This week I learned strategies to promote student´s autonomy and how to deal with a one-computer classroom for the benefit of learners. In our discussion forum, almost all of us have agreed that autonomy is not a concrete state that is learned in a single step but it is rather an ongoing process along the way of education. We also learned that the first step towards this transformation is assisting students in their own awareness of autonomy. Our education system has traditionally been very authoritarian and leaving a small space for students to develop their own interests and leaning goals in a manner that is consistent with their potentials and capacities. It is also true that this change of approach should also start with the educator. We as teachers need to see the possibility of teaching modification to enable a more autonomous learning environment. The promotion of this new aptitude towards leaning should come from the teacher’s trustful guidance and counseling and it may be expressed in the early stages by assigning seemly simple tasks like cleaning the tables, boards and any other classroom chore to initiate or promote mutual interdependency and autonomy. Others see independency when students engage in real world tasks like giving an address or explaining something in a second language, I do agree with this as well. As I see it is like a symbiosis between the teacher and students where the first lay out a propitious space for the others to develop their skills and abilities. This in turn, will benefit the teacher as to a sustainable teaching environment.
Regarding the topic of the one-computer classroom, it may surprise some that there are still many places in the education world where technology is rare or of difficult access. We learned lots of ideas on how to promote learning with technology with such a shortage of resources. I particularly liked the combination of the Jigsaw group technique to work with a computer as a workstation and the colorary collaborative learning environment that results from this procedure. It is incredible the amount of ideas we learned this week for using just one computer.
As for my final project, I chose and I was selected as a peer-reviewer of the first draft which is due next week. I have already started to type the first part of it. Last week I assigned a task to use a web-based tool to improve reading pronunciation. This week I sent a massive e-mail with a survey hoping to get some insights from my online students about their experience with the new voice recording tool. I am looking forward to seeing the results of that survey by this weekend.