Thursday, March 02, 2006

SEMINAR: ICT in ELT: putting the 'Learning' back into 'E-Learning' (2006)

Photograph by Meer Sild from Estonia
ICT in ELT: Putting the "Learning" back into the "E-learning" was held in the Manchester Conference Center from Feb. 12th to Feb. 17th. It was a high quality seminar. Facilitators, like Gavin Dudeney (event director), were not only excellent presenters but handled the content of the seminar professionally. 

This seminar served not only to expand my knowledge on certain ICTs I knew but to get to know new ones. Also concepts like COPs (Communities of practice) improve my understanding of ICT's and its role in ELT. The presentations, hands-on activities and case studies helped us understand:  

1) Tools and approaches to build COPs like Yahoo groups, PpBB (Web based discussion), Moodle (Virtual learning environment), Skype (synchronous online meetings), Windows netmeeting (synchronous meetings) and blogs. These tools were nicely presented by Eric Baber (Online Course Designer for Royal Holloway University of London) 
2) Communities of practice in action like Webheads;  

3) Platforms for virtual learning (Moodle); 

4) Pedagogical approaches and material design.The facilitators were two teachers from Manchester University, Gary Motteram (language teacher educator at the University of Manchester) and Diane Slaouti (Programme Director of the University of Manchester ) ;  

5) Teacher Development (computer literacy; learning about online tutoring; identifying potentials and challenges of ICTs) presented by Nicky Hockly (Director of the Consultants-e) and some case studies by Gary and Diane. 

There was also this live panel discussion that in some way helps us think about the different situations we have got in our countries in connection to ICT and language learning. In the case of Venezuela, I believe, we should focus on: 

1. suggesting IPC teachers from the Department of Modern Languages to design and implement courses where ICT's for language teaching and learning are taught. It's easier to teach these new generations of teachers familiar with computers, video games, text messaging; and even web design than older generations like mine. That is, even though we start training teachers at public primary and high schools (Básica), some of them will not be that willing to learn (computer phobia; lack of computer skills, etc) or may not find it necessary since kids can learn (anyhow) without using Ict's in the classroom (teachers who have been working from more than 20 years, for example) or some of them are about to retired (the why-bother attitude).  

2. suggesting the setting up of Cops to IPC and public school language teachers to encourage them to share knowledge and experience in ELT.  

3. thinking of teacher development courses on line to reach as many teachers as we can in Venezuela (Moodle platform could be great for this)  

4. keeping a blog where Venezuelan teachers ( and teachers from other countries) get updated on what's new in connection to ICT's providing tutorials and samples for them to follow. The easier the ICT tool, the better for teacher training! I almost forgot to mention that the British Council made an interesting presentation on the different web sites like Learn English, Teach English and ELTECS. It is worth visiting them. They can be an interesting and educational source for teaching and learning on-line.  

Manchester Conference Center (2006)

Miguel Mendoza eFL by Miguel Mendoza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Nahir Aparicio said...

Hi, Mike:

Let me tell you that I like your blog a lot. The content is so useful, and easy to follow. And the organization is so neat.It tells a lot about your dedication!!! Keep doing it.

Nahir Aparicio said...

Following your advice, I've set up 3 Yahoo groups for the 3 courses I'm responsible for. I have also included Reflections on a blog as part of their assessment in one of them which is "ELTeaching Methodology". And they are excited about it!!!

Asha Sandilya said...

You've done some fantastic and diligent work. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I will point the teachers to your blog at the next workshop I do on ICT in ELT..Keep it up .
Best wishes

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