Nik Peachey – Technology Is Not That Hard Now #IATEFL
In my fourth interview from IATEFL Glasgow 2012 I spoke to Nik Peachey, a man who probably doesn’t need any introductions at all! Just in case; Nik is a teacher-trainer, educational technology consultant and a blogger on all things to do with language teaching and technology (he’s been blogging even longer than me!) What’s more, Nick is a really friendly, approachable guy, so if you ever get the chance to meet him at a conference, be sure to go and say hi.
Knowing that Nik’s areas of work are very similar to mine, I thought it would be interesting to ask him what advice he has for teachers wanting to get started with technology in their teaching. His answer was a really interesting one, part “old school” and part “new school”; Nick suggests blogging as a good first step (and I heartily agree!) Old school as it’s what teachers have been doing for a while now (proven effectiveness?) and new school as he suggests a great blogging platform which makes life much easier for teachers trying to get started.
Posterous, the blogging platform Nik suggested in the interview, really is as easy as just sending an e-mail. You can send a mail from your mobile phone, or computer, plus any photos, videos etc that you attach to the e-mail will automatically be added into a a blog post that Posterous creates for you. Once upon a time Posterous was perhaps a simplistic way to start blogging, now it’s just a simple way!
As a final thought, it struck me as really interesting that both Nik Peachey (one of ELT’s main proponents of using educational technology) and Scott Thornbury (who has in the past seemingly looked upon educational technology as the devil incarnate) both talked about the main strengths of educational technology being for use by the students at home, rather than in the class. In most cases I would really agree, especially seeing as technology can truly open up homework to real, interactive, meaningful practice of the language, rather than boring gap fill and repetition exercises. I also really want to point out one huge strength of technology in the class when it can be used for things like E-twinning. My original post on how to use Skype for E-twinning is still one of my most popular posts traffic-wise on this blog, and I still believe it was a brilliantly effective, if tricky to organise, language lesson for my students.
What do you guys think? do you prefer to keep technology outside the lesson, or do you sometimes use it in class? Have you ever had a technology nightmare in class (I have!) Or has it always gone smoothly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.