In these unprecedented times, it feels good to be able to talk about and share some good news.
Today, marks the launch of Globe, our new online professional development (PD) community. I’m immensely proud to be a founding member and delighted to be able to provide some background on Globe and our exciting launch activities.
So, where did the idea for Globe come from?
Way back in March 2020, I was due to deliver a workshop at a conference here in the UAE about different ways of conducting teacher professional development (PD). My theme was bottom-up, self-directed PD which, as researchers like Wyatt and Ončevska Ager (2016) have shown, generally garners greater growth than top-down institutionally led programmes. Sadly, the conference was postponed until this year, but all was not lost. The musing, reading and research I had carried out in preparation for my session had got me thinking. I meet so many inspirational ELT practitioners as a trainer, and in each context I visit I come away having learnt something new. Different ways of doing things, different cultural perspectives on education, different understandings and uses of English – and so much more.
When I discussed this with the directors of TransformELT, they were thinking along the same lines, and we started co-constructing the idea of an online community. There are many options online for meeting up and exchanging ideas with other ELT practitioners, but we have never really found a truly proactive PD platform that generates and celebrates cross-global collaboration, that responds actively to its members according to their desires and needs, and that fosters autonomy and creativity in dynamic and interesting ways. With those thoughts in mind, the seed for Globe began to germinate and grow.
How is Globe set up?
After planning, experimenting, and piloting we have settled on what we believe is an easily navigable community space. Globe is built around Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), each of which explores a different aspect of ELT and is guided by mentors with specialist knowledge. Members can dip in and out of any of the PLCs, join or start a discussion, take part in activities and projects, and expand both their individual and our collective knowledge. We know that for some people it is important to provide formal evidence of PD activity, so TransformELT can provide certification to acknowledge participation in goal-oriented activities.
Our mentor team is also on hand to support and advise members who have commercial ideas that they would like to develop, refine and ready for market. This option is not something you will find in most online communities and is what really sets us apart from the rest.
And finally, we believe that excellent PD opportunities should be accessible to all. So, whilst Globe is subscription-based, we only ask members to pay what they can. Any contribution, whether large or small, will help to grow and expand the platform to accommodate our collective creative activity.
What is happening during the launch?
Our mentor team has set up a series of launch activities to welcome in new members across 13 PLCs:
- Decentring ELT
- Developing Autonomy
- Drama ELT
- Leadership & Management
- Literature & Cultural Awareness
- Materials & Resources Development
- Mental Health in ELT
- LGBTQIA+ Issues
- Sustainability in ELT
- Teaching and Training with Technology
- Teaching Low-Level Adult Learners
- Training Processes
- Young Learners
This is only the start of our journey, and we are looking forward to seeing where the future takes us.