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Designing a hackathon challenge of L2 content creation for university students in digital language education

Presentation at the 2021 JALT CALL conference (Japan Association for Language Teaching for Computer Assisted Language Learning)

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Designing a hackathon challenge of L2 content creation for university students in digital language education

  1. 1. Designing a hackathon challenge of L2 content creation for university students in digital language education Katerina Zourou, Ph.D. JALTCALL conference 2021
  2. 2. Katerina Zourou, Web2Learn, Greece Researcher in open, social and digital learning Advocate of open access, open science and citizen science Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  3. 3. Extending the JALT CALL 2020 presentation: “Language learning as agency for a social purpose: examples from the coronavirus pandemic” Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  4. 4. “Widening participation in Computer Assisted Language Learning” (Frederiksen, Larsen, Bradley, Thouësny, 2020) Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  5. 5. Informal ways of learning form a fast-growing landscape (portability, technology, community- based learning as drivers) Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021 self-access, out-of-school and distance learning; informal, non-formal and naturalistic learning; non-instructed learning and self-instruction; autonomous, independent, self-directed and self-regulated learning, and learning beyond the classroom A wealth of terms (Benson, 2011):
  6. 6. Out-of-class learning Learning that "occurs naturalistically, using resources not specifically tailored for educational purposes and which are situated outside of any institutional context" (Sockett, 2014). “Digital wilds” refer to non-instructionally oriented contexts that support social activity (…) They present (…) compelling opportunities for intercultural exchange, agentive action, and meaning making” (Thorne et al., 2015) Alm & Ohashi, 2020; Thorne, Sauro, & Smith, 2015, Sauro & Zourou, 2019) Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  7. 7. Agency and social action in L2 • Sociocultural understandings of learning: emphasis on learners as social actors shaping their discourse and identity through agentive action • Agentive action (through participation) transforms and re-creates a new world that becomes part of one’s own. • Developments in technology (mobile devices that afford connection and social interaction anytime and anywhere, social networking tools) offer possibilities for user-driven, self, and group-initiated practices that redraw models of production, distribution, and reuse of knowledge (Lave, 1998; Thorne, 2010; Reinhardt 2018; Zhao, Ellison & Lampe, 2016; Warner & Chen, 2017) Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  8. 8. 4 main types of digital activism and their potential for L2 use and learning Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices Grassroots activism 1.Citizen science Zourou, K. 2020. Language learning as the agency for a social purpose. Alsic journal. Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  9. 9. 4 main types of digital activism and their potential for L2 use and learning Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices Grassroots activism 1.Citizen science Zourou, K. 2020. Language learning as the agency for a social purpose. Alsic journal. Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  10. 10. Training future language teachers in out-of-class learning Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  11. 11. Raising pre-service teacher awareness on language learning beyond the classroom Starting point: Teacher training: contexts within which (future) teachers develop pedagogical skills are mostly formal learning ones, incl. cross-institutional ones; Limited opportunities for pre-service teachers to engage in critically reflective activities about informal language learning in their educative practice. Hauck et al., 2020; Orsini-Jones, Brick & Pibworth, 2013; Liu et al., 2015, Potolia & Zourou, 2020
  12. 12. Scope, methodology Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  13. 13. Scope: • familiarize future language teachers with the unpredictable, non-linear, self- directed aspect of informal (language) learning • Understand the implications for professional development by exploring novel practices in teacher education Methodology: action research “as the process of studying a school situation to understand and improve the quality of the educative process” (Hine, 2013:152); also as a methodology that facilitates teacher empowerment (Johnson, 2012). Post-event survey to elicit attitudes, opinions related to this experience. Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  14. 14. Solution devised Set up of a Challenge during the annual Hackathon DigiEduHack (a pan-European Hackathon in the field of education taking place every November; 2020 edition: 54 challenges, 2600 participants) We submitted an application to host one of the hackathon Challenges. The topic of our Challenge: Put language learning in the service of a social purpose! Objective of the Challenge=> creation of language learning materials by university students/ future language teachers, meeting a social purpose Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021 Landing page of the Challenge: https://digieduhack.com/en/thessaloniki-citizenscience-inos
