“The Magic Circles And The Light” IATEFL LT&TD Conference-Istanbul 2012



“Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller


My Workshop Abstract:

The Magic Circles and The Light

In a room decorated with candles and lanterns and filled with sweet smells of incense,  the presenter who has got more than 3000 friends in her circles will focus on the magic power of  PLN in teacher development and will guide participants by giving a virtual tour on internet introducing them a few major circles where they will be initiated with a very  warm ritual of welcome to receive and share the light also to build their own magic circles.  At the end of the session, likewise at the beginning, the presenter will invite the participants to perform “a medieval initiation ritual” of spreading the light of knowledge, but this time to lock the opened circle!

Please make note that the rituals we are going to perform they do not belong to any group or religion. They are created and adapted by me for teaching purposes.




I presented in Mavi Hall on Sunday 27th May, at 12.30-13.30.

It was a great session as I was lucky to have enthusiastic participants with spirit.

Together we felt the power and the importance of sharing!


A few words from my workshop :

Travelling back in time to the Middle Ages we can meet some special groups called “Magic Circles” where their members were powerful people who were friendly and helped each other. After hundreds of years, today, those groups changed their names to “PLNs” and their members interact on line to spread the light hand in hand to enlighten the world; the world of ELT in our case.

PLN means Personal Learning Network. For me it means a Continuous Professional Development among many inspiring, motivating and very friendly people from all over the world. It is a kind of magic for me to sit in my room, in front of my computer or with my mobile or tablet in my hands on the way to school to have any source I need from people who most of them I have not met them in person.

 With PLNs we continue the secret tradition of Middle Ages by supporting each other with our  sharing on ELT, that’s why I call us “Magic Circles” and it is very interesting to see that GOOGLE + which is a new social network to call someone’s friends as circle(s). Sharing can be about conferences, lesson plans, methodologies, practical teaching ideas, materials, sources, even the problems we face in our schools and classrooms.




There are many things to be said but I will limit it with a few more words and by sharing the interview I had at the conference.

Interview with Workshop Presenters; Evridiki Dakos on “The Magic Circles and the Light”

Q: What were the key words in your workshop?

Knowledge and the power of sharing
Light = Knowledge = power=freedom
Sharing= PLN (Personal Learning Network)
Slogan: By sharing, the power touches me and touches you!

Q: Can you summarise the main idea of your workshop?
The main focus of my workshop was to emphasize the importance of the knowledge; of learning and sharing and show the way how knowledge can be obtained or spread with a click on our keyboard having a global effect through sharing on social netwoks. With that purpose I explained them what PLN is and I guided them to various circles of PLN! I also encouraged them to be a part of PLN, to built their own PLN and I invited them to my PLNs. By starting following me they could reach to the members of my circles.

To emphasize my message, in the mystic atmosphere we created with scented candles and incenses I invited them to perform two medieval rituals related to knowledge and PLN, which were a kind of activities of role play to make us feel the importance of knowledge and being a part of a group who is willing to learn and share!

We all left the workshop with a great enthusiasm, many of my participants entered my PLN on several social networks and the slogan of the workshop is still shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Especially on Facebook it has become a kind of a greeting for three days. “By sharing, the power touches me and touches you!”



Q: Do you have any suggested links to the readers of the conference blog about your focus in your workshop?

For more information and help, I would like to suggest  aPLaNet Ning which is The European aPLaNet project which shows language teachers how to use social networks professionally where I am planning to help as a mentor.

Some other links I suggested are:





Here is the question I asked on Facebook to my PLN before my session


A question on Facebook

Click for the page on Facebook 


and here are a few answers:

Evridiki Dakos

For me PLN means a continuous professional development among wonderful enthusiastic educators and one of the greatest inspirations at my Teacher Training Career. It has become a part of my life. I owe so many things to my PLN, to the power of sharing, that is why I always say LONG LIVE PLN!!!


Graham Stanley

For me, it’s important to remember that the first word of a PLN is ‘personal’ – this means that the group of people you choose to connect to is unique to you, is chosen by you because of the value you think they can add to your learning and the value you think ou can add to theirs. The same is true of a PLE, which seems to have been forgotten by many people, but which came before the idea of a PLN: the tools you choose to use to connect to people, and how you choose to use them can influence the shape and form your learning takes, and so also deserve consideration.



