Does blended learning have a transformative potentiality?


Role of digital technologies in EFL teacher education

The language proficiency component of the EFL teacher curriculum could be transformed with the use of technology. New technology, as suggested by Downes (2008)might allow new ways of learning. Information communications technologies have not only developed greatly in the last decades but have evolved to facilitate communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Web 2.0 tools allow people to connect, to communicate and to collaborate online. EFL student teachers would be benefited largely from these technologies offering them a chance not only to access authentic material, but also as a means to generate, create and communicate content. These new ways of learning a foreign language could contribute to prospective teachers on the development of skills they use to make better decisions or better solve problems.

Technology has been used to enhance lectures and make classes more appealing to students, but to what extent have we changed the way we teach? Has technology been used to support a traditional teaching mode?  Does technology have a transformative potentiality?

Castells (1996) described the information age as an era with deep social and cultural changes. We see how work demands have changed, jobs based on information literacy; the impact of networks and mobility on educational organizations; demands of constant updating of competence as a model in higher education; young people’s routines & practices. Understanding the social changes allows us to comprehend the new pressures on learning and teaching. It is suggested that if social contexts change people change, therefore ways of learning change. It seems that digital technologies constitute a new context for learning and teaching.

Technology is an enganging and highly responsive medium which fits styles & forms of youth culture and can:

    1. gather content of any interest.
    2. respond to individual needs of pace and level.
    3. link classroom to authentic material, to workplace.
    4. enable teachers to provide much more of what only they can do for their students.

(Beetham, 2007)

How would the use of technology transform the experience of learning ?

The use of technology in the EFL teacher education could not only be efficient to achieve language proficiency but could contribute to the education of the EFL teacher as an educator.

About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.

6 comments

  1. Mauricio de Shile

    You speak a lot about the experiencie of learning, I like that, but what are the elements that constitutes the experience of learnig?. In words of Maturana y Varela in the greatest scientific book written in spanish, The Tree of Knowledge, you should explain that experience of learning in a way that the explanation generates the phenomen to explain, in this case, the experience of learning. I invite you to read the chapter one of this book “Knowing how we know” and you will understand what I’m trying to say…

    http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Knowledge-Humberto-R-Maturana/dp/0877736421

  2. Hi there, I think this is interesting, the interface of technology with content and methodology. I have thought about this a fair bit, you might like to look at my PPT that I gave at British Council conference in India:

    http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/users/jasonoutthere

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