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46TH ASOCOPI ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The Role of ELT Innovation and Research in Challenging Times

October 13 - 15, 2011, Bogot, Colombia

INNOVATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING PRACTICES THROUGH ICTS: WIKIS

Yamith Jos Fandio Parra

Universidad de La Salle

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION
The situation of language teachers wanting or having to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in their classes is complex. They need to acquire and constantly update their ICT skills, while also ensuring that the online teaching activities they use are fully integrated into [a sound] pedagogical framework beneficial both for their students and for themselves (Beaven et. al., 2010).

INITIAL REMARKS
This study emerged as an opportunity to contribute to the qualification of in-service EFL teachers for the use of ICT in their classes. This project aimed at studying the impact of an ICT formative process (WIKIS) on EFL teachers beliefs, attitudes, and competences. This research is especially significant considering that the study was conducted in public schools where the use of new technologies can be rather difficult. In addition, teachers experiences and perceptions about new ICTs can pose challenges, which in turn can cause their interest in using them to be minimal.

RESEARCH QUESTION AND OBJECTIVES


Research question What is the impact that a formative process on ICT can have on the beliefs, attitudes and competencies of a group of English teachers from public high schools in Bogota?

Research objectives
o Identify the beliefs, attitudes and competences that a group of EFL teachers have about ICT. o Determine the impact that a formative process can have on the use of ICT in the foreign language classroom.

LITERATURE REVIEW
BELIEFS Beliefs are the judgments and evaluations that people make of themselves, others and the world surrounding them (Dilts, 1999). Teachers beliefs or personal constructs determine how they approach their teaching and affect the materials and activities they choose for the classroom (Hampton, 1994). Changes in teachers beliefs precede changes in their teaching practices (Golombek, 1998). Jimoyianiss & Komis (2007) state that teachers beliefs about ICT can be positive, neutral or negative, which impact whether they see technologies as effective tools for instruction and learning.

LITERATURE REVIEW
ATTITUDES A tendency to behave in a consistent and persistent way before determined situations, objects, events, or people (Coll, 1987). Watson (1998) maintains that the development of teachers positive attitudes is a key factor both for enhancing computer integration and avoiding teachers resistance to computer use. Teachers attitudes, maintains Sancho (1994), range from technophilia to technophobia; technophilia refers to a conviction that technologies are a source of solutions to pedagogical problems and technophobia expresses a rejection to technological innovation due to its dehumanization tendency.

LITERATURE REVIEW
COMPETENCES Competences are the continuous and autonomous performances of individuals, requiring cognitive, attitudinal, and procedural knowledge to face and solve concrete situations with the available resources and strategies (Araujo, 2007). UNESCO (2008) establishes three approaches to education: technology literacy, knowledge deepening, and knowledge creation. Each of these approaches entails a set of skills for teachers.

LITERATURE REVIEW
APPROACH TECHNOLOGY LITERACY APPROACH These teacher competences include basic digital literacy skills along with the ability to select and use appropriate off-the-self educational tutorials, games, drill-andpractice, and web content to complement standard curriculum objectives and assessment approaches. KNOWLEDGE DEEPENING APPROACH These teacher competences include the ability to manage information, structure problem tasks, and integrate open-ended software tools and subject-specific applications with studentcentered teaching methods and collaborative projects to solve complex, realworld problems. KNOWLEDGE CREATION APPROACH Teachers who show these competences will be able to design ICT-based learning resources and environments and use ICT to support the development of knowledge creation and critical thinking skills of students.

ICT

LITERATURE REVIEW
ICT ICT is an all encompassing term that includes the full range of electronic tools by means of which people gather, record and store information, and by means of which they exchange and distribute information to others (Anderson, 2010). Education needs to turn to ICT in order to increase learner motivation and engagement, facilitate the acquisition of basic skills, and enhance teacher training (Tinio, 2003).

Modern technologies have provided new possibilities to the teaching profession, but at the same time have asked teachers to continuously retrain themselves and acquire new knowledge and skills while maintaining their jobs (Jung, 2005).

LITERATURE REVIEW
WIKIS For turning students into producers of online content, enabling peer-topeer learning, and creating a collaborative learning environment, wikis appear to be excellent tools for language teaching and learning (Kovacic, Bubas & Zlatovic, 2007). Wikis can be used to facilitate the dissemination of information, enable the exchange of ideas and facilitate group interaction (Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004).

Wikis are closely associated to project-based and problem-based language learning practices where students and teachers alike contribute to the construction of knowledge and the sharing of findings (Gimeno and Garca, 2009)..

