Thannks to Ryan I am now up and running.

A brief intro:
My name is Colin Skeates and I presently teach in Japan.

Teaching experience:
I have been teaching in Asia for almost 10 years now and I love it. I started with no teaching qualifications at a commercial college, in Lampang, Thailand. I was mostly responsible for being a support guy for the marketing department (insert "walking dictionary for marketing terms") and also taught on the schools IEP course for those students interested in attending university in the UK.

After Thailand, I returned home to get a "real" job in a bank. One year in (and about 20 pounds heavier) I realized that I was not suited for banking. I taught a quick four month Marketing course at a college (CEGEP) in Montreal and then I was off to teach on the JET programme (, in Japan.

Three years later and having begun my masters, I entered the world of teaching English at the university level, which is where I am at today.

I am in the last part of an MA (TESL/TEFL) with the University of Birmingham. I am doing my dissertation on a comparitive study between teacher comments and video journaling. For the past three years, I have had students keep video journals about ... what-ever they want. The aim of the journals was to provide students with a mechanism to communicate their own thoughts, in English. I would love to share them but as others have raised the issue of ethics, I do not have the authority to put these videos in the public domain... I like my job way too much!

What I hope to get out of this course:
I have several presonal goals; some are simple and some complex.
1. To understand the jargon that is associated with video making/editing. There has been a lot of technical terms that are used by those on the course and part of fitting in within any community is learning/using the jargon.

2. To be able to upload things onto the net (one of which is a documentary that I will make). I really want to be able to feel comfortable with uploading and downloading files so that I do not look like a fool when I use video-making in my class. I want to guide those of my students who wish to put their journals in the public domain (i.e. YouTube)... this gets me off the hook with the ethics committee and potential law-suits!

3. To see how video can be used with other tools to enrich the learning experience. One really cool version of how this has been done can be viewed at Barbara Dieu`s "The English Department"- I really like this because it incorporates reserach on learning with the utilization of video- very cool!

4. To get more reserach on what video has been used for and "proof" that it works under certain conditions. This is closely related with my current obsession (my dis) but also because I like the idea of using research to influence hoow and what I teach. As an aside, one really cool article by Sanders ( was about using tech when it is needed, not because we can. I think this is a powerful concept that all teachers should remember when thinking about technology. Note- if you have problems viewing the article, simply sign up for the journal (it is free) and do a serach for Sanders.

In conclusion:
In Japanese there is a common phrase wihich could arguably be translated into English as "let`s get along". Though some may it sounds cheezy in English, I think that it is very important in an online community. I hope to get to know my other EVO video members better and that I can learn from them and they from me, which is perhaps the very essence of learning to get along.