What every teacher should know about learning technologies Gary Motteram Senior Lecturer in Education
School of Education What are learning technologies? What do you think? Ask a neighbour? Tell me
School of Education Tony Bates, a writer on distance education, pointed out that before the 1980s learning technologies were more limited, but since the 1980s there has been an explosion of different tools. Before 1980: Teachers, books, postal service, telephone, radio, film, television; Since the 1980s ….
Are you a digital immigrant, or a net native? How do you know? Marc Prensky (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/) uses the term digital immigrant to refer to people who didn’t grow up using computers as a regular part of their lives: the Net Generation (net natives). How does the answer make you feel?http://www.marcprensky.com/writing
School of Education What is Web 2.0? Talk to a neighbour Tell me
School of Education What is Web 2.0? Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities … which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users… it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end- users use webs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2
School of Education What do we know about learning in general? If you were asked as a teacher: how does learning work? What would your answer be? Has your view changed? When? Why? What has influenced it?
School of Education The learner of the future Four articles in the Weekly Guardian (2006) considered this issue of what impact technology would have on the learner of the future: 1.Warschauer looks at three divides that are being broken down: between EFL and ESL; digital haves and have nots; between language and technology in the classroom 2.I consider 21 st Century tools, i.e. Social computing, making the link between the classroom and the real world. The distributed nature of learning 3.Graddol talks about the failure of Web 1.0 although he does consider Bax’s “Restricted CALL” 4.Bax himself points out that education does not utilise “normalised” technologies
School of Education The influence of sociocultural theory Lying behind these four articles is the social cultural theory that has increasingly been highlighted in language teaching in for example Lantolf (e.g 1994) and Williams and Burden (1997). This has at its root the ideas of activity theory via Vygotsky, or Dewey’s interests in “interaction, reflection and experience” (http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et- dewey.htm)http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et- dewey.htm These are theories of general learning rather than specific theories of language learning and with a few exceptions have been less influential in CALL circles and this has been highlighted by Salaberry (1999) and Levy and Hubbard (2005) Warschauer and Kern (2000) suggest that there had been a development from behavioural through cognitive to sociocultural theory and NBLT put the communication back into CALL and, in a sense, opened the starting gate for other kinds of Web 2.0 technologies. Warschauer explores Vygotskian theory in more detail in a recent article (2005)
School of Education Sociocultural perspectives on CALL (Warschauer, 2005) Gregory Bateson – the blind man and his walking stick Vygotsky and sociocultural theory: Mediation – “…All human activity is mediated by tools and signs”. What we are interested in is “…how [tools] fundamentally transform human action.” How can “…new technologies help to transform prior forms of human activity?”
School of Education Sociocultural perspectives on CALL (Warschauer, 2005) Vygotsky and sociocultural theory (cont): Social learning: Vygotsky was concerned principally with child development. He believed that children start off experiencing on the social level and then the experience is internalised. He also thought that learning was mainly related to apprenticeship (ZPD). This idea of social learning has so far mainly been explored in CMC. Genetic analysis: In order to understand what we are experiencing at any moment, we need to know how we have got here. We may be concerned with the “unfolding of particular events” (micrognesis); “the development of the individual” (ontogenesis), or “even the development of the species” (phylogenesis). We can only understand learning technologies if we see them in their broader context, e.g. ideas like net natives (young undergraduates), or net immigrants (many teachers).
School of Education What do we know about language learning?
School of Education Example: http://www.orivedenperusopetus.net/lifeacrosseurope/in dex.php?page=etusivu http://www.orivedenperusopetus.net/lifeacrosseurope/in dex.php?page=etusivu
School of Education Example: Reading skills develpmentReading skills develpment
School of Education Example: http://bcsd.k12.ny.us/middle/Global/global.htm The Global Coalition http://bcsd.k12.ny.us/middle/Global/global.htm
School of Education Example: Cultural awarenessCultural awareness
School of Education Example: IELTS practiceIELTS practice
School of Education Example: http://www.babbel.com/start/fa_enghttp://www.babbel.com/start/fa_eng
School of Education Example: http://sambaefl.podomatic.com/http://sambaefl.podomatic.com/
School of Education So, what should every teacher know about learning technologies?
School of Education Potential of Web 2.0 for language teaching and learning It can empower learners and give them a voice in lessons Potentially allows the classroom to connect to the real world Provides just-in-time learning Helps promote and develop modern notions of literacy (Kress, Gee) Can provide real, authentic communication Can provide an authentic reason to produce language
Accessibility Cheaper or Free Ease of Use Extent of potential reach of audience Breadth of variety of materials The main differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0:
School of Education It can be difficult for some of us: “We used SL in our MA course entitled "Instructional Technology in ELT" but we couldn't continue since it requires a better computer “ Colleague from Turkey, IATEFL conference - Aberdeen online “…there is no much computer labs connected to the fast Internet at the university, “ Colleague from the Ukraine, IATEFL conference - Aberdeen online “…our university has a very low technological infrastructure, which limits the students the opportunities to learn and practice. For example: There are only 11 computers with Internet access available for 4,700 students at the School of Education; the university blocked all chat programs due to a virus that damaged the intranet; and, during the last 5 months, we have been facing electricity problems that prevent us to use Moodle. The servers are frequently turned off for protection. ” Colleague from Venezuela, IATEFL conference - Aberdeen online
School of Education “I'm one of those teachers that do not have much facilities at work. Reality strikes hard on me...T here are two labs, the best one has twelve computers, not always working properly, very slow machines indeed and internet access for... thirty-five ss.!!...” Colleague from Uruguay, IATEFLconference - Aberdeen Online “Some universities in Japan have rejected putting SL on their servers because of this.” (pornography on SL) Colleague in Japan, IATEFLconference - Aberdeen online
School of Education Some ideas to get started (if bandwidth is an issue): Use the read/write web (Blogs and Wikis) Create student communities or join student communities for an intercultural project or other tasks on Yahoogroups Set up a teacher blog for reporting to and communicating with students and/or parents after school If you want to use audio or video: –Download podcasts at home and bring to school on a flashdrive, CD or laptop –Download videos on media players (e.g. google video player) and watch them offline –Set Skype accounts and find conversation partners or interact within intercultural programs by using students’ mobile phones (only a few are enough – yours too can help) –Record students on your own mp3 player or other digital recorder and upload the audio files yourself from home
School of Education Apply sound learning theory
School of Education Don’t forget Our main goals as educators of the 21 st century: –Developing Learning-how-to learn skills –Developing Critical thinking skills –Developing Communication skills SLA theories and research –role of tasks and task design –role of interaction –role of audience –role of purpose –role of feedback