Digital natives, Learners 2.0, a.k.a. Students. So who are we teaching?

I recently read an amazing article by Steve Wheeler on modern learners, or as he calls them – “Learners 2.0”.

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Another term that seems to have become popular is digital natives (as opposed to digital immigrants, haha). No matter what you call them, there is no denying the fact that our students learn, interact and work differently. They are the first generation of people born after the Internet, computers and technology has taken over each and every aspect of our lives. Some scholars describe them as the generation that was born after 1980. That means I am one of them, YAY! But being brought up in post-Soviet Russia, I would say that the generation straight after me, or those born after 1990 can be more accurately described as digital natives. I am more of a digital imposter myself. Yes, I feel comfortable using it all, but still get constantly embarrassed by younger students/family members who seem to need no effort whatsoever to use technology. And yes, I never ever played a computer game.

They say by 2040 the technology will completely take over all the aspects of our life… Do you feel like your lessons and resources may look out-dated in your learners eyes? What shall we, as teachers, do to make our lessons more … interactive? tech-y? accessible? all of the above? How has the use of technology affected our learners? Is their attention span getting shorter? Can they multitask effectively? Do they remember things or just remember where they store them? Is the future looking bright for textbooks? Who are we teaching, and how should we adapt?

First of all, modern learners have “the means” to learn and discover things on their own. The technology certainly empowers them, and puts the teacher in the position of a facilitator, rather than the source of information and right answers.

Secondly, the use of technology certainly changed the way we record and store information. The good old notepad and a pen may soon become the thing of the past.

How do these affect teacher – learner interaction?

More questions then answers this time, I am afraid)))

Please share your thoughts!

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TEDxChelmsford: First Annual Event

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Couldn’t believe our luck! TEDx at our University! Today!

We attended the first annual TEDx event in Chlemsford, Essex yesterday. TEDx is a program of local, self- organised events to promote Ideas Worth Spreading.

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The lovely host wearing an amazing jacket!

17 Speakers, from professional public speakers to business owners to an 11 year old school girl talked about Perceptions and reality – the first topic chosen for this year’s event. 

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About to start! Getting excited!!

With only 100 tickets available, the audience was filled to its max. Some people even sat on the steps!

Nick Looby
Nick Looby
Paul Martin, talking about how learning Sign Language can help you improve your body language coordination.
Paul Martin, talking about how learning Sign Language can help you improve your body language coordination.
Susannah Howard
Susannah Howard

Looking forward to attending next year’s event, who knows, may be even in a Speaker’s capacity! 

ESL Reading: Motivation, motivation, motivation!

Reading? Boooooooooooooooring!
                              Reading? Boooooooooooooooring!

As an ESL teacher working with adult learners in the Gulf, I was initially taken aback by how unpopular my Reading classes were.

Coming from a culture of heavy readers, I have been told repeatedly that nothing makes a better gift than a book.

However, my learners simply said “But Miss, reading is booooring”…

This post is my attempt pass my experience of teaching reading to a class of learners who think they don’t like books. Ooooomph. Let’s see if we can spice things up, one class at a time 😉

First of all, let’s figure out what text types there are how to integrate Reading with other skills and course components.

I’ll go first: 

Text types: (oh, so many!)

  • dictionaries
  • novels
  • newspaper articles
  • academic articles
  • non-fiction
  • even menus (my personal favourite)…..                 Suggestions?

Dear All,

Hello and welcome! We just started this blog and still working on its content. Please feel free to contact us if you want to contribute! The main area is teaching ESL, adult learning and exam preparation.