• One-month, online course launch: Getting Blended Learning Right Posted by Pete on 18 February, 2015

    itdi-bl course

    I don’t remember the exact hour of the precise day of which month I got bitten by the Blended Learning bug, but it has been a long and interesting flirtation, through connotation and translation (‘co-existencia’), from platform to platform, and recently to research via the flipped classroom……some of the fruits of this labour have been used (to mix metaphors) to enrich and inform a new, online course called: Getting Blended Learning Right

    You can get iTDi certified in Blended Learning in this four-week iTDi Advanced course. You’ll learn what blended learning is and isn’t, why so many who try to implement a blended approach rarely get it right, and what’s involved in setting up a blended language learning program. Whether you’re a teacher, trainer, manager or principal you’ll learn how to build a blended program that’s just right for your particular context.

    Live sessions:

    • Sunday March 8th – course participants only (60 minutes)
    • Sunday March 15th – course participants only (60 minutes)
    • Sunday March 22nd – course participants only (60 minutes)
    • Sunday March 29th – course participants only (60 minutes)

    Time: 13:00 – 14:00 GMT (Don’t forget to check your local time)

    Enroll in the entire course for only US $59

    Course + Evaluation + Certificate of Accomplishment US $89

    To book your place on the course, visit:

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  • BETT in a nutshell – a ‘one-minute’ report Posted by Pete on 30 January, 2015

    BETT in a nutshell – one-minute report

    Last Friday I went to the BETT (British Education and Training Technology) show at Excel. In a nutshell:

    It was overwhelming this year – it seems bigger than ever. That meant the queue at Costa was longer than ever, too

    IWBs – the number of simultaneous users was up to TEN! Crikey…


    My two favourite stop-offs were:

    Imaginality Learning

    Picked up some ‘paddles’ which I’ve held in front of the web-cam on my laptop to produce 3D virtual reality images of the planets, dinosaurs, a skeleton…

    and FlashSticks®

    Vocab Post It notes. When a FlashStick note is viewed through a mobile phone / tablet camera, a video of a tutor will appear show you exactly how to pronounce the word.

    Was all the madness and mayhem worthwhile? Definitely…

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  • EL Gazette – Reviews in brief (January 2015) Posted by Pete on 14 January, 2015

    untitled (26)This month’s Book of the month is the rather exciting Language Learning with Digital Video from Ben Goldstein and Paul Driver. Part one looks at video exploitation, part two at video creation.

    The Reviews in brief are Speaking English for Life B2+ Upper Intermediate from Nicola Prentis (Collins) and Spotlight on First (FCE) Student’s Book Second Edition from John Hughes and Jon Naunton (National Geographic Learning / Cengage Learning).

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  • Adaptive Learning in Practice – one-day conference Posted by Pete on 13 January, 2015


    I’m excited about presenting at this conference in March. It aims to explain the challenges, benefits and future of adaptive learning. Chaired by Philip Kerr, this one-day event will give teachers the opportunity to understand more about adaptive learning and how it will affect English language teaching. The draft programme is now available.

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  • iTDi launches new TD modules on using technology Posted by Pete on 4 January, 2015

    024We are delighted to announce the launch of Module 26 in the suite of Teacher Development material from iTDi, entitled: Using digital technology in the classroom


    1. An introduction to the digital classroom: theory to practice

    2. The Internet as a resource

    3. Blogs and wikis

    4. Interactive whiteboards

    5. Using interactive whiteboards

    6. Attitudes to using interactive whiteboards

    For more information, and to buy the lessons, please visit:

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  • New eBook launch! How to write for Digital Media Posted by Pete on 22 December, 2014

    8bbc61a247329d1146543ce426d20d8ed33bb4ceThe digital age is upon us and there’s no going back! To quote Jeremy Day, one of the authors of this module, ‘These are great times to be an ELT writer … if you can get your head round the challenges of writing for digital.’ This module is designed to help you make the transition from print to digital.

    This module is for anyone who wants to create digital materials and use digital environments, whether you are an author who has been commissioned by a publisher, an author who wants to self-publish, a teacher who wants to create digital materials and use digital environments more effectively to teach your own learners, or an editor who edits digital materials.

    After a detailed overview of digital environments and authoring tools, the module explores the similarities and the differences between digital and print. The reader is then guided through the process of producing typical online activities of the most common types, all of which are backed up with practical tips and advice about the pitfalls to avoid.

    The authors of this module draw on many years of experience of writing digital materials and using authoring tools. Pete Sharma got the digital bug when he saw his first CD-ROM at the end of last century and has since written several handbooks for teachers on blended learning, interactive whiteboards and apps. Jeremy Day was ahead of his time when he produced online materials in 2005. He got his break into the digital world when he worked as an editor for the blended learning platform English360 and now works freelance in both digital and traditional publishing.

    This module forms part of the ELT Teacher 2 Writer training course. The training modules are designed to help you write better ELT materials, either for publication, or simply to improve the quality of your self-produced classroom materials.

    Here are links to Smashwords and Amazon:




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  • Going Mobile – review copy Posted by Pete on 15 December, 2014

    untitled (25)My review copy of Going Mobile has just arrived! Thanks to Cengage and to Delta Publishing. Woo hoo – been waiting for this for a while. Congrats to the authors (Nicky Hockly and Gavin Dudeney). That takes care of tomorrow, then – the review should be coming to an EL Gazette near you, April 2015…..

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  • Book review: Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms Posted by Pete on 4 December, 2014

    untitled (24)Review

    Title: Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms

    Paul Gruba and Don Hinkelman [ Palgrave Macmillan] Published 2012 pp 181 ISBN 978-0-230-23261-7

    Much has been written about Blended Learning (BL). The term and the practice is much discussed in the world of English language teaching. Much of the literature on BL is from areas outside language teaching, including the corporate world and tertiary education. There is general agreement within language teaching that the term BL refers to a study program where part of the course is done face-to-face in a traditional language classroom, and part of the course is done at a distance, typically using web-based materials.

    The title of this academic work, Blending Technologies in Second Language Classrooms, helps situate the reader. It deals with blended approaches to learning and teaching which involve integrating technologies into face-face-face environments, with a focus on second language classrooms. The book has a logical structure, with ten chapters moving form theory to practice.

    Chapter one looks at the theoretical foundations of BL. The chapter introduces the concept of ‘blended approaches’ to language learning, tracing its origins through the corporate world and into higher education. The authors set out four considerations in blended approaches: purpose, appropriateness, multi-modality and sustainability.

    Reviewed by: Pete Sharma. The complete review will be available shortly in the new-style Newsletter via IATEFL Learning Technology SIG



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  • BESIG Cologne – presentation Posted by Pete on 3 December, 2014

    bonn I’ve just uploaded my BESIG presentation to Slideshare.

    The business English course book in the 21st Century: blending print and digital

    Photo: Antonio Ponte via Flickr

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  • The latest ‘Reviews in brief’ in the EL Gazette Posted by Pete on 1 December, 2014

    imagesCA4Q5HH2 EL Gazette: The latest Reviews in brief are available in December’s edition.

    The book of the month is COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (8th edition) Collins. Nowadays, many students use electronic dictionaries. So, should we welcome a new paperback learner’s dictionary?

    Reviews in brief are:

    Open Mind Intermediate Student’s Book (Mickey Rogers, Joanne Taylore-Knowles and Steve Taylore-Knowles) Macmillan. This book comes with a rich range of resources including an online workbook and a DVD.

    Learning to Teach English (Second Edition) (Peter Watkins) Delta Publishing An interesting bonus is a DVD of the filmed highlights of four lessons, plus advice from practising teachers.


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