Education and new technologies!

I have been spending time on courses about web tools 2.0, online learning, virtual learning, blended learning, flipped classrooms etc. for about a year now. I have to admit this has been the best thing I have done for my professional development for ages! What I have learnt has open new horizons for me. It has changed my perspective as a teacher no matter how exaggerated this may sound! The way I see it now, the role of the teacher should change or at least adapt to the new conditions.

 Times change and we, as educators, should change, too, if we wish to stay close to our students. The place of the teacher among a group of students should change as well. The teacher should act more as a  facilitator, a helping hand in the students' journey of dicovering the knowledge. Let's face it. We are not the only source of knowledge for our students any more, neither we nor our textbooks! Students are bombardised with loads of information everywhere, everyday. So we have to take advantage of the abundance of sources on the internet and incorporate this to our teaching. Use lots of and various means to teach. Use Google Drive, Padlet, Storybird, Pinterest. Be creative, be inventive and let our students follow our example! Teach them new intriguing ways to learn, make them believe learning is a worthwhile experience.

 At first, it may sound difficult to accept, give in our "authority status" in the classroom. It may come as a surprise, but we are not omniscient, we are not the omnipotent creatures we want our students to believe! :) And you know what? I personally feel relieved that we are not, that we don't have to be! Because this takes the anxiety off me about my students' expectations. Not my responsibility towards them, only the anxiety!

So taken that our students see a more humane face of us-besides that of the bad guy who give the marks,or the one who smirks at a wrong answer- they will see someone who wants to make them learn while having fun, they will start appreciating us more and even respect us more. They will even say hello to us when they meet us on the street! Because if they don't feel our "authority",they won't have to question or challenge it! And we all know how children tackle authority. They feel the need to test it all the time!

I have decided this year to take on an etwinning project. It takes lots of time and effort but it's worth it! This way I have esperienced together with my students the pleasure of being connected with others via the Internet, the fun and creative way of using English for a real purpose -our project-and the beautiful feeling of cooperation for a common goal! Moreover, I have seen the sparkle in their eyes, when they express their ideas and the smile on their face everytime we meet! All these is the reward for me! All these make me urge everyone who hasn't tried tecnology to go for it! It's really worth it!