Bruffee (1999) argues that “knowledge is a construct of the community’s form of discourse, maintained by local consensus and subject to endless conversation. Learning is a social, negotiated, consensual process. Discourse is key…students collaborate in small groups, then in larger or plenary groups to increasingly come to intellectual convergence.” Learning in virtual environments
How to search: Teachers need to be able to use appropriate search engines and to know how to find specific types of material. How to evaluate: The fact that material is on the Web does not make it better. Teachers need to learn how good certain material is, that is, if it is accurate, current, deep, navigable and relevant to the learning task.
How to manipulate and create: Teachers need to know how to use technology to generate materials. Fluent use of assembling, manipulation and transformation software tools will be important skills in the future. How to integrate: Teachers need to integrate Web activities and virtual environments with the rest of their teaching. They need to be able to organise a Web session in terms of class management and methodology, to be able to assess its strengths and weaknesses for learning, to assess the learning and teaching process through it.
Why should teachers acquire these skills for virtual environments? <ul><li>Teachers should be prepared to handle the convergence of language learning and computer use: English through CMC. Our students will need to acquire language through this kind of technology because they are communicating through it. </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning and ELT </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher development </li></ul><ul><li>New jobs for teachers </li></ul>
“ Language is communication. The purpose of learning a language is, for most people, to use it to communicate. And why communicate? Most immediately, you have something you want to say or you meet someone you want to understand. The language you want and need to learn the most is that part of the language that helps you to meet your immediate needs.” Vance Stevens
CU ;-) Susana Trabaldo [email_address] [email_address] Bibliography: McMillan & Chavis (1986), Michael Coghlan (2003), Curt Bonk (2003), Vance Stevens (2003), Mark Waschawer (2003 )