AINET Connect project was launched with an aim to consolidate the reach and impact of the TA (AINET Association of English Teachers) by building stronger and more sustainably managed channels of communication, especially on social media platforms. AINET was lagging behind in productive use of these channels before the start of the project. This project has opened up new opportunities and also challenges for the TA. More than halfway through, we can say we were able to achieve a significant part of our project objectives.
AINET has put together a team of volunteer teachers, called AINET Connect Associates, creating an impactful presence for AINET on various social media platforms by reaching out to geographically scattered and vast ELT community with diverse professional development activities. The project team and 14 AINET Connect Associates, all volunteer teacher-members of AINET, supported by the AINET executive members and the partners, have been designing, delivering, and monitoring initiatives and activities on social media platforms. We started with Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube and have subsequently added Pinterest, Telegram and Instagram, in addition to revamping the AINET website as a forum for exchange, dissemination and interaction.
Within the larger team of the AINET Connect Associates, we are consolidating smaller groups or pairs of teachers that will hold responsibility of looking after different social media platforms, which they will manage for longer durations. The two face-to-face meetings-cum-workshops spread through the year were crucial in capacity building of the AINET Connect Associates. This is expected to further strengthen the reach and impact of AINET, enhance its organisational capabilities and benefit its membership (and wider ELT community) in terms of professional development. Efforts are underway to expand these teams with the addition of new volunteers. This is in order to build a potential second line of leadership, besides ensuring a wider participatory management of AINET activities and building on the expertise available within AINET. It is also proposed to prepare a draft social media policy, as well as a manual/ handbook on social media management, for teacher associations based on the experience and learnings of the project, which will be highly useful guiding documents not only for AINET but also for other teacher associations.
Dr. Vivek Joshi, Coordinator