Showing posts with label elt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elt. Show all posts

Thursday, May 07, 2015

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot: A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

TESOL 2015 - Kahoot – A Game Platform to Spice Up your Classes

Just another thing I discovered in TESOL International Conference in Toronto. Actually, my colleague Ana Cristina Gerin had used it and mentioned it in one of our EdTech meetings. I was a bit busy with other projects and did not have time to try it out, though. So, while in the last TESOL conference, I had the chance of attending a 25 minute session in the Electronic Village in which I had a hands on experience with the tool. Back to my routine, I decided to give it a try and my students and I just loved it. Kahoot is free and it is in its own words is “ a classroom response system which creates an engaging learning space, through a game-based digital pedagogy.” To use it you will need internet connection and a device (iPad, smart phone) for each pair of students. So, let me explain to you how it works.

Create your own 

First, you will have to join Kahoot. After you create your account, you can create your own games (called kahoots). You can create three kinds of activities: quizzes, discussions, and surveys. To create a new kahoot, you will have to click on “new” and add your questions. Once you are done, it will be saved to your account and you can play it as many times as you wish. Besides that, you can also share your creations with your friends if you happen to know their user names.

Find other Kahoots

Once you are in, you can also use one of the thousands of public activities you will find for free on their site. To do this you will just have to use the search feature, find the one or ones you are looking for and check them to see if it suits your purposes.

Play the Game

Now that you are in, it is time to use it in class. You should first log on to your account and choose the game you want to play. Next, you should ask your students to open their device’ browser and search for Kahoot. The search will give them two results. Ask them to open the Kahoot it link. Once they do that, the platform will ask for a game pin. This is when you will have to launch the game by clicking on “play.” The next step will involve students choosing their nicknames, which can be a combination of the paired students’ names. Once everyone joins the game you can start playing. After each question, the platform gives a score ranking students as first, second, third, and so on.

A Gift

I have created two games for my Teens 7. So, here they are,

What did she say?   A quiz on reported speech.

What's the correct answer?  A quiz to test will and going to future.

I really need to work on tagging and creating names that will help others finding my quizzes.

A Tutorial

Here is a tutorial to help visual learners to grasp it a bit better.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IATEFL 2014 - ELT Conference Highlights





Harrogate is a beautiful former spa town in northern England and it was in this cozy city where spring was blossoming and flowers were everywhere that the 48th Annual IATEFL Conference was held. It was my first attendance at an IATEFL Conference and I was quite impressed with the extraordinary multiculturalism , the astonishing volume of choice , the impressive array of speakers and the cheerful atmosphere among the participants.


 Overwhelmed by such a rich, diverse choice of options, I tried to select as many interesting  sessions as possible and spent four days  running around the beautiful Harrogate Convention Center trying not to miss anything. I attended excellent plenaries and also got in touch with teachers from different parts of the world who work and do research related to coaching and  mentoring, one of my areas of interest and also the topic of my presentation in the conference.


The coaching and mentoring delegates formed a team in Harrogate! We attended each other’ s presentations and exchanged a lot of information and experience. It was wonderful to see that people from the most distant parts of the world have been working hard to implement collaborative practices in order to enhance teachers capacity and at the same time promote professional development. All the sessions were excellent.


One valuable presentation I was able to catch was given by Dr. Svetlana Belic  Malinic from Belgrade, Serbia.  Svetlana presented the results of an  action research conducted in an international school in Serbia which aimed to bring about change in teachers perceptions of their pedagogical practice. The teachers were introduced into reciprocal coaching schemata and, by doing peer coaching, were able to support one another in their professional growth, which positively affected their self-assessment. This shows how valuable it is to work collaboratively and how teachers gain by exchanging their experience and practice.

In addition to the thought-provoking presentations I attended, there was one innovative session format I really appreciated called  ELT Conversation , which involved discussion between two leading ELT professionals, Jeremy Harmer and Scott  Thornbury. In this session the speakers interviewed each other about the Communicative Approach. After 20 years, is it time to redefine its concept?  Is there a contemporary view of CLT? For more than one hour, in a full auditorium, Harmer and Thornbury discussed the gains and losses of this so well-established approach for language teaching followed by questions addressed from the audience.  A wonderful moment to revisit this approach and reflect upon what we have doing in our classrooms in the last decades.

