English Studio, the private English Language centre I’ve been running for quite some time has always focused on Multimedia and CALL (computer assisted language learning). For about two years now we’ve also been “diving” into ICT. And experience has shown that it is an excellent choice.
When do ICT ( Information and Communication Technology) skills prove successful?
When students are able to write stories on the internet and help by providing information to the rest of the world.
When they find they can create content of different sorts and share them.
Manipulating videos, sounds and pictures is the key here as they can express themselves in that way: They can record themselves in front of a camera, or they are able to show their research and present their own conclusions about certain topics, or they interview somebody and publish their productions, etc.
Exploiting ICT Tools in the classroom is not the same as teaching Informatics to students. It’s something completely different as students nowadays own a kind of digital skin which makes it really easy to put them to operate a PC and surf the net. Promoting ICT skills within their English lessons is offering them a new way to show what they are able to do with a second language. No matter how young they are or how much English they know. These are links to pictures manipulated by seven-year-old kids doing their 2nd year of EFL in one of my classes and enjoying their first integrating experience (English and Web 2.0 stuff).
When I think of many successful outcomes I cannot help feeling that working on my own has probably meant a lot as it is sometimes hard for a teacher who trusts innovation to make herself /himself undertood and supported by other colleagues or institutions. Hence some projects can never be put into practice.
Anybody out there interested in contacting me to discuss ideas / teaching experience / doubts?