Teaching: it’s all about the Relationship, not Technology in the Classroom

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Technology in the ESL classroom

If you’re wondering about using tech in your English classroom, and whether or not it’s good for you, or the students then you’re in the right place. Keep on reading to find out more about this important topic.

It’s not about Technology in the Classroom

I’ve been thinking lately about teaching, and what is really important in order to do it effectively. I increasingly think that it’s not so much about handouts, excessive prep and fancy PPTs but it’s actually about all the relationships you can build with students.

If the students like you, they will want to learn from you. If they don’t, it doesn’t really matter how fancy of a PowerPoint you have. But, is it really that simple? Maybe yes? Maybe no.

Do you Care?

I remember back to when I was a student, and it’s not the material I remember, but about the relationships I had with the teachers. My favorites were the ones that were kind, and funny, and gentle and who cared about me as a person. And those were the classes I cared about.

The arrogant, bad-communicators, and those with no social skills? Well, it didn’t matter how good their presentation was, or how relevant their material was…I just didn’t care and only wanted to make it through with a good grade.

Think about your own school days. Isn’t it much the same for you?

Hiding Behind Technology?

So how does that relate to teaching in Korea? I have some coworkers who I see, as I’m walking by classrooms before class who have these crazy impressive PPT presentations. And I see handouts that are left in classrooms by teachers before me which are also most impressive.

It makes me wonder whether they use technology and all these handouts to hide behind, as a way of avoiding real interaction and engagement. Does it really help them teach effectively?

Maybe they’re just awesome teachers who devote a lot of time to lesson planning? That could certainly be part of it.

Can someone who rocks the chalk be equally effective with a lot less effort? Can these teachers engage the students in a real, interesting kind of way? Lots of questions, but not a lot of solid answers.

(Going old school, ESL teaching style? Check out these fun, interactive ESL games and activities to get your students talking to each other: ESL Speaking Games, Activities and Resources)

Technology in the Classroom: It’s Complicated

Not that technology in the classroom, impressive handouts=bad teacher, and no technology in the classroom, no handouts=good teacher. It’s way more complicated than that obviously.

The Flipped Classroom Model

One interesting teaching method that I’ve never personally tried is the flipped classroom. This is where students watch the lectures at home via YouTube (or whatever works for you). Then, they come to class and do the “homework” and practice using what they’re learned.

It’s an interesting use of technology outside the classroom and an effective use of the class time too as students can get the individual help they need.

Learn More about the Pros and Cons of Technology in the ESL Classroom

Check out this short video below for more details:

Have your Say about Technology in the ESL/EFL Classroom

What are your thoughts about using technology in your classroom? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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One Comment

  1. admin

    Anything that makes our classes more student-centered is what the ultimate goal should be, no matter how you get there.

    I’m okay with saying slightly offensive/controversial things! This site would be really boring if I didn’t. Haha!

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