List of free webinars for English teachers (plus some tips!)

Today while I was chatting on Facebook (I do this a lot, don’t I? Well, isn’t that the whole idea of PLN?) with Qori, a member of Indonesian English Teachers’ Club (IETC), I remembered that I had this idea of putting a list of free webinars for English teachers on this blog. I have shared these links on the group’s Facebook and joined some of them. But before you ask, here’s a little bit on what a webinar is.

What is a webinar?

I believe by now all of you are already familiar with the term ‘webinar’. However, if you haven’t, as you might have guessed it, a webinar is basically a seminar that is held online, on a website.

Webinar = web + seminar.

Thanks to the advancement of technology, thus educational technology, people now can hold seminar, workshop, presentation, lecture online, using website or other forms of online technology as the platform. By making all of these activities available online, knowledge and skills can now be easily transferred or distributed across countries with minimum cost (at least from the point of view of the receiver).

As many economists consider this as a ‘weird’ economic behavior, nowadays more and more high-profile institutions provide and host online classes, including webinars. And why is this weird? Because they provide them for free. If you’re into free online courses, you should go check these websites (though courses are not limited to English teaching): Coursera, Khan Academy.

Why should I attend a webinar (at least once or twice)?

  1. The first thing I would consider is because it’s totally free. However though, you still need to provide yourself a decent computer and internet connection.
  2. It can help with your professional development. I guess one of the most important reasons to be in a webinar is that you can get all the latest trend, knowledge, and skills that you need to teach in your class. That’s surely something you and your institution can benefit from. Also, you can meet other teachers from all around the world (or other cities in your country) and start connecting (remember PLN?).
  3. Even though they are free, the speakers of these webinars are mostly experts in their field. So why waste this chance?
  4. Attending a webinar and basically following the latest trend in education and educational technology in specific will give you a sense on what’s going on in the world out there.

What should I prepare for a webinar?

  1. First and foremost: a computer (or laptop). Some webinars can be accessed through tablet or mobile device, but computer is always the best choice. Some platforms (e.g. Adobe Connect) have limited support on mobile device functionalities, although some might not (e.g. Blackboard).
  2. The second most important thing: a stable internet access. I have followed some webinars and noticed that Adobe Connect has the heaviest load of all other platforms (again, this is based on Indonesian standard modem-based internet connection). I believe this is due to its many features that run at the same time: video, voice, online chat, slides. Before you attend a webinar, you are usually informed on what platform the host will use (but you can read about it in this blogpost), so you can at least prepare yourself with better internet connection.
  3. The third most important thing: your time. Even though it is conducted online and you can sometimes attend a webinar while doing other stuff offline, I am sure you don’t want to miss valuable information delivered in the webinar. And because of its online nature, a webinar can only be held for around a maximum of 2 hours, so things can really go fast while you’re at it.

Other tips on attending a webinar

  1. Because there are lots of webinars out there, sometimes we are confused on which to attend. One thing for sure, you do not have to attend them all. What I usually do is register for webinars on topics that I need and specialize. For example: I’m teaching mostly adults and ESP, that is why attending a webinar on teaching young learners is a second priority for me.
  2. Be active in finding information on where to find webinars, Google them, join clubs for English teachers that give information about them, and connect with other teachers who are following the trend and can give you the information.
  3. Always bookmark sites that provide webinars so you will not lose them in the future. If you’re using Diigo, that’s even better, because other teachers will be able to look at your list too.
  4. Note down the schedule of webinars you have registered so you will not miss them. Some automatically send iCal reminder via email. If you miss a webinar, you usually can watch the recording later. However, you will not be able to ask questions directly to the speakers or interact with other participants. Also, since the hosts of these webinars are not in Indonesia, you will need a time converter to convert the time into WIB, WITA, or WIT.

And… Here’s the list of free webinars for English teachers

  1. American TESOL Webinars. You do not have to register to the website if you want to join a webinar. Webinars are presented every Friday at 4 PM EST or New York time with Shelly Terrell. Simply visit the site at the time given and login. Platform: Adobe Connect.
  2. English Language Teaching Webinars by Oxford University Press. You need to register for a webinar before attending it although you do not need to register to the website. Registration is closed one day before the webinar. Certificates of attendance and presentation slides are available after the webinar. Platform: Blackboard.
  3. Teacher Training Webinars by Macmillan English. You need to register for a webinar before attending it. Seats are limited (up to 2,000?) but they are free. Recordings and presentations of previous webinars are available with no registration. Platform: Blackboard.
  4. International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi). iTDi occasionally conducts free webinars for members of the website. You have to register to the website to register for it. The website also provides an online community for English teachers from all over the world. So while you’re not attending webinars, you can still connect with other teachers, experts, and mentors. Platform: Adobe Connect.
  5. IATEFL Webinars. Webinars are free but the recordings are only available for paid members. Make sure you do not miss the date and time to make the most of the webinars provided. Presentation slides are available after the webinar but only for a short while before they are moved to members’ area. Registration is not needed. Platform: Adobe Connect.
  6. Shaping The Way We Teach English Webinars by American English. Here you can find recordings of previous webinars, including the presentations and resources that came with them. No information on upcoming webinars so far. Platform: Adobe Connect.
  7. Webinars for English Teachers by US Embassy in Lima, Peru. You have to visit their Facebook Page or subscribe to their newsletter to get information about upcoming webinars. Meanwhile you can watch the recorded webinars on their YouTube channel. No registration is needed. By far this webinar is the most bandwidth-friendly, most probably because it only provides audio and chat.
  8. TeachingEnglish Webinars by British Council. Recorded webinars are available on the website and no registration is needed. However, too bad there are no new updates on the webinar or other activities on the page. Platform: Adobe Connect.
  9. Cambridge English Teacher. You have to register to the website if you want to register for a webinar. Most of the webinars are provided for paid members. There are only few webinars available for free for non-members.

