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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Educational Philosophy Behind Openly Publishing EFL/ESL Hangout

The following is in response to a thread regarding an open live hangout that I will be conducting tomorrow...

I understand that the idea of posting one's learning experience online can be daunting, but I will try to explain my philosophy on the matter.  I also understand that my views will not be shared by everyone.

1. I am a big proponent for open educational resources (OERs), open courseware, and the like.  I contribute to OERs continually and feel that offering an open hangout in EFL/ESL should not be restricted to those (potentially) nine individuals who join the Google+ hangout.  In fact, not making the recording available would make the live session closed to a lot of individuals.

2. I as a teacher, facilitator, and coach am subject to the same scrutiny as anyone else when publishing a hangout online.  If it's an issue of making mistakes in public, then know that I'm in the same boat as everyone else.  Having the recording available allows me as a live-long learner to reflect on past behavior with the intention of improving in the future - making me no different than anyone else.

3. My "real" job is teaching pre-service English language educators, so one thing that I advocate (not only for pre-service English language educators but in-service ones as well) is the notion of sharing experiences and opinions with each other.  So not creating a public recording of my experiences would be simply wrong.

4. Since I am investing personal resources into offering open sessions for English language learners, I feel more learners will get more out of the experience if they have a recording that they can go back to at any time for further clarification.  Also, some English language learners will only be interested in the recordings and not the live sessions.  These same learners may choose to simply interact in the YouTube comments sections, for example.

Now, although I do not plan to do much post editing, I am aware that my name is being associated with these recordings, and will not leave a video openly published that reflects badly on me or anyone else.  To clarify, making mistakes does not make one look bad, but rather makes one look human.  What I'm talking about is some major distraction that might occur during a session.  In these cases, I will use my best discretion in editing out those types of distractions that I feel interfere with the learning experience.  I'm purposefully leaving this vague as this will remain a subjective call on my part.

If anyone is uncomfortable with attending an open hangout that will be broadcast live and subsequently uploaded to YouTube, they should not attend.  But what they might be interested in doing is viewing the recording afterwards.  There is really no "wrong" way to participate, only that you do.