Saturday, November 1, 2008
MUVEnation: eLearning for Best Practices
What a way to start a new month. I have just signed up for MUVEnation, a European project co-funded by the European commission as part of the lifelong learning program initiative 2007-2013. I hope I will be accepted as only 20 participants are allowed from countries outside of Europe.
Teachers are constantly learning as they search for best practices to improve instruction and learning. The Internet offers wonderful opportunities to learn and share. FOC08, CCK08, and now MUVEnation are examples of free online courses educators can access for professional and personal developments.
I have been using technology since the mid 80s. It all started when my husband decided to surprise me with an electric typewriter, only it had a different name. It was called a computer. At first I was surprised, then disappointed and later a bit frustrated as I tried to use a popular word processor. Once I got the hang of the word processor, my husband brought me a new version which was completely different. I now had a new software to learn. However, before I got the hang of this one, my dear husband brought me a newer version. It went on like that for a few years as I learned one, another turned up. After a while, I started enjoying the process of learning new things. Gradually I began to use my know and started integrating computers into my EFL classes. At first my students were reluctant to use computers in class, but after a while things got easier and they enjoyed the lessons a lot more. However, my life did not get any easier, I had to fight with their parents, other teachers, and the administration of the school who claimed the students were not learning; they were wasting their time playing games. I did not give up. I did everything I could to learn how to make the lessons engaging and effective. I had to prove that technology would work. It seems kind of strange now that I think of it.
Today, I am no longer fighting the system. I am still the only teacher among 250 who integrates technology into her classes at my current work setting, but that is better than none. No one criticizes or interferes with my work. Parents, teachers, the administration allow me to do as I please. I get as much computer time as I want. No one else goes near the computer lab. I have a projector, a screen, audio, video, Interwise (virtual classroom), and anything I wish. The principal approves and pays for any project I decide to join. I'm blessed. After 34 years of teaching , I am still enjoying my work. I am not burnt out as the saying goes. I love my job.