Last but not least, I hope this blogpost is useful for you and your professional development. Feel free to drop your comment(s). 🙂

Links to downloadable English Language Teaching (ELT) books and ebooks

A member of Indonesian English Teachers’ Club (IETC) asked me if we could have all the links of the downloadable books or ebooks that were posted on the club’s Facebook group in one page. So, here it is now. Happy downloading!

Continuing Professional Development – An Annotated Bibliography by Amol Padwad and Krishna Dixit.

Online books and articles by Stephen D Krashen.

Principles of Language Learning and Teaching by H. Douglas Brown, 4th edition.

A Course in Language Teaching by Penny Ur.

The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer, 3rd edition.

Conversations in the Classroom by Chris Cotter.

Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching edited by Gary Motteram.

Blended Learning in English Language Teaching: Course Design and Implementation edited by Edited by Brian Tomlinson and Claire Whittaker.

Some other books on English for tourism and Project Based Learning (PBL) are also available on IETC Facebook group. Please have a visit and search for them there.

This blogpost will always be updated once a new link is found (or broken). Have other links? Feel free to share them by leaving your comment(s). Thank you. :)

Diigo: ayo bangun perpustakaan onlinemu!

Logo Diigo

Seorang rekan guru yang juga anggota Indonesian English Teachers Club lewat Facebook Chat baru saja menyarankan saya untuk memasukkan referensi ke dalam tulisan-tulisan saya di blog ini. Sontak saya langsung teringat dengan akun Diigo saya. Mungkin karena terbiasa ngeblog (baca: bukan menulis tulisan akademik atau ilmiah), saya jadi tidak terpikir kalau referensi itu perlu. Ditambah lagi kebiasaan ngeblog yang biasanya tanpa menyertakan referensi. Tapi bukan berarti saya tidak pernah membaca ya… (Guru yang tidak pernah membaca? Apa-apaan ini?)

Jadi apa sebenarnya Diigo? Diigo mungkin bisa dibilang sama seperti sistem Bookmark yang terdapat di browser pada umumnya. Untuk Chrome biasanya Bookmark berintegrasi dengan Gmail, di mana ketika kita login dengan akun Gmail kita, kita tidak perlu khawatir jika kita tidak menggunakan komputer atau device yang sama. Asalkan kita menggunakan Chrome dan login ke akun Gmail, kita pasti akan tetap bisa mengaksesnya di perangkat mana pun. Bedanya dengan Diigo, Chrome Bookmark tidak memungkinkan orang lain (selain pengguna akun Gmail yang bersangkutan) untuk melihat dan mengakses tautan-tautan yang telah kita simpan dalam Bookmark.

Di Diigo, jika kita lihat, tiap pengguna mempunyai My Library sendiri yang terdiri dari tautan-tautan yang telah ia simpan dan tanggal kapan mereka disimpan. Dan orang lain dapat membaca daftar tautan ini dan mengaksesnya. Jadi, My Library lebih seperti sebuah perpustakaan online (atau digital) yang terbuka di mana tiap orang bisa mengetahui apa yang telah, sedang, dan akan dibaca seseorang. Konsep Diigo juga sebenarnya adalah media sosial. Jadi sesama pengguna bisa saling menambahkan kontak atau teman seperti layaknya Facebook. Tapi tanpa itu pun orang lain yang bukan teman dapat mengakses daftar bacaan kita selagi mengetahui tautan atau nama user (selagi ketika disimpan pengaturannya public, bukan private). Contoh:

Bagaimana cara membuat akun Diigo? Sederhana. Buka, klik Join Diigo, lalu isi keterangan yang diminta seperti halnya mendaftar di sebuah website atau media sosial pada umumnya. Setelah memiliki akun Diigo, kita akan diminta untuk mengunduh dan meng-install add-on Diigo di browser kita. Setelah add-on terpasang akan terlihat seperti yang ada di foto yang saya ambil dari komputer dan browser Google Chrome saya di bawah ini (di antara panah merah muda).

