Learning Technologies

This is Watson. IBM’s Watson. I met him last week at the Learning Technologies fair in London.

He was asked how old I was. using facial recognition, he placed me somewhere between 55 and 64 (I think). Well, he was right….

IBM Watson is a data analytics processor that uses natural language processing, a technology that analyzes human speech for meaning and syntax.

Source:  https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ibm-watson-the-smart-persons-guide/

He was one thing I enjoyed last Thursday. The other was another VR experience, courtesy of Gromar


Overall, this was a corporate do  – interesting to see developments in the world of training. Now, to reflect on the implications for language teaching…..


BETT 2018

BETT stands for British Education and Training TechnologyI hadn’t been for a year or so, and this year I was blown away by the sheer size of it. It was actually slightly overwhelming, with the usual fervid sales drive.

There was a proliferation of little robots this year. Most of them seemed to be about teaching young students to learn about programming – robots, but clearly there are language learning implications round the corner. I just got hooked photographing them, probably due to their high novelty value. So cute.








There was enough VR (Virtual Reality) to keep me both happy and busy, with one program aimed specifically at low level language learners. The first I’ve seen like this and one to explore further, I think.


A couple of humorous moments:

First, seeing a ‘digital language lab’ – it looked rather like an old-fashioned language lab. Then using ‘e-liquid’ to write on an interactive whiteboard, sorry Blackboard.

I started teaching in Spain with chalk and a blackboard. Has the wheel come full circle?!


Plenary at Nile TESOL

It was an amazing experience to deliver the plenary session this morning at NileTESOL, Cairo. I think it was the biggest audience that I’ve ever had the privilege to address – 2,500 expected, no idea if there were that many people there but the second tier (balcony) was starting to fill up…

Thanks to the many people who came up at the end with many a kind word….

Please find below a .pdf version of the PPT

Plenary talk-lite

(I’ll post the references later in the week)

Thanks also to the attendees at my workshop

again, please find below:

Workshop worksheet

Workshop template

this includes a code with a free copy of the eBook ‘Apptivities for Business English’ – if you’re quick (it only lasts till the end of the month)

Workshop task

this has some ideas for when you get back to your school or home

I’m looking forward to going back the conference venue tomorrow….


Forum on the future of the ELT Profession in Colombia 2017: plenary handout

Quite an amazing experience – working alongside true professional Andy Cowle to deliver a joint plenary at this key conference. Unique photos above show a blended selfie…. participants holding up a white piece of paper if they use interactive whiteboards in their teaching contexts…the dynamic duo in action (aka the gruesome twosome) …and finally – the kit I had at home! Facebook stream, Twitter stream and two computers logged into Cisco WebEx…

Huge thanks – especially to Richmond and the British Council…to everyone who came, and, of course, to Andy

Here is a 14-page .pdf of the plenary itself – Plenary talk – lite

Forum on the Future of the ELT profession in Colombia

Confession one: I haven’t posted in a while. Excuse: I’ve been teaching on the pre-sessionals at Warwick University

Confession two: I’ve been to Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela……but I haven’t been to Colombia!

That’s about to change….as a Spanish speaker, you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to the following event later this month – The Forum on the Future of the ELT profession.

For more details of this exciting event, zap over to the following website: http://www.thefutureelt.com/

If you are going, I’ll see you there! Many thanks to Richmond for sponsoring this visit……

LABCI Conference – Mexico City


What can I say about this incredible conference that hasn’t been said before?

Amazing, massive, inspirational, huge, thought-provoking, humongous, fun, large……

It was a great, great pleasure to deliver my plenary talk yesterday – Digital Pedagogy.

Here is the .pdf of the Plenary: plenary lite

Here are the References for the plenary talk: Digital pedagogy – Handout

Today I did my Keynote on Blending print and digital – here is the .pdf: blending print and digital

It was GREAT to be on the panel with Emma Navarrete discussing the future, chaired by the inimitable Michael Carrier

Heartfelt thanks to the lovely team at Richmond for sponsoring this unforgettable experience

I would write more pero tengo que irme a la noche Mexicana – tequila is calling….