Saturday, January 21, 2017
Dear participants, it is a pleasure to have you join our session this year. I have just created this blog as a sort of test tube to guide your endeavors in blogging. Therefore, I will be making some posts here to show different features of blogger and discuss some ideas of what can be done using a blog.
As you know ICT4ELT stands for Information and Communication Technology for English Language Teaching. So, this session is about the elements that constitute this acronym. I am doing this because while thinking about the things we do, I realized that we many times can take the meaning of these three letters for granted. Although, the main objective of teaching is integrating those three aspects instead of isolating them, I thought a few words about each one of them would be helpful.
The first one is information. In the age we live in, it is very important for us educators and our learners to learn how to deal with information. Therefore, some of the tools and topics we cover in this session are geared towards managing information. I would say that Twitter is one of those tools. Blogs can also be used for transmitting or receiving information. It is important to bear this in mind and see how it broadens or narrows our vision about what we do. There is a deluge of information and we need to come up with strategies to manage it and help our learners to learn from it. ultimately our goal should be help them and ourselves to become creators of knowledge and broadcasters of information. We should think about digital literacy and digital citizenship.
The second letter in our acronym stands for communication. The interactive nature of technology should be at the core of teaching procedures if we want to use it successfully. Teaching that integrates technology has above all to use it for information exchange and to promote dialogue that is authentic and that improves learning. We do have to look around for technologies that can replace procedures whose goals are communication.
The third letter in our acronym stands for technology. To understand it fully, we need to remember that technology is not only what is new in terms of tools and gadgets. We also need to think about technologies that are so integrated that they have become invisible. Thinking like this might help us to have a more realistic policy in terms of integrating technology. Many things are taken for granted if we lose sight of what has been embedded in our surroundings. On the other hand, we have to have the courage to embrace the new and revolutionize our practice. In terms of adopting technology, I would have to quote the robotic characters from Star Trek, the Borgs, "Resistance is futile." I don't mean we should be gullible and embrace anything, but we should also not be so skeptical. Learning involves, above all, taking risks, doesn't it?