Another advantage of a Virtual LRC is its potential for facilitating the formation of communities among lifelong learners, such as practitioners seeking to enhance their skills in their practice.

A good introduction to communities of practice is here::

This is the issue of Web Tools Newsletter dealing with "Online Communities for Professional Development." The link-packed document begins:

"As Information and Communication Technologies become inextricably bound to the way things work, educators find themselves caught up in a continuing cycle of keeping up with new developments and developing ways of making best use of them in their professional practices. Inevitably, teacher professional development(TPD) strategies draw on innovative solutions presented by the ICTs, and so the cycle goes on...

Educators have a longstanding tradition of pursuing professional development through various levels of collaboration within communities of practice - the emergence of online versions, often known as online learning communities, is a natural extension of the strategy.

In this week's Web Tools Newsletter, we look at rationales for the development of such communities, best practices and successful examples in the field, some assessments of effectiveness, and directions for the future."

Professional development Online links
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Presentation links
Webheads in Action 2002 syllabus  
ICT4LT This project led by Graham Davies aims at being a tutorial (in 4 languages) for many aspects of Information and Computing Technology for Language Teachers.
Training in HTML: Webmonkey is an old standby, interesting because there is a version for kids from 7 to 77. More are mentioned on my pages.
Microsoft Office online tutorials Start at, expand Office Program, select the one you want, and then find its tutorial. Tutorials for other Microsoft products can be found on the Microsoft website This is one place where you can start for tutorials and training in the various components of Office and other Microsoft products.
Macromedia online tutorials Start at, pull down Learn More About, and select a product, and find its Support Center / Tutorial and Article Index Macromedia has a similar site organized to provide online help and training for users of its products, such as Authorware, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.

There are countless opportunities for training through many other online tutorials. A good start is to key 'training in ...' (in whatever you want) into Google. If you're at the MLI visit IT Coordinator John Hawkins's training portal.

Here's a lead on a project that aims to anchor a community of LRC developers:

The LRC project: improving support for language learning through Language Resource Centres (LRCs) at or From its website: "This project aims to improve and develop support for language teaching and learning by sharing expertise between established and emerging Language Resource Centres. It brings together a consortium of 17 partner organisations from 13 European countries." Project goals as stated in its website are:

The 50 page handbook is available here: - According to the description at "The Language Resource Centre handbook: Guidelines for setting up, running and expanding Language Resource Centres (LRCs), written and edited by LRC project partners, is the main publication resulting from the LRC project. .... It covers practical aspects of setting up, running and expanding LRCs: focusing on Management; Users; Services and Facilities. It draws on the experience of all partners in the LRC project and includes checklists, case studies, tips and references.

On to Conclusion

(C)opyright 2003
by Vance Stevens, click here for contact info
Computing Lecturer, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE
From a presentation given Thursday, May 8, 2003 at the MLI Teacher to Teacher Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE
This site features in an article in the On the Internet column of the Dec 2003 issue of the Online TESL-EJ

Last updated November 29, 2003

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