Saturday, 20 June 2009

My experience as an ICT coordinator PART ONE

At present I am working as ICT coordinator. I am supposed to help teachers using Web 2.0 tools in their ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and it is not an easy task! I have to deal with two problems:

1- Students are already motivated to use digital technologies because they belong to the "thumb" or "digital" generation, but they think they are only going to play intereactive games at the computing lab. In Argentina, Digital natives associate Internet with having fun: chatting with friends and playing interactive games since the school has not incorporated computers and the Internet as a learning tool, so I have to make them realise that we are going to work and practise the Second Language (SL) - English in this case- using computers.

2-On the other hand, teachers are still "digital immigrants" and they are , in a way, reluctant to include computing and Internet in their classes. :-( Some of them are completely technophobes and others are a bit interested but they do not have a clear idea how to use Web 2.0 tools and are "tied" to ready made material Cd-ROM.

I am facing two different situations, let's see how I will cope with them. If you read this article, please leave a comment about the situation in your place.

P.S. Don´t miss the comments made to this post by experts from different countries!


susanacanelo said...

Hi Nelba:
What a challenge !!!. Relax, you know a lot about this Web 2.0 to help teachers to open their classrooms.
They'll feel great when their students start seeing them like modern tech-teachers...
Students spend a lot of time , sometimes waste their time using Facebook as an example, but if we (teachers) share with them that space and encourage situations to learn's just a miracle !!!
Good luck...Your teachers are in good hands.
A hug

stella said...

Hi Nelba

I'm not an ICT coord but a teacher eager to use technologies in class. The scenario you're describing, regarding students, is absolutely true. Though they think they like technologies, actually they enjoy going to cyber cafés and chatting, using facebook and that's it! It happened to me last class and I was really concerned. If you give them games, the class runs smoothly - even language based, BUT hey pay attention to picturees, sound and not CONTENT:-(
This happened to me last class, 15-year-oldsin a BA suburban technical school.
Anyway, I agree with you that if teachers do not use tecnologies, they'll never be ncorporated inthe school curricula. Perkins (1995) speaks about an "intelligent school" where context is as important as content. As I see it our school hasn't realized YET that we are in a technological context.
I'm glad I can SHARE my concern with other collegues- and eventually find some way out!.

Elizabeth H-S said...

Hi Nelba--
This seems like a typical situation. I think you need to challenge them to really use the technology, particularly in content-based projects, and esp. in groups. If you can get them to come up with projects and then show them how technology can enhance--really make them come alive--you will have success.
--Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Webhead

Illya said...

Hi Nelba
I think you speak for so many of us involved in ICT and education!
I teach teachers English and use blogs, but it some never get over the barrier to actually post for themselves. It takes a great deal of patience and repetition to get them to go on the blog, read what's there and maybe leave a comment.

This coming year I'll be teaching primary classes and I intend on using the internet to help them learn. It will be interesting to compare my experiences with yours. I wonder if it's not easier to work with the younger pupils, who don't already think they know everything about 'digitalness' already.

Good luck with your kids!!!

Vicky Saumell said...

Hi Nelba,
I have started to take my upper secondary classes to the computer lab to work there on a regular basis and at the beginning they also thought it would be either playing or wasting time.

They have now realised that they can do productive work in a fun way! Many have told me they love what they are doing and I can tell because of the quality of their work!

Integrating technology is not easy in Argentina... but more and more teachers are working hard to make ir a reality.

Keep up the good work!

Tom Robb said...

Yes, Nelba, it is a great challenge to get students to use the web for study when they already think of it as they play thing!

I think, though, that we need to take the view that most students (unless they are highly motivated to study English) are only going to do what their teachers tell them to do, and most importantly, they will only do what they know that their teachers can check!

Teachers need to understand that just like paper homework which students will not do unless they know that the teacher is going to collect it (or check that it is done) digital work, too, needs some proof that the work has actually been done. This can take the form of an access log, grade record, a finished product that the teacher can view on the web, or even a paper quiz on the content of what they had been assigned to view.

Just telling students to do something definitely will not ensure that the students really do it!

GilMattos said...

Hello again Nelba:
As I emailed you I agree not only with you but with the other webheads who have posted here. It's not easy to make students and colleagues(!!!) see the potential of technology and how much they can learn making good use of the Internet. I have been "fighting" to sel this idea. Some people are really resistent and will do anything not to leave their comfort zones. To quote a great song by Josh Groban "Don't give up".
Keep in touch.
Gilmar (Franca-SP-Brazil)

lisa said...

hi nebla,
i'm a teacher of English at the University. I like teaching and my students. To be a good teacher I need constant working at myself,new and interesting materials for my using innovative e-learning methods like flashcards to make the learning process more interesting.This way you get children to use technology for the right purpose and they are also interested in learning.

María Luján Dolabarás said...

Hi Nelba! I sooo agree with you and all the other teachers who left their coments! I've been trying to use blogs with my secondary students, too. However, I can't make them understand that even though they're doing "digital homework", it is homework indeed!
Besides, they are not knowledgeable at all when it comes to web 2.0 tools. I found out that the great majority don't even know how to attach a file to an e-mail.
So, I sometimes wonder if I'm teaching English, or ITC...