EuroCALL Virtual Conference: Web 2.0 and language learning
EuroCALL, the European organisation which strives to explore new ways of teaching and learning language through technology, are having their annual conference in Coleraine, University of Ulster, this week.
There is a great virtual strand with conference presentations, papers, abstracts, streaming audio and aggregations of related content, bringing together world class academic research which shows the potential of the live web for language teaching and learning.
Given the recent hoopla [a.k.a. bunch of tosh] by Gary Stager, slating the "Web 2.0" crowd and the technology for their lack of academic backbone, this conference couldn't be better timed. In my role over the past year as Research Practitioner of new technologies, the material from these conferences is priceless and, along with the other 100 or so research reports I've read and summarised over the past two years (inspired by my old boss, Prof Johnstone), they form a steady base from which we can say with confidence why more teachers should engage their students with new technologies. You might also want to see Stephen Downes' point-by-point take on the academic backbone I'm talking about.
If you want to see why languages in particular benefit from Web 2.0, Live Web or, as I prefer, 'new technologies', then the Coleraine Virtual Strand is a pretty good place to start.
Tip of the hat to Graham Davies.