Are Foreign Language Teachers Leading the Way in Education Technology?
Professional Learning Networks on Twitter, teachmeets, Skype collaboration, endless edutech applications – it can be a daunting task to find the time to learn about the technology available to teachers, let alone to know what is really working.
In a recent piece by Joe Dale in The Guardian, a grassroots group of modern language teachers in the UK are proving to be a testing ground for new technologies. The MFLTwitterati has used social media to develop cohesive and trusting relationships amongst their global followers. According to Dale, “The hashtag #mfltwitterati is now being used by language teachers all over the world and the MFL Twitterers list has more than 770 subscribers (at the time of writing). This begs the question are MFL teachers the ultimate innovators with education technology?”
As Dale points out, the MFLTwitterati group is not just using technology; they are testing, using and sharing technology that suits language learning. “One of the fundamentals of language learning is real communication and new technologies can certainly facilitate this essential aspect through, for example, videoconferencing and blogging,” says Dale. “There are also lots of ways of recording and editing audio as a method of improving pronunciation, boosting learner confidence, extending speaking skills and deepening understanding. Filmmaking and animation also draw on a variety of useful skills and promote creativity, collaboration and personalized learning.”
What do you think? What is the MFLTwitterati group doing differently than others? Are you a part of similar groups that are finding new ways to use technology to support your subjects?
Let me know @anthonysalcito