Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Expectations- Gabriela Sellart

I am an EFL teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have been teaching for more than 30 years. I've been struggling* to embed new technology in my classes for the last three years. Struggling. Yes. The institutions I work for still don't see much value in the new possibilities social media offer to build learning environments.

I work in a Secondary School and in a Language School and even though I started to use web2.0 tools as means to enhance my teaching, I soon discovered they were enhancing my own learning.

I'm always asking myself: What can we do now that we couldn't do before? Something we couldn't do before (at least not easily) was the production of a collaborative text overcoming space and time limits. Now technology allows us to do so. However, access to the Internet + use of collaborative tools -such as wikis or google docs- doesn't necessarily guarantee the production of a collaborative piece of writing.

I teach a foreign language, maybe it is due to that fact that I think writing is about finding your own voice. The thing is... what happens to your own voice when you are writing with others? How do you merge those voices so that the outcome is a new one? What is modified in you, as a unique subject, when you go through that experience?

I tend to search for questions rather than answers. I know the answers will eventually come in the shape of the new questions. New questions is what I expect to come across in this session. I strongly believe learning is social. Therefore, I know I will learn with you -my session mates, and with you -the eventual participants in the open environments of this session.

*link in Spanish
PHOTO: one of my last groups, photoshopped to preserve their identities, they are under 18.


Berta said...

Hi Gabriela,
You are so right. I also feel there is so much we have in common.
I also follow Vygostkyan principles of learning as a social event where the main aim is to communicate and share our ideas with others, especially with learners from all over the world.
In my project I tried to account for some of these principles and I was lucky to have my writing students interact with other learners in the US, Europe and especially, Japan. We learned a lot about conventions when addressing people from other cultures and were amazed at the similarities we had, but at the same time at the differences that set us apart, especially during our collaboration with students in Japan, and even with their professor.

I would be delighted to stay in touch with you and meet you someday in the near future (I have to submit a paper to any of the conventions in Argentina to meet so many dear colleagues there. If I am lucky and get accepted, I might go there and meet you all. Let´s hope so.

CariƱos, Berta

Carla Raguseo said...

Hi Gabi!!
It's great to find you here!

Looking forward to learning from you

Big hugs, Carla