The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

I’ve been a language teacher for the last 5 years: I’ve been teaching Spanish and Italian to American college students, in Spain and Florida. In class I’ve always had a computer connected to the Internet, speakers, and a projector and my courses always had a Learning Management System page (Moodle or Blackboard). Thus, I’ve always had the chance to integrate technology into my face-to-face courses, using multimedia material for in-class activities and online tools for out-of-class assignments. Every time that I introduced technology in my class, I always had an educational goal that justified its use. A recent blog post, "Teaching Innovation Is About More Than iPads in the Classroom" by Aran Levasseur, asks an interesting question: What are the educational goals of technology integration?

As many other educators, I don’t see the point to introduce an electronic device or a web tool just to transmit content, in the same way as the traditional school system. I’ve seen K-12 teachers use a SMART board exactly as a blackboard, students use an iPad to read a book, assignments delivered on blogs, Facebook pages used exclusively as bulletin boards, etc. For sure there are also positive aspects in these uses, but here we are just talking about technology adoption, not teaching innovation. Levasseur, in his post, says that “technology is helping to drive a pedagogical change”; it’s true, as technology helps teachers to become facilitators of information and coaches of their students, not just transmitters of knowledge. But technology has to be used with a specific learning goal that improves the learning experience of students. It’s a fascinating concept that has long debated by the most brillant and innovative minds in the education field.

As a language teacher, I try to integrate technology to add something to my students’ learning experience. Since 2009 I used Twitter to make them practice daily the language(s) in an informal context. However, there would be no purpose to use this service if, besides writing a short sentence, they weren’t also interacting among each other. The language is, thus, used in a social context that overcomes the spatiotemporal limits of the class. I used a Facebook fan page to make my students share interesting material about the Spanish or Italian society and culture and get more engaged. I also designed activities to use mobile phones to practice the language in a real world and familiar context.

Not every student sees the point to use these technologies to integrate a face-to-face course, but all these activities had specific learning objectives: to practice the language in an informal and social context, to look for and share online material related to the world of the language studied, and to make them live everyday experiences in the target language. Did I do something revolutionary? Not at all, I’m just contributing to the transition to a pedagogical change making my students go out from their individual comfort zone and practice a language in a real and daily context, social, familiar, and informal.

This post originally appeared on ""

Views: 113


You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN


Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Erick Goodman updated their profile
23 hours ago
kristine francisco updated their profile
Heman Kidd updated their profile
Alice Thomas posted a blog post

Why is it so important to write a quality MBA essay?

Writing a persuasive and quality MBA essay is one of the essential stages in the MBA application process. It is an examination phrase where you have to include different information in your essay. This article will explain the importance of writing a quality MBA essay and provide insights into the explored topic. Suppose you require the right information about writing quality MBA essays and improve your general understanding. In that case, you are in the appropriate location because this…See More
Nov 20
Profile IconMaxBurton, Andrew Hickman, Ellis Leigh and 9 more joined The Educator's PLN
Nov 19
Jamie Costello posted a blog post

Top tips to increase your productivity through your study room

We’re stuck at home with limited access to many public spaces outdoors, including libraries, co-working spaces and educational institutions. These are just some examples of study areas you may utilise when you need a change in scenery to keep yourself engaged whilst you’re studying. Now, we’re being forced within the four walls of our home which means creating a workspace or room has never been more important. The learning environment that students work in can have a major impact on…See More
Nov 10
Profile IconWalter Holz, Sarah Kerttu, Gaby Eyzaguirre and 5 more joined The Educator's PLN
Nov 4
john smith updated their profile
Oct 30


© 2020   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service