Enhancing teachers’ professional identities with technology

Kim, D., & Jang, S. E. (2014). Dialogic practices in using podcasting and blogging as teaching tools for teachers seeking ESOL Certificate. J Educational Computing Research, 51(2) 205-232.

Research Findings

Student studying with laptop and notesThe aim of this research was to evaluate how ESOL teachers, who ranged in age from twenty-three to their late fifties, utilised podcasts and blogs to create dialogue with their English learners in the United States. Previous research cited in this article shows that podcasts and blogs assist slower learners or those with disabilities and provide a richer learning environment. They are better revision tools than books and can extend language learning as students create their own content. Furthermore, audio blogs can teach language while affording teachers space to observe their learners’ language progress.  Some teachers in this research were non-users of technology while one had used it extensively. Although the non-users were anxious about using technology, they made the biggest leap in their enjoyment and competency levels and felt they had enhanced their professional identities. The teachers had many creative, pedagogically sound ideas to use the technology for second language acquisition.

Implications for Practice

The teachers liked seeing their students excited by the digital projects and wanted to see them excel with their English. They believed that using new technologies helps language learners through engagement, motivation, self -correction, repetition and ensuring the task is done to a high standard.  The research implied that instructional technologies were beneficial for reaching English learners with a range of talents and learning styles while the learners felt empowered when they helped their teachers with the technology. Implications for teachers were that they learned about the students’ backgrounds and language learning experiences through using podcasts and blogs and realised that a competent teacher needs to keep up-to-date with technology. However, they all found using technology time consuming and stressed the need for good technical support in schools.