Teacher, trainer and writer Ceri Jones talks about her experience as both a speaker and delegate at The Image Conference.
1. What did you enjoy about The Image Conference?
So many things, but mainly the way it flowed so easily and naturally from session to session, with enough time in between to talk to old friends and get to know new ones. It was a long day, but I didn’t really notice until the very end of the closing plenary. We had spent 11 hours discussing and absorbing ideas and thoughts about the role of images in the ELT classroom and the time had flown. There was not one moment of boredom and no regrets about the choice of sessions. I’m sure that whatever combination you went for, the feeling would be the same.
2. How was The Image Conference different from other conferences you’ve been to?
A one day conference is in some ways a luxury. And to attend one which is dedicated to a single theme even more so. It allows us to give ourselves over for that day to a kind of intellectual monotasking (even when tweeting and facebooking updates). Conferences that last three, four, five days don’t allow for that kind of concentration and commitment. There are always other distractions and lulls in energy levels.
3. What were the main discussion points to arise in The Image Conference?
This is obviously a subjective answer as each person will have picked up on and taken away the things that struck a chord for them. There were two things that struck me. Firstly I really enjoyed being immersed in the gaming worlds of presentations like Paul Driver’s Pervasive Playfulness (sorry, have shortened the title!). These are worlds that are totally new to me and it fascinated me to see their principled application in ELT (and learning). It’s given me new directions to explore and new goals in my own learning (for example I’m currently finding out more about the principles of ludology and seeing them at play with my own kids). The second thing that struck a chord with me is the question of the role images can play in developing (or applying) critical thinking in the ELT classroom. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. It’s something I want to explore further. Both Jamie Keddie and Lindsay Clandfield’s sessions helped me broaden my thinking, probe further into my own beliefs and practice and raise more questions. This blog post from Graeme Hodgson in Brazil, published earlier this week, echoes some of the ideas that came up during the conference http://www.graemespot.blogspot.com.es/ .
4. Are there any practical activities you saw in The Image Conference which you’re going to use in your classes?
Yes, so many! Or which will be the germs of activities, and hopefully not only in the classroom, but also in materials both online and in print. There are a lot of ways we can “innovate by the back door” using images and the conference renewed by enthusiasm to keep trying to use images in new ways.
5. Would you like to see a second edition of The Image Conference?
Yes! It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.