Web 2.0 and Four Paths Beyond

Hubbard, P., P. (2011, March 18). Web 2.0 and Four Paths Beyond. PowerPoint Slides presented at the TESOL Conference, New Orleans.

A presentation about Web 2.0, emerging technologies and the critical importance of incorporating technology and learning with technology deeply in language teacher training in order to support teacher flexibility, to prepare teachers for long careers in language teaching during which they are likely to continually encounter new technologies, new technological modes, and in which they will need to have the confidence and skills to approach these technologies successfully. The presentation also highlights the importance of situated learning theory in ensuring that teachers learn in the same environment in which they will teach.

Retrievable from: http://web.stanford.edu/~efs/tesol-11.pdf

Language Learning and Technology Special issue on Teacher Education and CALL

Language learning & Technology Special issue on Teacher Education and CALL

Volume 19 Number 1 February 2015

This is a special issue of the online journal that addresses the topic of teacher education and computer assisted language learning.

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Issues emerging from the pilot of an online module on vocabulary learning by low-educated adult immigrants.

Martha Young-Scholten,. (2015). Issues emerging from the pilot of an online module on vocabulary learning by low-educated adult immigrants. Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 26(2), 41–45.

A report of an international pilot of online learning module for second-language instructors in North America and the European Union, conducted over a 5-week period in 2015. The instructors are working with learners who have been designated as low-educated and literacy acquisition (LESLLA). Based on two extensive surveys of the professional development and training needs of these instructors the online training module focused on vocabulary teaching and learning. The module, Topics in Vocabulary Learning for LESLLA Learners, (in English, Dutch German, Finnish and Spanish). was delivered using MOODLE. Learning materials were drawn from publications in each of these languages as well as translations of some English materials into the other languages. The author states that while more research is required to better understand how LESLLA learner develop vocabulary and move from fast-mapping to the use of new vocabulary in their daily lives, the value of this pilot is in support instructors in carrying out their own research to extend understanding of vocabulary acquisition this pilot. In addition, participants in the pilot, although it was of short duration, reported positive results based on their learning and experimenting with new techniques. The pilot also set the groundwork for the future development of a curriculum framework for LESLLA instructors, at the international level, which will allow instructors to share and exchange their experience and knowledge.

Cost: $USD 38.16

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A Call for the human feel in today’s increasingly blended world.

Geoff Lawrence. (2014, May). A Call for the human feel in today’s increasingly blended world. Contact Magazine Special Research Symposium Issue, 40(2), 128–141.

The author presents research on the reported benefits of using Technology-mediated language learning for both instructors and learners, as well as the importance of instructional design on meeting learner outcomes. He then examines the potential for adult non-credit ESL programs in Ontario from results of a multi-phased feasibility study. The findings indicate that the majority of ESL instructors continue to use primarily a face- to-face approach in their teaching. After describing the barriers to use, he also discusses an emerging theme: the crucial role of social interaction and the need for teacher-mediated learning. This was described by one participant as keeping “the human feel” in the learning environment and emphasized the importance of the teacher in the learning process. Some instructors warned about the isolating nature of self-directed technology environments. In the section “The Blended Solution”, the author lists some of the advantages to this approach identified by study participants. He also notes that by itself, a blended approach will not address concerns about isolation; this depends on both the pedagogy and the instructor. Lawrence goes on to highlight the need for strategic, interactive program design.

Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/researchsymposium/ResearchSymposium2014.pdf

Digital Mindsets: Teachers’ Technology Use in Personal Life and Teaching.

Tour, Ekaterina (2015). Digital Mindsets: Teachers’ Technology Use in Personal Life and Teaching. Language Learning & Technology, 19(3), 124–139.

This study looks at the relationships between teachers’ everyday and professional uses of technology and explores the assumptions that lie behind their practices. The findings of the study identify the impact of teachers’ digital mindsets and assumptions on the potential they see for digital technologies. The author reports on other studies that explore teachers’ personal experiences with digital technologies to see what they might reveal about what prevents teachers from seeing the learning potential of technologies, and making connections between their working use and their personal use. The study looks at how differently study participants considered seven interrelated affordances of digital technologies and whether they recognized their potential. The author concludes that professional development and learning needs to take into account teachers’ everyday practices, experiences and digital mindsets as well as provide opportunities for critical reflection about them.