  15. 15. Context • 22 university students (pre-service teachers of languages) at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, enrolled in a Master’s programme on Digital technologies in language education • Attending the course ‘plurilingual and pluricultural teaching and learning resources” (delivered by Associate Professor Evangelia Moussouri) in November 2020 • 2 tutors: the academic tutor responsible for the university course (Evangelia Moussouri); a business tutor on language learning and open innovation (Katerina Zourou) • Part of the activities of the European Union funded project INOS Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  16. 16. Organisation of the Challenge • A week before the start of the Challenge: an introductory session. • a Zoom meeting with all students + the 2 tutors: presentation of the setting, roles, timing, communication tools (Slack, Zoom, Google Drive); accounts activated for all participants • Students formed groups of 4 university students and chose a topic from an indicative list (overall theme: language learning for a social purpose) prepared by the tutors • During the 5-day challenge: • Regular feedback from the academic and business tutor on Slack; • Last day: Pitch presentations by each team • videorecordings available online with students’ consent Link 1, Link 2, Link 3 • One month after the event: survey to collect views on this experience Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  17. 17. The hypothesis Participation to a Challenge would enable cross-fertilization of points of view between students and, due to the informal learning context of a hackathon, allow them to reflect on what out-of-class learning entails • => the idea of setting up a Challenge during an annual Hackathon as an opportunity for future language teachers to create language resources in an informal learning context • participating to a tailor-made hackathon as a learning/ teaching opportunity embedded in their university curriculum. A survey administrated 1 month after the end of the Challenge, in respondents’ mother tongue; answers translated by the tutors Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  18. 18. Preliminary results (Scholar paper in progress; qualitative analysis of survey results) • Enthusiasm with new forms of peer learning • Reluctance on variety of technologies used in short time (Slack for intra-group communication (mandatory), Whatsapp (optional), Google Drive and Zoom for inter-group interaction • Ability to connect this experience with the potential of language learning informally • Public access to group solutions largely considered very positive Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  19. 19. All solutions are open access Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021 https://digieduhac k.com/en/thessalo niki-citizenscience- inos#_solutionsTab
  20. 20. Some concluding remarks What teacher education could focus more on: • More opportunities for university students to familiarize themselves with forms of social action (citizen-driven innovation; digital activism; citizen science) that afford (informal) language learning and teaching • Designing pre-service teacher training in a way that it connects to contemporary claims for a more active role of citizens (language learners and teachers) in decision making and the shaping of policy agendas • Acknowledging university students/ future language teachers as social actors who are in the capacity to “instill”/ “diffuse” active citizenship and experiential learning principles to their learners along with language instruction Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021
  21. 21. Bibliography (1) Alm, A., & Ohashi, L. (2020). From self-study to studying the self: a collaborative autoethnography of language educators as informal language learners. In K.-M. Frederiksen, S. Larsen, L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds), CALL for widening participation: short papers from EUROCALL 2020 (pp. 1-6). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2020.48.1156 Benson, P. (2011). In Beyond the language classroom. Palgrave Macmillan, London. Frederiksen, K-M; Larsen, S; Bradley, L; Thouësny, S (Eds), CALL for widening participation: short papers from EUROCALL 2020 Liu, M., Abe, K., Cao, M. W., Liu, S., Ok, D. U., Park, J., Parrish, C. & Sardegna, V. G.(2015). An analysis of social network websites for language learning : Implications for teaching and learning English as a Second Language. CALICO ,32.113-152. Sauro, S., & Zourou, K. (2019). What are the digital wilds? Language Learning & Technology, 23(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10125/44666 Sockett, G. (2014). The online informal learning of English. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Thorne, S. 2015. Rewilding Language Education and Catalysing Futurisms. Keynote talk, 4th International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity (LED 2015), Auckland, New Zealand.
  22. 22. Bibliography (2) Thorne, S. L., & Reinhardt, J. (2008). " Bridging activities," new media literacies, and advanced foreign language proficiency. Calico Journal, 25(3), 558-572. Thorne, S. L., Black, R. W., & Sykes, J. M. (2009). Second language use, socialization, and learning in Internet interest communities and online gaming.The modern language journal, 93(s1), 802-821. Thorne, S. L., Sauro, S., & Smith, B. (2015). Technologies, identities, and expressive activity. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 215-233. Zourou, K., Potolia, A. & Zourou, F., 2017. Informal Social Networking for Language Learning: Insights into Autonomy Stances. In M. Cappellini, T. Lewis & A. Rivens Mompean (Eds)Learner Autonomy and Web 2.0. Equinox Publishing Ltd, 141-167. Zourou, K. 2020 « Language learning as the agency for a social purpose: examples from the coronavirus pandemic », Alsic , Vol. 23, n° 1 | 2020, URL: http://journals.openedition.org/alsic/4880 Zourou, K. 2021. Digital activism: challenges and opportunities for language learning. Invited talk https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/laitokset/kivi/opiskelu/tutkinto-ohjelmat-ja- oppiaineet/englanti/research/seminars/2020-21
  23. 23. Katerina Zourou, JALTCALL 2021 Thank you! Questions? Slides available at https://www.slideshare.net/Web2Learn_eu Katerina Zourou katerinazourou@gmail.com @web2learn_eu Google scholar

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