In case you did not know, TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section runs this wonderful project each year called The Electronic Village Online, or EVO for short. The EVO consists of these unique 5-week sessions starting January 12th and ending February 15th. The sessions are similar in some ways to MOOCs in that they are completely free and encourage participation from people around the world, and they are different in that they focus more on attracting educators to a topic and facilitating discussion and collaboration rather than necessarily teaching and assessing as a traditional course would.
The EVO sessions are an exceptional way to learn more about a topic or topics that interest you and to develop yourself professionally. This year, there are more than 10 sessions to choose from. Many seem to focus on using various educational technology or becoming more tech-savvy, such as Creating eTextbooks and Flipped Learning, which makes sense coming from the Electronic Village. On the other hand, there are also a number of sessions, for example Dream Act and Teaching Pronunciation Differently, that do not focus on tech, but on other important topics in the field. Because all sessions are available online, you may need to dedicate some time the week before sessions begin to orient yourself to whatever platform is being used, but the moderators are there to help you out and answer any questions that may arise.
Now, since you have stuck with me this far, I do have a shameless plug for Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing, a session that I will be co-moderating with former USC classmates and fellow ESL/EFL educators Sherrie Lee, Melissa Pavy, Kent Hatashita, and Andrew Pharis. Our session covers the major principles of copyright and fair use that educators must be mindful of, as well as how to use public domain and creative commons resources responsibly in teaching materials and lessons. The session will use a combination of Google site and Google+ Community, so hopefully that will make it easy for many people to register and participate. Throughout the 5 weeks, we will hold optional synchronous meetings (details coming soon) to get people talking about the topics even more. We will do our very best to schedule meetings at various times so that people in different time zones can all attend. I hope to see you there!
Registration for EVO sessions began yesterday, January 5th, and sessions officially begin on January 12 th, so register now before you forget and miss out on the opportunity altogether. What a great way to start the new year! If joining an EVO session is not one of your New Year’s resolutions, it should be.
Let us know below what session(s) you joined, or feel free to comment on why you chose not to participate this year.