Disclaimers etc...

A brief introduction

My name is David Hellam. I am a high school ICT and mathematics specialist. This should immediately arouse the suspicions of those of you who chose the ESL mast of this conference because you distrust computers. Perhaps the prospect of performing calculations brings you out in a cold sweat too.

In my favour, I am a member of that exclusive club of teachers scattered around the world. I am an international educator. However, I made a conscious decision to follow this career path, rather than the ESL route overseas. One reason for doing so was because I believed I had more skills to offer my hosts than just my mother tongue. Currently I teach in Kuwait.

Ever since I started teaching in 1988. I have always been looking for innovations to help improve my performance. Some of the things I try work well for me - others don't. I feel more at home in a technology-rich environment than with just 'chalk and talk'.

I am not guaranteeing that any of the tools I describe here will help you in any way. However, if I can inspire you to innovate with enthusiasm, then I will have achieved my goal.

So - what benefit could an ESL/EFL specialist get out of this?

The cross-disciplinary nature of ICT has brought me into contact with colleagues from the whole spectrum of the high school curriculum. This puts people like me in the position of having seen a wide range of examples of good practice in a variety of contexts.

I am conscious that much of my audience is probably going to ESL specialists, not ICT specialists, so, I'll try to keep it as non-technical as possible. If anything, I will probably err on the side of the simplistic and earn criticism from other ICT specialists ;->

It's also likely that two-thirds of my audience will be American, so, I shall try to use US terminology (but probably British spelling!). When in doubt, refer to my glossary.

It's likely that I'm preaching to the converted though. I suspect that the main reason for an ESL specialist to read this will be to find ideas that might help enhance their teaching/learning styles. So you won't find a discussion on multiple intelligences here, or even hints on how to find a job. You will have to look somewhere else for that information.

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