The Electronic Village Online (EVO), a project organized by TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section, is coming up! Participating in the EVO is an exceptional opportunity for free professional development, and sessions are available to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.
The EVO is a collection of 5-week sessions that run from 10 January-14 February and are moderated by professionals in the field. Many of the sessions have a tech focus, for example “EVO Minecraft MOOC” and “EVO VILLAGE 2016,” while others, such as “Classroom-Based Research for Professional Development” and “Teaching EFL to Young Learners and Teenagers,” do not. Some sessions, like “Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing,” have been offered before, while others, say “Media Resources and Emotions in Teaching and Learning,” are brand new!* Because there is such a wide array of topics, you are sure to find something that interests you. Although there are 14 to choose from this year and there is no limit to how many you can take, I would recommend sticking with just one or two so that you can dedicate sufficient time to each topic.
Last year was the first time I was involved with the EVO, and I found the experience to be very educational. Moderating the copyright session, I had the opportunity to collaborate closely with my peers, interact with educators from around the globe, and explore some interesting issues relating to teaching and learning. There were more than 80 participants in that particular session and we were able to bring in a distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Robert N. Diotalevi, for one of our live sessions. The moderating team learned throughout the process and we were able to use that experience plus feedback from last year’s participants to put together the new and revised session for 2016. Additionally, Dr. Diotalevi has agreed to join us again in the third week.
A coworker of mine, Rebecca Palmer, also participated in the EVO for the first time last year. She was a participant in “ICT4ELT,” a session about using technology in the classroom, and has highly recommended it to me on a number of occasions. When speaking with her about the session recently, she noted that it was fantastic regardless of each participant’s level of familiarity with the topic. Becky said that whether someone needed to be guided through the very basics or had years of experience with various tools, there was something for everyone.
Registration for the EVO began on 3 January, so look through the sessions to learn more about them and sign up. Think of registering for a session as getting you just that much closer to achieving your professional development resolutions for 2016! Not bad for the first week of the new year.
For more information about the EVO, check out these two articles.
Yeh, A., Rogers, S., Philp, H., Chattopadhyay, K., Arena, C., & Stevens, S. (2011). The Electronic Village Online provides free professional development annually. TESOL-Italy Newsletter, June-July 2011, 9.
Hanson-Smith, E., & Bauer-Ramazani, C. (2004). Professional development: The Electronic Village Online of the TESOL CALL Interest Section. TESL-EJ, 8(2).
Have you participated in the EVO, MOOCs, or any other professional development opportunities recently? Feel free to share your experiences by leaving a comment below.
*I feel the need to mention that I will be co-moderating both the Copyright and Emotions sessions.