In the opponent flow, Jim Srivener gave a lively presentation reassuring the importance of teaching grammar and urged the audience to ignore those voices that tell you that you have to communicate all the time. The presenter stressed that, yes, students want, need and learn from grammar. The question is how teachers can make grammar genuinely engaging, valuable and challenging. In order to make grammar really meaningful, Jim Scrivener stresses that we should use lots of examples. They are input. And we should play with examples. This is practice. We should never forget to make examples sound real. Personalization is fundamental. After personalizing , students then are able to use the language.


As you can see through my highlights above, IATEFL was filled with diversity and innovation which have made me an IATEFL convert. Those were professionally inspiring and enjoyable days that will always remain in my mind. My thanks for the support and encouragement the Casa has given me to participate in such a fabulous event.   

Margarete Nogueira


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TESOL 2014 and Being a Leader


This was the first time I attended a TESOL and I was amazed at how big and how well-organized it is. It was great to see so many teachers from all over the world learning, sharing, motivating and being motivated. There was a huge variety of topics for the presentations, with options for everybody’s interests. I chose to attend those related to Teacher Development and Leadership not only because of my present position at Thomas, but also because I believe we teachers are always searching for professional development opportunities and we are all leaders.

There was one particular presentation I enjoyed a lot and would like to share with you: “Leadership Skills and Styles Affecting Leaders” by Dr. Sufian Abu-Rmaileh, from the United Arab Emirates University.

He started by defining Leadership:

“The act of identifying important goals and then motivating and enabling others to devote themselves and all necessary resources to its achievement. It includes summoning one’s self and others to learn and adapt to the new situation represented by the goal” (NYSBR 2003, p. 3)

“Much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do” (De Pree 1989, p.148)

So, who is a leader?

Astin and Astin (2000) define a leader as anyone who has a formal position and who holds the role of bringing about change in the society in which they live and work.

De Pree (1990) says that one of the major tasks of a leader is to expand and unleash the talents and skills of the different people in the organization.

These definitions made me think of how much we teachers match them. Every semester we face different challenges to which we have to adapt and learn how to deal with. We are in charge of groups of students who need our constant guidance, model, assistance and motivation. More than teaching English, we teach them how to respect and help their peers, how to accept different opinions, how to overcome their difficulties. 

Good leaders help their team achieve their goal, which should be in accordance with the institution’s/organization’s. I particularly like De Pree’s  saying about the role of a leader. A good teacher/leader should be able to expand and unleash the talents and skills of the different people s/he leads.
There are different leadership styles and we can adopt different styles according to our and others’ necessities and in different moments of our life. Dr. Abu-Rmaileh talked about the six leadership styles listed below.

1.       Directive Leader:
Allows little or no negotiations
Keeps tight control without delegating
Is not flexible or open to new ideas

2.       Visionary Leader:
Has clear standards and feedback
Explains the logic behind procedures
Inspires people to a higher purpose for their work

3.       Affliliative Leader:
Creates harmony and affective/emotional bonding
Avoids confrontation with others
Provides little explanation on direction or rationale behind tasks

4.       Democratic/Participative Leader:
Collaboration and team concurrence
High on trust, respect and commitment
Motivates his/her team by empowering them to direct themselves

5.       Pacesetting Leader:
Sets high standards for performance
Obsesses about doing things better, faster, quicker
The pursuit of excellence is overwhelming

6.       Coaching Leader:
Helps team members to discover their own strengths and weaknesses
Guides people to find and create their own career development
Links goals, personal and career, with those of the organization

Leadership Matrix
 
How it Builds Resonance
Impact On Climate
When Appropriate
 Competency requirements
Visionary
Moves people towards shared dreams
Most strongly positive
When changes require a new vision, or, when clear direction is needed
Self-Awareness, Self-Confidence, Empathy, Transparency, Visionary Leadership, Change Catalyst
Coaching
Connects what a person wants with organisational goals
Highly positive
To help an employee improve performance by building long term capabilities
Self-Awareness, Empathy, Developing Others
Affiliative
Creates harmony by connecting people to each other
Positive
To heal rifts in a team, motivate during stressful times, or strengthen connections
Empathy, Teamwork & Collaboration, Conflict management, Building Bonds
Democratic
Values peoples input and get commitment through participation
Positive
To build buy in or consensus, or to get valuable input from employees
Empathy, Teamwork & Collaboration, Influence
Pacesetting
Meets challenging and exciting goals
Is often Highly Negative  - because it is generally poorly executed
To get high quality results from a motivated and competent team
Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self Control, Achievement Drive, Transparency, Initiative, Adaptability, Teamwork & Collaboration
Commanding
Soothes fears by giving clear direction in an emergency
Can be Highly Negative – because so often misused
In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround, or with a problem employee
Self-Awareness, Self-Control, Empathy, Achievement drive, Initiative
http://www. maetrix.com.au/leadership_styles.asp

