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  • 1. Online communities for language teachers Maria Teresa Ciaffaroni [email_address] Britsh Council, Milan, November 26 - 28, 2007 Learning Technologies: Bridging the Gap between Technology and Pedagogy
  • 2. Digital natives or digital immigrants?
  • 3. Definition A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3. A digital immigrant is an individual who grew up without digital technology and adopted it later. A digital native might refer to their new "camera"; a digital immigrant might refer to their new "digital camera". Wikipedia (M Prensky 2001)
  • 4. Are you native or immigrant?
  • 5. Natives at home.
  • 6. school
  • 7. Preferences Learning that is relevant, instantly useful and fun Instant gratification and instant rewards To learn just-in-time. To interact/network simultaneously with many others Random access to hyperlinked multimedia information To process pictures, sounds and video before text Parallel processing and multitasking To receive information quickly from multiple multimedia source Digital Native Learners Prefer
  • 8. Preferences To teach to the curriculum guide and standardized tests Deferred gratification and deferred rewards To teach just-in-case (its on the exam) Students to work independently rather than network and interact To provide information linearly, logically and sequentially To provide text before pictures, sounds and video Singular processing and single or limited tasking Slow and controlled release of information from limited sources Digital Immigrant Teachers Prefer
  • 9. Immigrants teaching natives
  • 10. How to cope?
    • Learning the new language, that is, trying to
      • experiment with technology
      • try Web 2 tools first hand
      • work co-operatively
      • interact
      • network
      • multitask
      • share (ideas, experiences, materials, expertise.)
  • 11. How can you do that?
    • Joining Becoming a Webhead or another online
    • Community at Evonline , a Professional
    • Development Project sponsored by TESOL
    • International
    • collaborative, online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops
    • held every year in January and February
    • last for six weeks
    • offer seminars on ESOL relevant topics
    • sessions are free and open to TESOL members and non-members
  • 12. What for?
    • To become a well integrated digital immigrant
    • if not a digital native that is to
    • deal with Web-based communication tools (web 2 tools)
    • be introduced to CMC for EFL/ESL
    • learn how to blend ICT and CMC in ones daily practice
    • Learn how to use technologies in ones teaching practices
  • 13. Why?
    • In a community of practice members actually work and learn cooperatively and in a multitasking manner. It seems that teachers nurtured in such constructivist environments become capable of extrapolating the techniques used in their own scaffolding to the benefit of their student learners
    • V. Stevens 2005
  • 14. The Webhead experience
      • Virtual Groups
      • Text and voice synchronous communication tools
      • Blogs , Wikis , Web pages
      • Podcasting
      • Virtual classrooms
      • Online class materials
      • Blended learning
  • 15. Spin offs
    • Blogs for students
    • Blogs with students
    • Blogs for and with colleagues
    • Web pages
    • Lesson plans
    • Teaching materials
  • 16. Conclusions Joining a community such as Becoming a Webhead is a significant advantage and enrichment at the professional and personal levels. It is a pleasant and useful way to learn about and start using different Web-based communication tools, gradually introduce them in your teaching-learning process and, last but not least, meet colleagues from all over the world and thus enhance your professional horizons in unprecedented ways. D. Gonzales T. Almeida d'Ea
  • 17. References
    • Gonzalez, D,. Almeida d'Ea, T. (2005) Becoming a Webhead: First Steps in Blended and Online Efl/esl Teaching, in IATEFL Poland Computer SIG, call /j_review22.htm
    • Prensky. M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants /
    • Prensky. M (2006) Listen to the Natives, Stevens, V. (2005). "The future is now: How CMC tools for professional development enhance learning environments for students." 2005 TESOL CALL Interest Session Academic Session: Future Visions of CALL.
    • Stevens, V. (2005). "The future is now: How CMC tools for professional development enhance learning environments for students." 2005 TESOL CALL Interest Session Academic Session: Future Visions of CALL.