Digital ELT Ireland 2013

Saturday November 30 , 2013

Opening Plenary: Digital Literacies - Nicky Hockly

Download Nicky Hockly's presentation here.
Digital literacies, the technical skills and social practices needed to effectively interact with digital technologies, are key 21st century skills, and are increasingly important in educational curricula. What exactly are these literacies, and where might they have a place in the English language classroom? We look at some of the theory underpinning digital literacies, and explore practical classroom activities for students in the language classroom across a number of contexts (high-tech, low-tech and no-tech). We also consider some of the challenges involved in acting on digital literacies in the classroom. Nicky Hockly has been involved in EFL teaching and teacher training since 1987. She is Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E, an online teacher training and development consultancy, and an international plenary speaker.

Plenary speaker: Kristina Smith – Bring your own … what?

Download Kristina Smith's presentation here.
Before many of us have gotten to grips with Smartboards or laptops or tablets in the classroom, we are now hearing about a trend called BYOD, ‘Bring Your Own Device’, where learners are encouraged to bring and use whatever technological tools they have in school. This may seem a practical solution for some schools, since this eliminates the need to provide laptops or tablets. It raises some other issues about fairness (since not every learner has access to smart phones or a tablet or a laptop that they can bring) and teacher preparedness. Managing a class where pupils have all got the same equipment is already a challenge but now we may be faced with a whole range of tools that we ourselves don’t know how to use. In the plenary session we will look at the idea of BYOD in more detail. What are the advantages and disadvantages? What do schools and administrators need to consider before they go ahead with such an initiative? What do teachers have to learn and do for it to work? What about pupils and parents? Are there any examples of other schools’ experiences that we can learn from? What does a successful BYOD program look like? Kristina Smith is a teacher and teacher trainer based mainly in Turkey.

Plenary speaker: Paul Driver – Writing Space: Connecting Language and Culture through Mobile Media Creation

Paul Driver's presentation is available here.
In this talk I will discuss the learning potential of site-specific mobile storytelling through the lenses of both creation and consumption, and explore the broader social impact of using mobile media as a community interface for creating and sharing experiences.

John Whipple: What Irish ELT teachers want out of technology

See John's presentation here.
We report on the results of the ongoing survey of learning technologies and ELT teachers in Ireland, which is also accessible from the conference website. The aim of this survey to find a clearer picture of how learning technologies are viewed, learned, provided and used in English teaching and learning across Ireland. This survey is based on Gavin Dudeney's 2012 survey of English teachers in Russia as part of his 'Technology Enhanced Teaching, A Research Project. Kindly re-used with permission.

E-book activities for language teachers and learners – Victoria Boobyer

Download Victoria Boobyer's presentation here.
This practical seminar explores the features of top quality e-book graded readers. It suggests a range of activities that exploit e-books, the devices they are on and any other mobile devices which students bring to class. The flexible tried and tested activities cover a range of skills and levels. Victoria's talk was kindly sponsored by Black Cat CIDEB.

Pedagogy is king! - Joanne Norton

Download Joanna Norton's presentation here.
Joanna’s presentation will provide a brief overview of the role of technology in education to date. Given that the current EdTech debate is being shaped by the tech sector and that technology alone has failed to deliver results, she will argue that the success of the latest phase, mobile learning, will be determined by the number of skilled educators making pedagogical decisions about its content. Although sufficient technology is already at our disposal, we suffer an acute shortage of effective instructional design to ensure technology is harnessed to deliver the best learning outcomes. She will suggest that the synergies between technology and pedagogy are where the future of learning lies.

A 'Smarter' ESL classroom - Norbert Szeman

Download Norbert Szeman's presentation here.
This workshop looks at the benefits of interactive smartboards in the ESL classroom. Participants will be able to learn about the advantages of using smartboards for various activities, practicing multiple skills, and catering for a variety of learning styles. The workshop will showcase smartboard specific applications, as well as a selection of websites that teachers can use in teaching English in a fun and engaging way. Part of the workshop will focus on adapting course book materials for smartboards by making them fully interactive. Participants will need to have their own laptops (PC or Mac) to practice and create activities using the applications.

Disruptive innovation on a device near you - Arthur McKeown

Presentation available from Arthur McKeown's website here.
Many types of business and many organisations are having to cope with the challenges and opportunities presented by disruptive innovation and its consequences. In a participative session we will look at some examples from other industries and, in particular, how the world of education in general (and English language teaching in particular) can respond. We will consider:
- Different people with different learning styles and different preferences
- How a generation that has grown up digital expects and welcomes the use of resources that were scarcely imagined over a decade ago.
- Options for finding, evaluating and using resources that can replace or displace traditional ways of teaching and learning a language.
Some resources you may be able to explore, examine and evaluate for potential use in your own work include:
- Some apps and related resources for language learning, language teaching and teacher development
- Mozilla Firefox’s badges to accredit learning and achievement
- MOOCs - massive open online courses.

Actor, Director, Learner: uses of camera phones in the language classroom - Cathy Fowley

Download Cathy Fowley's presentation here.
Mobile phones are now ubiquitous and often disruptive in classrooms. One function can however help to promote language learning, through the use of the mobile phone as a camera. Pocket cinema is now a well-known phenomenon, with festivals and prizes. This workshop will explore the creation of short films and the re-creation of scenes from well-known films as a means of motivating students whilst improving their skills in the areas of writing, speaking and pronunciation.

Encouraging Autonomy with an Online Environment - Alison Boardman

Alison Boardman's presentation is coming soon.
This talk outlines how our school uses Macmillan Online Campus as an extra resource with a group of young adult Brazilian learners doing a Foundation English course at third level in Ireland. We actively encourage learners to develop autonomous learning skills. We train students how to use cognitive strategies and metacognitive strategies so that they can manage their learning without the teacher present in an environment where they have control over the decisions relating to their learning process, such as the selection of resources, monitoring of progress, etc. There are many online environments such as the English Campus, designed to empower students as well as teachers (freeing up their time and resources). This workshop will give some tips and strategies to help teachers best use their online environment to encourage learner autonomy. This talk was kindly sponsored by Macmillan.

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