Elaine J. Roberts

For some of us, the “P” represents either “personal” or “professional,” but I second Graham’s idea that the individuals in one’s PLN represent a group of people with whom one connects for growth. In my mind, that is professional growth because my PLNs contribute to various facets of my professional life. I learn from these people every day. I hope I contribute at least some modicum of support, encouragement, teaching, insight to someone each day.


It’s possible to lurk in a PLN, but it’s impossible to take advantage of the richness of a PLN without being a part of that fabric. A PLN, I believe, is best when every member feels empowered to offer advice, constructive criticism, an Internet link, a blog post, a word of encouragement or congratulations. I can assure you that however much I might contribute to a PLN, I get so much more because of the power of the multiple voices in a PLN, especially a global PLN. We don’t have to agree on any given issue or how to approach any particular situation in a classroom or in research or whatever it may be, but we all tacitly agree to respectful conversation. Therefore, I think it is impossible not to grow in marvelously unexpected ways as a part of a PLN.


Marisa Constantinides

This is what I created for aPLaNet dear Evridiki mou, I hope it helps.




What is a PLN



Vicky Saumell

My PLN is my window to the world. It is a personal selection of people I admire and trust. It is a valuable global network where we share experiences, debate issues and ask for advice. It is a group where each member has an equal voice and we all learn from each other. It is the key to MY professional growth.


Willy C. Cardoso

Vicky Saumell, you nailed it! I couldn’t have said it better.



Eric Roth

PLN provides perspective, and reminds us that we teach English in a particular context – and there are many, many different contexts where English students have different desires and needs.



Merve Oflaz

My PLN is like the aura that surrounds me. Probably the most colourful one:) The more I interact with it the shiniest it becomes:)




Esra Aydın

PLN is the best and easiest way to develop in your area of work.. Even you read or search a lot, PLN teaches more)) because it’s to communicate and reach people who have desire to share what they know@




Giselda Dos Santos

Everytime I see this video (Try to do – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jByfWOLmjo&feature=player_embedded ) I think in my PLN. I mean, PNL is the capacity to see and to understand that we all are students of learning, no matter what level of “knowledge” you have. I do believe that everybody has something to learn from each other and the process of learning is continuous, a process that is never finished… and the best way to learn is to teach someone else. We sometimes are the “big squirrels” and sometimes the “little ones”.

Try to do


A story about a big squirrel and a baby squirrel. Help me help another animal out! Pip needs to break out of his shell! www.facebook.com/FlickaChick Follow m…



Eleni-ivi Koumatou

PLN is my soul,it’s real communication and a way to share ideas with people who are responsible and really love what they do,people who can control the future of the world and can shape their students’minds and characters.


Aphro Gkiouris

Sharing, communicating , collaborating!! These are only 3 of the very many things I use my PLN for….




Joel Josephson

Sorry this is late Eva, been travelling. I see 5 areas were PLN is active: Sharing – Articles, ICT tools, Videos, Websites
Support – the 24/7 virtual staff room (answers & help)
Activities – Webinars, Twitter chats, Conference etc
Communications – synchronous/asynchronious
Learning – informal professional learning opportunities



Shelly Sanchez Terrell

My Passionate/ Personal Learning Network is my fuel, support, guide, and mentorship as I tackle daily the very important mission of inspiring continuous learning. (sorry if it’s late)



Nina Lyulkun

Sharing, caring, communicating, collaborating with peers around the world, feeling constant support and love of people around your circles – this all is PLN and PLE. PLN includes lots of resources/tools you use to get and share your knowledge and ideas. Sorry for belated reply. I wish you a great success dearest Evridiki! Lots of love!

Thank you my friends for your sincere and inspiring comments! 🙂


As I have mentioned above I was very lucky to have

wonderful participants at my session.

We had such a nice time together!

  Here are a few photographs from  our mystic session


the great time we had.

For more photographs of the workshop please visit

Workshop Album on Facebook 































































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