Friday, 18 June 2010


Back in 2007, the American futurist Thomas Frey had a strong vision of the future of education: in 2 to 5 years, technology will drive the future and determine the vehicle for education.
Past has become present and there is no doubt that digital technology is becoming dominant. This tendency may seem disturbing to some educators and parents. Will education be undertaken by computers? What kind of education do we need?
Europe’s capacity to innovate has been proved in many directions. Language skills acquisition is becoming essential in all walks of life and the European heritage in teaching languages needs to be shaped for the future.
A study visit took place between 16th May and 21st May 2010, in Sofia, Bulgaria. The topic of this study visit was “Innovative Methods of Teaching English for Specific Purposes and IT “. Ten participants from nine countries contributed to this project: Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The participants come from a wide variety of education and training organization, including state institutions and private companies.
The discussions will continue and other meetings will take place until a conclusion will be drawn. In their preliminary findings the participants agreed upon the following ideas:
1. Nobody can demonstrate that a good teacher is way better than technology. But teachers will remain the key actors. It’s only real people who can show the learners their way to success, thru interacting and learning from each other.
2. The teacher-centric process is changing into a learning-centric process.The transition from generalized education to individualization  is also a part of the ideal learning scenario.
3. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the benefits advances in digital technology could bring to education. The challenge for everybody involved in education is to find the best approach to help the students distinguish the true and the good in the virtual world. Technology becomes an asset only if used properly. Otherwise, it will be an obstacle.
4. Spoonfeeding the learners must stop. Students will be rewarded for innovativeness, communication and entrepreneurial abilities instead of academic and memorizing skills. Teachers will most certainly act as e-learning coaches, as well.
5. Online environments can help learners work together, share and generate discussion. E-collaboration does not always end up in learning much, but the feeling of working with real peers is a great stimulus. Supporters of classroom learning environment have to admit that an authentic but "dull" learning environment world does little to encourage or motivate learners.
Whether we educate children and young learners for today’s world or looking ahead to tomorrow, the GOAL remains the same: to educate, train and support the students’ professional development. The vital student-teacher connection should not be lost.
Information on the ANPCDEFP project by courtesy of Mrs. Angelica Popa, Branch Director at Lexis Schools of Languages – Romania. Event hosted by Big Ben Schools of Languages and Computing - Sofia, Bulgaria                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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