Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The IATEFL afterglow

There is only one IATEFL conference, and this year's event, held in Brighton was a highly enjoyable if exhausting experience. The best thing about the IATEFL conference experience, and one thing that makes it so special, though, has got to be that although it's now over, you can catch up on what you missed out on in so many different ways. This IATEFL afterglow seems to last so much longer than it does with other events. There are several reasons for this.

Petra Pointer , Nik Peachey & Andi White
One of the most important reasons is the amazing work done by the British Council with IATEFL Online - now in its fifth year, the team have streamlined the experience and have developed a formula that works wonderfully. Alongside the live channel, which pipes out the plenaries as they are being delivered, and a succession of interviews with some of the presenters (the photo shows Petra Pointer being interviewed by Nik Peachey and Andi White) and then there are the sessions that are recorded by the team and made available for viewing after the event. Not only does this mean it's possible to catch up on some of the sessions you missed if you were there, it means you can get a flavour of the event even if you aren't able to attend.

Then, there's Twitter - even though the last tweet from the conference was sent over a week ago now, there's still a buzz about the conference that can be experienced by searching the hashtag #iatefl - it's still one of the best places to go to keep track of what people are saying and to find links to presenter's sessions and accounts of their IATEFL experience. Twitter was definitely flavour of the month at the 2010 Harrogate IATEFL conference, and it was interesting to note that it hardly featured in any of the sessions this year. However, this doesn't mean its effect hasn't been noted. Apart from its role pre- and post- conference (Twitter is the great virtual ice-breaker for conference goers and allows you to come to a conference already knowing much about many of the participants), you can see the effect it has had on the dynamics of the conference when you visit the forums at IATEFL online. In previous years, this was a hotbed of debate and discussion, but now the real party is all happening on Twitter and in the edublogosphere.

Speaking of the edublogosphere, post-conference reports and reflections have now been written by many participants, and I'm sure many more will follow. You can read what some others have said about the IATEFL conference below:
Being more involved with the IATEFL LTSIG this year, I feel I missed out on some of the many social occasions in Brighton. It's been a lot of fun catching up with what people were up to through Facebook and Flickr though, which are other places the IATEFL afterglow can be felt. 

I plan to write a few posts about my IATEFL experience as I want to reflect on some of the thought-provoking sessions I saw, but this will do for starters. What about you? How was your experience? Are you now experiencing the IATEFL afterglow?


  1. So true, the afterglow is still warm and bright, and reading blog posts like this one help with that. I'm also watching videos of talks and interviews, which should keep me going for a while yet!

  2. With so much to watch, David - it should keep us going for quite some time!

  3. Hi Graham

    Thanks so much for this post with your reflections on Brighton. I feel I can't get enough of reading what everyone has to say on the most exciting 4 days of f2f CPD I've had recently. Yes, the afterglow is still definitely with me!!

    Thank you for adding a link to my post - I'd like to add yours to my list, if you don't mind, as well. That way it'll be easier to read them all together in one place:)

    Sorry I didn't manage to chat with you - hopefully at the next conference!

    Best wishes


  4. Hi Janet, please feel free to link all you like :-) This is one of the reasons I've done it here - makes it easier to find all of the posts together this way.

    Hope, as you say, to meet you soon - at the next IATEFL conference if not before!

  5. Loving the afterglow. Thank you so much for collecting the posts that have gone up! Fantastic idea. I guess I have some more reading to do...I'm really enjoying my IATEFL reflection with my online students. They are having so much fun unraveling the story word by word and it is helping me with the post conference blues. :)
    Next conference we'll have to do lunch!

  6. Thanks for dropping by, Tara - I've not got the blues yet as I'm still in the afterglow :-)

    Let's defintely do lunch the next conference we coincide - where are you off to next? Or is it all book talks for you in the near future? :-)

  7. Was great to meet you at IATEFL, I love the way all these blogs let you see the conference through other people's eyes - and I'm sure it helps in terms of reflecting and carry through thoughts to one's own practice.

  8. And you, Phil - I think you're right about reflection here - you certainly get to see things in a very different light after reading about how others experienced the event.