Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Entry 4 IDT1415 Impact on My Role

How might my role change?

Before we start, take a minute to note down a few points about how you might expect your teaching role to change when you introduce technology to your classes.

When I first started introducing technology into my classes my role did not change much as at that stage I had already started to become more and more aware of the need to be a facilitator rather than a central figure and thus I was in the process of adopting a more learner-centred approach. On reflection, I can say that this facilitating role was not really enhanced but simply supplemented in the sense that instead of setting up tasks for students using traditional materials e.g. the course book, paper and pen, cutups, flashcards , etc. I was doing pretty much the same but with the novelty of a technological gadget e.g. at least 15 years ago I particularly remember a listening lesson where I brought in a set of 5 different tape recorders for a jigsaw listening activity where learners went to different rooms to carried it out and which was set up via an OHP caused a small degree of sensation amongst students and fellow teachers. Dudeney et al. (2013) report that what may really be the cause for any positive outcomes of technology implementation is the enthusiasm teachers bring along or the re-design of programs which was exactly my own experience as described here.

After watching the videos, I can say that I totally agree with how their roles changed with the integration of technology as I have gone through very similar changes. Firstly, as Jenny, I can say that my awareness of the learner has definitely continued to increase because I constantly remind myself of the fact that any added technology must add value to the learning experience and whether the same experience would have the same outcome should the technology not be there. Is my knowledge and content of the lesson enhanced by the chosen tool as suggested by Mishra and Koehler's Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge framework (2006)? Secondly, I can also identify with Prof Mazur's ideas as the resounding idea is that of embracing a more learner-centred approach and this I believe to be especially needed in contexts like his where the word 'lecturing' equals with passive exposure to information. Finally, Mohammed says that technology has allowed for more relaxed and open interaction with his students and at university level where classes can be very big (I once had a 160 student class at the Polytechnic of Turin preparing for Preliminary!). In cases like this one, I can see how the use of clicker apps like Geddit and Kahoot would have added value to my lecturing back then. Currently and in the private sector conditions are extremely different even if some similarities are shared.

In short, the impact of technology on my teaching role can be said to be permanent and widespread as the private sector institution I work for wants to stand out as a provider of excellent teaching and training and believes that technology is an important part of this. This added to my own interest in the integration of pedagogically driven and sound technology into our teaching means that I am constantly reminded of and required to ensure our use of technology is clearly tied to our syllabus. This year in particular, we are introducing tablets and smart TVs to the classrooms without IWBs.

(This post has also been posted on my reflective blog for this module).

Dudeney, G., Hockly, N., and Pegrum, M. 2013. Digital Literacies. Research and Resources in Language Teaching. Harlow, Pearson Education.
Mishra, P. and Koehler, M.J. 2006 'Technological pedagogical content knowledge: a framework for teacher knowledge', Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-54.

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