METHODOLODY
Action research (AR) guided this study. It seeks the description and comprehension of the situation and the involvement of the participants (McKernan, 1999; Sandn, 2003). The process of AR is regarded as a set of reflexive cycles, which begins with a plan, continues with action, includes observation on the action, and demands reflection.
PLAN PLAN

Report
REFLECT ACT REFLECT ACT

OBSERVE

OBSERVE

METHODOLODY
The study was conducted with EFL teachers from public high schools in Bogot. The schools were located in Kennedy and Fontibn. For this study, variables such as age, sex, academic formation, or professional experience were not considered. Because of time and space constraints, the study followed a convenience sample: the selection of the most accessible subjects (Marshall, 1996).
SCHOOL
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS DISTRICT EQUIPMENT

Alfonso Lpez Pumarejo


Six Kennedy It has a computers room with 20 computers. They have basic programs and slow access to the Internet.

Costa Rica
Six Fontibn It has a computers room with 20 computers and a video beam.

Saludcoop Sur
Two Kennedy Although the school has a computers room, the access is restricted so a lot of the work is done with the researchers laptop.

Manuela Ayala
Six Fontibn The school has a computers room without Internet and a limited access to teachers.

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS


First cycle It consisted of a series of about seven sessions, in which researchers and teachers initially discussed ICT, ICT in education, technophobes and technophilias, and ICT challenges for education in the 21st century.

These sessions were designed following what Gayetzky (2005) calls total workshops. These workshops consist of group meetings, in which people carry out a project and study a specific topic.
Later, there was a rather instrumental stage, in which teachers were more concerned with understanding the mechanics of wikis than reflecting about their pedagogical use in the classroom. However, remarks were constantly made about their impact in the language classroom.

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS


First cycle Surveys: Based on principles established by Cea DAncona (1998) and Burns (1999), the survey was designed with three sections: the first section sought information to identify the participants, the second section got the participants perceptions and dispositions on the use of new technologies in education and the last section sought to determine the level of expertise with ICT through multiple choice questions. Diaries: The use of field journals (Burns, 1999) was suggested for teachers and researchers to describe their experiences during their encounters with the groups of teachers in the high schools. Through this instrument, anecdotes, experiences, and reflections were collected as soon as the sessions were over.

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS


Second cycle The second cycle consisted of about seven sessions, in which researchers and teachers moved from practicing with the creation and use of wikis to reflecting about the pedagogical implementation of wikis in the foreign language classroom. Some of the sessions were devoted to studying social constructivism, project-based learning and cooperative language learning. Most authors agree these approaches are useful in designing and implementing ICT-based learning environments (Escontrela y Stojanovic, 2004; Martnez, 2008; Schwartz, 2003 and Torres, 2008). A didactic proposal was created based on these approaches.

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS


Second cycle Questionnaires: They, states Burns (2010), allow to collect three types of information: factual (background, experiences, etc.), behavioral (actions, routines, etc.) and attitudinal (opinions, interests, values, etc.). In this regard, Wallace (1998) maintains that as introspective techniques questionnaires let participants report their own perceptions, experiences and values. Interviews: Interviews can be understood as a conversation with a purpose. (Burgess, 1984). To Wolcott (1988), interviews are any activities that a field researcher does in order to intrude a natural context with the intention of obtaining information directly from the participants.

DATA ANALYSIS
Miles and Huberman (1994) define data analysis as consisting of three concurrent flows of activity: data reduction, data display and conclusion drawing/verification.

DATA ANALYSIS
The process of data analysis for this study consisted of a mixture of different techniques and coding procedures.
On the one hand, the researchers used what several authors called descriptive research or statistics, which consists of collecting data that describe events to then organize, tabulate, represent and describe them through graphs and tables to facilitate the comprehension of information (Glass & Hopkins, 1984). On the other hand, the researchers used content analysis. This method consists of examining social communication artifacts: written documents or transcriptions of recordings. This analysis seeks to make inferences when identifying systematically and objectively the special features of messages (Norton, 2009). This mixture of different qualitative techniques and coding procedures sought to increase the methodological triangulation of the study.

FINDINGS

FINDINGS

PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS
The impact of new technologies on EFL learning and teaching does not consist of a promise of more efficiency but above all an extension of the relations between teachers and students beyond the two-dimensional models of instruction to multidimensional networks (Kennell, McBride & Kelly, 2009). The use of ICT requires change in the way teachers think about teaching and their teaching practices (Motallebzadeh, 2005). Such a change is not simply a transition from traditional teaching to teaching with technology. Instead, this change involves what they call a shift in teaching paradigms: a shift in the way of thinking about teaching (Van de Ven and Poole, 1995).

PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS
EFL teachers should not just receive technological instruction, but be given technological education. The former simply regards teachers as technicians in need of standard operating procedures whereas the latter considers them as interpreters capable of making decisions in their English classroom (Widdowson, 1990).

Based on the work done in this study, it is possible to suggest that the Constructivist, Self-regulating, Interactive and Technological (CSIT) teaching model (CAIT as it called in Spanish) may be a concrete way to strengthen educational planning, implementation and evaluation through new technologies (Beltrn and Prez, 2003).

PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

Fernndez, Real & Tortajada (2005)

REFERENCES
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