martes, 21 de febrero de 2012

Reflection on Learning Technologies for the English Classroom - Week 1

            1. Why should I be using technology in the first place?

             In the first place, I should use it, as a resource, to enhance my teaching by applying different information and communication tools in different learning contexts across the syllabus and curriculum. But keeping in mind that “Pedagogy leads Technology”.

            2. What can I do in my own teaching situation?

             First of all, I can integrate more learning technologies in my teaching to enhance learning. I can use learning technologies such as YouTube, Wikipedia, PowerPoint Slides, etc, efficiently and effectively in different learning contexts across the syllabus and curriculum to access, select and present relevant information and content in a wide range of activities and learner-centered tasks.
            3. What do my students already use technology for?
            There is no doubt that ICT and LT tools are part of most people’s lives. My students are widely familiar with learning technologies such as Wikipedia, which they use regularly to complete their homework and tasks. But I believe that their use of technology is limitless, either educationally or for entertainment.

            4. How can I meet my students' needs?

             I can use learning technologies diversely to address different learning styles. I can involve them into activities with content and information that are engaging, challenging and motivating regarding their age, background, preferences, and above all, their learning needs. I can also create a technological-driven environment in the classroom where they, themselves, can satisfy their own learning needs. One of my students’ needs is to have fun while learning, hence, I can use learning technologies, such as YouTube to play a song with lyrics, to make them feel stress-free and have some fun while practicing the language. Yes, I do believe that learning can be fun.  

First WizIQ Session and Getting Started - Week 1

       On February 18th, 2012, we had our first WizIQ session, and I must say that I enjoyed it plenty. From the very beginning of the session I was already interacting with Miguel Mendoza, our e-moderator, Monica Quintini, the Project Officer from The British Council for Venezuela, and my e-mates in this great adventure, and it was really nice to meet them all. After a brief introduction on what Learning Technologies for the English Classroom is all about, we got hands on the platform we are going to use throughout this course, and we started with Module 1, Preparation, Unit 1, Getting Started. We became familiar with the platform, and performed our first tasks. In the Introduction Forum, I got the opportunity to introduce myself to my fellow e-mates, and to get acquainted with them. Yes, I made new friends, and it feels awesome. And as Miguel put it, we are now a “PLN (Professional Learning Network)”. How cool is that? Later on, I was in the zone when we got to find our way around the platform; I was just like a boy with a new toy. Now, I am reflecting about this experience. I have no doubts that learning technologies are indispensable in language teaching, as they can engage teachers and learners in a variety of ways. Somehow, this whole experience has made me realized that technology can have limitless applications in language teaching; for instance, post homework assignments, group discussion and forum, wikis, educational social network, and so much more, but we must learn how to integrate technology and language teaching effectively and efficiently. I want to learn and master all I can about learning technologies; to be updated, to improve my classes and teaching performance, and to grow professionally, and this is why I am taking this course. To be honest, I feel like my love for teaching have been refreshed and updated, and this is just the beginning.

sábado, 18 de febrero de 2012

Learning Technologies for the Classroom - Week 1

       In week 1, Getting Started Unit, I became familiar with WizIQ platform; a tool for online teaching. I opened an account to join a class, and I got to know the site and how it works. Then, I got started at the British Council’s online course, Learning Technologies for the Classroom. There, in an easy-to-follow throughout of eight sections, I successfully engaged myself in theoretical and practical aspects of online learning and teaching. I got to review other participants’ profiles, and learned how I can interact with them by means of different forums; even for help and troubleshooting. Also, I was introduced to the British Council’s online course philosophy and development tools. By successfully completing a quiz, I acquired the knowledge and competencies needed to find my way around this platform. In summary, I have learned a lot. I learned how to navigate, interact, view and change my account’s settings, access and use the course’s tools, and other basic aspects of using learning technologies.