Earlier this week I read a tweet by @CeciELT on a what seemed to be another Twitter / blog challenge.
Well, as Cecilia said she was “In”, I decided to check the link and see what this was all about (you see, if Cecilia says something’s good, then it’s good!). So off I went hyperlink chasing to read Tara’s post on Tyson´s blog.
I’ve always been fascinated by these challenges but have never felt I had enough to write about nor really had the time. (In fact, I’ve been wondering why I keep saying I have a blog as I’ve really not had enough time to post anything new recently.)
But the thing is, the minute I began reading Tara’s post and understood her challenge I thought, yes, I’m also “in” on this one.
I have in the past posted a few, but very few, #FF tweets. I worried about being repetitive in my mentions as many of the names I wanted to tweet about had already been tweeted about. I’ve been completely surprised when I’ve received any #FF mentions as I consider my tweeting to be much more a RT process (excepting my #breltchat participation and my eventual #eltchat participation). I also had the impression at times that the #FF mentions had sort of lost their impact on me. Yet, without a shadow of doubt, it was through the #FF and #TT mentions that I’d actually built up my Twitter PLN and had actually chanced upon some fantastic bloggers. So, Tara´s task made a lot of sense: to select a blog post from a fellow ELT blogger, someone who I could pay a #FF tribute to, explaining why this blogger and their specific post were important to me.
So this is my #FF tribute to a dear colleague, fellow Brazilian, blogger extraordinaire and general all around ELT expert: Henrick Oprea (@hoprea)
One of the first blogs I began following on a regular basis back in my early days of tweeting (I began in early 2009) was Henrick Oprea’s blog: Doing some thinking. I liked the manner in which Henrick addressed the issues he chose to blog about; I enjoyed the fact that he often added a spin to his posts which made it relevant to the ELT community in general but also touched on points which were specifically related to our ELT reality here in Brazil. Although I had started blogging a few years back, using another blogging tool, it was largely due to seeing Henrick gradually build up his blog that I decided to start my own ELT blog using WordPress in January 2010. Seeing the myriad of bloggers who were already around then I wondered whether there was room for one more blogger. But by accompanying Henrick’s posts I became convinced that it is the sum of the parts that actually helps create a real learning/teaching community.
It was Henrick’s post “The local and the foreigner” which motivated me for the first time to respond to a blog post.
It showed me that by commenting on a blog post, reading other colleagues’ comments and the blogger´s own follow-up comments I could be part of a challenging and complex weave of online dialogic interaction. In fact, this has been one of the most important learning experiences I’ve had using social media – the potential for growth as a reflective practitioner is simply immense.
So, if you’re looking for a good ELT professional to follow on Twitter and want to read really pedagogically sound posts, please follow my #FF suggestion: @hoprea.