Saturday, July 17, 2010

Week 4: Issues & Plans

In one of the training sessions I’ve attended, our trainer asked us “What will you feel when a student asks you a question you don’t know?” All of us didn’t answer this question, but instead we jumped to the next question before he asked it. This question was “What will you do when a student asks you a question you don’t know?” The answer of the first question can be “I feel furious.” The answer of the second question is that “I pretend to be calm.”

I remember this situation when I read the second task of our project. That’s to write about some issues which technology might help with. Every time I write about a certain issue that I face in my teaching, I find technology precedes that issue. But, I tried very hard to forget about it in this week and write just some questions that can be signs for integrating technology as a solution.

Through reading my colleagues’ posts, I’ve found that we have common issues and problems even we live far from each other. The problem is the problem everywhere. Among these issues that all of us face in our teaching are the lack of materials and plagiarism as Liliya mentioned. Another issue is how to motivate students intrinsically to learn and mater all skills of English language as Juliet & Camelia pointed out. Stephen also mentioned many issues either related to teachers (e.g., tracking students’ progress, communication with parents & lack of continuity form one day to the next) or students (e.g., lack of time for writing, group discussion communication & difficulty to express their wants, needs … etc easily). For me, I mentioned some of the issues that need some sort of change, e.g., planning lessons, tracking students’ progress by portfolio, motivation of students, difficulty of writing & pronunciation correction.

I’m sure if we think about integrating technology in our teaching, all of these issues and problems will be on the way of solution.

These words lead us to the idea of designing technology-enhanced lesson plans as a step towards making considerable change in all aspects of our job. To be honest, I spent more time and effort accomplishing this task. And at the end, I haven’t found a huge difference between the traditional lesson plan and that plan integrated technology. As Krajka (2000) mentioned in his article it adds a flavor to teaching, but what a flavor? I never forget my training sessions as a trainer. I downloaded wonderful materials and prepared valuable websites to use during the session. In addition to many PowerPoint files to make information more interesting. I do this all the time with my trainees. I never forget their faces smiling and involving in the tasks from the very beginning to the end. However, we should prepare plan “B” as an alternative if this technology became an enemy not a friend.


  1. Azhar,

    I enjoyed reading your reflective comments regarding week 4 of our course. I too find it interesting that despite our geographical distribution around the globe, we share many of the same issues and problems in our classrooms. When I first returned to Canada after teaching in Taiwan I gave this observation of some considerable thought. Although my teaching position in Taiwan was very different from my teaching position in Canada, I faced similar challenges in both. The realization was that regardless of where I find myself, students are students. They may differ significantly in the way they look, where they are from, how old they are, or what they know, but deep down they are fundamentally the same. Thus, regardless of where I find myself, I realize that teaching is teaching.


  2. Thanks to you and all of our classmates I found out that we share quite a lot similar problems, issues, and thoughts. Integrating technology into our classroom might be the solution. As Stephen said, students will always be students. Teaching is teaching.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and delicious page. You said you liked the link about songs. I am a fan of using songs in the classroom. As you may know I teach Social Studies (World History) and love to use songs to teach. Here are some songs you might find interesting when dealing with certain issues: Eagles,"The Last Resort": Immigration, Treatment of Native Americans; Dire Straits, "Telegraph Road": Industrialization; Peter Gabriel, "Biko": about the death of anti apartheid activist Stephen Biko in 1977 by the South African police; and Kansas, "America": lots of US History references.