a result I’ve added a couple of sections looking at readers and mobile tools and the like.

Most people advise keeping bloglists short and well pruned – I can see the merit of that, but I’m wilfully ignoring it; the list is massive! However rather than just giving a page full of links, I do try to add some information about the content of the blogs I link to so people can have an idea of what they contain, and I don’t add anything that I think is of no worth. I’ve also had a think about the categories I sort them into and added a contents section with HTML anchors – if anyone know a more elegant way of doing this on a wordpress.com blog I’d love to hear it (my HTML skills are pretty basic).

Blogs are a great way of doing online CPD – following relevant blogs is a great way to stay in touch with different ideas and opinions around any area of interest – especially where there is a good level of discussion to participate in. I’d love to hear about any that I haven’t added to the list. Of course they are just one form of online CPD myself and Mike Harrison gave a presentation about online professional development last Autumn with a couple of other options, which you can see here*:

The three blogs that we chose to highlight were the following:

http://e-blahblah.com by Sandra Pires which has simple to follow guides to e-learning approaches (and was probably the inspiration for this blog)
http://mistermikelcc.blogspot.com by Mike Richmond-Coggin which is a great blog looking at many of the issues involved in teaching ESOL.
http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com by Scott Thornbury – this is probably the best blog around for informed debate about English language teaching, I really like the fact that Scott always engages with the debate. Scott has now recorded a video saying what he uses his blog for:

I would recommend visiting the blog page to see the comments and replies, which are always fascinating on Scott’s blog.

We also talked about the ESOL-RESEARCH mailing list which is essential reading for anyone interested in the ESOL sector in the UK – it links professionals across the sector and can also be a great forum for debate or source of advice. The British Council’s Teaching English website has been slightly revamped since that presentation, but is a great source of resources for teaching and CPD (disclaimer – I have been working for the British Council, but I do genuinely like the site…)

*Also well worth watching Amanda Wilson and Callie Wilkinson’s contribution from the same event – http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/seminars/exploring-uk-esolefl-divide

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