Utilizing technology to develop a community of inquiry

Today, I received an email informing me that my joint proposal with Michael Burri has been accepted for the TESL Canada conference in October! I thought I would pass along the summary and abstract of the session:

Utilizing technology to develop a community of inquiry
This presentation explores ways of implementing simple technology tools and structures into the language curriculum in order to promote a community of inquiry amongst students. A demonstration of these strategies will be provided as well as a discussion of the results of these techniques in a variety of classroom environments.
Recent work in the area of technology and language instruction has focused on the integration of tools to promote peer collaboration. A study in California by the MacArthur Foundation (2008) involving over 800 youth and young adults found young people are turning to specialized knowledge groups outside of the classroom as their primary learning environment. This is primarily due to the need for social interaction and the desire to improve their reputation amongst their peers. Sharing, collaborating, and instant feedback are a trademark of the current generation of learners and the language classroom sometimes falls short in meeting those needs, even with the use of technology. A community of inquiry, as noted by Garrison and Anderson (2003), involves a cognitive, social, and teaching presence. The role of the instructor is to provide the framework and guidance that engages students cognitively and gives them the ability to express themselves socially. Giving students the tools within the classroom to integrate these values engages the students and provides them the opportunity to develop personal learning strategies within their own contexts.
Consequently, this presentation will demonstrate a number of language learning strategies, especially those targeting the four skills, that integrate technology in a more social and cognitive manner. Feedback from the use of these techniques in both an ESP and EAP classroom environment will be shared. There will also be an interactive brainstorming session to allow participants in this session to share their thoughts and ideas to develop our own community of inquiry.
Michael and I would love to see you in our session. I will post more information as it comes available.

2 thoughts on “Utilizing technology to develop a community of inquiry

  1. Thanks, Sarah! I look forward to seeing you and everyone else again. I really enjoyed my time at the BC TEAL conference. I think this will be really fun doing this with Michael.

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