08 JUNE 2017
New technologies, new educational landscapes
New technologies have changed the way we teach and learn. Tablets and phones can be used in the classroom to create, share and collaborate with students and teachers. So as an author of Cambridge IGCSE® Spanish as a Foreign Language, one of my main focuses has been the use of new technologies and how they are changing the educational landscape in the era of globalization. The integration of intercultural ideas, products and services, culture and technology from an international perspective is key in many parts of the coursebook, presenting it through a wide range of Hispanic cultural values and traditions.
As a secondary teacher I try to keep up with the times and technological developments and encourage my students to bring their tablets or phones to class, which we use to create films, online comics or podcasts.
At some point I realised that my own students knew more technology than I did so I decided to start a Masters in Education and E-learning in order to see the pedagogical benefits behind using technology to teach languages to students. This inspired me to start making tools and content for teachers to adopt in their lessons.
The theory behind the content I create for the classroom is simple: follow the rule of three. The rule of three is a principle suggesting that things presented in threes are more effective, powerful and compelling for creating defined, memorable patterns of information; The Three Musketeers, the Three Little Pigs, the Three Stooges. When a digital tool takes more than three steps to be used in the language classroom, I rule it out. It will not work, it will be too complicated and it will probably disrupt the flow of the lesson. Technological tools have to be easy to use in the classroom because language teachers have to focus on language learning, not teaching new tools to their pupils.
So a good way to be innovative in the classroom is making things easier for the students and take advantage of sounds, videos and digital generators on the net to use alongside classic resources like coursebooks. Enjoy the ride!
Victor Gonzalez is one of the authors of Cambridge IGCSE® Spanish as a Foreign Language Coursebook
You can visit his blog for language teachers at exuc.wordpress.com. Exuc focuses on free tools for language teachers; apps, word generators, comics and digital film creators.
Cambridge IGCSE® Spanish as a Foreign Language resources: Students will learn about the best places to shop in Chile's capital, discuss what they do in their free time and create their own menu for a restaurant.
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