Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week No. 3: Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 tools

In our third week of our ICTs in ELT course, our professor Evelyn Izquierdo taught the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.To summarize the content of this section, we can point out the following information:

Web 1.0 essentially had to do with data transference to a server where all information was stored to be published mainly on enterprises or institutional web pages, but in all cases.It was too limited, since there was not an interaction between the data or information generator and the final user. In order to design websites,for example,a special language was used, only those users who know HTML could design webpages. The data generator (owner) was not necessarily included in the design process.This person only needed a server to host the site. The only way to communicate with the fianl user was via e-mail, but it was not so easy, that is the reason why websites provided a webmaster email. Web 1.0 was mostly a read-only page view and advertising web.The site owner was only the person who had the power.

Web 2.0 represented important changes in the way the information and data were produced and transmitted.It brought up new ways to be connected with the audience. Then, the interaction and collaboration came out as key elements to produce, share and transmit information. It is not based on web pages as static sites to offer information, but interconnected with web systems to create and share data in different directions. Under web 2.0 it is not necessary to know HTML to produce data. Its use is easier and simpler and the owner (the information producer) has a direct contact with users who can directly take part in the information production and transmission. Therefore, We 2.0 has converted into a fabulous source for sharing knowledge. Furthermore, a big number of web 2.0 tools have been designed as to promote such sharing, which can be synchronous or asynchronous. In consequence, social networks have appeared as a need to group people with similar interests in communities (Facebook, My Space, Twitter among others). Finally, web 2.0 is then a read-write and collaborative web on which site owners and readers share the power.
The task of this section comprised the creation of a static web page using a Web 2.0 application, a blog in We had to design a portfolio in which we had to include our academic data and our profile as an English teacher and as an ELT professional.
In my opinion, this activity was interesting and motivating because I had the opportunity to build up my first blog applying different tools and doing different operations such adding, changing and deleting information.
If you would like to visit and have a look at my blog, my URL in wordpress is:


Week No. 2: Trends in ICTs in ELT

Current trends on ICTs in ELT

In our second week of the course, we studied the theme of ICTs in the area of English Language Teaching.As we already pointed out the term ICTs means Information and Communication Technologies.

Over the last few years, and perhaps even decades, we have witnessed a major breakthrough in ICTs,which has become a condition sine qua non in a vast number of areas of human endeavour, including education. ICTs have been implemented in all the different types of education systems, regardless of how formal or informal they are.
One of the indisputable benefits of ICTs is its ability to foster the modernization and redefinition of the instruction process in general, as well as facilitate the introduction of innovative elements into the current teaching practice. Bringing in ICTs into education systems has resulted in a new type of learning referred to as distance learning or e-learning.

Currently, in a majority of countries major steps have been taken towards implementing ICTs in various spheres of life so as to continuously provide the users with reliable and easy access to information contained within such systems.

Clearly, ICTs permit powerful access to informational and people resources related to the integration of teaching and technology elements.However, this potential access remains unrealized for a number of reasons including:

• lack of teacher preparation to use computers;
• lack of integration of computer technology with instructional approaches to teach content standards;
• high-stakes testing that virtually forces teachers to teach to the test with the result that computer use is perceived as an add-on activity that is “off-task;”
• a focus on drill-and-practice computer use in low-income and inner-city schools.

One of those spheres in which ICTs are meaningfully used for their great benefits is English Language Teaching (ELT) . Within this educational area, the rapid development of ICTs prompts changes in the ways and methods of teaching and preparing students for continuous learning and effective use of the language to communicate with people from various parts of the globe. ICTs providing various types and forms of information-- from sound, video, images and animation-- technology quadruples the possibility of language learning. Nevertheless, this fact will take place in an ideal context. In most of the cases, EFL teachers can not afford the necessary money and facilities to apply ICTs in their teaching contexts.
In our country, Venezuela, it is very hard (expensive) to use ICTs in the majority of teaching contexts since a big number of educational institutions mainly need financial and material resources. In my case, I teach English at Universidad Nacional Experimental Simón Rodriguez (UNESR) and the level of availability of technological resources is reasonable. There are two Informatics labs with 20 computers with free Internet access. My students have English classes three times a week and can use the labs at any time they want.It is important to point out that, I have never appealed to blogs or wikis to involve them in cooperative and interactive activities.It would be a good idea to integrate teaching and learning activities with blogging, in the UNESR context, for example, in order to promote a more effective, participative,collaborative and interesting teaching-learning process.

- Aspect of learning English as a Foreign Language through ICT, available in:
A Kovacic, V. Vidacek-Hain, I Balabam_The 18th International...12007-uni-graz-at.

- The potencial of ICT to promote academic language learning, available in: Cummings-
Proceedings of the 3rd International conference...

- The N-@ble project, available in:

Digital literacy

Week No. 1: Digital Literacy
During our first week of the course, we dealt with the theme of Digital Literacy and its importance in English Language Teaching (ELT).

Digital literacy can be defined as the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, create and share information using digital technology. It involves a working knowledge of current high-technology and an understanding of how it can be used.

Digital literacy encompasses computer hardware, software (particularly those used most frequently by businesses), the Internet, cellphones, PDAs, and other digital devices devices. A person using these skills to interact with society may be called a digital citizen.

Educational contexts are continually updating their curriculum for digital literacy to keep up with accelerating technological developments. This often includes computers in the classroom, the use of educational software to teach curriculum and course materials being available to students, online. Some classrooms are designed to use smartboards and audience response systems. These techniques are most effective when the teacher and the students are digitally literate.
Teachers and students will be considered digital literate people, once they:
-use,appropiately,their cognitive skills such as reading comprehension, writing and critical thinking in combination with the technology.
-know how to use a computer and other electronic devices,
-know how to apply web tools,
-know how to access to the different social networks and communities of practice
-are able to search information
-are able to share knowledge
-are able to work cooperatively
To sum up, it is essential that teachers, in our case EFL teachers, learn and apply different ICTs in their teaching contexts in order to promote a more effective and interesting learning and the development of their students´linguistic and communicative skills.