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Teaching Presence in Online Course for Part-time Undergraduates

Baker. Credence (2010). Teaching Presence in Online Course for Part-time Undergraduates. The Journal of Educators Online, 7(1).

This paper begins by noting that researchers have moved from establishing the notion that there is no significant difference between face-to-face and online learning to extending research to empirically validate best practices in online learning thus providing more effective online courses and taking advantage of the unique features of the online environment. Instructors in blended courses do have the opportunity to establish positive teaching presence and immediacy in the face-to-face component of their courses, but these two practices may have implications for learner motivation, active learning and participation and achievement of outcomes in the online portion. The author refers to other research that notes that instructors can convey “visibility” with regularly scheduled interactions, inform students of their availability, provide feedback that is consistent and meaningful, be present as an effective moderator in discussions and use their content background to reactivate discussions that languish. The study results provide interesting distinctions between the effects of instructor presence and instructor immediacy on student behaviour and outcomes.

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Uses of Technology in Adult ESL Education CAELA: ESL Resources: Collections – Adult ESL Fact sheets. (2002).

This brief fact sheet from 2002 noted how and where technology was beginning to be included in adult ESL programs. Although the examples are modest, the challenges described are still familiar, e.g., the cost of acquiring hardware and software and supporting technology use, matching applications to instructional needs and goals, over-enthusiasm with applications that may not pay back the investment and access to computers and the Internet. The list of best practices includes the need for training for practitioners both in instructional approaches and uses of “hardware”. This last need is addressed in the recently revised TESOL Technology Standards (2011) with the hope that programs that train teachers will recognize that they have an obligation to prepare teacher candidates adequately in technology proficiency for their field and that technology proficiency will be given a high priority in new staff in teacher education programs.

Retrievable From: http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/collections/factsheets.html#tech

The Evaluation of Computer-Mediated Technology by Second Language Teachers: Collaboration and Interaction in CALL.

del Puerto, F. G., & Gamboa, E. (2009). The Evaluation of Computer-Mediated Technology by Second Language Teachers: Collaboration and Interaction in CALL. Educational Media International, 46(2), 137–152.

In this multi-country European study, language teacher respondents reported that they used computers for personal use more than for teaching. It reveals that despite teachers’ belief that interaction is the most effective method for language learning teachers are more likely to use basic tools to produce grammar exercises and individual work, than to work with computer applications that encourage interaction e.g., forums, text chat, web chat, video chat. New versions of Moodle do provide these types of activities, but there is a need for teachers to be comfortable using them. Del Puerto ends by saying that no matter what new collaborative and interactive elements are developed in platforms like Moodle, teacher training and teachers’ attitudes towards technology will be the most important factor influencing whether they are used in the language classroom. This point is also stated clearly in the TESOL Standards (2011) in the Technology Standards for Language Teachers section. For example, Goal 2: Language teachers integrate pedagogical knowledge and skills with technology to enhance language teaching and learning (p.213).

Available for Purchase (USD $39.00) at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09523980902933268

Normalisation Revisited: The Effective Use of Technology in Language Education.

Bax, S. (2013). Normalisation Revisited: The Effective Use of Technology in Language Education.

This article revisits the issue of the normalisation of technology in language education, defined as the stage at which a technology is used in language education without users being consciously aware of its role as a technology, as an effective element in the language learning process (Bax, 2003). It proposes a methodology to introduce new technologies into language education settings with maximum impact. The article cites some of the researchers who have addressed normalisation in discussions concerning the role of technology in language education. Bax uses the examples of attitudes of “excessive awe” and “exaggerated fear” to emphasize the importance of looking critically at whether any proposed new technology is necessary. He presents elements of effective educational practice and shows how modern technology can help with providing those elements, but emphasizes that learning also requires mediation from teacher experts who will intervene as needed.  This article suggests tools and processes that would be helpful in the area of program readiness.

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