In 2009, I was a nascent online educator studying TESOL’s Principles and Practices of Online Teaching through the certificate program at the University of Wisconsin, eager to get my proverbial “digital” feet wet when I first started volunteering for the Electronic Village Online (EVO). The EVO coordination team trains their moderators and mentors to provide free, professional development sessions to teachers. These online sessions are a prelude to the TESOL convention.
Hundreds of teachers around the world participate in these EVO sessions that take place annually in January and February. I thought that I’d write this blog to let those digital foreigners, tech newbies, know that the moderators include activities for beginners and are empathetic. For example, they recognize that some learners will be to shy to interact and will “lurk” until they feel comfortable with the online platform and tools.
From experience, it was a bit daunting to mingle with those who are technologically advanced in the same sessions. For techies or digital natives, there are challenging sessions like “Becoming a Webhead” or “Multiliteracies,” but even in these sessions they’re accepting of first-timers. I suggest taking a session that you know something about. For example, if you’re good at taking and uploading photos, then perhaps you’d like the “Digital Storytelling” session.
If you’re interested in participating in the EVO 2012 sessions, look for announcements this December. A list of past EVO sessions is available online. If you’d like to submit a proposal to offer an EVO session as a volunteer moderator, there’s still time! The deadline for proposals is 9-25-11. To submit a proposal, follow this link.