Thursday, 30th March (Cambridge)

1. Visible Thinking Routines in the English Language Classroom​ is the intriguing title of the National Geographic Learning webinar with Alex Warren at 09:00 and 17:00 UK time on Wednesday, 5th April.

As the event blurb has it, “the role of the teacher is multi-faceted – not only do we have the responsibility of developing our learners’ language knowledge and skills, but also the cognitive, social, and interpersonal skills they need in order to be successful in school, work, and life in the 21st century. Not least is the need to get our learners to start thinking for themselves and asking questions”.

More info and registration here

2. The next free IATEFL webinar is to be performed (word chosen carefully) by Tom Godfrey at 15:00 UK time on Saturday, 1st April. Tom will demonstrate how to develop drama facilitation skills in ELT and will “suggest that teaching needs to be conceived more as a performative art requiring practitioners to develop skills of a performer rather than a scientific discipline prioritising subject knowledge and procedural techniques”. More info and registration here

I’m ever so slightly suspicious of this one. ‘Teacher as guru’, I’m firmly against, but this may be different.

3. Victoria Collis put me on to this one, which uses “cutting edge AI to provide support through WhatsApp to teachers in the poorest schools”

Here’s some of the bot’s example answers

and you can sign up for the beta version here

You might like to bear this note of caution from the not usually very cautious Elon Musk in mind at the same time, though

4. Something a little different at 18:00 UK time on Tuesday, 4th April, Overreach: how China derailed its peaceful rise, from the Asia Scotland Institute with Rana Mitter and Susan L. Shirk. More info and registration here

That ‘overreach’ depends on your perspective, clearly.

5. And, finally and ubiquitously, the soy bean

I’ve just subscribed – no, not an ‘early adopter’, more of a ‘laggard’! – to the TED Talks Daily mailing list and today’s selection of four short talks was a pretty good start, I thought, with some good stuff for out-of-class learning tasks for your more advanced students, too.

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