Was I using technologies in teaching English? No!
Will I implement technologies in my future practice? Definitely yes!
Before taking the course of technologies in TEFL, I little knew how to implement technologies in my teaching process. But now after 15 weeks, not only I got introduced to many interesting software programs, but also I’ve started to use some in my classes. Blogs, chatbots, MALL, and podcasts are among the introduced technologies that now I strive to use in my teaching, and LMS/VLE, the virtual world of Second life and open education courses are among technologies that I will definitely use later in my teaching practice.
Couple of weeks ago, Scott Thornbury, a well-known educator, asked the audience Neil Postman’s question “What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?”, trying to raise awareness about the use of technologies in the classroom. Last year, I wouldn’t be able to give a thoughtful answer to this question, but now, after taking this course, I would say that technologies should be used in teaching processes judiciously. We learned that before introducing the students to any technological educational tool, the teacher first needs to clarify why and how the use of the tool would be effective and beneficial for the learners. Only after having an answer to those questions, the technologies should be used in the classrooms.
During the last 15 weeks, we learned about different types of technologies that can be used in education, and as the last post for this course, I will review my most favorite three technologies that I am deeply into them, and I will briefly mention how to use them in English teaching.
Blogging: My first favorite one is blogs and blogging. As a student-teacher, I enjoyed the experience of having my personal blog, where I can write and share activities in it, as well as, follow other bloggers! The idea of becoming a blogger can be exciting for many students, especially teenagers and young adults. English teachers can easily make blogs a part of their curriculum. Instead of asking students to bring their writings in papers, teachers can ask them to post the writings on their blogs, and design the same page to make it more visually appealing. Blogging may improve students’ motivation and participation, can positively affect the process of language learning and can engage students in an authentic, informal written language production. Hence, I will definitely make blogging part of my teaching.
Game-based learning: what if from time to time bring digital games to the classes for educational purposes?! I am sure that all the students, especially young learners will welcome the idea to learn English through games! Just google “games for learning English,” thousands of website will pop on your screen! as blogging, game-based learning will enhance students’ engagement and motivation and will create a stress-free learning environment for the students. So, that is the reason that I will use games in my classrooms!
Podcasts: Maybe the idea of podcasts is not new, but now thanks to the smartphones, tablets, and i-tunes using them have become more widespread and popular. The philosophy behind the podcasts is “learning every day and everywhere.” By encouraging our students to listen to English podcasts, we can help them to improve their listening skills, as well as, vocabulary knowledge. So, worth trying as a supplementary material!
To wrap up, I need to say that among all the taken courses, this was the only course, which content was completely new for me and every time I learned something new!
Thanks to this course I have broadened my teaching perspectives and are ready to use more technologies in my classrooms to create a different learning environment for my students.