Posts tagged video

Short generation gap before delivery media is dismissed

Looking Back, Looking Forwards. Fashion and Fads in #edtech #EDCMOOC

The film Bendito Machine III, that we watched last week on the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, tells the story of technological development in terms of ritual and worship. The tribe treats each new technology with god-like reverence, and damns the preceding technology to the scrap heap.

This film could, I’m ashamed to admit it, have been written about me. I am crazy about technology and gadgets and, just like the tribe in the film, have an old gadgets graveyard. The difference is, mine is inside my house, because I periodically think to myself “it might be useful in the future.”

In Bendito the villagers worship whatever the latest technological idol is and throw away whichever model is already looking a little outdated immediately the new technology appears. In my work as an educational technologist, I have seen something similar many times with educational hardware. I was the E-learning Manager at a large language school, which had an incredible multimedia suite to aid independent study. The one drawback was that it was built in the 1970s. It either worked with LP records, or a reel to reel tapes. It was replaced by a listening centre, stuffed full of cassettes, which was replaced by a listening centre stuffed full of CDs, which was replaced by an multimedia centre stuffed full of computers, which was replaced by an LMS stuffed full of CD RoMs… you get the idea.

There are two things I think that are interesting to note about redundant educational technology:

Firstly, it’s not the technology that has just been superseded that is seen as junk. There’s actually a generation gap, or a “snobbery gap.” We tend to accept old technology, but completely dismiss the technology that came before it. Take a look at this graphic, where I try to illustrate the gap.

Short generation gap before delivery media is dismissed

Short generation gap before delivery media is dismissed.


Secondly, this same snobbery, seems to have a wider generational gap when referring to instructional environments. We still consider previous technologies as “valid” for a good while after “the next big thing” has arrived. For example, we still use blogs even though they’ve been around a good few years. If a course was run completely within Moodle (or any other VLE / LMS) I think most educational technologists would be a bit sniffy about its educational validity nowadays.

instructional Frameworks 2

Instructional environments have a more accomodating generation gap than physical media.


So, as we start week 2 of the MOOC, I wonder to myself, does the same apply to future educational technologies? It somehow seems to have a similar short generation gap. This time though, the gap is about what we believe will realistically happen. For example, wearable tech is here, we know that Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets are coming soon, but implanted microchips still seem to be way off as a learning technology.

Future Skepticism 2

Generation gap in reverse: the skepticism gap.


What do you think will be the next big revolutionary change in educational technology? Have your predictions been right in the past? I know I thought the iPad would never catch on. Now look, it’s almost out of date already!

Cigdem Karin

Take Your Phone Out Of Your Pocket (And Use It In Class) – Karin Tirasin and Cigdem Ugur

I saw a few great Talks at IATEFL Glasgow 2012, I met some great people including a few EFL Stars” like Scott Thornbury, however, no-one left a greater impression on me than Karin Tirasin and Çigdem Ugur who gave a talk at the LTSIG event. Inspired, enthusiastic and perhaps a tiny weeny bit overwhelmed by talking on an international stage, they and their ideas were, quite honestly, brilliant.

If it’s possible to summarise a 45 minute talk in a just a few words it’d have to be: “They used mobile phones.” Seeing as that doesn’t really tell you much, perhaps: “They used mobile phones, in class, in great fun, engaging activities, using multimedia, QR codes, digital literacies and.. and and… ..and the main thing to note is the activities were all very well thought out pedagogically and they used “all four” of the language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading, writing as well as grammar and dictionary skills.


What I thought was best of all from a memorable lesson point of view is that he students loved it (and if you don’t believe me, after the break, there’s a video from the students themselves with their own opinions on mobile phones:



Vicky Saumell – The Lesson Comes First, Technology is Just an Aid #IATEFL

I was lucky enough to see Vicky Saumell talk at IATEFL this year. I met her after her seminar to ask whether she would be prepared to do an interview and lo and behold it was another one of those wacky feelings you get at conferences nowadays: I realised I already “knew” Vicky, as we are connected via our PLN.

Vicky gave a brilliant talk about digital storytelling in the classroom, the slides for which you can see after the video interview. Her talk was given as part of IATEFL’s LTSIG group, or for those of us who can’t deal with all the acronyms: the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group of the International Association for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – phew! In a day or so I’ll be posting an interview with Graham Stanley too, who talks more about the LTSIG and some of their work, so if you’d like to know more about the group, keep an eye open for that interview.

Here are Vicky’s smart and well-reasoned comments:




Nik Peachey

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.





Ronaldo Lima Jr. – Challenges when Adopting Digital Teaching #IATEFL

An innovative, passionate educator; an active member of the Webheads and the wider ELT community; happy to share his thoughts, experience and knowledge about our work; a lovely, positive and happy guy – what’s there not to like about Ronaldo Lima Jr?

I met up with Ronaldo at the IATEFL conference and he kindly agreed to join our series of interviews of educators interested in how technology is used for teaching languages. Ronaldo talks about what his experiences of IATEFL 2012 have been and some of the challenges he thinks still face schools who want to include technology in their language teaching curricula.


Scott Thornbury

Scott Thornbury – The Massive Potential of Technology #IATEFL

Scott Thornbury, the renowned author of books for language teachers and famed techno-sceptic talks about  what he’s enjoyed at IATEFL Glasgow 2012, as well as commenting on what he likes (and doesn’t like) about using technology for teaching.


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