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Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stories from the Field

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic brought frightening headlines. Each day dawned with news highlighting the number of cases (and deaths), the contagiousness of the disease, the lack of a cure or vaccine, and the scarcity of personal protective equipment for our healthcare and other frontline workers. One of the few positives was the speed at which many global partners joined to battle the disease. Academic researchers and even academic journals joined in the fight. For instance, in addition to giving open access to articles, many medical journals switched to a speedier review to be able to quickly publish promising results. So, as researchers were making early discoveries, they had a way to bypass a traditionally longer review and publication process to give hope, share building blocks, and encourage collaboration. (...)
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... developing guidelines on the design of digital teaching and on the use of different digital tools, e.g., learning management platforms, videos, videoconference tools and others [9][10][11][12][13][14][15]. Still, neither the infrastructure of universities nor the competencies of university teachers were adequately prepared for this challenging transition from face-to-face to digital teaching and learning formats [16]. ...
Article
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Triggered by the spread of the Coronavirus and the lockdown of universities in spring 2020, universities were required to provide infrastructure for digital teaching within a very short time. Further, all university members needed to develop knowledge and skills for teaching online. This paper presents data from the cross-cultural CRTS-Study (Coronavirus-Related Teaching Situation Study), which compares the experiences, attitudes and needs of university teachers in Germany and Argentina during the first lockdown in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. The study has been carried out in spring 2020 as a cross-sectional online survey study with university teachers in Germany and Argentina (N = 728). The overall picture reveals a mostly successful implementation of online teaching for university teachers in both countries, with Argentinian university teachers reporting a slightly more positive perspective and slightly higher self-efficacy beliefs in online teaching when compared with the German colleagues. The results of regression analysis hint at the relevance of prior personal experience and institutional support for self-efficacy beliefs in online teaching for both samples. In conclusion, individual experience and training as well as supportive institutional conditions seem to be relevant for the development of digital teaching at universities in both countries.
... Living through the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns has proved that the transition to online teaching still presents challenges (Basilaia & Kvavadze, 2020;Ferdig et al., 2020;Reyna, 2020;Verawardina et al., 2020), as the roles and expectations of students have changed. To effectively implement online learning, teachers need to develop strategies which support students and motivate and encourage participation in the online environment (Bennett & Lockyer, 2004). ...
... The current global pandemic situation has challenged education techniques across the planet (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2020). Educators have been compelled to shift from face-to-face classes to emergency remote teaching (Hodges et al., 2020), re-plan, re-schedule and redesign their classes to an online format of language teaching (Ferdig et al., 2020;Gacs et al., 2020). Foreign language teachers have provided countless innovative opportunities to continue engaging and motivating themselves in each aspect of the teaching process. ...
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This article is framed within a research project based in Spain aimed at studying the use of Audiovisual Translation tools to develop communicative competences for teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language. The aims of the study are to get to know to what extent the oral and written production skills of the participants improve thanks to the implementation of an Audiovisual translation-based course, and to get to know if the overall performance of the post Integrated Skills Test is 150 better than the pre-Integrated Skills Test after the learning process. It is also aimed to prove the validity of those language assessment tests. A mixed methodology (qualitative and quantitative analysis) was used to obtain information from the participants. Research data was collected from different universities in Spain with an initial sample of 40 applicants, 8 of which finally completed the course. Data analysis shows that oral and written production skills improve thanks to the implementation of six audio description-based lesson plans completed during a pilot course offered during the summer of 2021 to volunteer adult participants with a B2 level in English language. Furthermore, the study illustrates that the results of the final tests are better than the results of the previous ones after the intervention. We discuss the results obtained in this study and conclude that they are harmonious with former studies on the topic as they validate the use of tests to improve the development of communicative skills. Although, there is a very limited number of participants in the sample, we consider this may be used as an example of a trend that will be explored in the future, as this is a pilot study included in a wider research project which is still underway.
... Teachers' digital literacy became more crucial during the COVID 19 pandemic outbreak when pre-service and in-service teachers were forced to instruct online, many of whom were not sufficiently digitally literate and needed guidance in using digital tools (Ferdig et al., 2020). It is believed that individuals born after 1980 are digitally literate, and hence are often referred to as "digital natives" in the media and public domains (Palfrey and Gasser, 2011;Prensky, 2001). ...
Conference Paper
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With the current shift to electronic learning and changes in teaching methodologies worldwide, there is an ever-increasing need for teachers to be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to confront this challenge. In this study, we explored the views and experiences of English lecturers regarding their digital literacy skills in seven English Language Centers of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Oman. Use of digital technology during online teaching, perceptions of its benefits in enhancing the learning process, and consequently on the lecturers' self-efficacy were explored. The results of this study indicate the need for professional development of digital literacy skills among English lecturers in Oman, while highlighting its role in enhancing students' English language skills.
Chapter
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The strategic integration of online and in-person learning modalities (referred to as blended learning) is becoming increasingly popular in primary, secondary, post-secondary, and corporate contexts. Some have even called blended learning (BL) the “new normal” in education. This chapter addresses five important questions for scholars interested in contributing to research in this domain. First, how are scholars defining BL? Second, what are some of the common models of BL being used in higher education and K-12 learning environments? Third, what is happening with BL research and practice in different regions of the world? Fourth, what research frameworks have been developed by BL scholars and what are other common frameworks that scholars have borrowed from other domains? Finally, the chapter overviews some of the current BL research around institutional, faculty, and student issues. The global pandemic from 2019 to 2021 has increased administrator, instructor, and student awareness and familiarity with many online learning options. It is likely that blended practices that combine both online and in-person instruction will become increasingly prevalent. Scholars will need to better understand how different blended models and pedagogical practices within those models work to improve learning outcomes, increase access and flexibility for learners, and impact cost efficiencies.