I’m sure you have recognized yourself at different moments of your professional life in many of the characteristics listed above. These characteristics are just a few among many others for each style. We can select some and put them together to come up with our idea of an effective leader. Dr. Abu-Rmaileh presented effective leaders as being:

-          Visionary
  • -          Trustworthy, fair and honest
  • -          Role Models and Mentors – “Effective leaders demonstrate courage in difficult situations, and provide a model of moral leadership for other to emulate” (NYSBR, 2003, p. 2)
  • -          Visible
  • -          Dedicated – Effective leaders are dedicated to the institution which they serve. They have commitment and loyalty to the constituents and to the institution.
  • -          Good Communicators

The implications of good leadership are many. Good leadership in the classroom leads to a calm end of semester, not necessarily an easy one, but surely one in which we have a sense of accomplishment. Some of the implications Dr. Abu-Rmaileh talked about and I believe are appropriate for a classroom environment were:

  • -          Achievement drive: high level of effort, high levels of ambition, energy and initiative
  • -          Honesty and integrity: a trustworthy environment
  • -          Self-confidence: belief in one’s self, ideas and ability
  • -          Emotional maturity: well-adjusted groups



The presentation made me reflect on the kind of leader I am and the kind of leader I want to be, my personal characteristics that influence on my leadership style, and the aspects I need to work on in order to be a better leader. I hope it helps you see yourselves as leaders too and realize the importance of being a good leader.


Friday, March 21, 2014

The Art of Designing eTasks

There are at least two different ways to help teachers who are designing iPad activities with students to evaluate the tasks they create. The  SAMR  model helps a  teacher/task designer become aware of what stage the task falls into in terms of the use of tech.  The Bloom Taxonomy applied to apps helps teachers think about the kind of questions we ask students and how we should vary the tasks we offer. By delivering the workshop From Image to Deep Learning, I started to understand that  teachers can also look into the learning cycle as a whole, and how the human learning brain works to promote deep learning. The ideas I share here were inspired by the book The Art of Changing the Brain, which is a must read for any educator willing to take a look into the biology behind learning.




In the workshop, I asked the audience how to teach questions with does to teens, and develop tasks having the learning cycle in mind. After a quick debriefing, I showed a simple iPad activity I carried out in class of 11-year-olds, talked about my take in the lesson, and expanded on why I think this task pleases the learning brain. Now, I post my ideas here to help me reflect on my practice, having the learning cycle described in the aforementioned book in mind.




I showed students a quiz about a famous person I knew they would be interested in. Students took the quiz, and I inductively helped them notice how to make questions about a third person`s likes and dislikes. Then, I asked them to gather information about a celebrity they follow to make a quiz of their own.
I was afraid that I`d have no pictures to work with on the following class, but to my surprise, students had bought the idea and had pictures and lots of information to work with. I was ready to go, so I set the iPad activity and monitored students. Here is what two pairs produced using a wonderful app called visualize.




In the art of changing the brain, Zull talks about phase 1 - concrete experience. In this phase, there is activity in the sensory cortex, where we receive, gather and begin to process the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory information. Phase 2 - reflexive observation, seems to describe an activity that takes place in the integrative cortex. It is time to connect sensory images to prior experience in one`s neural network or schemas. In class, passing from phase 1 to phase 2 might take time as learners need to relate new information to what they already know. We cannot rush. We must allow time for thinking/recalling as well as time to reflect upon the learning experience.

In the activity I proposed, my students were exposed to a visually appealing quiz about a person they were genuinely interested in, and took the quiz themselves to find out how much they knew about the person. As I see it, students went through stage one and two of the learning cycle before we started the second part of the activity.

