I have already exploded the first myth in this post, and now I will try to explode myth nº 2: Dogme ELT = no technology?, as an answer to the Dogme Challenge Nº 7.
Again, as in my previous post I will continue writing from where my fellow bloggers have left. In this case, I really recommend you to read Mike’s and David’s post. David concludes that:
“It’s not the tool, it’s how you use it.”
Technology at its best (specifically the internet) offers the chance to break down the classroom walls and bring the real world into our schools. At its worst, it leads to another pile of meaningless language practice activities. As teachers, it’s our job to ensure technology is used at its best to support the needs of our learners.
I totally agree with his statement. Technology allows us to open the classroom and let the real world in. It is a great source of authentic material: newspapers, videos, movies, cartoons, supermarket catalogues
, you name it, the sky is the limit. You can find absolutely everything. Is there a better way of catering for students likes and needs?
However, I believe that we have to use technology as a solution to a problem, and not just because we want to start using it in our classroom without a clear purpose. As Tyson answered me in this comment
So many teachers I’ve seen use technology in class meaninglessly (ie. to kill time, impress students, feel obliged, etc). Really, the biggest factor contributing to this use is a lack of direction. It takes thought in order to determine how to best integrate the technology into lessons. Without this thought, its use comes off perhaps impressive at first go, but progressively as a weak attempt at being cool.Twitter (and many other sites) not created specifically for language learning offer functions that can facilitate our lessons with a little creative thinking.
That’s the key I believe: Creative Thinking. Using the tools we have at hand in a creative way to do things better than if we do them without technology. I think that Tyson’s use of Twitter
is a perfect example of this. Relating to my own experience, last year I had a teen course that had lots of problems with writing. They were not really that interested in it. They would never hand in a composition, and I knew that writing is an important and necessary skill to develop. For that reason, I created a blog
for them, in which they were going to be writing with the focus on communication and not on accuracy. Writing became meaningful for them, they had a real audience and most of them were motivated to take part and WRITE!
To sum up, as Ana Rossaro pointed in her blog
technology should become invisible (The following picture is part of a power point presentation created and done by Ana Rossaro, I have just translated it into English. You can see the original version here