Diigo add-on di Google Chrome

Add-on Diigo di Google Chrome

Bagaimana cara mulai membangun perpustakaan kita sendiri? Buka laman yang kita baca, lalu klik add-on Diigo yang menampilkan logonya seperti di foto di atas. Kita bisa menyimpan laman yang kita baca berdasarkan tag (tagar) yang sesuai dengan konten atau isi laman. Misal: Laman dengan judul ‘An Introduction to Project-Based Learning’ kita kategorikan ke dalam tagar ‘PBL’, ‘education’, ‘teaching’. Atau karena laman ini berasal dari website Edutopia yang tersohor itu, kita bisa juga masukkan tagar ‘Edutopia’. Dan tautan ini pun otomatis akan masuk ke My Library kita, asalkan kita sign in di akun Diigo kita (saya biasanya selalu sign in – dan saya tidak pernah berganti perangkat).

Kelebihan Diigo lainnya adalah karena web-based (berbasis web), ia dapat diakses melalui browser apapun (Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, etc.) dan perangkat apapun yang mendukung (komputer, iPad, iPhone, Android). Kita juga bisa memilih untuk sign in ke akun Diigo kita atau melalui Gmail. Selain itu, seperti layaknya sebuah buku, kita juga bisa meng-highlight (menstabilo) laman web yang sedang kita baca dengan berbagai macam warna. Lucu bukan? Untuk cara menggunakan Diigo yang lainnya, silakan tonton video tutorial ini yang diambil dari laman depan website Diigo.

Untuk Chandra (rekan guru yang saya sebut di atas), terima kasih telah mengingatkan. Mulai sekarang saya akan memasukkan referensi di tulisan-tulisan di blog ini. Dan jika Anda belum mencoba Diigo, ayo coba sekarang… And let’s start connecting! 😉

Sumber gambar Logo Diigo:

NELTAL dan jalan-jalan di Malang

Tiap tahun selalu ada alasan untuk main ke Malang. Tahun lalu ada Malang Tempoe Doeloe (MTD) di bulan Mei, tahun ini ada National English Language Teacher and Lecturer (NELTAL) yang ke-5 di akhir bulan Maret. Menarik banget bisa datang ke NELTAL karena sejak Indonesian English Teachers’ Club (IETC) saya jadi merasa perlu banget untuk bertemu guru-guru lain dan juga menimba banyak ilmu dari mereka. Event ini jadi momen yang tepat untuk melakukan keduanya. Saya tidak akan bercerita banyak, tapi biarlah foto-foto ini yang menceritakan perjalanan saya di Malang tahun ini…

Ternyata di kapal feri bisa nge-charge hape lo… Tapi sayang gak gratis, cukup tiga ribu rupiah saja…

Sebelum NELTAL, mampir dulu ke Kantin CL makan nasi tahu telor. Universitas Brawijaya (UB) ini banyak banget berubah. Jaman dulu kantin CL belum ada (CL katanya singkatan dari ‘Ciputra Land’). Letaknya di antara lapangan basket (yang sekarang sudah jadi gedung olahraga) dan tempat Unit Kegiatan Mahasiswa (UKM).
Dunia itu sempit… Mungkin juga karena aku dulu kuliah di Malang. Di antara presenter yang ada, ada beberapa nama dan wajah yang aku kenal. Di antaranya Renzy (paling kiri), kakak kelas di Bastra (sebelum namanya berubah jd FIB). Pak Abdul dan Rahma (paling kanan) anggota IETC yang akhirnya kopdar juga di sini.
NELTAL kit (kit?).

Di Malang kali ini akhirnya berhasil berkunjung ke kampus lama. Ini hasilnya… 

Dulu tulisan di depan gedung ini bukan ‘Fakultas Ilmu Budaya’ (FIB) tapi ‘PPI’. Yay! Akhirnya kita punya fakultas sendiri. Setelah sekian lama?
Daerah tempat parkir dan rumput di belakangnya itu dulu dikenal dengan ‘Green Grass’. Tempat mahasiswa dulu suka duduk-duduk, kumpul, iseng, tidur, belajar, dsb. Separonya sudah jadi tempat parkir. Well, gimana gak, mahasiswanya sekarang 10x lipat!
Lab Bahasa. Sudut yang ini tidak banyak berubah. Dulu juga sama persis, ya begini.
Self Access Center (SAC). Ini juga sama, tidak berubah. Yang berubah paling meja dan tempat duduk yang di tengah itu.
Nah, ini baru berubah banget. Tempat saya ambil foto ini dulu lapangan dan ada tempat main tenis meja. Sekarang jadi lobi yang cantik (walaupun front desk-nya masih belum berfungsi).
Mejeng dulu dong di lantai 7… Dulu mana ada? Gedung PPI cuma 2 lantai. Sekarang bisa balapan sama gedung rektorat dan teknik (sepertinya yang di ujung sana). Dan waktu itu saya jalan-jalan pakai kaos @EnglishTips4U dong… 
Ini dia front desk yang saya sebut tadi… Sekarang fakultasnya sudah punya nama!
Malang sekarang… Selain punya 2 mall (Matos dan MOG), akan ada lagi dan lagi… Belum lagi apartemen yang sepertinya lagi ngetren.
Bolak-balik Malang baru kali ini foto di sini. Hehehe…
Dan akhirnya jalan-jalan di Malang di akhiri dengan menggila di Inul Vista. Seru! Reuni sama teman-teman tempat kerja dulu…

Until next time, Malang! 😉