Social Media in ELT reminds me of Don Quixote and his windmills

Under the post “Can we change education?”on her blog, Nancy A. McKeand wrote this :

Computers don’t and won’t automatically change education. It will take teachers who are able to open up the world to their students through using them to make a real difference.

So one of the questions that came up to my mind was : Why do teachers lack training in online resources? Are they afraid of online tools? How far has proper training gone into their professional consciousnes / responsibility? Are they really interested in what the new types of media have to offer for educational context?
I guess we are all (or almost all of us) interested, not exactly as David Warlick exclaims at the end of this blog post:

What we lack is both time and support. Time to sit down in front of the PC and try new tools to see what happens and support from the “big heads” from Educational Areas of different governments (in the world, because that lack of support is not exclusive from one country) to accept that to enhance education means to enhance teacher quality, quite neglected in my country -a shame really-

Perhaps the fact that Web 2.0 tools haven’t been designed just for educational purposes -but to meet different needs – is another key factor that, along with the lack of time and work load teachers in general undergo, contribute to struggling for or against the use of Social Media in ELT. Enthusiactic open minded Teachers eager to use all sort of online resurces without serious training and planning may terribly afect desired changes in education

In addition to the message behind the pic above I invite you to read an excerpt from a 25-year experienced teacher who says “NO” to computers in class.

Sad…but true.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

I sometimes think teachers in this century are too much like the protagonist of the novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Then I go back onto my thoughts and remeber that “Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age and perhaps the entire Spanish literary canon.”, as the Wikipedia explains.

That is the exact moment when the facts presented on the paragraphs above do not look so sad to me.

Related post : How to set up a new Internet Lab at School


1 Comment

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One response to “Social Media in ELT reminds me of Don Quixote and his windmills

  1. If you want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed bits. Thanks, anyway!

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