I’ve never been to IATEFL…

6 04 2013

My 16-year-and-counting career has had its ups (I’ve just finished a fabulous intensive DELTA course and am about to write a synchronous online Delta Module One course) and downs (at the last count I’ve made about 26 trainees / students cry on my courses / in my classes) , highs (I’ve got the longest title in ELT – International House World Organisation Academic Coordinator for Resources and Director of Studies Support)and lows (I’m responsible for co-ordinating IHWO’s Live Online Workshops), ins (I’m a member of the Delta-and-Lancelot-qualified-and-working–in-South-America group of one) and outs (I’ve never slept with a fellow IH teacher)2, but in 15 years of EFLing I’ve never been to IATEFL.

iatefl-liverpool-banner-240x80

This year’s conference kicks off tomorrow of course and I’m not going.  But, since various moons are colliding…

…I have a ‘slow’ week at work

I haven’t blogged much yet this year and need to get started up again

International House is 60 years young this year and we’re celebrating the fact at IATEFL

IH Buenos Aires has been doing CELTAs for five years now and I’d like to celebrate that fact with a bit of a social media push during my ‘slow week’ and therefore can persuade my boss that me spending my work day keeping up to date with IATEFL is good for business

…and…

I have a new smartphone…

My new phone

My new phone

I feel like I might be able to take an active part in the conference even though I’m 7000 miles away and four hours behind conference time.  How do I intend to do this?  Well I’ve downloaded the conference app to my phone, I’ve checked out the online support pages and forums and I’ve scanned the schedule and tried to fit it in with my own.  I’ve availed myself of the conference hashtag (#IATEFL), the conference Facebook page, cast an eye over the IATEFL registered blogs, signed myself up as one of them  and now I’m ready to roll.

The idea is to post a blog a day summarising my thoughts on my IATEFL interaction.  In order to do this I need to interact.  The plan is to…

…follow #IATEFL on twitter and retweet any interesting tweets with my own take on them (if space allows)

Following #IATEFL on tweetdeck

Following #IATEFL on tweetdeck

do much the same on the Facebook page

choose a different forum each day to read and post in

IATEFL Forums

IATEFL Forums

and then summarise this activity in a ‘what did I get out of / give to IATEFL today?’ type post.

IATEFL on A Muse Amuses

IATEFL on A Muse Amuses

Why don’t you do the same?  We can be in this together! Come and visit me each day and share your take on events.  Let’s catch up on twitter and Facebook and the conference forums and share ourselves.  We can’t go to the ball and the talks and have a coffee between them or a beer afterwards, but we can engage online and share and share and share alike.

And who knows?  Maybe as a result of our sharing, something wonderful might happen…

…a new idea for a lesson activity

The Game's Up!

The Game’s Up!

a further understanding of how our students learn English

One of my classes in IH Buenos Aires Recoleta ten years ago - has much changed?

One of my classes in IH Buenos Aires Recoleta ten years ago – has much changed?

a new friend in ELT world is made

ELT friends in Montevideo

ELT friends in Montevideo

old CELTA trainees get back in contact

Some of our lovely CELTA trainees at IH Buenos Aires Teacher Training

Some of our lovely CELTA trainees at IH Buenos Aires Teacher Training

new sources of information and knowledge are discovered

OTTI - best online resource I've ever discovered...

OTTI – best online resource I’ve ever discovered…

I get double figure visitors to my blog page

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 9.38.28 AM

someone invites us to talk at next year’s conference…

Macmillan Uruguay Conference 2012

Macmillan Uruguay Conference 2012

Whatever does happen, let’s hope I can at the very least keep to the blogpost a day pledge and that you enjoy the journey.  I’m going to IATEFL!

Footnotes
1 Just like to point out this is the author’s own opinion, not an academically researched fact. 
2 As I was writing this I actually honestly believed it was true.  While there was SPOILER 1 (fond memories), she wasn’t a teacher.  And then there was SPOILER 2 (further fond memories), but she wasn’t IH.  But then I was about three quarters of the way through writing the rest of the post when I did actually fabulously fondly remember SPOILER 3, and she was a teacher at IH, and so in the end this statement is not strictly speaking (or in any other manner of speaking) true.  But it amuses me so I’ll leave it in anyway and hopefully this footnote saves me from having actually knowledgeably lied on my blog for the first time. 

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25 responses

7 04 2013
Lu Bodeman

Good luck, Neil! 🙂

Planning to do the same … providing that my planets align perfectly this week. lol THings are pretty busy as well, but optimism level is high.

Have a great conference experience.

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Good luck to you too Lu, looking forward to sharing the experience together!

