Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 7: Learner autonomy, one-computer lesson, one computer options, and finding a partner

Just as the other weeks, this one has been a lot productive considering that we learn many things as well as we keep on implementing our projects.
Independent learning is something that is not easy to foster if emotional aspects such as beliefs, attitude, and motivations are not taken into account, and to talk about independent learners first we need to talk about independent teachers. How independent do we think we are? I was wondering what makes me independent or autonomous. I feel that being autonomous represents a huge responsibility with oneself and the others because it represents commitment. This is commitment to improve, to be updated, to continually research, and reflect. If I as a teacher do not foster that commitment and wisely use the knowledge I have, I think I fail.
 It is a good thing we have these courses that let us not only learn or share different experiences with other teachers around the world, but also reflect on what we do, and we as teachers know that we learn more from our mistakes.
Using a computer in the classroom is another issue we worked on; I wish I had a computer in my classroom or a computer lab in the language school where I work. Actually, there is one but it is for the exclusive use to administer the TOEFL exam. Students or teachers do not have access to this lab. This reality has an explanation. The administrative staff does not think computers are necessary; besides, computers represent an extra expense they are not willing to support. What is more, if a clear project to use computers in the classroom is not presented or explained, and there are individual efforts to use a lap top or data display in the classroom, I do not think the situation will change a bit. On the other hand, if I do not know how to use a computer in the classroom, having one will be useless.
For my lesson plan I thought of the use of a power point presentation with a link to a site addressing the topic we have in our guide book: Spiritual Renewal, Mt. Athos. The computer is thought to be used to work on the project activity to encourage students to create an ad inviting people to visit this place after describing the magnificent scenery.

My peer-reading partner is Vinicious. I am willing to work on our next task and learn a lot from this sharing experience. Every week is as wonderful as the previous ones.

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