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Silly little things called Collocations - S02E01 - Language Teaching and Technology

  Season 2 is really long overdue. In case you haven't seen the premiere, hop over to this doc here . The next episodes set to look at some common word combinations used to talk about integrating technology in learning spaces; a sort of A to Z of educational technology. The author thought it fitting to bring together two areas of interest that would hopefully be of immediate value for teachers: explaining how words seem to just get along so nicely for no particular reason (they seem to just get along), and using a range of resources to make the learning experience a significant one for all participants.  If you have gotten to this paragraph, dear reader, then know that you will become acquainted with chunks like these:  πŸ“’ Raise awareness πŸ“’ Nurture mindset πŸ“’ Promote literacy πŸ“’ Introduce tools πŸ“’  Change practices πŸ“’ Engage students  πŸ“’ Accept challenges πŸ“’ Foster collaboration πŸ“’ Create opportunities And much, much more.
Recent posts

Teachers are (not) natural-born assessors

  I hate to disappoint those of us who take for granted an almost innate ability of all teachers to test, grade, rate, and assess learning. Such an ability implies an understanding of the different types of assessment and their aims. Apart from being formal or informal, any type of assessment sets out to meet one of the two aims: either to improve instruction based on the results generated (Brindley, 2002:137) or to obtain a snapshot of learners' ability at a given moment (Cameron, 2001:22).  The paragraph above is enough to debunk the proposition that heads this post. In fact, by assuming teachers know HOW to assess, we are categorically stating that teaching is second nature; that we know instinctively what teaching and learning entail, that we plan lessons with little effort and we provide feedback that is automatically theoretically sound and student centered. I decided to broach the issue after taking part in a four-way online chat about Assessment as Learning.  Assessing, lik

(Why we need) Microlearning as the new Lifelong Learning

    While unassumingly making predictions about the trends in education for 2021, I went out on a limb and placed Microlearning as a concept that would become a core element of school syllabi, corporate training programs and higher education curricula in this  post .  We can talk about the topic by focusing on the following questions, and providing short, concise answers, in keeping with the topic at hand.  What is Microlearning? The aim of Micro Learning is to deliver short bursts of content for learners to study at their convenience.  Why should we be using ML?  Apart from the blatantly obvious fact that the hypermedia, digitally connected world places all those with access to the internet countless opportunities to learn on their own, one key reason for Microlearning is that an  ideal antidote to the Forgetting Curve by creating  focused and memorable activities and assessments to reinforce knowledge. How can we implement it?  Whatever the tool or resource, we have to abide by at le

There is no leadership without empathy

  Only yesterday, I spoke about the pivotal role a community of practice plays for teachers in pandemic times. If #sharingiscaring, then the teachers who attend my classes on integrating technology share a concern and a passion for what they do. They are #teacherslearningtech. And, to quote Wenger, these professionals get better at their job through the regular exchange of ideas and experiences. The sooner we realize we need each other to develop our expertise, the better prepared we become to give our students the best learning experience.  During our class on tech integration/educational technology, I was surprised by a request from the students: they wanted the tests assigned to part 2 of the module to count for the third and final part, in light of the heavy study load and professional obligations they had to juggle at the same time. The tests seemed daunting for many, both in terms of quantity and level of difficulty. What could I as the lecturer do about it?  Long story short, t

Week 29 - Helping students find support for their answers in the literature

  Nights before a lecture or workshop look just like this. When asked how I feel about blogging and teacher education, I offer two images: Our role as facilitators of learning has gained greater significance within a social constructivist, student-centered approach that is aimed to foster genuine learner autonomy (O'Dwyer, 2006).  Delivering postgraduate programs catered for in-service and to-be teachers has made me realize how much we need a community of practice to help us enhance our knowledge and improve our teaching techniques on the go; time restraints, institutional demands and most importantly learners' needs make it all the more imperative for us to engage in hands-on training, AND make it all the more clear that we might want to relinquish that position of authority in the classroom traditionally bestowed upon us.  This second imperative is synthesized in the second image:  As a teacher OF teachers and learner on the go, my job is to develop what I like to call "

Week 28 - Whose job is it to ENGAGE learning?

  It's hard not to remember Benjamin Franklin's famous words when the subject is engaging students:   Tell me and I forget , teach me and I may remember , involve me and I learn ” (Benjamin Franklin). If we take these words at face value, it is on the teacher to adopt strategies and use activities that encourage deeper understanding and active student participation.  While bearing that in mind, the teacher must recognize the unique learning needs of their pupils. The latter might have a lot of other things going on extra-class wise, which may hinder academic performance direct or indirectly. In cases like these, giving the learner a boost, helping them channel their energies and leave external issues at the physical or virtual doorstep makes a huge difference.  I find myself surmising, nonetheless, about those learners who may NOT be undergoing any such extra class issues per se. Do Franklin's words also apply? Is it solely the teacher's job in that case to engage the

The future for English teachers - Teaching In, About, and Through English

  No, this is not a grammar-based lesson. One in which we focus on teaching the correct use of prepositions. I guess if you started reading this post with that in mind, feel free to stop at this point. Unless, the title of the post still has you intrigued. In that case, let me spill the beans: the post looks at a multimodal approach to English teaching; in other words, how technology shapes we communicate and negotiate meaning.  The teaching of English as a(n) foreign, second or additional language has undoubtedly changed over the yeas with the classroom becoming increasingly more digital or technology-driven. To a point. In a previous post , I talked about a large part of the English teaching today continues to take a more structural approach, i.e., the focus is almost exclusively on the language as the means and/or the end. Truth be told, teaching ABOUT English has made room on the stage for teaching IN English, with the proliferation of bilingual programs of all shapes and sizes and