Unplugged and connected: where ideas meet

Burcu Akyol and Luke Meddings were the final speakers of the LT SIG day.

In December they led an 'Unplugged and Connected' course in Istanbul that explored how dogme and technology can enhance and reinforce each other in the classroom. They shared reflections and outputs from the course in this session - and shared some practical classroom ideas.

Luke started by giving an overview about teaching unplugged and this was followed by Burcu talking about how Dogme ELT affected her approach to teaching when she first came across it. Burcu is an enthusiastic user of learning technology too and she has reflected on how technology and teaching unplugged can be combined to benefit both learners and teachers.

Burcu talked about the importance of PLNs (Personal Learning Networks) and how teachers who connect with other teachers in this way an benefit. Luke asked whether being connected was necessary and stated that the two approaches, teaching unplugged and connected teaching can be used separately, but when they taught their course in Istanbul, they asked participants to think of where the connections between the both may lie.

Luke talked about how the debate about the use of technology has now moved on and he talked about the early efforts of educators about blending Dogme and technology (Dogme 2.0) and how things have changed since then. Indeed, so much has changed it is often difficult to understand what a different world it is that we currently live in to what it was. Luke took blogging as a particular example to how powerful connecting locally situated learning and also looking beyond borders. He suggested that this type of connection is very compatible with Dogme.

One particular problem is that there are so many different tools to choose from, and Burcu shared a checklist with the audience to help us decide which technology to use. The questions on this digital handout (check for it on the IATEFL Liverpool online website) is something that every teacher should keep in mind. Burcu then began to show a number of practical ideas and tools that teachers can use, such as Evernote (https://evernote.com/), LinoIt (http://en.linoit.com/) and ScoopIt (http://www.scoop.it/).

Burcu talked about using Evernote as a repository for digital portfolios and online student notebooks. This powerful tool has lots of different features that some teachers and learners may not be aware of and she recommends people explore the tool more deeply than they at first may have done.Burcu also mentioned a number of other tools that are compatible with Dogme such as Edmodo.

Luke finished by talking about the interesting connections that were made by participants on the Istanbul course and other ideas that came out of it that we're both related to constructivist knowledge co-creation and technology in the classroom.


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