Manel Trenchs

@ManelTrenchs

Becoming a teacher who uses ICT in a classroom isn’t a decision, it’s a process. Some time ago, seeing mobile phones in a classroom gave me a headache. Today, however, I find it indispensible for the students, seeing as, in my case, ICT has turned into an essential tool for their education, both inside and outside the classroom. The happy acceptance by the students of the introduction of “screens” in their education brought me to investigate the potencial for social networks as educational tools. Having the students coninue working outside the classroom was an aspect I was able to improve after discovering Edpuzzle, a tool that allows modifications to the videos, adding questions, links, comments, assessments… and allows the teacher to see the students’ data. So that each student can watch them as many times as needed for their individual learning pace. I have always tried to introduce games in the classroom to be used as an educational tool. In this aspect technology has provided an invaluable improvement. I use it to review content, strenghten it… and, if needed, to “gift” points. I have been using this system for a number of years, of doing activities in small groups before each written exam in which there would be a competition with a prize. The discovery of tools like Kahoot, Socrative, Quizlet or Quizizz have provided a level of excitement to this dynamic activity. Working with teenagers means that most of them have mobile phones and they love having them in the classroom and learn to value them as an educational tool. I think they feel more understood because we’re speaking their “language”. In any case, most of the programs I use in class can be used on any electronic device and therefore, whether the student has a mobile phone or not, shouldn’t be a limiting factor. Another concept that has been changing my way of thinking is about the classroom as the only educational space. The introduction of technology and social networks allow the material I prepare for the students to be available to other people, which makes my work even more gratifying. After contacting other teachers around the world, I got the idea for “online” debates between interesting people and my students. This is how I started experimenting with Google Hangout and Skype inside the classroom. With these activities I’ve managed to make them see the use of studying languages like English and opening their minds to other ways of thinking and acting. This is the point at which I am now, but I am convinced that there are many more tools out there to be discovered, and always room for innovation. This is the story of my last four years as a teacher, starting from the complete absence of technology to believing the ICTs to be completely indispensable in 21st Century education.