LABCI conference 2011

On July 17, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Colin

For the last three days I have been attending the (Latin American British Cultural Institutes’), LABCI conference 2011 here in Asuncion, Paraguay. It has been a great event and I feel really lucky that it was here in Paraguay this year as I am not sure I would have gone otherwise but I am glad I did. I am very grateful to Cathy, Ed, Lorna and rest of the team from the Anglo for organizing it.

My professional focus as a teacher is to try to find ways to use the skills I developed in my previous career as a film maker to enhance the processes of teaching and learning English as a foreign language. Much of the focus of the event was on using technology better or more specifically asking our students to do so. So I am really excited about bringing my work to the EFL world.

I think it is fair to say that in education most schools and institutions are several years behind the times when it comes to technology. This is not a criticism because there are good and unavoidable reasons for this. Education budgets are always tight so new technology need to be proved before they can be invested in. Then staff need to be trained to use it and this is sometimes difficult as many teachers are from a previous generation and it is more difficult for them to learn and also hard for them to see the real benefit.

However, I believe we are about to enter a period of radically redefining the classroom. As human beings we learn. We are learning machines, especially when we are young. But I think we will soon need to admit that traditional classrooms are not places where people can learn effectively compared to the other options that are available these days. So much of our training material is geared towards classrooms that it is difficult to see beyond them, but we can not fight against the way in which our world is changing if we don’t embrace this change we will continue to become increasingly irrelevant and useless. When classrooms and schools were invented the world was a different place so isn’t it time we reinvented the class room?


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