aPLaNet Project Launch Conference Opening

Conference venue: Yeditepe University

Date: 22 September, 2012

Speakers: aPLaNet Project Partners: Burcu Akyol-İSTEK Schools, Turkey, Graham Stanley-British Council, Spain, Joel Josephson-University of West of Scotland, UK, Lenka Kroupova-Language School Pelikan, Czech Republic, Marisa Constantinides, CELT Athens, Greece, Monica Vlad-EuroED, Romania, Nina Tsvetkova-Sofia University, Bulgaria.

Title: aPLaNet Project Presentation

AutonomousPersonal Learning Networks’ for Language Teachers (aPLaNet) Project Launch Conference took place on 22 September, 2012 at Yeditepe University. aPLaNet is a European Union funded Project for language educators. It is especially for those who are new or do not use Internet Social Networks. The special event started with ISTEK Chamber Orchestra. Then the aPLaNet Project partners from Turkey, Greece, UK, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania and Czech Republic introduced their Project to us. The starting point of the Project is that PLN is a very important concept in order to develop professionally.

The Project partners shared the outcome of  the questionnaire they had prepared to start the Project. According to the questionnaire, Twitter and Ning are the most fashionable tools among a large number of teachers. The partners  informed the audience that the aim of the Project was to encourage them to volunteer to be mentors or mentees on using social networks and online tools for professional reasons. Graham Stanley – British Council, Spain said there were 85 volunteer mentors from 24 countries and 61 mentees from 16 countries for this Project. The Results of this Project are that the volunteered teachers taught English, Spanish, French, Russian, Bulgarian. They witnessed the creativity and growing confidence. They also produced a methodology guide for this project. For the best quality, they had internal evaluation, external evaluation, feedback and questionnaires. They created a website, aPlanet Ning community, facebook-open interaction, twitter-conversation.

To me, autonomous professional development with the help of mentor-mentee relationship has worked well. I hope, this Project will be the base of upcoming projects.

Gülnur Şahin

British Council Roving Reporter

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