The online session "Professional Development in CALL-Where are we and where are we going?" was presented by Dr. Christina Nicole Giannikas on Wednesday, June 11 2014 I watched the recording.
CALL (Computer Assisted Learning) is a big issue in current Language Teaching, some of whose benefits are:
· being a tool to use so that language learning can develop
· providing accessibility to promote in-depth learning,
· helping make learning meaningful and relevant,
· increasing the quality of learning,
· igniting self-reflection, collaboration and engagement of cooperative learning,
· promoting dialogue,
· providing visual aids,
· building a global community connecting classrooms from around the world, and
· taking students to self-autonomy in the language learning process.
The presenter discussed a study conducted in Cyprus: \ while teachers were comfortable browsing the internet, they were reluctant to include any form of social media in their classrooms, so government money to support teachers' use of technology is wrong if there is inadequate professional preparation: success depends on how teachers are trained. Facilities at school are essential. Teachers are mostly disappointed, and disappointment leads to rejection. Teachers shouldn't wait for support to come, but take action.
The key to change:
· Taking part in online training that allow teachers to meet colleagues from around the world, and sharie ideas and resources.
· Teachers making a proposal (carefully worded so as to include objectives and expected outcomes) to teaching the use of CALL at school, and
· Applying Action Research
I will integrate the presentation on MOODLE I will give at the July 2014 ETAI Summer Conference .
Since I use technology a lot, the content of the presentation relates to my work as a teacher. My problem is overcoming resistance that comes front some of my students, but that is not something that will prevent me from going on using CALL. I hope to continue training teachers in the use of technology, too.
To sum up, this has indeed been a great presentation.
· I agree that using CALL makes teachers more flexible.
· It is important to learn about CALL and what happens in the language classroom.
· Collaboration among teachers is important to make a real difference in education
· Being passionate about using technology is important, and overcoming difficulties, such as school administration’s reluctance to use technology, is central, too.
· Teacher motivation is essential, too. The spirit of innovation has to be there
· Going online, taking online courses, interacting with colleagues around the world - these are eye-openers.
Incidentally, in Israel the question of school equipment may not be a problem as most pupils have a computer in their hand: their cell-phones! They can share them in class, and then sent them to where a computer is available (at home, in the school library, in the city library, etc.)
Recalling what was said on the presentation, I also say to fellow teachers: Take initiative! Take action!