Plenary speakers Christine Bauer-Ramazani, St. Michael’s College Dr. Hossein Farhady, American University of Armenia Vance Stevens, Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi
We have the great honor and happiness of hosting the following plenary speakers in the 8th International TELLSI Conference. Without a doubt, their expertise and experience will greatly enhance the value of this conference and make it a memorable event:
Hossein Farhady: PhD; former associate professor of applied linguistics at the Iran University of Science and Technology; published over 30 books and 50 articles; director of SAMT national project for developing EAP textbooks; recipient of ILTA awards and ETS grant; directed projects on automated language testing for Pearson and projects on reviewing standardized tests for Persian Farsi and Turkish; currently at American University of Armenia.
Vance Stevens: Executive Committee member of APACALL (Asia-Pacific Association for CALL); Computing instructor at Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Christine Bauer-Ramazani: MBA, MA, MEd; Past Chair of the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section of TESOL; from St. Michael's College in Vermont, USA.
Creating teaching materials to combine language learning with 21st century IT skills
This workshop establishes the need to teach IT and multiliteracy skills across the curriculum, particularly in English classes, where integration of such skills is ideally suited. However, it is acknowledged that this is much easier said than done, since teachers are often unfamiliar with the skills that need to be taught to the students. The presenter has addressed this problem by creating materials for students that are written in such a way as to teach the teachers while they in turn teach the materials.
Materials writers often start with the third step in a three-point progression: (1) awareness of the new tools, (2) contributing to conversations pertaining to the tools, and then (3) creating original content in the new tools. The workshop will help participants identify the skills that need to be taught and, with reference to the materials produced by the presenter, guide participants in considering ways that 21st century tools can be introduced in the curriculum through a three-step progression.
PLN: The paradigm shift in teacher and learner autonomy
Used correctly, technology can greatly facilitate the process of language learning; incorrectly it can be an obstacle. This presentation explains a dozen paradigm shifts that teachers need to understand in order to apply them in transformative ways to students; how Web 2.0, tagging, and RSS are crucial to this process; and how teachers can develop their own personal learning networks to practice continuous lifelong learning and 'teacher autonomy' before applying it to students.
Using technology is less about interfaces and settings than about having a theory of learning, and adapting technology tools to foster development in a subject matter in ways commensurate with that model of learning. Web 2.0 is the driving force for technology to be applied in constructivist and connectivist models of learning. In this presentation, I explain how technology tools can enable learners to leave artifacts online where other learners can find and interact with them, intrinsically motivating students to produce quality work in response to a palpable awareness of audience. I will explain how tagging and RSS enable students to move away from the old ways of information dissemination to find one another online, themselves control this interaction, and utilize it in their learning. In order for teachers to grasp the fundamentals of applying technology to transformative learning, practice with peers is necessary, where teachers themselves become mentors for one another while sharing discoveries and experiences.
This presentation suggests ways that teachers can develop their own personal learning networks to ensure their continuous lifelong learning, and cultivate 'teacher autonomy', where the teachers are in their roles by virtue of being 'master learners.' Too often teachers are put in situations which are labeled professional development but which in reality are (a) driven top-down, (b) don't address teacher needs, and (c) do not lead to development. Teachers who drive their own professional development through participation in PLNs constantly express and assess each other's needs, and promote professional development on an as-needed basis, from where it is only a short leap to applying it to students.
Vance Stevens teaches computing at Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. As a former ESL instructor, he has worked with CALL (computer-assisted language learning) for over 30 years. He was teaching online before the turn of the century and has developed expertise in community formation online for both students and teachers, promoting training in ICT and professional development through participation in distributed personal learning networks. He is often identified as founder and coordinator of the online community of practice Webheads in Action, in which capacity he has served as coordinator for three free international online conferences, the Webheads in Action Online Convergences of 2005, 2007, and 2009.
More officially Vance is an Executive Committee member of APACALL (Asia-Pacific Association for CALL) and on the editorial board of its International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning. He has also served on the editorial boards of CALICO Journal and TESOL Quarterly, and is currently on the editorial board of CALL-Journal. He is also E-Sphere editor for Writing and Pedagogy and On the Internet editor of the online journal TESL-EJ.
Vance publishes regularly and presents frequently at international conference, both online and offline, as documented at http://vancestevens.com/papers. He maintains several blogs, most notably http://advanceducation.blogspot.com/