Having completed all the WELL course modules, I can say I truly believe Project Based Learning (PBL) is a highly suitable approach for technology integration in the language classroom.
All throughout these 5 months, we have achieved almost every little task through some kind of project. We started doing some simple and advanced web searches, we learned about social book-marking, blogs and wikis and how to use different multimedia tools but most importantly, we did everything with some type of project in mind and I think that is what made even the tiniest task seem more interesting and challenging. When you learn how to use a tool and actually use it yourself to create something new, you can really feel you have accomplished your goal and it feels fantastic.
As I was exploring all these new tools and spaces as homework for the course, I couldn’t avoid fantasising about integrating these new technologies into my classrooms in the same meaningful and motivating ways. As a first step, I have decided to start a Wiki as a place where my students will be able to publish their projects this year, some of which will be developed in the classrooms with their teachers and some of which will be introduced and conducted directly online. I’m guessing everything will depend on the students’ level of English, age and motivation but we will try to encourage them all to participate in some way, the final aim being to help them realise the importance of using the language they have learnt to create something and to communicate with each other; thus showing themselves and the world what they can do after “x” years of hard work and study.
I know we will very probably additionally need to help them make their way in this new technological world but I believe that’s great. I see this just as part of the process of helping them to become the multiliterate people this modern world requires them to be, for them to be successful in anything they want to achieve.
Let’s wait till the end of the year and hope for the best!