Rozhovor s Işil Boy a Kristinou Smith

Přečtěte si kompletní anglickou verzi rozhovoru pořízého s Işil Boy a Kristinou M. Smith. Tyto lektorky v rámci projektu IMPACT realizovali dva semináře s názvem „Využití ICT ve tříde“ určené učitelům cizího jazyka (6.2.2013) a metodikům jazykového vzdělávání (7.2.2013). Zkrácenou verzi přeloženou do češtiny si můžete přečíst v druhém čísle projektového zpravodaje.


IMGP1691IMPACT: How did you get to the use of ICT in language teaching? Have communication technologies been an integral part of your life since your childhood, or was there some milestone (experience, application, technology …) which has significantly influenced you?

Işil: After attending a conference on educational technology, I started to use technology in my teaching. I used pbworks wikis with my students, and their first task was to create a video; I tried to make the learning process fun for them, and soon they started to enjoy using our class wiki. The best part of using web 2.0 tools in teaching is that you do not need to be a webmaster to create a website, it is now really easy to create magic with the help of web tools.

Kristina: I became interested in ICT after the birth of my son. On a personal level my whole life had changed upside down but professionally I felt like I was still in the same place I had been before I got pregnant. Doing the same type of job and working on the same topics. I really needed a change but I didn’t have time to go to a school and attend classes. I friend recommended taking an online course, so I tried it. It was like a breath of fresh air. I could attend whenever I had time. I met loads of interesting people and exchanged information in discussion forums. It was a whole new way of connecting up with people. I really loved it and have just wanted to share this powerful way of learning with as many other people as I can.


IMPACT: How does the use of ICT in language education transform its structure in a good way and how could its presence be counterproductive or annoying on the other side?

Işil: Integrating technology into the classroom needs careful planning. If there is no overall objective, and without on-going training, it can become counterproductive; even a burden. SAMR model helps teachers use technology not only to substitute current materials but also to transform teaching and learning. (Puentedura, 2006). SAMR has four components, it starts with Substitution, moves to Augmentation, Modification and ends with Redefinition. S stands for substitution: Teachers uses technology as a substitution tool which does not lead any functional change. A is for augmentation: Teacher uses technology as a substitution tool, but this time it leads to functional improvement. M is for modification: With the use of technology, tasks are redesigned. Finally, R stands for redefinition: The use of technology leads to the creation of new tasks which were not achievable before. Here is a good example:

Kristina: The teacher needs to realize that the tools and platforms are constantly evolving. This means you always have to learn new things. Even better, you can hand over some responsibility to the students who are usually quite good at figuring out these ICT tools. We can learn from them. It’s a completely different way of looking at education. This can disturb students, who just want you to lecture and give them information. There are also accessibility issues for some students because they don’t have access to the Internet or as many devices as other, possibly richer students. But these differences will even out.

In some sense, I think we have a social responsibility to help students from less privileged background learn to use technology because if they don’t learn, they are at a disadvantage later in a global job market.


IMPACT: What do you think of Bring Your Own Device policy in language classes?

Kristina: I think it is a great idea for a Friday the end of the month or a special day but it can be quite distracting in some classes to have a lot of students focusing on the device and not on each other or the materials at hand.

Sometimes people don’t know how to put limits on their use of these devices. So setting clear limits, agreeing on what we can use the devices for and what we can’t is important. We should control technology, it shouldn’t control us. Young people don’t always realize this!


IMPACT: What application or technology would you recommend to language teachers who are ICT beginners (use just e-mail, the Web as a source of information…) but they feel like involving ICT more into their teaching or life?

Işil: Before they use teachnology, they should define their objectives, and choose the web tools accordingly. They should think about accessibility, choose an easy tool to start with such as vocaroo, wordle, or animoto, start using technology with one class, and always have a back-up plan, such as taking screenshots.They can also start using twitter, and follow other educators.


IMPACT: What are your suggestions for advanced users, something fresh and juicy that you have been yourself recently fascinated by?

Işil: I used pbworks wikis for three years, and I experienced several benefits. The main reasons why I used wikis were because they encourage transparent learning, promote learner autonomy, develop digital literacy, stimulate collaborative learning and foster motivation. Wikis are also one of the most popular asynchronous tools for writing practice, and serve an important role in developing educational courseware; teachers can develop their courseware to collect their web-based and mobile learning materials. I have developed courseware on wikis: My objectives in designing this courseware were to show teachers how to use wikis in depth, to introduce some examples on wikis for classroom use, to show them some tools and apps which they can use on wikis, to help them test themselves on what and how much they have learned, and to encourage them to start using wikis. My foremost aim, while designing and developing this courseware, was to make it engaging so that teacher would be willing to use wikis with their students.

Recently, I have started to use Edmodo with my class, and I realized that it was a great tool to use mainly because of its app both for iOS and Android. The latest version of Edmodo app has file sharing functionality, and with the help of its app, students can read/ write posts and upload files. It promotes mobile learning, and helps students learn anywhere/ anytime, which makes learning more effective.

Kristina: For me it isn’t the tool but the pedagogy. It’s easy to start playing with tools and then let them become the focus. In fact we probably have to do that sometimes, to teach ourselves how to use them! But this should be just a small part of our lessons. It’s important to have aims and objectives and know how you are going to measure the outcomes. Then fitting the technology into the system is done in a principled way.

Another important aspect of all this is that many teachers are using ICTs to replace or slightly enhance what they already do with learners. It’s a bit like PowerPoint. Teachers use to lecture. Then they discovered they could add images with PowerPoint but it doesn’t really do that much extra (most of the time.) There are ways to use ICTs to integrate information from different sources and create something completely new. That is where the advanced user should be looking. Follow the Horizon Reports to keep up with new trends.


IMPACT: What is, in your opinion, the advantage of technology-based language learning over traditional face-to-face learning?

Işil: As John Dewey once famously said, „If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.“ The best way is to blend e-learning or mobile learning with face-to-face learning. The use of technology has many advantages: it fosters motivation, promotes learner autonomy, and enhances collaborative learning and teaching.

Kristina: It extends the classroom outside and potentially allows students to work when they can (around the other responsibilities or commitments.) It allows us to connect of great distances when we would not be able to meet face-to-face. Basically it changes the time and space elements of traditional education.