We’re @Vconnecting from the Japan Association for Language Teaching Conference #JALT2018 on Sunday November 25, 2018.

We’re excited to be Virtually Connecting from JALT2018 (#JALT2018), 44th Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning and Educational Materials Exhibition in Shizuoka, Japan on the theme of diversity and inclusion.

JALT2018 will provide a platform for new ideas and hitherto unheard voices to be heard. It will provide avenues to open up our classrooms and challenge existing ideas about what we language teachers and our learners need in order to usher in an era of change. We aim to address the concerns of teachers, learners, and leaders and show how “inclusion” provides a place from which multiplicity of thought and action can flourish.

If you’re interested in having conversations with some of the folks onsite, we have the following session planned.

If you’re interested in joining this session, tweet us @vconnecting or leave a comment below. We’ll ask for your email address so we can send you a link to the session just before it goes live. Title times are local of the conference site, scroll below to find the times adjusted to your timezones and the links to watch the sessions live or recorded if you can’t make it into the session itself.

Sunday November 25th 2018 Starting at 2:20pm Shizuoka, Japan Standard Time

Meeting with plenary speakers Judith B. O’Loughlin (@judyoloughlin) and Lindsay Clandfield (@lclandfield). Naomi Fujishima, Parisa Mehran (@ParisaMehran), and Jason Wolfe (@jasondwolfe) will be onsite buddies with virtual buddies Wendy Taleo (@wentale) and Laurent Carlier (@inovateach).

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

Judith B. O’Loughlin has taught in K-12, adult education, and graduate university TESOL endorsement programs. She consulted and taught for U.S. federal and state grants to train ESL and Special Education teachers. As a consultant, her focus is on standards-based differentiated curriculum, collaborative teaching, and newcomers with interrupted education.

Lindsay Clandfield is an award-winning writer, teacher, teacher trainer and international speaker in the field of ELT. He has written more than ten coursebooks for language learners. He is also responsible for various self-publishing projects, notably the round (www.the-round.com) and Extreme Language Teaching (www.exlt.wordpress.com).

Naomi Fujishima is originally from Los Angeles, California, and first came to Japan when she was nine years old. She got her first job teaching in the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program in 1987. She enjoyed teaching so much that she went back to California to get her master’s degree in TESOL. When she got her degree, she secured a contract position at a university in Nishinomiya, thinking that she would return to California to find full-time work there. That was 24 years ago, and she is still in Japan!

Parisa Mehran is a PhD candidate at Takemura Lab, Informedia Education Division, Cybermedia Center, Osaka University, Japan. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, she holds a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in TEFL. She currently teaches part-time at Konan Women’s University and Kobe City University of Foreign Studies. Her research interests include CALL and AR/VR applications in ELT.

Jason Wolfe, Canadian and long term Tokyo resident, with a background in plant ecology and corpus linguistics, he now teaches and speaks about design thinking, active in the maker movement, and is the adult guide at TEDxYouth@Tokyo. Jason strive to inspire creative problem solving confidence, and challenge perspectives.

Wendy Taleo Being a Learning Technologist blends her career background in IT and more recently in Education. Currently working to support the Learning Management System and the marvellous academics that work at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory of Australia. She works in the digital and is curious about being human online, what analytics don’t say and valuing off-screen time.

Former french teacher with over 12 years teaching at various schools and universities in Japan and France, Laurent Carlier is an educational technology consultant from France and provide professional development workshops, presentations and keynotes both nationally and internationally for educational institutions. Apple teacher, Google certified educator and MIE master trainer.

If you’re new to Virtually Connecting, read more about us here

You can participate virtually in any of the following ways:

  1. Active session participation: be a participant in the session and talk to the guests and other participants. To do so, you need to register by tweeting us @vconnecting or leaving a comment below. One of us will contact you to get your email address, and then you will get a confirmation email a day or so before the event, and a link to participate in the Google hangout around half an hour before the event. All you need in order to do this is to have working audio on your computer (update your hangouts plugin) or phone/tablet (update your Hangouts app).
  2. Be a participant in the session and communicate via text chat (this will be seen by people inside the session but not those outside the session; but the virtual buddy will occasionally read out what you wrote or invite you to say it out loud)
  3. Watch and tweet: watch the session live (see the embedded videos above or go to our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/virtuallyconnecting). If you choose to Tweet along, please tag @vconnecting and add the conference hashtag. One of our buddies is likely to pick up on your questions on Twitter and relay them to the participants in the live session.
  4. Watch the recording: watch the session recorded (again, same embedded videos above, or our YouTube channel).
  5. Become a buddy: If after you’ve participated you’d like to join our team and help organize future events, become a “buddy” by joining us here. We’ll add you to our Slack team which we use for this purpose.

Are you physically at the conference?

If you are attending the conference and wondering what’s for me, stop by we would love to see you!! You don’t have to appear on camera. We would love for you to come by, listen to the conversation, take pictures, and tweet about the experience (don’t forget to tag us @VConnecting and use the conference hashtag -insert conference tag). Sometimes those watching and listening onsite want to jump into the conversation and appear on camera. Depending on the session, how many people are there, and other logistical factors specific to that onsite moment we may or may not be able to accommodate this.

So, how do you find us? The key to joining up with us onsite is connecting with the onsite buddy {add names and twitter handles of onsite people or if there are a lot of different ones refer to the above listings.} Connecting with us onsite can be tricky because each conference treats our sessions differently – sometimes we have a set room but other times we are just in a corner in the hallway somewhere. [if this information is known then you can omit this sentence and add it here]. But please connect and come by, it would be great to meet you and you might be our next onsite or virtual buddy.

Please note that even though we have events scheduled ahead of time, sometimes we start a little earlier than planned for various reasons; while we plan to spend around 30 minutes with those onsite, sometimes they may have to leave earlier, and sometimes they may be willing to stay longer. We embrace imperfection and spontaneity and we hope you will too, understanding the nature of hybrid connections.

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