As teachers we now face a time when one of the main edtech issues is to make use of the current technology owned by the students or BYOD (which stands for Bring your own device).
This involves considering apps whose learning purposes are justified, free of charge and accessible via the three main operational systems: Apple iOS, Android, Windows phone. A trend that studies the benefits of using mobile devices in the classroom is MALL, short for Mobile Assisted Language Learning.
Most intensely from 2011 onwards, we having been living a crucial shift in the classroom experience and personalized teaching and learning by having mobile devices as a constant presence in the classroom. The current students are being taught by a hybrid of teacher generations: from millenials to the babyboomers going all the way through. More details on the different generations can be found here: http://goo.gl/AHBu5A
But for the sake of staying in track, what I want to say is that, all of us have basically one target audience when it comes to teaching children, teens and young adults: the digital native. Also keeping in mind the more mature adult learner who is inserted into this scenario but comes from a pre-internet experience.
Narrowing down the edtech scenario nowadays: mobile technology is widely available (even if in different proportions), students are empowered by mobile devices and navigate very naturally in the world as they know it, many of us teachers also go digital for a number of personal and professional tasks.
What are the main edtech bridges to be crossed then?
- Teachers’ efforts to get to know the dynamics of using handheld devices in EFL environments as a tool to enhance the teaching and learning experience
- Picking and choosing from a variety of trustworthy apps available for the different purposes of an EFL class: Listening, Voice recognition, Pronunciation checking, Monolingual dictionaries, e-Vocabulary book (Lexical Book),qr code readers, e-flashcards…
- Shifting from refraining to negotiating the use of the students’ handheld devices as a tool for their learning in the classroom
- Seeing the mobile device as a possible ally for out of classroom study routine
- Finding out how to use apps to enhance the accessibility of content for impaired students (a topic I intend to go deeper on a future post)
- Considering students’ feedback on your app suggestions so that you can stick to what really works.
Infographic on EFL learning and mobile resources goo.gl/pbMb5Z
Technology empowers teachers and students and can transform the learning experience.
How are you and your school team bridging this edtech gap?