Welcome to the EUROCALL 2007 Virtual Strand Blog Site

Friday, 7 September 2007

LANCELOT: An online teacher training course

This was a symposium session, led by Gary Motteram, University of Manchester, UK, focusing on the EC-funded LANCELOT language teacher online training project. The aim of the project is to develop an online course for training language teachers to use the tools found in virtual classrooms. The course combines both synchronous and asynchronous elements.

The session opened with a demonstration of a synchronous session with a number of members of the project in various geographical locations joining us live.

The software used for conferencing is Macromedia Breeze – now Adobe Connect.

Intercultural Competence (IC) and Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) are important features of this project, with trainees being helped to take potential differences into account when planning and delivering their online lessons.

Heike Philp joined us online from Germany, talking about the technological tools used in virtual classrooms: Web conferencing, instant messaging, audio conferencing, whiteboarding, screen sharing and Web touring, etc and how these tools are used.

We were then joined online by Daniela Arghir, who talked about her positive experiences following the LANCELOT course as a trainee. She is a teacher of EFL and Romanian.

This is the project website, where more information can be found and from which the materials will be launched:
http://www.lancelot.at/

8 comments:

Penny Coutas said...

I really enjoyed "attending" the LANCELOT presentation virtually. The use of the Blobber chat tool at the same time was very beneficial - it allowed me to chat with other attendees and increased the sense of co-presence.

As a virtual participant, I would recommend that, when Breeze/Adobe Connect is used for presentations such as this, the slide does not take over the whole screen. In doing so, I felt like I was watching a slidecast (but without a pause button!) rather than attending a virtual conference. At times I did not know what was going on because the presenter was showing/commenting on something off-screen.

When Heike presented, however, she allowed us to see her face, the other webcams, and the chat screen. This significantly increased that feeling of co-presence and made the presentation easier to follow and engage with.

It was an interesting presentation, a great virtual experience, and I've got a lot of ideas to share with my colleagues who work in distance education for LOTE.

Felicity said...

This sounds really interesting and I'd really like to learn more as am also involved in online teacher training (the OET course at the Inst of Education in London). But working on a Mac I don't seem to be able to access Blobber - or can I? Any guidance would be much appreciated.
Felicity O'Dell

Sabrina Ploch said...

My name is Sabrina Ploch and I am a trainee of the LANCELOT pilot course. Gary Motteram and Heike Philp were my trainers and their enthusiasm about this new field of language learning has been inspiring for me. The combination of language training with modern technology and regarding cultural aspects helped me to develop my professional skills as a corporate trainer. Using a Virtual Classroom makes language training possible at any time and any place.
As a German teacher in Stockholm, Sweden I can now support my clients when they are on business trips, at their home-offices or when they move to another country.
I enjoyed the weekly sessions and the teamwork with the international LANCELOT group. At the end we even had a cyber party in Breeze with a decorated room, informal chatting, party games and music.
We were (and still are) connected through the Instant Messenger SKYPE. After the course Daniela Arghir and I continued working together online. We had long discussions and developed an assessment and training plan regarding different types of intelligences and learning styles.
Penny, thanks for your feedback using full screen in Breeze. You are right when you do not know the people and their voices it could be strange to follow.
Felicity, we also had one participant with a MAC in our group and I had the impression that there were no big differences when joining the sessions or doing a presentation.
Feel free to contact me
Sabrina Ploch, www.activegerman.se

Lesley said...

In response to Felicity's question about Blobber, if you have the joining instructions for the virtual strand (available from the Resources page on the Virtual Strand website), you'll find
information there about Blobber (briefly, it only works with Internet Explorer 6.x and above and Windows). You will also find information about Yaplet (which is used on the Virtual Strand Website) on the Resources page
of the Virtual Strand website (http://vsportal2007.googlepages.com/home)

HTH

Gary said...

Hi All

Thanks for all your comments. It was great to have people virtually as well as physically at the session.

I wasn't expecting there to be so many distance participants, or we would have organised the camera so that the distance participants could see the local speakers.

I did realise that we didn't need to cover the whole screen with the Powerpoint and made that change, but we were trying to balance the use of the use of the technology with the use of it at a distance.

Thanks everyone for coming.

Gary

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary said...

Hi Again

For this that might be interested here is a url to the recording of the presentation:

http://breeze1.manchester.ac.uk/p17365961/

Gary

Gary said...

...that the link in the above message is not working directly, if you copy and past the link into your browser, it will link to the file.