After the first online synchronous lesson of ‘Teaching with Technolgoy‘ with Dr Nellie Deutsch on Tuesday 6 January, I was all fired up to really learn about teaching online. Due to terrible weather and an unusually slow internet connection that night Imissed parts of the audio and as a consequence didn’t realise that the first task would be to set up a Blog or Wiki (luckily I already have both), answer some questions on one of those platforms and then set up my own online course. The first task I can do without too much problem. However I am concerned about my ability to set up a useful online course without any real planning. However, I do have a need for such a course as I want to provide online teacher training to my teachers at Dialog.
Task 1: Answer the following questions:
What does teaching with technology mean to you?
Teaching with Technology means using technology to support and enhance the learning aims that I have set my students. Technology today is at our fingertips, in our pockets and in most classrooms. As a language teacher in 2015 the free resources at my an my students’ disposal our limitless. Why wouldn’t I use them? With apps and websites to enrich our lessons and engage our students, with Wikis and Blogs, and collaborative noticeboards such as Linoit and Scrabblr, and vocabulary learning tools such as Quizlet, the opportunities are truly endless and even overwhelming. However as a teacher / teacher trainer it is my role to choose the tools that enhance the learning goals. I need to ask myself reflective questions such as, “Am I showing this Youtube video because it relates to the theme, promotes listening comprehension and expands the students’ vocabulary, or am I using it because it is cute, the students will love it and the school will be happy that I have integrated technology into my lesson?”
So for me technology is a must but it must be simple, I must have a back up plan for when it doesn’t work and it must, most of importantly of all support the learning aims not drive the class.
What do you expect students to learn from the course?
‘EFL Teacher Training for Language Teachers of Adults’ – this course will be a pilot for a language teacher training course that I want to create for ‘Dialog’ language teachers to access online at any time. We have new teachers joining us on a weekly basis who come with all different teaching backgrounds. This course will provide an introduction to communicative language teaching, with a focus on the integration of Learning Technologies into the learner-centred classroom.
What skills and knowledge do you want them to acquire by the end of the course?
Students / participants will have a clear understanding of what the communicative approach to language teaching is and how it relates to adults in particular. Setting the stage, and the importance of making an impact from the very first lesson; the use of L1 (native language) in the classroom; differentiated instruction; lesson planning; 21 Century teaching skills; the role of homework; teaching grammar and vocabulary; error correction versus fluency, evaluating and assessing content , and lastly evaluating and assessing student levels and progress.
What teaching strategies (lecture, discussion, group work, case studies, etc.) will best help students achieve these goals?
The course will combine synchronous lessons supported with PowerPoint presentations, reading assignments, discussions and tasks such as creating a model lesson plan.