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Mobile Learning and Digital Games in School

Introduction to Electronic Village Online

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Electronic Village is a platform where teachers from all over the world meet online to learn new ways of teaching English and other languages using technology. There are many communities supporting EVO who keep in touch during the whole year, they work together on different projects. The site is very popular with language teachers, but there are other people working with them too. People at EVO organize many five-week seminars, all take place at the same time every year in January.

 

Examples of EVO seminars are: Storytelling, Business English, Filming, Writing EBooks, TESOL, ESOL, Young learners, Peacekeeping and more. EVO seminars are free of charge with a lot of visitors who convert the events into a mass, non- linear, learning experience based on cooperation. The modern way of learning. Without cooperation the seminars would not be so successful. Many things people create at EVO are under the licence of Creative Commons. People share their work for free which enables other participants to use and develop what others have done. The potential to create and share for free is huge and benefits everybody. This is one of the greatest achievements of our century as every year more and more people can gain access to free education without barriers.

The skills you need for joining are

  1. you should be a team player,
  2. have good communication skills,
  3. fluent English (oral and written)
  4. experience with software, tools and social networks is an advantage,
  5. be open to new ideas,
  6. bring time and discipline.

The trainers are experienced teachers and authors who have done the seminars a couple of times, but also experts on different fields. The seminars are organized by many people, so you will have for example 15 trainers helping 500 participants tackle the tasks of the syllabus, but there is more than the syllabus, there are events with guest speakers, classes and tutorials. Trainers are called MODERATORS. Not all seminars have so many active participants and the courses get smaller as people drop them. People drop seminars because you need time for them, so even if there are many interesting things you would like to learn it is better to concentrate on one or two seminars. You will get the chance to do another seminar a year later. The topics are repeated. There is not always a certificate at the end, you can win a prize or just learn new things.

How does it work?

  1. The way the whole thing works is mastered professionally. Participants in each seminar separate into smaller groups according to their respective interests, they cooperate there with others more intensively to finish their tasks. There are official meetings of all groups together where they share their work at a regular basis. The permanent interaction among participants and moderators in all possible directions results in a great lot of input that has to be filtered first, but every member finds a system to keep track sooner or later.
  2. There is a syllabus, not all tasks have to be fulfilled, so members pick what they want to learn more or less. If certificates or badges are offered, then participants have to finish specific tasks.
  3. Everybody meets at one main platform that is used to communicate, that platform contains all information needed. The main platform this year was Google+ and some people met at hangouts, Skype, Twitter or other platforms to do team tasks.

It sounds confusing, but participants learn to take responsibility for their own learning aims and detect their weak points very soon. They learn more than in a "normal" seminar because they go for their interests, you don't have to learn what you don't want to, there are so many participants to share the same interests that every one learns from each other. Learning is possible especially because there are people with different levels and skills working together. Not for you?  Many teachers doing the seminars are already using that technology and that way of teaching at several universities. And according to some people that is the way we are all going to learn in future, the way classes are going to be built in future, the way we are going to teach in future, so I would recommend any teacher to give it a try next year. There are many advantages, like finding people with the same interests with whom you can make projects in future, you can join EVO communities and keep in touch and you get such a lot of ideas for your classes that you can't try them all by the time the next EVO sessions  start. I am going to write about my experiences with two EVO seminars I did this year in the next few weeks.  LINK: Electronic Village Online

 
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