Friday, May 23, 2008

Hamline ESL Workshop

This week Hamline University hosted their 15th annual ESL Workshop for teachers who work with adult English learners. As usual, the turnout, presentations, and energy were great! Of all the conferences that I attend, this one always shines through as a real winner.

This year was especially exciting for me as I changed roles from participant-only to session leader! I led two educational technology sessions on Tuesday; one on using RealeBooks with adult learners ( and one on using authentic Internet sites with learners. Both had 30+ participants who were engaged and excited to use the software and resources provided.

I was particularly honored to lead--and somewhat nervous about--these sessions because I was presenting alongside three wonderful professors from Hamline: Betsy Parrish, Kimberly Johnson, and Julia Reimer. Yes, that's right, your teachers are three university PhDs... and me! But I'm happy to report that I held my own and created quite a bit of buzz from my sessions. I'm looking forward to getting the session evaluations... because I think they're going to be quite a satisfying read!

On a similar note, I was also slightly imtimidated when I realized that Diane Pecoraro (who in the Minnesota ABE/ESL field is almost legendary) was attending my morning session. Diane has recently retired from her leadership position at the state Department of Education, but it was she who first started the Hamline ESL workshop back in the early 90's. She sat in the back row (uh-oh!) but she stayed very engaged and asked lots of questions... and at the end, this self-described technology novice raved about my session to anyone who would listen! That, I have to say, made me feel pretty dog-gone good!

Here are a couple pictures of me leading the afternoon session:

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