Gary Motteram

Moderation: Vicky Saumell, Phil Longwell 

Recording (58min): 

What we can learn about teaching online from organisations and teachers working in challenging contexts?

In the field of learning technologies we are usually pushing the boundaries, trying to see what is the next ‘big thing’, to find the perfect tool to support our teaching. At the same time worrying that tools like AI and robots will remove the need for language teachers. There are, at the same time, many places in the world where people are teaching languages in classes where there might be 80-90-150 learners (and more) where even the technology of the textbook is not normalised.

While I am very interested in the next ‘big thing’ and the future of technology supported language teaching, I have also always believed we should be much more mindful of the contexts we are working and the teachers and learners and what they know and understand about technology and use this as a starting point for anything we do.

Over the last few years, I have been working to support teacher development in a range of challenging contexts including Pakistan, refugee camps in Jordan and under-resourced contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. We have been exploring what might be considered low tech tools like WhatsApp and Zoom (before it became the synchronous technology of choice). This talk will then present some of what we have learned from these projects and will place this within the context of the field of education for emergencies which I believe has a lot to tell us in our Covid-19 afflicted world.

Gary Motteram is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Manchester Institute of Education where he teaches on MAs in TESOL and Digital Technology in Education and the PGCert in Higher Education. His research interests lie in the area of language teacher education at a distance (see recent publications). He is currently working on a GCRF funded project on teacher professional development through practitioner research:

What we can learn about teaching online from organisations and teachers working in challenging contexts?

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