So we have managed a whole term in classes with a blended learning approach and there are still some real challenges. Our focus this month is on technology in the classroom.
In our classes we always include technology so that lessons are interactive. COVID-19 has taught us the importance and reliance on technology. Our learners need to feel comfortable using different applications to assist learning both online and in a face-to-face environment.
Digitally upskilling learners is essential, and we want them to feel a little bit more comfortable with technology. They need to be able to share ideas collaboratively online and using a device: on a computer, a tablet and/or a phone. Some of the applications students have become more accomplished in are: Zoom (see picture1), Google Classroom (see picture 2) and Jamboard (see picture 3).
There are good questions (A.Stevenson, 2021) for us as teachers to consider before we share an application with our learners. Some of these questions are:
- How is it benefitting the learning of you as students?
- How is it developing your digital skills as learners?
- How valuable are these skills in the wider world for your students?
- Who is accessing the technology?
- Who is missing out?
- What can be done to ensure a student is not missed out?
Picture 1: English class on Zoom
Picture 2: Google Classroom classes where classwork and homework is posted to use a flipped learning and consolidated learning approach
Picture 3: using Jamboard to collectively consider words with different sounds and use them as words or in sentences. The sounds used in this session were the short “a”, the short “u”, the short “I” and the “ck” sound.
Stevenson, A. Education and Training Foundation. 2021. Effective digital skills teaching in the context of digital exclusion: ESOL and non-formal learning. [ONLINE] Available at: https://et-foundation.co.uk/edtech/effective-digital-skills-teaching-in-the-context-of-digital-exclusion-esol-and-non-formal-learning/ . [Accessed 4 November 2021].