In phase 3 - abstract hypothesizing, the front integrative cortex is at work. Students start to prepare to do something with the recently acquired knowledge. In the iPad activity, I asked students to get the information about their favorite celebrities and start to put it in the format of a quiz for the other students in class. And by asking students to make these quizzes to communicate their recently acquired knowledge, teachers allow students time to test their hypothesis and think. In phase 4 - active testing, students shared their quizzes, and by doing so, provided peers with concrete experiences, so the whole class was back to phase 1. Learning becomes cyclical and on going, and hopefully they will remember the language point long after the day of the test.

In conclusion, instead of asking students to pay attention, it is better when we can engage students in tasks in which they  are supposed to reach outcomes, or ask them to look at the topics from different angles. Instead of sitting still, learners could be asked to move around to see the details. In other words, by making learning more concrete, we might reach concrete outcomes.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Teacher Talking Quality


Robert O’Neill has questioned a basic idea of EFL teaching that too much teacher talk is bad and therefore more 'student talk' can be achieved by reducing teacher talking time. In contrast, he introduces the idea of teacher talking quality; it’s not the time the teacher spends talking, but the quality of the teacher’s talk*. O’Neill certainly makes a valid point, yet it requires further elaboration.
First, the idea that decreasing teacher talking time (TTT) will increase student talking time (STT) needs to be addressed. One can imagine a teacher doing various things, e.g., telling stories, partaking in speaking activities, and giving instructions. Should a teacher avoid talking when it comes to piquing students’ interest; relaying some culturally relevant anecdotes; explaining how an activity is going to work?  I don’t see how a seasoned teacher could argue that TTT should be avoided when it comes to these situations.  TTT versus STT becomes important when considering speech which does not result in student learning. Such speech from teachers would therefore be lacking in quality and efficiency, but what does that look like?
STT and TTT have to do with time, which is easily measured. O’Neill has proposed the acronym TTQ (teacher talking quality). Quality in comparison to time is not quite as objective, which is why I believe the discussion of TTT x STT seems to be a recurrent theme in TEFL.  That’s not to say that quality can’t be measured. One could design a rubric for scoring the quality of teacher talk just as we’ve developed a scoring rubric for the writing assignments we give to our students. This TTT rubric should give points to a teacher who uses elicitation, gives practical and clear explanations, checks for understanding by asking concept questions, allows students to be responsible for their self-directing their speech, organizes students into speaking pairs or groups, and tolerates silence long enough to give students time to formulate a response. Likewise, this TTT rubric should take points away for a teacher who speaks for many minutes without elicitation, gives explanations full of terminology, transitions to an activity without first asking questions that check student comprehension, controls or dominates discussion to the point where students have limited involvement in the learning process, or impatiently reinitiates talk without giving students time to process so as to formulate a proper response.
Above all, teachers need to be humanistic and understand that although silence can be used as a technique in specific instances (allowing the student time to find their words), being silent all the time is not natural and doesn’t cater to everyone’s learning needs. Students who seek clarification or wish to share their experiences with the class should be welcomed with a warm response from the teacher. In fact, teacher talk can include current issues in comparison to dated textbooks or audio, disseminate relevant content, and fine-tune language to a level that is readily comprehensible based on that student’s level of language development. We also can’t forget that the teacher’s English is a source of input for our students to process both consciously and unconsciously.
 To summarize, it’s safe to say that there are some strong points to O’Neill’s argument for TTQ. When TTT is dry and monotonous, void of elicitation, or needlessly complicated, it becomes obvious why TTQ is so crucial.  That is not to say that TTT shouldn’t be limited at times when students are capable of some learner autonomy; they can guide their own discussions, which both further involves students in the learning process and develops their speaking skills when it comes to turn-taking or discovering the meaning of vocabulary or grammar rules for themselves. English classes can’t be all about the vocabulary and grammar, however.  Teacher talk is needed to build rapport with our students so that they not only learn the language but are given opportunities to use the language in ways that are meaningful and humanistic. In the end, it bodes well for the teacher who recognizes when it is necessary and not necessary to talk during class, duly combined with the idea that when TTT is warranted, it is done with our students’ learning needs in mind.


*Robert O'Neill – IATEFL, April 2004

Sunday, May 12, 2013

IATEFL 2013 - Pronunciation for Listening



One of the talks I attended at IATEFL was Pronunciation for Listeners – Making sense of connected speech, by Mark Hancock. I already knew Mark from his blog and his published materials, so I made it a point to attend his talk. It was certainly worth it!




