Well, this is probably going to be my final blog for this technology in TESOL assignment. I think it’s been relatively enjoyable and certainly helped me to overcome some of my fears about technology, the thing is, I’ve been using technology for over 30 years in some form or another, but just felt I was always under pressure to be good at it and even, ahem…like and enjoy it. But I’ve recently created a webquest and uploaded it into Moodle and attached links to YouTube, and various websites and I found I was getting really absorbed in the process and could almost say I enjoyed doing it!
I’ve realised that much of my reluctance in the past to embrace new technology is the amount of time it takes to plan and draft and upload the materials and this was causing some anxiety. If I’m honest, that’s the reason for sometimes dragging behind with learning about new software and using it to any great extent. My rule it to keep it simple and sometimes technology is not always user friendly at best and a complete hindrance at worst. However, being able to use technology such as IWB, VLEs and marking software are unavoidable in education, so no teacher should be avoiding it if they want to be giving their students the most up to date learning experience.
I came across this article the other day written initially in 2009 but then rewritten in April 2017 by Terry Freedman who writes for ICT and Digital Education https://www.ictineducation.org/home-page/7-suggestions-for-how-to-treat-willful-digital-illiteracy-in-education. The author believes that IT literacy is as important as reading literacy and any teacher who claims they are not able to use technology should be embarrassed to admit it in the same way they would be if they couldn’t read. What are your thoughts on this? he also goes on to say that ‘digital immigrant’ and ‘digital native’ are outdated terms.
‘The phrase may have been useful to start with, but it’s been over-used for a long time now. In any case, after immigrants have been in a country for a while, they become natives. We’ve had personal computers for 30 years, and I was using computers in my teaching back in 1975. How long does it take for someone to wake up to the fact that technology is part of life, not an add-on?’ (Freedman, T)
I agree with him, no matter how afraid of technology we are, as teachers, we need to embrace it and we have a duty to cascade it to our learners. Unless they are going to work in the middle of a wilderness with no wifi connection or phone signal, they will be using technology in everything they do. Whilst I’m definitely not always jumping for joy over some new bit of technology or software, I’ve finally to got a grip and am ready to go out and confidently use IT in any way I can to organise or develop learners skills. Am I now a digital native? Well, that’s apparently an outdated term, so I will hereby be known as a person who engages and encourages the use of technology in the classroom. It’s not very catchy but I’m happy to be able to throw it out there.
For anyone who would be interested, my Moodle version of the webquest will be available from 25th May in the student area of technology in TESOL.
Good luck everyone!
Freedman, Terry, 2009/2017 http://www.ictineducation.org/home-page/7-suggestions-for-how-to-treat-willful-digital-illiteracy-in-education accessed in April 2017