Recently, Shelly Terrell, the co-founder of EDChat, invited me to present at the Virtual Round Table Language Online Conference on October 8th. The theme of this conference is "Language Teaching and Technology." Ten years ago I co-founded everthingESL.net with my son Charles. This inspired an interest in technology and the possibilities of using it with my students. Last year, I decided to join Twitter because I was Conference Chair and VP of NJTESOL-NJBE and a member of the Board, Cassy Lawrence, suggested that we feature technology at our next conference and establish a presence on Facebook and Twitter. I realized that my knowledge of technology was out-of-date.
I decided that I needed to understand the Web 2.0 technology that was going to be featured at our conference. I joined Twitter and it wasn't too long before I discovered Tom Whitby and Shelly Terrell and their amazing Educator's PLN (Personal Learning Network). I followed many of the educators that participated in #EDCHAT and started to build my PLN. I looked up every technology reference that I didn't know and investigated a wide variety of Web 2.0 applications related to education including a large number of blogs, classroom Wikis, Delicious, Prezi, Wallwisher, Google Docs and voicethread.
The best part of this journey, however, turned out to be the contacts and friendships that I established on Twitter. It is amazing to me that I can communicate with educators all over the world. In January 2010 I wrote my first blog, everythingESL. NJTESOL-NJBE now has committee meetings on Chatzy. A colleague and I had a proposal on using technology with English language learners accepted at the N.J. Education Association's yearly conference. Last June I co-founded #ELLCHAT with Linda Hahner. A few weeks ago, I gave my first webinar Myths of Second Language Acqusition. And in a few weeks I will be presenting at my first online conference. So I thank you Cassy, Shelly, Tom and Linda for contributing to this outstanding year of professional growth.