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To provide enhanced learning experiences, it is important to remember these points:
Communication must be regular and responsive to partners.
Technology tools need to be tested and trialed first before students become frustrated – in this summit it was made clear teachers had set up the technology and supported student use throughout
Collaboration means being able to ‘get on’ with others – so although there may be disagreements between cross-school teams, the goal is to problem solve and come to a mutual understanding – we all need these skills in today’s world!
Student-centred, inquiry-based learning is key to successful sharing and the better understanding of global partners here.
Quick announcement: I’ll be presenting, along with Susan Gay Hyatt, my Blue Planet co-director, at the 8th annual Global Education Conference, a worldwide online event for educators and others interested in the world of benefits that global education can provide to students.
Join us–for free!–on Wednesday, November 15 at 2pm EST to hear us answer the burning question:
What’s a Crankie??
We’ll be showcasing a Crankie project that Blue Planet carried out between a school in South Florida and one in Shanghai, China, and teaching you how you can create a similar project in your own classroom. The presentation will be great for
- Language arts teachers
- Fine arts teachers
- Social studies teachers
- World language teachers
- Teaching Artists
- Cultural Educators
Attendance, which is completely online, is free. Go to the Conference schedule page here for information on how to join us and the other presenters for this fantastic conference!
Is English a Global Language?
The contentious issue of (non)nativeness remains unanswered.
Nowadays, being an NNEST or NNEST should not count but rather teachers’ professional capabilities.
The presentation provides a forum for reflection and discussion about NNESTs.
We should value professional and personal qualities over ‘nativeness.’
The skills and qualities that make an effective language teacher are the most significant.
Both ‘NESTs’ and ‘NNESTs’ are expected to be competent teachers, each with excellent professional skills.
What can non-native English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) perform better?
What can native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) manage better?
They talked a lot about technology in ELT. A panel of technology experts, bringing experiences from outside the ELT world, discussed trends such as machine translation, artificial intelligence, chatbots and future workplaces. Their perspectives should challenge our current thinking, and help us consider future possibilities.
We were listening to the experts describing their experiences with teaching English using new technologies.
The listeners asked questions such as;
- What does exactly technology bring to our English teaching?
- Can technology substitute the teachers?
- Do we have to be the digital teachers?
- Will technology improve the education in the poor countries?
Since computers started to be introduced in language learning (and in education in
general) people have rightly asked whether the investment we are making in these
technologies gives us value for money. As digital technologies have taken a hold
in society in general, this particular question is not asked quite so often, but it is
still important to make sure that the technologies that we have available are used
effectively. People are always tempted to try to make an argument for technology
having an impact on the development of pedagogy and in many cases we can see
that the use of technology has enabled teachers to re-think what they are doing.
We also see people trying to populate this domain by talking about notions like the
‘flipped classroom’, ostensibly a methodology that sees input as occurring at ‘home’
and physical classrooms being used as spaces to explore what has been presented
in the input. This is far from being a new idea, but these agendas are pushed for
a while and then disappear again. What is a contender for a methodology that is
central to the world of technology and language learning is that of blended learning
(Motteram and Sharma, 2009). We see this methodology still being developed, but
when handled best it is the most likely candidate for a starting point for getting
teachers to work with technology in their practice. It is still the case that most
teachers work in physical classrooms and looking at ways that these spaces can
be augmented with digital technologies is a very good starting point.
Empowering teachers through continuous professional development:frameworks, practices and promises
Gabriel Díaz Maggioli
National Teacher Education College, Uruguay
April 4, 2017
Main Points of Presentation
REALITY CHECK 2002
“…while particular ‘lighthouse’ schools and school systems are the exception, my sense is that professional development as it is experienced by most teachers and principals is pretty much like it has always been—unfocused, insufficient, and irrelevant to the day-to-day problems faced by front line educators. Put another way, a great deal more is known today about good staff development than is regularly practiced in schools.”
Dennis Sparks, 2002
SEC, Glasgow, UK
4th-7th April 2017
Pre-Conference Events and Associates’ Day, 3rd April 2017
Study skills are not just for students. Study skills are transferable – you will take them with you beyond your education into new contexts. For example, organisational skills, time management, prioritising, learning how to analyse, problem solving, and the self-discipline that is required to remain motivated. Study skills relate closely to the type of skills that employers look for. (See Transferable Skills and Employability Skills for more.)
This week I watched a presentation called ‘Changing the way we approach learner styles in teacher education’. This was delivered at IATEFL 2016 by Carol Lethaby and Patricia Harries. If you get a spare half an hour this week I thoroughly recommend seeing it – you can access it on the British Council/IATEFL site.
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