Welcome to the inaugural post for the new TESOL Educational Technology Blog! I am very excited to share some of my thoughts about enhancing our English teaching experiences through thoughtful innovation and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) integration. Each month we will explore new opportunities to improve our teaching and design of learning experiences. For this inaugural entry, I will preview some of the topics that I will address this year as well as a number of resources that can help you further explore and experiment with emerging technologies.
Topics that I intend to address this year include
- Gathering, archiving, and curating multimedia materials
- Using and designing robust video
- Integrating polling software
- Innovative approaches to teaching integrated skills
- Engaging ways to use music and lyrics across skills
- Integrating games into your lessons
- Creating your own video games
- Using augmented reality
- Creating your own augmented reality experiences
- Using voice-controlled devices as learning tools
- Experimenting with artificial intelligence
I also welcome suggestions for other topics that you would like to explore for future episodes. Please share your suggestions in the comments.
TESOL Press has much to offer those curious about integrating technology in innovative ways. Some of the books currently available include
- Teaching Adults English in the Digital World
- Teaching Digital Literacies
- Using Corpora for Language Learning and Teaching
- The TESOL Technology Standards
Each of these books provides guidance for teachers interested in exploring new ways to use and think about implementing technology. “The TESOL Technology Standards,” for example, provide an established set of benchmark expectations for technology knowledge and skills for teachers, students, and administrators, along with a theoretical and research foundation on which the benchmarks and performance indicators are constructed. Vignettes illustrate examples from low, medium, and high technology access classrooms. The standards also include a section devoted to program evaluation that can help instructors and administrators identify areas for improvement.
In 2018 TESOL will also release a volume titled “Online and Hybrid Classes” in the Voices from the TESOL Classroom series. This book includes thoughtful reflections on the teaching and learning experiences around the world in ESL, EFL, and TEFL teacher preparation programs. I was the volume editor of this collection and authored the introduction and conclusion.
Of course, TESOL offers other publications that address the integration of technology. Over the past few years, TESOL Journal has included at least one article involving technology in each issue. Some issues offer innovative practical studies that can help guide other teachers in their own creative use. In fact, the most recent issue (December, 2017) was focused exclusively on CALL. The editor, Joy Egbert, is a renowned expert in this area, so this is no surprise. The diversity of articles in this issue is impressive and can certainly provide practical guidance. The CALL Interest Section (IS) publishes the “On CALL” newsletter, which includes articles and current professional-development activities related to CALL and the CALL IS.
TESOL offers many opportunities for professional development throughout the year as well. The most useful events for those interested in educational technology are offered by the TESOL CALL IS. At the TESOL Annual Convention & English Language Expo, you can find the Electronic Village (EV), which functions like a CALL conference within the larger TESOL conference. The EV hosts numerous sessions, including fairs that allow visitors to learn about multiple projects in a single session. The CALL IS also hosts the Electronic Village Online (EVO). The EVO provides professional development online for interested TESOLers. These sessions begin on 14 January 2018 this year.