понедельник, 4 февраля 2013 г.

Some experience of using modern tecnologies

I can speak about modern techologies in education not only as student, but also as teacher. I'm a post-graduate student and work as private tutor for pupils (mostly for pupils, sometimes also for adults), and sometimes also have lectures and seminars for students at the university. So, this is mostly traditional "vertial" forms of education. But here is also a place for technologies that can reduce cost and improve quality.

1) Software for studying foreign words and other thungs. There are two nice programs, Anki and Mnemosyne. They make the process of studying foreign words much more effective, because spaced repetition algorythm is used. This means, the programm analyses, how individual pupil remembers the words and adapts to his or her memory capabilities, for example, when repeat a word to increas a chance to remember it, when and how repeat previously studied words, how many new words should be added each time, etc. I often advice this software to my pupils, and if they have enough motivation to use it regurarly, it imroves their results. Although it requires some initial works from me, like making wordlists or recordings words prounonciation.

2) Software and web-services for sharing files and collaborative work. After sending e-mails foth and bacj for some times, I started to use file sharing services (one of the most famous is Dropbox, I prefer YandexDisk, because they give more free place) to work in collaboration with my students between lessons. For example, if I give to a student a task to write a text, he can do it and upload to shared folder, I will see this new file, check it, correct mistakes and give recommendeations, what to improve, etc. It's especially useful, when we have one lesson per week (or even lesser) or when we need to have a text ready to deadline. I use such services also to share articles pupil need to read and other useful content.

3) Software for giving lessons online. Although in most cases I have personal contact with pupils, I have also experience of giving lessons via Skype. After some tries and mistakes I found a way to make it more effective. At the beginning I used an option in PowerPoint to show presentation online. Then I found Scribblar, which is online-whiteboard. So I upload a presentation for particular lesson there, and use graphic tablet to make some comments, draw something etc. Usually I don't use videochat, keeping only voice contact. There is two reasons. First, my internet connection is usually not enough fast. Second, it's usually not very productive to watch videochat and online whiteboard at the same time.

4) Software for support existing knowledge or for self-study. Sometimes I advice them to use self-study software, like Rosetta Stone for learning foreign languages. I do this in some cases. For example, I don't want a pupil or student to forget all we have learned during vacation. Or I give such additional stuff when people ask me to give lessons from intermediate level, and I want to be sure, that they don't have gaps at basic level of knowledge.

So, although we speak mostly about MOOCs in this course, modern techologies give us good opportunities to improve traditional methods of studying or bring them to new level. In MOOC and similar things, I think, the initiative comes mostly from the side of student: he wants to study something and searches for a course. In traditional forms the initiative comes equally from both sides or mostly from a teacher (especially with younger pupils). But technologies still help to bring interactivity and make learning process more effective.

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