A Magical Edutainment Story From ELT Greece

ClubEFL is now spreading its wings and reaching out across the world in a new sweep of inspiration. Brain-child of Dimitris Aivazoglou, this new learning space is a safe, user-friendly, multi-media, connectivism haven for learning. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

From within a climate of economic depression, instability and backward decline for education in Greece, one man’s vision has captured the imagination of tired teachers all over Greece. Lack of resources and government support has been very hard for teachers in Greece, but it hasn’t diminished their passion for true learning. Schools all over Greece are taking the first steps towards integrating their courses with ClubEFL to make technology work for them. Technology seems to be the ticket to overcoming this economic crisis as far as education is concerned. Edutainment platforms like ClubEFL could even make excessive book buying a thing of the past or enable teachers to work from a more paperless perspective in the long term.

What Can ClubEFL Do?

ClubEFL is a wordpress powerhouse that connects teachers and learners all over the world in a safe environment. Each member has a personal blog and a range of interactive tools to use. Teachers, schools, students and parents have their own personal accounts, yet they are all connected through a smooth and flawless notifications system.There is a class blog feature where everyone can add their own videos, images and multi-media – kind of like a cute facebook – turned wiki environment. The educational significance of its potential cannot be stressed enough.

Students' need:

  • Motivation
  • Fun
  • communication
  • Autonomy
  • Initiative
  • Social and emotional approaches to learning
  • Respect for their digital literacy
  • Belief in their own capabilities
  • Creative opportunities for personalized learning
  • International communication with learners all over the world

This inexhaustible list is just the tip of the iceberg. All of the points above could be mapped out across multiple levels of learning to show an infinite view of where learning can go.

Who Is Using ClubEFL?

First of all, there are private schools around Greece who have got children and parents on board. They are connecting with each other and sharing ideas about best ways to make the most of the ClubEFL platform. Children are teaching each other how to use the tools and making their own music quizzes etc. Secondly, teachers from the online platform WiziQ are using ClubEFL to run asynchronous MOOC activities. Jason R. Levine’s MOOC for listening and pronunciation is hosted on the WiziQ platform, and ClubEFL will be an extra communication space where multi-media capabilities will help learning and sharing to flourish.

A hallmark of the ELT MOOC is its emphasis on simplicity and minimal technology. ClubEFL was chosen as a supplementary learning management system because it can bring the richness of multi-media to course participants without the complexity of systems like moodle. The MOOC will make maximum use of the blogging features on ClubEFL. Participants have a personal blog from which to reflect on learning experiences or create simple multi-media projects, if they so wish. There is a class blog feature which will be the main discussion and sharing forum. Assignments are shared through a collective homework file and ESMS messaging system. Peer –to peer learning is easy to manage on ClubEFL. In the next few days over 1,500 course teachers are expected to join ClubEFL from the WiziQ platform. This is a significant teacher-led initiative where two powerful platforms can complement each other in providing powerful online experiences for teachers who are interested in professional development.

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney

Dimitris Aivazoglou has designed, created and built a beautiful place. We are the people, and it’s now up to us to make the dream a reality.

More fun, more brains, more satisfaction, and our own educational economy. That’s the dream. It’s here, but can see it? Can we transform the way we do things? Some of us are leading the way. See where it takes us.