How ESL Teachers Can Use Technology for Professional Development

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  • 0:00 Approaching Technology
  • 0:30 Planning & Communicating
  • 2:10 Growth & Networking
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Being able to effectively use technology is an essential professional skill. This lesson highlights ways in which ESL teachers can use technology to increase productivity, improve communication, and professionally grow.

Approaching Technology

Technology is such an integral part of both the academic and professional worlds that ignoring its importance is a detriment to your professional development. When it comes to using technology for professional development as a teacher, there are a few important considerations that you should keep in mind. Be sure to adapt the following strategies to ensure that the ways in which you use technology aid you in your professional development, productivity, and growth.

Planning & Communicating

A commonly overlooked technology skill for ESL teachers and one that is essential for professional development is keyboard typing skills. While you may be great at texting using a phone keyboard, it's vital to learn how to type on a standard computer keyboard. This skill is necessary for a number of reasons.

  • Effective typing ensures that you can communicate ideas.
  • Strong typing skills allow you to record information before it is forgotten.
  • Efficient typing gives you the ability to process and analyze important material.

In order to facilitate your growth in this area, be sure to provide yourself with plenty of opportunities to practice typing. For example, try typing up notes and lesson plans instead of handwriting them. You can also employ typing exercises that are directly related to developing your teaching portfolio, such as creating and typing up specific documents including resumes, list of references, cover letters, and teaching philosophy.

It's also important to learn common software. This includes software used for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, which is generally Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Even a basic understanding of these programs will be a huge benefit professionally. The more you know about these common programs, the better equipped you'll be to perform basic lesson planning and administrative functions such as keeping track of grading and attendance.

Typing and saving your lesson plans increases your efficiency because it will be easier to revise and update the plans based on your changing needs. Also, you'll be able to share your lesson plans with school administrators if requested. Similarity, electronic versions of grading sheets and attendance records are easy to reference and search.

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