Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Designing a new learning environment (#DNLE) Assignment #2

The following is an assignment submitted as part of the requirements of the DESIGNING A NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENT MOOC course from Stanford University. 

As the assignments typically include analyses of real or hypothetical educational settings, here's my disclaimer (oh yeah, I've always wanted to write this!): My views are my own and not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Assignment #2 - Write a description that tells a story of a real or hypothetical educational challenge or problem scenario (300 words)

Audience and context

This project aims at students at a major Teacher Training College in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the last couple of years, the local English Language Teaching (ELT) community has come to appreciate the potential opportunities offered by technology integration to the field of education in general and the teaching of foreign languages in particular. Although it is now commonly accepted that a certain degree of digital litaracy is crucial for our future teachers,  its place in Teacher Training programmes is reduced to workshops of a couple of hours a week, due to the demands of mainstream subjects like English language, Phonology, Literature and Methodology both in terms of class hours and assigned homework. In this scenario, the challenge is to offer our trainees opportunities to develop the technological skills that will enable them to become highly efficient and competent 21st century teachers, by implementing online programmes which allow for the integration of technology to the curriculum while following the trainees' own pace. As this programme should not interfere with class hours or overload students and/or teachers, the environment used must offer asynchronous training and a variety of collaborative tools.

Technology infrastructure 

Most students have access to high speed internet service at home and they have netbooks provided by the Government’s one-netbook-per-student initiative. There's also a computer lab and wi-fi connections available from 8 am to 10 pm at the insitution.

Learning objectives and implementation

This programme will be implemented in the last 2 years of the four-year course of studies and the contents and objectives will be divided in four units, coinciding with four school terms. By the end of the programme, trainees will have fairly deep understanding of the following:

  • How to use web-based tools to enhance the four language skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking)
  • How to foster collaboration and evaluate different media to implement collaborative projects in their classes
  • How social media shape learning in the 21st century
  • How to make students aware of and acquire appropriate digital behaviour (digital citizenship)

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