eLangauges is born

28 Sep

I’m not sure of the exact date or time but elanguages was born to collate and share my thoughts, and some excellent external resources, to improve my professional development in the process. All is going to plan so far. But I know I have a lot more work to do.

What is this blog about?

There are many areas I could write about (I can be quite opinionated sometimes) but I thought I’d focus on one area that is close to my heart – languages. I’ve discovered (the hard way) that learning languages takes time and lots of effort 🙂 There are so many variables involved in learning another language – motivation levels, current environment, access to the language community…The list just goes on. How can we make it a little bit easier for language learners? Could we use technology and advances in the technology to our advantage? Could we somehow reduce the ‘hard factor’ and increase the ‘motivational’ aspect of learning languages? I had many more questions… I’ve also discovered that many other language professionals have already answered some of these questions! Why not collate those ideas to begin with?

Curating other posts

This is what I call the ‘literature review’ of blogging 🙂 Collate as many resources as possible to learn from the experts. It’s also important to evaluate, and even critique some of them. But time always seemed to be against me. I’d find a good web site, or a new app, then I’d try it out for myself, and my students. I’ve learnt so much just by reading others’ evaluations! I thank them from the bottom of my heart! I continue curating, especially using my scoop.it site Every now and then I get pleasantly surprised that some experts in languages and education technology actually recommend my topic to others. I’m extremely grateful for that recognition. I believe peer-recognition is one of the most powerful motivational factors in learning and teaching (in any field).

The content on SM

One of the earlier tips on SM that I cherish to this day, is to keep to your focus. One purpose, one online presence. In other words, I’ve always tried to keep my online content professional. Particularly in the field of education technology. This has served me well. I have a general blog on learning languages online (this one), another blog on virtual worlds, one on coding/programming, and another one on teacher education. I have yet to start a blog on baking cakes…

Who am I online?

The blog on cakes will probably be anonymous, as my baking skills are, well, nothing to write home about! As for my professional blog sites, I’ve decided to be ‘known’ to my audience. I’m an educator, hence any students, or potential students should know about my professional achievements – I believe this is one way of setting credibility online. I’ve also integrated many of the SM sites, since each one attracts a different type of audience. Sometimes, it’s about the way the information is disseminated. Posting on Facebook is quite different from posting on Linkedin. I’ve connected my Twitter, Linkedin and Scoopit accounts together. This makes it easier for me to control my postings. I do use FB & Google+ but only sparingly. Perhaps because I can’t connect them to each other 🙂

Where to from here?

I’m sure the online tools, especially on SM, will be different this time next year. However, the need to communicate, collaborate, and create will remain a human instinct. The way we behave off-line in order to participate in social communities is not really that different from the way we behave in on-line communities. We usually seek like-minded people, with like-minded interests. We have discussions about pros-cons about those interests but always try to learn from each other. If we come across as someone ‘who gives the impression that he or she knows everything’, we surprisingly discover that the circle of friends and/or acquaintances somehow start to shrink. Which community do you think I’m referring to – on-line or off-line?

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