The EuroCALL Teacher Education Special Interest Group

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The EuroCALL Teacher Education Special Interest Group focuses on issues related to language teaching with technologies and in particular on how teachers learn to

  • integrate learning technologies into teaching practice
  • develop techno-pedagogical competencies and
  • evolve with changing tools, methods and learners

We are especially interested in how teachers can be supported in CALL practice, research methods in teacher education and links between CALL research and teaching practice.

In the context of EuroCALL 2017, the Teacher Education SIG is hosting a Workshop on how social media and cloud computing could be integrated in the teaching process.

Following are the abstracts of the two 90-minute sessions:

  1. Social Media for eLearning: friend or foe?

Christina Giannikas, Cyprus University of Technology

The first workshop will consider how social media (SM) has become an integral part of our lives. Its wide-ranging spread has had a massive impact on communication and interaction; nonetheless, the integration of SM is still in a developmental stage in higher education (Callaghan and Fribbance, 2016). This could be considered a disadvantage since university students are increasingly becoming tech savvy and tech dependant, which could mean that students’ participation in SM may lead to positive learning outcomes, and could support the goal of engagement in a university setting. As university courses evolve, the means of executing them develop. eLearning has turned into a dominant means of education. Due to their motivating nature, e-Learning tools provide higher education with powerful mechanisms to alter the passivity that in-person learning at a physical campus may sometimes bring. The tools in question also try to promote interaction and to actively involve students in their learning process (Alejandre, Allueva, Tolosana, Trilo, 2012). eLearning offers flexibility and variety to students, however, the interactive element can be lost when a course is mostly built on asynchronous tasks. eLearning settings could highly benefit from SM as they not only improve communication among students and between teachers and students in a familiar locale, but it can help increase interactive learning in an otherwise isolating environment. SM can be used to spark discussions, share feedback, or to work collaboratively on a group project.

This 90-minute first session will provide suggestions and guidance on how to engage learners and increase student-student and educator-student interaction. Specifically, the workshop will:

  • acquaint participants with various SM platforms, their characteristics and limitations
  • illustrate how SM can be used in eLearning through sample cases
  • explain the challenges
  • present tips and ideas for using SM in eLearning
  • provide guidance on how to implement a SM strategy for eLearning

On completion, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to incorporate SM tools into a virtual learning experience
  • Discuss the common barriers to SM for learning implementation and how to manage those barriers
  • Establish social networks as part of curriculum development for eLearning
  • Integrate SM into virtual classroom design during synchronous and asynchronous sessions

This workshop will utilize public SM networks for demonstration purposes. For the most impactful experience, participants should have access to, and personal login ids for, the following SM networks:

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • Skype:
  • WordPress (Blog writing):

Registered participants will be asked to provide their user ids ahead of time for planning purposes, and should bring their own device (laptop, tablet, etc.).

  1. Teaching in clouds: Integrating G Suite for Education in the teaching process

Elis Kakoulli Constantinou, Cyprus University of Technology

The second part of the morning’s sessions will look at cloud computing. Cloud computing has been one of the most important and influential advancements in information technology since the emergence of the Internet. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (2011), ‘[c]loud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.’ Since the advent of cloud computing, many companies, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, etc., have provided many different cloud services and products (Sultan, 2010). Nowadays, cloud computing has been widely used in education due to its flexibility, availability, practicality and cost effectiveness. Among the most popular cloud services are the ones offered by Google (Barlow & Lane, 2007; Herrick, 2009; Railean, 2012). In 2006 Google developed its Apps for Education which are currently referred to as “G Suite for Education: A Suite of Free Productivity Tools for Classroom Collaboration” (Google for Education, n.d.). Google for Education Services provide teachers and students with access to many different tools, such as Classroom, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs, etc., each of which can serve different educational purposes.

This session aims at introducing participants to the different tools offered by G Suite for Education and ways in which these tools can be integrated in the teaching process based on constructivist approaches to teaching and learning. Special emphasis will be put on Google Classroom which is a free, web-based platform that integrates all the G Suite services. During the workshop, participants will be given access to G suite for Education and will have the opportunity to become acquainted with Google Classroom and other Google products through hands-on activities involving the creation and management of classes, assignments, provision of feedback and grades, etc. Examples of use of G Suite for Education will be presented throughout the workshop, such as its integration in two English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) Courses at the Cyprus University of Technology as well as in a Teacher Training programme for English for Specific Purposes (ESP) teachers. By the end of the workshop, participants are expected to be able to adopt and integrate these tools in their own teaching contexts. The workshop is addressed to a broad audience that may consist of language teachers, teacher trainers, and stakeholders and generally anyone involved in language education. For this workshop participants are requested to have a computer with them with reliable Internet connection as well as their personal username and password needed to access the G Suite that will be sent to them beforehand.

Posted in Eurocall2017, SIGs.