The ELTjam Publishing Collection
These posts include articles and opinion on how publishers might adapt and thrive as online and mobile become the new normal. We’ve also got interviews with current and former staff from most of the major publishers.
Since 2013, ELTjam has evolved from a blog to a learning agency, but what got us fired up to start in the first place was our interest in tech, startup culture and new ways of working, and how these could be brought into ELT. One example is Agile – the standard way of running software projects and developing tech products – but in our experience still not used much in ELT materials development when done at a large scale. This post is about how we recently used Agile in a large ELT course development project.
We are delighted to announce that we have three sessions at IATEFL 2019. We’ll also be taking part in a panel discussion. Come and find out more in our latest blog post!
During the “Making Effective Use of Video in ELT” pre-conference event at this year’s InnovateELT, ITN Productions shared some practical ideas for creating activities and lesson plans using video which teachers could start using in their classes immediately. This included the five key questions you need to ask when choosing a video for your class.
The accessibility, individuality and flexibility of online tutoring is pulling more and more language learners away from face-to-face modes of learning. But what does this shift away from the classroom mean for teachers, learners and the ELT industry?
We analyse some of the main themes in the recent internet trends report compiled by venture capitalist, Mary Meeker, and take a look at how we can apply them to the ELT industry.
2Ts in a Pod is a podcast for English learners and teachers alike with each episode focusing on a different theme. The podcast is hosted by Tim Warre and Katy Wright. Tim and Katy joined us at the InnovateELT conference in Barcelona last month and spoke to a selection of speakers and delegates, including Scott Thornbury and our very own Jo Sayers. Check out the interviews here.
“Educators and examiners perform an array of functions that, as far as I’m concerned, make them irreplaceable.”
During the recent IATEFL conference in Brighton, ELTjam and Cambridge Assessment English hosted a series of talks exploring the future of learning and assessment. Below is the transcript of the talk given by Pamela Baxter, the Director of Cambridge Exams Publishing.
“By ELT emphasising fun I think it undermines our professionalism and distorts the image of what language learning and teaching should look like.”
This is the transcript of my plenary ‘Do students really want fun in the ELT classroom?’, that I gave on Saturday 12th May 2018 at InnovateELT.
There were a number of fascinating and insightful workshops during last year’s Innovate EdTech conference. Here are two of the many excellent sessions that were recorded during the event.
In the first presentation by Ed Jones of Cambridge Assessment English you’ll get a peek into the intriguing world of User Experience (UX) and see how it impacts reading comprehension. Caroline Thiriau from Cambridge University Press gives a publisher’s perspective and explains how data analysis can enrich our understanding of online learning.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into force on May 25th 2018 and it will affect businesses and organisations all across Europe – including those in education. Here are five things you can do to make sure you’re not caught out …
Here’s a rundown of my top takeaways from my inaugural IATEFL, as well as a few tips for other teachers thinking about checking it out for the first time …
We introduced the concept of Learner Experience Design (LXD) within ELT back in 2016. Since then, we’ve continued to develop it, and it now forms the bedrock of most of the work we do with our clients in the design and development of learning products. At our recent InnovateEdTech conference in London, we took the opportunity to ask some of the delegates and speakers what Learner Experience Design means to them. Here, we share some of their fascinating responses – both from within ELT and beyond.
Addressing access to English for refugees and asylum seekers: An interview with Anna Lloyd from Cambridge English Language Assessment
Towards the end of 2016, Cambridge English Language Assessment held the ‘Access to English for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ conference with Techfugees – a social enterprise mobilising the international tech community to respond to the refugee crisis. We spoke to Anna Lloyd, Head of Education Technology at Cambridge English Language Assessment and member of the Techfugees Cambridge chapter, about how the partnership came about and what solutions have come out if it so far …
It’s pretty widely accepted that the concept of learning styles is unsubstantiated. There is a distinct lack of evidence to suggest that catering specifically for audio-linguistic learners, or kinaesthetic learners, or whatever the others are, has any actual benefit. As far as cold hard evidence goes, it just doesn’t stack up, which is a worry to the small nation of educational consultants and publishing companies that have forged a lucrative career advocating learning-style oriented teaching strategies.
All’s not lost, however, as a brand spanking new set of learning styles has been identified by educational researchers at the London Institute of Education Studies, and there is more than enough debate surrounding them to power the next decade of educational keynote speeches.
We spoke to Nick Saville, Director of Research and Thought Leadership at Cambridge English Language Assessment, about the current state of language learning and assessment and what he thinks the future might hold. Nick discusses the shortcomings of the language classroom, and why we might be moving towards the end of the exam as we know it.
How many of your customers would be very disappointed if one of your products ceased to exist tomorrow? How many would register it only momentarily before replacing it with something that, as far as they’re concerned, is more or less interchangeable? My guess would be that (in the majority of cases) they would be only marginally inconvenienced, and this is something of an inconvenient truth in ELT publishing. Right now, we’re witnessing Product/Market Fill, when what we should be aiming for is Product/Market Fit. What does that mean, and what can publishers do about it?
Few words have been so prevalent in ELT as ‘EdTech’ and it has not been unusual to attend conferences where perhaps more than half of the talks on the schedule made at least some reference to the impending digital disruption sweeping into our sector and how best to prepare for it, avoid it or pretend it didn’t exist. Pearson’s Brian Engquist gives us his take on how to proceed.
The acronym MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, seems to be popping up in conversations with ELT publishers all over the place right now; and that’s odd, because up until about 2013, I’d never heard a publisher mention it. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an MVP is a tactic used in product development to gauge customer interest in a new product or product feature. The idea is that you don’t build the whole thing; you just build enough to see whether people might be interested in what you’re proposing. What many people seem to actually be doing with their MVP is applying the Pareto Principle. Otherwise known as the 80–20 rule
Getting into digital materials writing is still a goal for many. Good luck if you’re one of them and here are some tips to help. While not comprehensive, the list is the real deal and reflects the big changes happening right now in ELT publishing as a result of the rush to digital. It’s aimed more at those trying to get in as new writers, rather than established authors.
If you haven’t already read Nick Robinson’s excellent post on ELTjam about book piracy and the lively conversation it’s started, go check it out. To sum it up, just about every ELT textbook that’s ever been published (including mine) have been ripped off by pirates and put on innumerable free PDF download sites all over the Internet. The conversation has branched off in many directions: Is piracy really that bad? Is copyright law generally a moral thing? Are authors totally screwed? And so on. One thing I think hasn’t been addressed fully is what we can do to limit piracy or make it work for us. Expanding on suggestions I’ve made in comments on the original post, why can’t some of these things be done?
Got a suggestion for a post to add to this collection? Or maybe you’d like to write a guest post? We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re a publisher and you’d like help developing digital products, working on your digital strategy or training you and team in digital, we can help.
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