The best part was to know that I wouldn’t have to copy anything or take pictures of the slides. I already knew that Mark is all about sharing his materials and his talks and was certain that, later on, I would find everything online.

Sure enough, in his ELT page with Annie McDonald, Mark has posted the handout and the recording of his talk.  Thus, rather than reading my summary of his presentation, you can experience it first hand.

Mark’s talk was useful in demonstrating to the audience that pronunciation is also a listening skill and that it isn’t always easy for students to know where one word ends and the next begins when they listen. Thus, we need to train our students to listen, and to do so, we need to develop in them an awareness of the supra-segmental features that come to play in natural speech, such as elision, assimilation, and the like. To this end, Mark suggests a series of what he calls micro-listening activities that are really fun.

Among my favorite ones presented at IATEFL was the –ed = t maze. Students have to work their way through the maze by going from one –ed = t combination to the next. The interesting thing about it is that he presents the verb and an object that starts with a vowel so that they can practice the elision that is so common in verb + object combinations such as “booked a room”.






Check out the recording of his talk and his handout. He also has an article and an interview on this topic. Make sure you also explore his website full of rich resources for effective pronunciation teaching.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 Ways You Can Use the Web for Professional Development in 2013


                                                                                                    www.photo-dictionary.com


It`s the end of a long day. After 2 plenary talks and 4 carefully chosen workshops, you are geared up with a set of incredible activities and ideas that will give a boost to your lessons and keep your students motivated and engaged throughout the next couple of  months. Then , after a while you inevitably start wondering when the next event will take place and whether you will be able to attend it or not. Well... does that ring you a bell? It certainly does if you have been a teacher for a while! Events such as one-day seminars, national and international conferences have ,for ages, been considered heaven for those who seek professional development. For the future generation of teachers, though, local workshops and international conferences will no longer be seen as the ultimate source of inspiration . A massive  movement towards the web is changing how people acquire knowledge and share it.
Well, let`s face it, it is undeniable how much technology has gained space in our lives and how virtually impossible it is to ignore it, specially in the professional scene. As a matter of fact, the academic year has just started in Brazil and we are still living that classic period  in the beginning of the term in which everyone  feels inspired to make a list of professional resolutions.  These lists are no secret to anyone, we actually enjoy sharing our aspirations and aims and sometimes even add a few more resolutions to our own lists based on what we hear from other colleagues. The lists are as colorful and diverse as the number of teachers, there is a myriad of goals, but from I have recently noticed, most resolutions, in a way or another, go around a common denominator: technology. Sometimes their resolutions are explicit as wanting to learn how to use a tablet in class effectively, which new web tools to be used for upcoming class activities, or as elementary as how to make and upload a slide presentation to the school`s wiki or  make a profile in a social network to interact with workmates and students. Some teaches have resolutions that apparently have no connection to technology itself, but sometimes they don`t realize that the answers to their worries might be found through technolgy.
As it has been aforementioned, there is a massive movement towards the web for both sharing and learning. Little by little teachers realize that the web has more to offer than just diversion. I have learned that the web has an unequaled power to re-design one`s academic and professional perspectives and it is my intention, here, to offer you a few suggestions I have tried  myself. This post is dedicated to those who want to learn more about educational technology, those who want to learn how to take more advantage of the web for academic and professional purposes and to those who apparently believe this post does not relate to any of their personal list of resolutions and are waiting for the next seminar in  town in the hope of attending a session that will  address their favorite issues.

Here are a few suggestions how you can revamp your carreer in 2013:

1.  Join a Facebook group
Did you know that besides keeping you connected to your friends and updated with what is going on in their  lives , Facebook also offers great opportunities to interact with  other professionals who share similar interests? Just go to the search area at the center top of your profile page and type in an area or topic of interest. Facebook will instantly show you many options of groups, pages and profiles that relate to your search. Visit a few and join in the one you like best. In these groups, teachers share interesting links, articles, news about upcoming events, great Youtube vídeos, etc. Here are five great suggestions to get started:

Mobile Learning
Online Teaching and Learning



2. Use Twitter to follow well-known successful professional and institutions

Nowadays top notch professional and institutions have a profile on Twitter. There, they share articles and blog posts, give tips,  advertise courses and inform  us on upcoming relevant events. So, go to the search space and check if those professionals you`ve always admired have a Twitter account and start following them. Tip: don`t forget to take a look at the list of users who follow and are followed by that profile. You might  even discover profiles that are more interesting than the ones you were originally looking for!
Here are 10 profiles worth following:

