Using technology in blended learning05-Nov-2012
My name is Antoniya Hristova and I come from Bulgaria in East Europe. My country is comparatively small, yet it has a rich and impressive history. I work for one of the biggest and most reputable private language centers in Sofia and in the whole Bulgaria. It is AVO-Bell Language and Examination Centre, authorized by The University of Cambridge and accredited by EAQUALS for excellence in language education. I have been working for AVO-Bell as an ESOL teacher. My main responsibilities include teaching English for different purposes – preparing students for ESOL exams, developing their general or academic language knowledge, as well as more specific language, in terms of Business English.
My teaching experience has developed thanks to state and private schools, state institutions, as well as my current school of English. Yet my pedagogical horizons widened to a great extend when I became familiar with Macmillan English Campus and Sarah Milligan, who almost three years ago was my online tutor, navigating me through the world of a virtual teaching. Since then blended learning has become my real passion. No doubt, it is inspiring to be able to communicate with learners outside lesson time via virtual classrooms, Wikis, blogs, Wallwishers, Wiggio, Moodle and e-books.
It is an amazing challenge to teach young people who are “digital natives”, and to provide them with hi-tech language education; to promote their autonomy while they discover the language and share ideas outside the classroom. Moreover, the world of blended learning is really a world of personal and professional development.
It will be my pleasure to share how I use technology for the purpose of blended learning in my forthcoming articles. I will focus mainly on:
• My blog and its practical application and educational value in language teaching.
• The Wiggio platform, which can be used in various ways; for example, to host virtual meetings and conference calls, create to-do lists and assign tasks, send email, text and voice messages; to upload and manage files and links in a shared video folder. The Video folder may have a specific purpose: the most practical use of it could be to provide evidence of group projects in order to demonstrate the final outcomes of already developed learners’ language skills. Wiggio eliminates the need to have everyone physically present and allows for better group collaboration remotely.
• A Wallwisher, which is a great way to collect ideas and contributions from learners. It can be used for many purposes, e.g. collecting feedback on lessons, teaching vocabulary and grammar and posting general ideas for learners. • Digital books, which offer a place for students to have a more comprehensive educational experience online, from writing papers online to getting help and doing research.
Antoniya has a Diploma for Completed Higher Education in English Philology and is a CELTA teacher. She was certified for attending a course in Creative Methodology at Oxford House College in London. Thanks to the combination of face to face and digital teaching, she has been granted AVO-Bell Quality Awards in the past three years for her innovative and creative approach to teaching.
Please see below for more articles in the ‘Technology in blended learning…’ series: