I have learned so many things regarding evaluation of websites, integration of the web into lesson plans, searching on the web and copyright – among other things - that I feel I have made a quantum leap. One of the most important concepts that had a great impact on me is what Marc Prensky states in his article “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”: “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. The arrival and dissemination of digital technology in the last decades of the 20th Century is the reason of this change”. Teachers cannot continue ignoring the existence of LT´s and have to pay more attention to the way they deliver the information to their students because they – being the majority Digital Natives – process information completely differently than their Digital Immigrants teachers. At the moment I am trying to enhance our teachers´ appreciation for LT´s. I have had success with some but others are reluctant to use them. But I am on a crusade!!
Web 2.0 (e.g. blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, etc.).and copyrights are concepts that really called my attention as well. I am surprised at the fact that there has been a lot of effort to create a virtual community with rules which have to be respected. I used to suggest our teachers searching for a music video in youtube, downloading and playing it in class. Wow!! Now I know that I can use videos, audios and documents only for educational purposes, that I have to acknowledge the source, ask for permission whenever is possible, use Creative Commons material and burn or copy CD´s and videos for teaching purposes only under “Limited Circumstances”.
Evaluation of websites is another important and useful aspect of LT´s I have learned so far. In my particular case, it is very important because I have to recommend websites to our teachers, so now I know I have to check beforehand if a site is trustworthy.
My last reflection will be on searching tools. They are time-saving and teachers as well as students have to master them in order to be more efficient when doing a research of any sort. In my particular case, I need to explain to our teachers how to find the most suitable ELT materials for their students in the shortest time possible (paying attention to copyright of course!). I found the video ones extremely effective because of the possibility to narrow down the searches by specifying duration, custom range, close-captions, etc. Last week I explained some of them to one of our teachers and she was thrilled with them!
To sum up I could say that my deepest reflection after these 2 weeks of class is that I have to do my best to go from being a Digital Immigrant (or visitor or tech-comfy) to becoming a Digital Native (or resident of techsavvy) or at least, to get closer (at least a bit) to the latter.