ESL Teacher & Professional Trainer for College and Career

1. What do you teach and how long have you been teaching with computer technology?


Okay so what I teach is, I teach a professional year to international students that have just finished a Masters degree or Bachelor’s degree in IT firms or Accounting. They get five  visa points for doing it as well. In the past, I’ve been doing it since Oct 2017 and the IT technology that we would use in the past is just obviously just PPTs…just your normal videos you know, online Youtube or whatever videos we were showing stuff like that and gamification like Kahoots and stuff  like that. It’s only been in the last day where we knew were going to be forced to throw the whole program online. The program consists of eight modules. Each module has four single days and the modules range from…yesterday I taught a professional workplace writing. The assessments involve where they had to business reports and they had to do some formal emails and it’s all geared up towards business writing for the workforce.


2. How important do you think it is to incorporate the latest technology into your lessons?


Ah, god, my company is a little bit, not really into updating all the time because of the cost factor so you know, with our content we’re using is probably 3-4 years old. So we’re not updating new software and stuff like that. I mean, Moodle was not being updated all the time…occasionally they’ll do a fix on Moodle or our learning management system probably once every 6 months, but they’re not updating it. I think you need to update because you need to be using the latest technology so it’s most effective, but cost wise I don’t think most companies will do it all the time.


3. Can you describe a class activity or assignment that you’ve done in the past using computer technology? How well were you able to incorporate the learning objectives of your school’s curriculum?


Haha, it’s dead easy! Yesterday, 4 o’clock ‘till 5:30, they had to write an assignment on Moodle and they had to submit it online. So, I started them off at 3:30 with 22 students. I explained it to them…they went to look at the learner guide. There were two possible scenarios for the accountants, two possible scenarios for the IT. I explained it to them how it works. They had to choose one, then they had to write a formal email of about 150 words to 200 words. But what I did was in the past, normally in a classroom environment, I would get them to come up to me and show them the email before I allowed them to upload. They would physically come up to me, show me with their computer, and show me the email they would write. We did this for a couple of reasons. Obviously for time. It’s too time consuming, constantly remarking. I could tell right away if it were passable or not passable. I would give them quick feedback of what they needed to change and then I’d get them to submit for grading. But because I can’t do that at the moment, what I did yesterday, I had 22 students all online. I got them to submit as a draft. So, as soon as they submitted it on a draft, 150 words, I could read it in 30 seconds, I had the whole class on mute. I would jump to the student that submitted and I’ll unmute them and then I’d quickly tell them you need to do this, this, and this. Make the changes, then I’d close for grading. So I did this from 4-5:30 so that I know the standard is going to be reasonable.


4. Do you think newer technology will eventually replace traditional resources like books, pens, and paper?


Yeah, I mean that’s going to happen, but it’s not going to replace people, that’s not going to happen. Slowly, but surely you’re eliminating the need to actually use paper and pens. Occasionally I do it in class, I’ll hand out paper and pens if I want them to write something particular—to take notes or something, but they don’t really need it they could just be doing it on a word document anyway. So, it’s going to be interesting from now on with me teaching online, I’m not going to be using anything physical, it’s going to be completely online. Mind you, I used a piece of paper yesterday for my attendance. (laugh)


5. Steve Jobs was famous for saying, "There's an app for that", but realistically speaking, do you believe there's still something that you need as a teacher where there isn't any "app for that yet"?


Oh god, you trying to work something it out so you can make some money? (laugh) I probably should be, but I’m not one of these people that’s constantly searching for ways of maximizing my day or maximizing my time. I’m sure there’s a million different applications for time management or organizing yourself better. I’m still quite old fashioned. I’m still sitting here and having pieces of paper with the lists of jobs I’m going to do. I’ve got one down sitting right beside me so you’re probably asking the wrong person mate.



Teacher Interviews


Interviewer: Shua Her

Date: Mar 24, 2020