Posts tagged ‘technology’

July 12, 2010

Lab Sessions: Integrating Technology?

For the first time I’m using a virtual campus and a lab on a regular basis. This is a new situation. Even though I’ve been using the web as part of my classes for almost 4 years, I have no experience at all with live online activities with students.

Soon I had to admit I was taking too many things for granted, which made the class a bit messy.

I assumed I controlled the contents I created. 

But then I saw that the school has copyright over the campus.

Solution: first I publish the activities under creative common license, then I copy them on the campus and attribute them to myself. Yes, more work, but I don’t want someone else to own what they’re not paying for.

I assumed students could follow written instructions. 

Well, most of them can’t. As they work at their own pace, the result was I ended up repeating individual instructions over and over again.

Solution: I use the projector to go over the whole activity before we start.

I assumed students would follow my instructions even when they implied new practices. But old practices rule. 

For example, they are supposed to search copyleft images, I give them the link to flickrcc and they use Google image search. Or they have to write using a campus application or a google doc and they use word.

Solution: No solution. Insisting and waiting, maybe.

I had to face a bigger problem. No. I mean, I’m facing a bigger problem.

I believe technology should be part of a class. Twitter, a piece of chalk, google search, delicious, a text book, a Cd, a blog, a sheet of paper, a wiki, a pencil… So, the thing is, how can a once in a month lab session (scheduled by someone else) be part of my classes?

I haven’t been able to work that out. In fact, I don’t want to work it out. Any solution to this would be a hoax. I could lie, lie to you, to the institution and even to myself and publish a list of the wonderful activities my students are developing. Well, some are wonderful, not doubt. Yet, they are not embedded in the classes.


Photo Credit: So Many Ways by Furryscaly

February 3, 2008

Who teaches what

Needless to say, it’s not my specific task as an EFL teacher to introduce web applications to my students. I wish they already knew how to use them; I don’t teach them how to handle a pen, or on which side of the paper they should write; they already know how to write on a Word Doc. or how to edit a Powerpoint presentation. They are supposed to have acquired lots of skills before I meet them for the first time, so I sometimes wonder why I have to teach them things like how to download an image or how to register or how to edit a post. I tell myself they are using English in a meaningful context; therefore I feel I’m not wasting time. But what if I was a History teacher…
I wish I worked in a school where my students had ICT as a subject and not Computer Science, I wish I could use web applications just as I use the blackboard (yes, not the SmartBoard, not even the Whiteboard; I use a BLACKboard, with chalk -you know, those white sticks of compressed powder).


My question: if your students have ICT as a subject, do you set them to blogging, for instance, just as you give them any other assignment?

Note: please, do follow the link to flickr. You’ll find a student using flickr creatively. I tried to upload the photo with notes, I simply couldn’t. I’m not sure whether I have to blame WordPress or myself.

Photo by elliottcable

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