August 2012
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TESOL 2012 Presentation Reports
Hye-Sook Lee and Tom Penniston

Hye-Sook Lee
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Language, Literacy and Culture program, PhD Candidate; E-Teacher Support Staff

Tom Penniston
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Language, Literacy and Culture program, PhD Candidate; E-Teacher Support Staff

Lee and Penniston presented “Integrating Technology Into EFL Teacher Education” at TESOL’s Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit, held this March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This session demonstrated the use of technology based on the E-Teacher Scholarship program’s global English teacher development initiative, discussed the benefits of utilizing technologies for online English courses, and provided an overview of potential implementations. Administered by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the E-Teacher Scholarship Program has trained English educators from over 100 countries in instructional approaches including assessment, methodologies, and teaching English for young learners. Program administrators use multimedia technology through the online platform to benefit instructional practice and content delivery. In particular, videos facilitate increased classroom interactions, which, in turn, are an integral component of E-Teacher knowledge development through social learning.

Learning theories, such as multiple intelligences and communities of practice, suggest educators might promote student motivation and inspire learners through incorporation of visual and cooperative learning strategies. The evaluation of video content and its implementation in the online courses was informed through participant surveys about their perceptions regarding multimedia technology in general, their familiarity with or competency in utilizing technology, and their incorporation of technology for learning purposes. Through E-Teacher online course feedback, participants cited video and new media use as supporting innovative teaching and learning approaches. Survey results indicate that a majority of participants considered these videos beneficial for their learning while they found videos engaging, enjoyable, and facilitated comprehension. However, digital divide issues such as poor Internet connectivity and unfamiliarity with technology or video use may limit an individual’s access to content. Lee and Penniston also outlined the video production processes, including open-source and commercial tool options. The presenters concluded with a discussion regarding concerns and limitations in implementing technologies for educational purposes.

Hye-Sook Lee is from South Korea and is enrolled in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s PhD program in language, literacy, and culture. She earned a bachelor’s degree in German language and literacy in South Korea and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information systems and comparing cultural studies in Germany. Her doctoral research focuses on the impact of professional development on teachers working with English language learners.

Tom Penniston provides Blackboard support to the E-Teacher program’s Methods and Assessment courses as a graduate assistant. He was an EFL teacher as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova. He received his BA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in English, and his MA in instructional system design in English for speakers of other languages from UMBC. His dissertation will quantitatively assess student academic development associated with service learning through fixed-effects modeling.

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