domingo, 9 de octubre de 2011

Implementing Learning Technologies in the Classroom - Reflection

As I have gone through these first lessons I have come to understand that there is no way back to the point where we used to be. We are in the middle of two totally different teaching systems; the traditional and the digital one. It is our responsibility if we want to succeed as L2  or any other subject teacher to learn about the digital world our kids live in;understand the way they see the world, and accept that they learn differently from the way we used to do it.

My students use a wide range of technological devices for recreational purpose; i-pods,i-pads, laptops, blackberries, Portable PlayStation, PlayStation Console and many other devices that represent a real challenge to us, so why don’t we learn about their applications, take advantage of this ability and find a way to use them in pro of the learning English process?

The first thing we need to do is to educate our students on how to use these devices for academic purposes and be responsible about their uses in the classroom. Secondly, schools` authorities have to understand the need to change the traditional paradigm and accept that technology is an integral part of the educational system.  In this way, norms can be set and teachers will be free to use some technological devices besides the ones normally used; video, TV, CD players and start using the unconventional ones as blackberries, i-pads, i-pods, notepads and many others that escape from my knowledge.

Teachers can create endless activities; for example, one of the devices I use to practice grammar is the notepad. Students are able to write on a piece of paper the answers to a specific exercise; they use a pen that works as a mouse, and it projects on the screen whatever they write on the paper. In this way, everybody can see if what they write is correct or not and do the corrections as a whole group.  This is just one example of many; all we need is creativeness, practice and more practice before implementing the final act, ( it’s not a good idea to show hesitation when using this kind of devices, students will immediately notice it).

As Marc Prensky says in his article Digital Natives Digital Immigrants, “Our digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language, are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language.” so why doesn`t the educational system give us a hand...and accept that we are teaching a generation of kids who learn in a totally different way from that of what we have been taught to teach.  There is not time to waste; time has already caught the educational system in this technological spiral. Let`s star creating  real norms and useful workshops that update teachers`s LT uses.

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