Here we are to talk about education and the new challenges in this field

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 4: Technology lesson plan?

Well, here we are in the middle of the 4th week of our course. So far, everything is all right. I feel more relaxed, I fell calmer, I have already got used to the course, to your blogs, to your comments on my blog...

Now, I'd like to tell you some words about technology lesson plan. When I first heard about it, I thought it's something related to mechanics, or electricity, or technology in general. What a mistake!

Since I graduated the CELTA course last autumn I have been using their lesson plan template. I thought it's the best as it makes me take into account my students' presumed knowledge, my self-aims, it has a rubric where I can insert my meaning and instruction check questions... shortly, I thought there can't be anything better than it! I was so wrong... The technology lesson plan is far better. Even if at the beginning I was a bit disappointed and I even talked about this in a post on Nicenet, when I actually started designing my own lesson plan using this template, I could find all the rubrics I thought were lost.

There are many things I like about this lesson plan, but two of them are my favorite: the first one is that I have to write clearly where I downloaded my information from - in this way, I am protected, and here I mean the copyright. There are many many teachers who simply copy a page from a book, without mentioning the book, the author, etc. My second favorite thing is that I have to think about a plan B in case things don't work as I planned.

Now, I will use this lesson plan for my future lessons which involve technology. By the way, on Monday I will teach the lesson I described on Nicenet. I will make pictures and share everything with you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 3: The end and a new beginning

This week has been a very busy one: I have read almost all the blogs and comments and many of us complain about the hard work and the lack of time. That's true, this course is quite time consuming but it's worth it. And, even if all of us complain about something at a given moment, there are many of us who keep up with the tasks and discussions.

It was a very interesting week - once again I have learned many new and useful things. What I like most is the fact that I have to discover by myself and I am involved in the learning process - I can't imagine myself reading and learning by heart new things in order to speak about them later. The readings are recommended, not compulsory and this allows me time to read them when I can, and freedom to choose what I read and how much I read.

I said I have read your blogs and comments. This is a very useful activity as I find out lots of things - interesting, shocking, similar, different. In this post (the last one of this week) I would like to tell you what I discovered. Quite new, interesting and not so good. We are all teachers, educators, we are involved in the teaching process. We are up to date regarding the latest technology and we use it for us, for our students... but, unfortunately, many of the teachers in this world do their job in the traditional way, not taking into account what technology means, not being able to use it (not even for personal purposes). I was sad to find out that Juliet was shocked that in her country teachers don't have a CD player to use in class. It's sad, but it's true. Then, Ruslana from Ukraine was sincere to confess that only 20% of the teachers she knows use tape-recorders or CDs in their lessons, while 55% have never used one! Or to mention Garunyawun's statement about teaching English in her country: in Thailand teachers of  English don't use English during their classes, being afraid of making mistakes... Once again, sad but true. All of us mention the traditional methods teachers use: I agree that they are old-fashioned, out-of-date (the methods, not the teachers!). In my country I can find all the examples you mentioned, so Romania is not an exception. When I wrote about  my findings concerning my students' ways of spending their free time, you agreed with me and said that your students too use the internet only for socializing and entertainment.

My question is logical now: what MUST we do? I think we are among the best teachers in our country - that's why we were elected to attend this course. We are interested in improving ourselves, in learning, in sharing experience... but that's not enough. I'd like to become an ambassador. And I started being one - in my field, of course. There is not a single thing I learn here not to be shared with my mates at school and not only. Last week I had the chance of meeting teachers from all over the country when attending a course: teachers of different subjects, teachers of different ages, from different schools. I talked to them about Noodle Tools and having my laptop close to me, I let them see why it's different from Google and why it's better to know it is there... This week I told my mates and my students about Delicious. I let them use it and see its advantages.

If we keep the information we have just for ourselves, things will not improve. Let's share everything we know. Let's make our teachers understand that it's better to take advantage of technology, let's try to motivate them. We can do it! We have the necessary knowledge, so we have power. I'd like to talk to you in 5 years' time and I'd like to find out that things have changed: more teachers use this tool called technology. I never want a teacher to be replaced by a computer. The computer is artificial: it has intelligence, but it doesn't have a soul...