Posts, articles & interviews

The ELT Freelancers’ Away-Day

The ELT Freelancers’ Away-Day

Technology in the world of ELT is evolving rapidly. Helping freelance editors to evolve alongside it was the main aim when Karen White and I organised the recent Away-Day. We’d asked freelancers through Karen’s White Ink Limited Facebook page. ‘What would you like to see offered on an away-day?’ Time and time again came the reply ‘a focus on digital publishing’. Networking opportunities. A few sensible types said, ‘info on VAT, taxes and accounting,’ and one person said, ‘lunch’. And so the first ELT Freelancers’ Away-Day was born. It attracted mostly editors, but several designers and media researchers, a few authors and an audio producer also attended. Here’s a summary of four very useful sessions.

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ELT Entrepreneur – Marie Goodwyn

ELT Entrepreneur – Marie Goodwyn

We’ve been featuring ELT Entrepreneurs and EdTech start-ups for a few months now and we have tended to focus on those who are quite far down the line in terms of their business and product. But what do they look like at the beginning of the journey? Last May, ELTjam co-organised an EdTech Start Up Weekend with the Judge Business School. At the time we commented on how few educators there were in the room and it was no surprise that it took educational insight more than tech to come up with the idea that won: Bright Stream.

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BBC Social Enterprise Project

BBC Social Enterprise Project

BBC Learning English has produced Learning Circles as part of a nationwide campaign, English My Way. The programme aims to help people in hard-to-reach areas in the UK, particularly those from Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali communities, to learn English. Mike Harrison, ELT producer at BBC Learning English, and Frances Carbines, Project Officer at the British Council, explain a bit more about the project.

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A round-up of indie ELT books

A round-up of indie ELT books

We’ve given a fair bit of space in the past few months to ELT Entrepreneurs, but there’s another kind of entrepreneur who deserves some attention. The materials writer turned self-publisher or indie press. This is a round up of some of the books that are out there that have made it through the process without the help of a major publisher.

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Selecting and Implementing Vocabulary Tools for Mainstream Classes

Selecting and Implementing Vocabulary Tools for Mainstream Classes

Teachers in mainstream education in English-speaking countries increasingly have to plan lessons to help integrate students whose first language isn’t English. That’s quite a challenge and we’ve asked Nina Berler, who teaches in the US to tell us about some of the tools she uses. It wasn’t so long ago that teachers of mainstream classes were instructed to “teach to the middle.” Of course, when it comes to learning vocabulary, that methodology can’t possibly benefit students on either end of the spectrum. Fortunately, in this era of digital learning, teachers have tools to boost vocabulary and reduce gaps in their classes.

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What is it you do again? Four new jobs in ELT

What is it you do again? Four new jobs in ELT

As ELT goes digital and expands into multi-faceted, multi-platform products (but with books not set to disappear anytime soon) and publishers restructuring all over the place, you might find yourself, as an author or editor, dealing with people with a whole array of unfamiliar job titles. Most of the people who do these jobs find themselves constantly answering the  question “What is it exactly you do?” — if their blogs are anything to go by. To save you being that person at the coffee machine, here’s a rundown of some of the more common roles.

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To app or not to app?

To app or not to app?

You’ve got an idea but what is the first step of building an app? Is it sharing a great idea with someone you think has the expertise or resources to make it happen? What’s going to get them on board if it is? Or is it working on the app idea yourself? And if so, how much should you do before approaching someone else? Here are ten steps to start you on the right track.

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EBPAI – The blog that became a school

EBPAI – The blog that became a school

Blogging is a great way to access a personal Learning Network, reach out to the ELT community across the world, keep up-to-date with  developments in the field or just vent about things on your mind and there are fantastic ELT examples all over the internet.   But can it lead to anything more than simply having a wider platform for your ideas?

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News & snippets

What we’re reading

What we’re reading

We’ve all had our heads in the app clouds this week but there’s always room for an article about Dothraki on our reading list. How to hire a developer We’ve talked about hiring developers if you’re looking to build an app, but we’ve not... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

Another week of trains, reading, and a “Who’s the best boss?” competition: buying lunch for the office … always a winner. Here’s what we were reading when we weren’t perusing sushi and pizza menus. Sony smart glass With smart... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

More commute time being used wisely this week for the benefit of What we’re reading! Real world use of translation apps At least for now, the £24bn interpreter industry isn’t under threat according to the BBC journalist who set out to conquer a day in... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

Lots of reading going on this week at ELTjam. Here’s what’s been filling our screens: The key to building products that might succeed On a similar theme to our post on what to do with your app idea, this (long) article on avoiding building products that... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

We’ve all been backwards and forwards between London and Cambridge this week so there’s been plenty of time for reading on the train. Here’s some of what’s been filling our commute. Google stops making Google Glass … When Twitter stopped... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

This week the entire world has been reading about ELT with its sudden push into the spotlight. We, however, have been mostly reading this stuff: The experts weigh up 2015 EdTech predictions If you’ve got a week to set aside, this long article is worth a read.... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

It’s almost that time in January when you can stop asking people if they had good holidays and opening every email with a New Year’s greeting. Think how much more time that will make for reading! Here’s what we’ve been reading in the first proper week of work in 2015.

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What we’re reading

What we’re reading

Some reading for those lying in bed still recovering from New Year. Here’s what we’ve been reading over the holidays. Your productivity in 2015 In time for New Year’s resolutions to get more stuff done, the internet is awash with... Read more...
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

Our last post before Christmas! It seems the pressures of online Christmas shopping are demanding as much project management as our regular workload!  We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a review of the year, but in the meantime we’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from the ELTjam team!

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