Monday, May 23, 2011

Blogs and Blogging (Session 4)

One of the advantages of the Web 2.0 applications is that they propitiate and make possible interaction between their users.
As a teacher I particularly think that interaction and cooperation between learners make the learning process more meaningful. Now if this interaction and cooperation is done via technology, there may be a high possibility of learning success.
Blogging is actually the basic activity of updating a blog with information and make it available on the web. (Sharp Colmer & Thomas, 2005). This of course cannot be done without the web 2.0.
Blogs have become very popular web tools as they can be used for a variety of purposes. They may serve as personal diaries to keep a record of actions. They can be used for business and trade. They can also focus on particular subjects in which people with same interests can share and interchange ideas.
In the TEFL contexts blogs have countless uses. They indeed complement and harmonize the foreign or second language teaching/learning process by promoting the interaction, cooperation and collaboration among all those involved.

Reference: Sharp Colmer & Thomas T.,(2005) "The Senior's Guide to Internet".

WEBS 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 (Session 3)

Features of Webs 1.0, 2,0, 3,0

Web 1.0
Users only hace access to the information as rceptors.
Users do not have possibility to edit, participate in contents.
Pages include only text, and a few images.
The used format is HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language.
There is not interaction between users.

Web 2.0

Facilitates sharing information.
It allows users to interact and collaborate with each other.
Pages are dYnamic as they integrate multimedia resources: videos, sound, etc.
The used format are Java, Script, PHP.
Allows users to create their own contents.

Web 3.0

It is called a semantic web because it is a combination of the different systems of social networkings.
It will be conceived for the machines to understand people and process the information posted on the web.

E-Portfolio (Session 2)

Technology has undoubtedly invaded every aspect of our lives. Lots of people spend hours in front of computers, talking on cell phones, using all kinds of machines. Now activities such as going shopping, having fun, meeting people, etc . can be done via internet.
A latest trend is posting one’s portfolio on the web. This kind of portfolio is called “E-portfolio”. This is a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a user. It may include texts, electronic files, images, blog entries among other features. (L. Malita & Vanna, 2010).
In the educational field portfolios are very helpful as they provide with evidence of the students’ progress and achievements. Students can reflect on their learning and become more aware of their strengths and needs.
These useful tools vary in use. They can be developmental, reflective and representational. Every type serving different purposes.

Reference: L.Malita & Vanna,B. (2010) Digital Story Telling for Employability.

E-Learning (Session 2)

U.M.C. Web page

The development of technology has made it possible to take the teaching-learning process to a higher level. Now, there are different systems which have contributed directly to the education growth. One of these systems is E-Learning. It comprises all forms of electronically supported learning based not only on the web, but other technological devices such as cell phones, video cameras, multimedia gadgets, etc. (Wikipedia, 2010).
E-learning has played a paramount role in the TEFL field as it has certainly served as a solid and varied platform which facilitates all the practices involved in the second language teaching and learning. Learners do not require to go to an enclose building or room to learn a second language. They can do it with just any new technological application in their computers, I phones, Blackberries and the like.
At present, Educational institutions worldwide have experienced the need for updating their syllabuses with the aim to implement e-learning systems in their infrastructures. Authorities in the education field have been stating that e-learning may be the cornerstone to solve many of the problems occurring in education. For instance, spread education and fight the disadvantages caused by physical space.

E-Learning / TEFL Context

U.M.C. web page

At Universidad Nacional Experimental Marítima del Caribe (UMC) there is a technological platform serving the UMcista population. The UMC has a web site which everybody can access to look for detailed information about the university. This university has also three computers labs and three OPSU rooms. These facilities provide both students and teachers with certain preparation in the ICT areas. Though the internet access is limited since many web sites and pages are blocked, students and teachers can do research on the web.
A curious and sad fact is that all the activities developed in the Computers labs have not connection with the learning of languages. The computers labs are only used to teach students about computer programs, software, hardware and all that computer technicality.

Reference: Wikipedia (2010) E-Learning " E- learning.

Digital Literacy (Session 1)

Digital Literacy

If we turn back in time a hundred years or more, we will be surprised to find out that society’s conception of a person being literate was very different from today’s conception . Literacy in the past had more to do with reading and writing the languages used by certain intellectual circles. A person, who could read and write in Latin; for instance, was considered well-educated and therefore literate.
It is amazing to see how this conception about literacy has changed. We have witnessed the emergence and development of technology in the last 20 years. This evolution of technology and the control that it has upon our lives has undoubtedly changed our perceptions and conception of our reality. Now we have new and different needs.
In this sense, it is pertinent to ask what it means to be literate in the 21th century. Many authors (Asko, 1998; Frechette, 2002; Ogle and Klemp, 2007) argue that being literate in this era is related to developing critical thinking and having a continuum learning to be able to develop knowledge for participating actively in society (Ogle & Klemp, 2007). However, in this technological era developing “Digital Literacy” has become a real need.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2001), digital literacy is “sophisticated set of competencies pervading workplace, community and social life”. Moreover, “It is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate and create information using digital technology”. (Wikipedia, 2010 in Reynolds, 2010). It is a fact that to be digitally literate, knowledge and understanding of high technology and its use is required. It is also a reality that people who are digitally literate can communicate and work more efficiently nowadays.
In regards with education, It is well-known that schools and universities worldwide have been planning and updating their syllabuses with the implementation of computer related areas. Now more educational courses are being offered online. Hence the necessity of teachers to prepare in the tech. areas and become digitally literate to satisfy the learning needs of today’s students.
I may say that it has been a long and intricate way for me to get certain command on the use of technology to catch up with my students. That does not mean that I am a hundred per cent digitally literate. Actually, I am far away from being that teacher who is at the forefront in the use of technology. Nevertheless, I have always been open to this wonderful field. Something undeniable is that technology is always changing and new ways of communication and information have appeared. So we teachers can not deny the fact that technology is there to be used, consumed and get the most benefits of. So why not doing it ?

Reference: Frechette, D. (2002) Developing Media Literacy in Cyberspace.


This tool has been created with the main purpose of providing followers with basic and "easy to consume" information about some of the benefits we can get from using technology to develop the teaching-learning process. Here you will find some blogging about technology and education-related topics such as: Digital Literacy, E-learnig, E-portfolios among others and all of them have been related to the TEFL field.
You are invited to post your comments on the topics you think are useful and interesting.