Saturday, May 20, 2006

Quote of the day

“Engagement is more important than content.”

I came across a wonderful set of podcasts created by Ewan McIntosh which were recorded at a seminar in Shropshire, UK. Basically it is about the different ways we, as teachers, can engage and motivate students. The main idea is that technologies, such IM, video games and personal web pages are changing how students learn outside the classsroom, and that we have to utilise some of these changes in order to engage students in lessons

Prensky argues that If students are engaged then learning will happen, in fact it is difficult to prevent. This is something that I’ve seen a number of times with students I’ve taught. As I tell parents if I can find the right “button” to press i.e. find a topic, hobby or interest that inspires them, students will learn for themselves and all I have to do is point them in the right direction.

Another important point that Prensky made was that while all learning requires effort, in certain conditions this effort can seem like play rather than work. If we can engage student’s interest than real learning can take place without it seeming like work in the traditional sense.

I’m not sure that Greek student’s lives have become as “digitised” as their American counterparts, since only a minority use the internet regularly, though video games are popular, especially with boys. Even the use of mobile phones is necessarily limited by their expense. Still, young Greeks have rapidly adopted and mastered these technologies and so, according to Prensky, are learning in a completely different way to their parent’s and (my) generation.

Thanks again to Ewan McIntosh for taking the effort to record and post the podcasts.


EFL Geek said...


I thought I would mention that I have started a new EFL & ESL Wiki over at my site. It's fully integrated with my blog and forums requiring only one login to use. commenting on blog entries still does not require login.

I am looking forward to contributions by yourself and if you could post a little promo on your blog I would be very grateful. Sorry for the off-topic comment.

EFL Geek

Ewan McIntosh said...

Thanks for your nice summary of the podcasts. If you've read my blog in the two or three posts since then, though, there are still lots of people to convince. I hope you can battle on in Greece (even if your Eurovision entry failed to do the same this year ;-)

Great to 'meet' you.

teacher dude said...

Shame about the Eurovision, still everyone had a good time. I agree with the idea that there are still a lot of people to convince, not least our students who can be just as conseravtive as everyone else.

Also I'lb checking out your new wiki EFL Geek. Thanks for letting me know.