Article
Bu çalışmada COVID-19 salgını sürecinde özel öğrenme güçlüğü olan öğrencilerin, ailelerinin ve öğretmenlerinin yaşadıkları sorunların ve gereksinimlerinin belirlenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Çalışma nitel araştırma yöntemlerinden olgu bilim deseniyle gerçekleştirilmiş ve veriler içerik analizi yöntemi ile analiz edilmiştir. Türkiye’nin üç büyük ilinde yaşayan altı özel öğrenme güçlüğü olan öğrenci, çocuğu özel öğrenme güçlüğü olan beş aile ve özel öğrenme güçlüğü olan öğrencilerle çalışan sekiz özel eğitim öğretmeni ile odak grup görüşmeleri gerçekleştirilmiştir. Öğrenciler evde olmanın çok güzel olduğunu ancak derslerin uzunluğunu ve teneffüslerin kısalığını dile getirmişlerdir. Aileler salgın sürecinin başında birlikte vakit geçirmenin çok keyifli olduğunu ancak zamanla öğrencilerin uyku, motivasyon ve uyum problemlerinin ortaya çıktığını, uzaktan eğitimden çocuklarının faydalanamadığını belirtmişlerdir. Özel eğitim öğretmenleri uzaktan eğitimi zor ve yıpratıcı olarak gördüklerini ve uzaktan eğitime hazır olmadıklarını ve toplum olarak bu süreci bir fırsata çevirmek için yeniliklere ihtiyaçları olduğunu dile getirmiştir. Araştırma sonunda uzaktan eğitim sürecinde öğretmenlerin ve ailelerin teknolojik araçların kullanılmasında, öğrenciler için eğitimsel uyarlamaların uzaktan gerçekleştirilmesinde desteğe ihtiyaç duydukları, öğrencilerin ve ailelerin ise psikolojik destek sistemlerine ihtiyaç duydukları sonuçlarına ulaşılmıştır.
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted teaching and learning practices, particularly those in Higher Education. Students and Educators are reflecting on their practices and experiences over the past 18 months and the demand for new modes of teaching and learning have emerged. One such mode is Hybrid-Flexible or HyFlex. Utilising a HyFlex model, teachers teach students at the same time face-to-face (f2f) and synchronously online through video-conferencing software while enabling other students to engage in asynchronous learning (Beatty, 2019). Each class and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously, and asynchronously. An underlying principle of HyFlex is to ensure a cohesive, connected student experience and to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged. While a HyFlex design enables students to choose whether to attend classes f2f or online, synchronously or asynchronously, it requires faculty to reconceptualize the learning experience and rethink student engagement. Designing, developing and facilitating multiple modes of participation in HyFlex is a challenging endeavour which calls for specialized pedagogical knowledge, competencies and skills (Ulferts, 2021). There is a need to prepare educators for the diverse set of multifaceted roles HyFlex presents, however, there is a dearth of literature which explores the pedagogies that integrate physical and virtual learning spaces in the HyFlex learning environment. This paper firstly defines HyFlex and examines its strengths and shortcomings with a particular focus on pedagogy. Universal design principles and instructional strategies are then outlined and the notion of presence in the HyFlex teaching and learning environment is considered. In particular, it considers the role of teaching presence and how it might be redefined in a Hyflex environment to ensure cohesive, coordinated quality provision.
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic induced an accelerated transition to digital teaching in all countries. We ask ourselves whether this massive use of digital resources promoted student−centred, dialogical, and multimodal teaching, as shown in some experimental studies, or whether, on the contrary, these resources were used only as a substitute for the teacher’s voice, maintaining content-centred teaching. We analysed 269 activities carried out during the lockdown by teachers in Spain through the System of Analysis of Teaching Activities. This analysis system considered the resources used and the learning they promoted within activities. In general, the activities were content-centred independently of the resource used. However, in a few cases, activities were student−centred. The greatest systematic difference between the two types of activities was related to who managed these resources. Only when the student managed the digital resources were the activities student-centred. Conversely, when the tasks were content-centred, teachers managed the resources. These results indicate the need to achieve proven ICT integration in education, which in turn requires a boost in teacher training aimed at both familiarising teachers with the use of digital resources and, above all, promoting a change in teachers’ conceptions about their use.
Chapter
COVID-19 AND USE OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IN THE EDUCATION: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS IN BRAHMAPUTRA VALLEY, ASSAM ABSTRACT Education, entrepreneurship, physical infrastructure, and social infrastructure all play a decisive role in advancing a region. The COVID-19 disease that thwarted the normal functioning of our daily-life system left a grooving impact on social order, which saw an unprecedented wave of events that almost annihilated each and every sector of human plethora. Brahmaputra valley of Assam was no exception to the ailments inflicted by the contagious disease. The initial lockdowns called upon by the state and central government to prevent the COVID-19 virus from infiltrating into new areas saw a complete halt in activities ranging from economy to education. Millions of students in the Brahmaputra valley felt the wrath when educational institutions (EI) were asked to cease operations, tangible daily periods were suspended, and an unhackneyed virtual world replaced the old form of educational virtues.
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