Our aim at TEC² is to help English language teachers come to grips with technology use in an English as a Second Language (ESL) context. We will be attempting to ask the big question – is it a load of BS or does it legitimately give students a leg up in their language learning?
Being a teacher you often don’t have the time to find, learn and use the tools that are coming out at a rapid rate on the Internet; let alone think about questions such as is it underpinned by sound methodology and whose purpose is it really serving? So, we hope to be your personal needle in the haystack finder and cast a critical eye over tech tools in regards to privacy and over-blown claims. This means, we will not only offer a framework for technology in ESL, but also provide a variety of lesson plans and ideas on how to use technology with your students; if you are so inclined after being made aware of the dirty, under belly of Edtech.
Additionally, there will be tips for students about tools that they can use for self-study where ever they please – with warnings about how to negotiate the pitfalls of multinational, tech conglomerates mining their data. The final ingredients are a bit of blogging mixed in with some side-projects under Invent which include learning to program and more left-field ideas.
The words that jump out when we think about TEC² are:
So is this all neoliberalism, corporate mumbo-jumbo tech talk or does it actually mean something? Well, this is what it means to us in relation to learning and teaching English:
Work with someone else, learn with someone else, learn through someone else, teach someone something new, show another teacher your lessons – but most importantly get your learners (and teachers!) working together physically and online.
Engage the learners, learning should be stimulating and challenging – like any good game is. The game is learning and the tools, from board games to computer games are many, but don’t ever stop playing!
Give everyone – extraverts and introverts – an opportunity to have a voice in the classroom. Create conditions for that to happen in your school but also put the same structures in place through technology.
Providing opportunities for students to be creative with language. Use paper, pens, drawings, photos, technology, brains; whatever tools you can find to help them express themselves in different ways.
Helping learners to step-up. This isn’t always easy, but we can assist learners in getting to that next place in their English journey by providing challenges with enough support to succeed.
A final note on technology: we don't see it as a panacea, religion or cult but rather something that can augment best teaching practices. So, if you think the positives outweigh the negatives, then come join our Technology English Community today!