Monday, July 26, 2010

CTJ Seminar: Bridging the Communication Gap in multimedia classes

   I presented this session in Brasília along with my fellow colleague Rodrigo Santana.
   We started talking about the generation gap between both of us. Hence the first slides containing pictures of old equipments that we no longer have.

   I tried to tell Rodrigo that mimeograph was around when I was studying but he didn't believe it so much. :) I guess I should be flattered.

   Mimeograph or not, when I started teaching none of these webtools were available and the importance of a communication class relied mostly on the ability of the teacher of preparing material and questions that would mostly stimulate and encourage students to talk.

  Now we have the tools and technology but are we using them as effectly as we can in order to promote conversation?

   That was what we wanted to exploit, discuss and reflect.

   We believe that discussion was important because we are efl, esl teachers and us such, conversation is very important while learning a new language.

   As a matter of fact if we ask people why they are enrolling in your school, most of them will probably answer: “ I want to speak English”.

   Slide 9 would illustrate some of the gaps we have come across while observing conversation classes in the multimedia class.

   I would like to highlight the following gaps:

Learning tasks that are totally based on receptive skills

   This is what I think: you may be using the latest tool there ir, with a beautiful class on your hands. You may be having fun and even your students may be having fun as well. BUT if they are not engaging the learning process actively or if they are not producing anything ….then you might as well be wasting your time in a very beautiful tech way.

The predominat use of LOTS

And that of course would depend on the choice of teachers: whether it’s in a regular or multimedia class.

Teachers usually have such sharp radar when it comes to selecting activities that result in effective learning experiences. We shouldn’t disregard that just because we have a computer in class. On the contrary, we should sharpen this radar even more because there are more choices to me made.

In our school we have the Edtech teacher training course all through the semester and one of the directors came to me after the presentation and said something which I thought very interesting:

He said “ I feel like I’m in a supermarket staring at all these products. All I want is to make a cake but I have no idea where or how to even begin to choose what is it that I need.”

I can understand him.

When we think about the tidal amount of information on the web, it can be overwhelming but what a teacher must never do is to move away from their focus, their goal. What is it that you want?

You want to bake a cake, you want to make pie…feijoada?

Ok!So Let’s try to find the best material there is in order to make it as delicious as possible.

I have put all slides available for download at:
In the link you will find all videos and activities we presented.


Ana Maria Menezes said...

Dear Andressa,

What an interesting presentation this seems to have been! I wish I could also listen to you. Any recording by any chance? Loved your post too, very pertinent. Good job, my friend!

GilMattos said...

Loved it Andressa. Congrats! Just like Ana, I miss some audio. Let us know if it's available somewhere.