#1: TEACHING DIGITAL NATIVES

As soon as I registered for a course called Technology in TEFL I knew it was going to be fun as hell!!! The name says it all. I took the first class and somewhere in the middle had a hundred of ideas how to integrate technology in the classes I teach privately at home. The enthusiasm was accompanied with the anxiety that I am way beyond the level of technology literacy I needed to be at this point. So I believe by the end of the course the level of the enthusiasm, the amount of ideas, the skills and mastery of all the devices and tools will surpass my expectations and fade away the hesitation and unsureness of this moment.

Let’s see who are digital natives. They are those who were born to the world with technology and internet. In a word, they are current children and teenagers mostly. Watch this video about Cameron, Nafiza,  Dylan, and Dana.

Do you think there is too much technology in the children’s life. But if you watch the videos to the end you can see that they are just children who have fun, play with friends and haven’t fortunately lost got lost in cyber-world.

When I think from a teacher perspective I realize in a couple of years all the kids in my class may have similar skills and I may look like an outcast in the kingdom of digital wizards! I need to integrate in the community ASAP not only to be able to mix with them but to make the best use of the technology available to teach English. And fortunately the English language is the language that is related to any kind of technology in the closest way. So, the integration of technology in EFL at any time and any context (where of course technology is available) may seem the most reasonable, meaningful, and natural thing to do.

Armenia is not an exception. Almost every second person seems to have a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC with access to the internet. And every second person seems to be addicted to their smartphones and tablets. And why not make use of this addiction? After reading a couple of articles describing several research project on integrating in  blogs and twitter into English language teaching I learnt that the results showed tremendous positive impact on the writing fluency, registrar alteration skills, and extensive vocabulary use. I think that the reason for this success underlies in the fact that blogging and twitting provide students with the opportunity to use the language for its primary purpose, that is communication. Even more, they are authentic, meaningful, related to students’ everyday life. They are engaging as Ss can see their friends’ posts in real time, and comment on them.

There is so much to say and reflect on, but to cut it short I will say one thing: the technologies are there to stay want it or not. And the digital natives are already much ahead of us, the immigrants. How are we supposed to teach people who are ahead of us? So we, teachers, need at least to keep up with them. So if we want our students to make, say, blodig posts and tweets, we most probably must be doing it ourselves!!!

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