ShellyTerrell
@edutopia
@MyWeb4Ed
@Marisa_C
@VanceS
@hopreah
@NikPeachey
@carlaarena


3. Attend webinars

Also known as virtual conferences or online workshops, webinars are a fantastic way to invest in your professional recycling. They are usually free, last between 30 and 60 minutes and are delivered by the same incredible speakers you usually meet in important events. Webinars are highly interactive: you can write messages and questions in a chat box and some even allow you to speak using your microphone. Many sessions are recorded, allowing you to view them later as many times as you wish and presenters usually make their slides available for downloading. Isn`t it awesome? Give webinars a try , you shall be positively surprised!
For EdTech lovers:

Upcoming webinars delivered by Shelly Terrell every Friday (6:00 p.m Brasilia time): http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/292127
(Don`t forget  to check the recordings of past webinars. Fantastic material!)

2013 TESOL virtual seminars (paid for non-members). Check out the schedule:

Serendipity and Fine Focus Webinars
 There is no list of upcoming session topics once many of them are decided by the users the moment the webinar starts. I tried it once and I was very surprised that the whole session was on the topic I had suggested. It was a very nice experience and learning took place through the interaction among participants and moderators.

4. Take an online course

If you are looking for a more in-depth professional development experience on the web, consider taking an online course. You don`t need to be a tech expert to take these courses but they require a good deal of self-discipline and dedication, specially when you do it for the first time.  So, my tip is to start with a free course that lasts for a few weeks only and then, after you get the hang of it, go for the ones that are paid or require commitment for longer periods.

Coursera
You may have heard of MOOCs before: Massive Open Online Courses. In a partnership with top universities around the globe, Coursera offers many courses for anyone to take for free. Unique experience for those willing to take courses offered by prestigious institutions , such as University of Michigan, Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, just to name a few. Check out the link for courses in the area of education:


SEETA
SEETA stands for Southeastern Europe Teachers Association and gathers several professional from around the globe interested in professional development. It is a very active association that, from time to time, starts forums and discussions on relevant themes and offers webinars and online courses, all for free!  In order to have access to everything, SEETA requires that you sign up as a member ,which, by the way, can be done at no cost. 

TESOL
TESOL is one of the largest and widely known associations for English teachers with ramifications all over the world. This means that what they offer to the teaching community is definitely reliable and of good quality. Their courses are not very cheap but are delivered by the top professionals in the field.

For those who are not willing to spend cash but still want to take courses supported by TESOL, the Electronic Village Online (EVO) is a great alternative. The free courses are offered every January and last for 5 weeks. Take a look at what was offered this year! Don`t forget to join their mailing list so that you can get a reminder for next year`s sessions!

The Consultants-E
Nickly Hockly, Shelly Terrell, Gavin Dudeney and Lindsay Clandfield  are some of the names that you will find in this stellar team of professionals. The Consultants-E probably offers the best online courses in the field of educational technology. If that is your area of interest, then you must know about these guys and take one of the courses they offer. They are definitely worth the investment! 
Here is a nice tip: for some courses, you can apply for a full-tuition scholarship!

5. Browse through the web

In the past , if you wanted to read articles or learn content in your areas of interest, you had to buy books or subscribe to journals and magazines. Now, you can go to a search engine, type in a few words and discover  a whole new world. There are excellent  blogs, pages and online journals with fantastic reading material. If you can`t find any blogs in your area of interest, how about starting one? Here are a few of my favorite picks for your appreciation:


As you can see, you don`t need to wait days, weeks or months to attend the next seminar or  spend lots of money to invest in the next move towards your carreer development. The web offers countless opportunities for continuing learning and sharing experiences like never seen before.  These five suggestions cater to  different professionals with different interests. If technology itself is not your goal, you can still use it to find people, groups, communities, blogs, pages and  networks of professional with similar quests. As a matter of fact, most of my own PLN (Personal Learning Network) comes from the sources mentioned in this blog post. How did I learn about their existence?  By chance while networking with different professionals in Twitter and Facebook.If you are thinking about ways of revamping your professional life in 2013, consider taking advantage of all the web can offer! 

Vinicius Lemos