7 04 2013
Damian Williams

See you ‘there’ Neil. Unable to go this year so I’ll be following online for the first time. Have fun!

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

You too, Damian! Did you have fun finding my hidden activity giveaway?

7 04 2013
Damian Williams

Fantastic! I guess you could even take it to the pub… : )

7 04 2013
Adam Simpson

Go to IATEFL one year, Neil. It really is a lot of fun these days.

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

I’d love to be able to go every year, Adam. I really need to remember to apply for scholarships next year…
Have a great time there.

7 04 2013
Sandy Millin

What a great post Neil 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works out, and if you need a spy at the conference for any reason, let me know and I’ll see what I can do!
Sandy

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Thanks Sandy – really loking forward to your tweets etc. so that should be enough spying – but I’ll let you know. And make sure you pick up something to share with us at #IHTOC60

7 04 2013
annaconway

Intending to do thee same, Neil. 🙂 great post!

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Thanks Anna, looking forward to sharing.

7 04 2013
profesorbaker

Reblogged this on Profesorbaker's ELT Blog and commented:
Excellent articulation of virtually attending #IATEFL. I’m sure to keep up with you and add some insights of my own, since I too have never been to IATEFL!

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Many thanks for the re-blog Thomas! Looking forward to you sharing your insights with us here on A Muse Amuses this week. Maybe we’ll get there one day!

7 04 2013
Nati Gonz'alez Brandi

Now I get it, the hidden classroom! Great blogpost, we should have a hang up on google+ or twitter chat discussing some of the workshops! Gr8 post (btw I know people HAVE cried in your feedback sessions, but you’re a good tutor 🙂

7 04 2013
mcneilmahon

The hidden classroom – like that idea Nati – might have to run with it! A virtual get together also a great idea if we can manage it. And thanks for the tear-stained compliment too :). Hope you don’t have a hangover in the morning.

8 04 2013
Mila Navarro

A great post. i`m coming with you. Alarm clock set for tomorrow morning`s plenary (I`m also 4 hours behind GMT)

8 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Ha ha! Thanks, Mila, but I won’t be coming with you – no way my wife ail let me get up at 5am to watch David Crystal. My posting is going to be very much retroactive I’m afraid. I was going to post today but got distracted by Thatcher dying – much more interesting reading the fallout from that than IATEFL stuff I’m afraid. Enjoy the plenary and do come back and tell me what you thought of it :).

9 04 2013
Daniel Shiro

First and foremost, I will deny crying during my DELTA with Neil to my grave! (Even though I kept whinning about my lessons…).

That being said, I wish I could follow IATEFL more closely, but trying to get life back on track post-DELTA is not easy (especially financially).

I think you should tweet and blog as often as possible, I’ll try doing that soon and I hope we can get new ideas from that.

9 04 2013
mcneilmahon

Ha, ha, don’t worry Daniel, didn’t have you in mind! Best of luck with the work search, hope you find some lucrative classes soon. About to write my first post about day one of the conference, hope you get something from it. All the best!

9 04 2013
Hits and misses from the IATEFL Day One ‘pool | A Muse Amuses

[…] there you go, my free activity of the day – much more overt than the one in my intro IATEFL post (which only three of you found – have another look).  Sorry, got to go and stir the […]

10 04 2013
International Training - International House Buenos Aires

Reblogged this on International House Buenos Aires Teacher Training and commented:
Neil’s following IATEFL for us, join him for some tip top professional development from the biggest EFL conference of the year…

12 04 2013
ELT Weekly round up 12/04/2013 - ELTSquared.co.uk

[…] McMahon confessed that he had never been to IATEFL (I’m pretty sure this is some kind of blasphemy in ELT world, right?) but shared how he was […]

19 04 2013
julianwing

Hi Neil – I’m really impressed to see how teachers / bloggers & yourself are taking advantage of IATEFL Online. We’ve been a bit busy for the past few weeks so apologies for getting to your posts late. Looking forward to getting a chance to read all the great stuff written by those who weren’t able to attend.
All best
Julian (IATEFL Online Team)

19 04 2013
mcneilmahon

So am I Julian,
I’ve really enjoyed hunting around and finding new blogs to follow. And of course it goes without saying I’m massively impressed with the work the IATEFL online team does to give us the opportunity to keep up with the conference from afar. Many, many thanks to you all.
Just hope I also get a chnace to read and watch loads more stuff from the conference, since I only feel I’ve had a little taster of it so far.
All the best,
Neil

3 04 2014
1Way2…follow IATEFL | 1Way2

[…] is definitely one of my own making.  I’ve never been to IATEFL, and it certainly doesn’t look like I’ll be going there anytime soon, but I still look […]

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