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ICT Initiative in Montería-Colombia

January 18, 2016

Having had the opportunity to visit the State of Israel and learn about education there inspired me as a teacher-trainer to guide the new generation of English teachers in a different and modern way. Sharing my gained experiences with my students allowed them to learn about what teachers do in different parts of the world. Being part of the “International Seminar on Education for Science and Technology and the Use of ICTs in Education 2015” in Israel granted me the opportunity to see how school teachers incorporate technology in their daily teaching practices. I learned that we do not need the most sophisticated computing systems to start bringing technology into our classrooms – but we do need the desire to begin. 


I first thought of the idea of incorporating and using technology in my lessons when I enrolled in an online Master’s program, and this idea was greatly strengthened after attending the seminar in Israel. Based on the experiences gained at the Ofri Training Center and the Israeli schools we visited, and supported by my role as a pre-service teacher-trainer at Universidad de Córdoba- Colombia, I decided to design and pilot a project through which future English teachers would be able to learn about the benefits of incorporating technology into their classrooms.

The aim of the “i-Teach with Technology the Future Generation of English Teachers”projectis to show my students that the use of ICTs in education can be very useful for teachers and boost their regular classroom practices.

A total of 34 pre-service English teachers received their regular classes with more technological contents included. The lessons focused on the incorporation of ICTs in the educational field, building problem-solving skills and dealing with the possible lack of technological tools.

 


This project allows pre-service teachers in their pre-teaching visits to public schools to become familiar with teaching contexts and with a variety of ranges of accesses to technological tools and observe whether in-service teachers incorporate ICTs in their classroom practices, so that they can explore the effects of applying, or not applying, technology in the classroom.

The first stage of the project consisted of designing different activities, with the aim of including the use of technology in my classes, as a way of adding something new to my lessons and illustrating the variety of teaching methods to my students. At this stage, the students were given the opportunity to reflect upon the incorporation of technology in the classroom. In the second stage of the implementation, and based on my students´ visits to public schools in our town – the teaching contexts where they will carry out their teaching practicum – they had the chance to discover what the schools own, in terms of technological resources, and whether in-service teachers use ICTs in their lessons. After this, we carried out discussions in our classroom in which the students shared their experiences and findings.

In the following stage, my students were ready to start writing about their reflections and insights regarding the incorporation (or not) of technology in the English classes. At the culmination of the observation process in the schools, pre-service teachers worked on compiling their insights for the project’s website.

So far, the initiative has shown impressive results. This group of future English teachers are now reflecting upon introducing technology into their lessons and are learning to plan their future lessons in a different and modern way. All in all, these students have reinforced their skills in lesson planning, and I have observed an academic shift in students since the project was launched.  

To learn more about the “i-Teach with Technology the Future Generation of English Teachers” project, please visit our website:

http://inspiringfutureteacherstousetechnologywhenteaching.webs.com/

Sandra Hortua, teacher trainer, Columbia

Email: Sandraliliana_554@hotmail.com