Online teaching and learning currently holds a positive and solid position in the new era of EFL classrooms. Questions have been raised for the reasons that Internet becomes a useful tool for EFL teaching as well as many other different aspects of life.
I always try to convince myself and my colleages that applying IT in teaching English should be considered for the broader uses. The reason for this idea is that IT is a tool for everyone to explore oneself and the world of knowledge in the good side.
"I don't know how to use a computer and I think it is difficult for me," a friend of mine try not to follow the running stream of using a different tool for his career.
"I like IT, but when I apply IT in my new powerpoint lesson, I don't have enough time for the teaching," another friend complains.
From these examples, I just want to stress on the function of trying something new as IT for teaching. It is even clearer in this situation of online learning and teaching.
My first online class for my students was in 2007 using http://gainsuccess.wetpaint.com for some parts of writing and translation. At that time, I believed that this webpage give my students a chance to access to more than one assigned paper, but the whole population. The first trial webpage was a kind of burdens and challenges for my students when no teacher has asked them to do so before. I gave them money for computer using fee in the Internet Cafe around the school. They learned something for real.
My second online class is for a group of volunteer students. It started last month using www.dimdim.com. It is different from what I have learned before. My students can hear and see me through the webcam. Some students can say something or answer my questions orally when I give them the permission. Of course, there is a chat room in one corner of the webpage so that we can chat during the lessons. I can use the Whiteboard as in the real classroom or share the sources and the links that I have. Everything has gone well except for the part that all members must be online at the same time.
I also have a personal blog but for a teaching purpose as well. I wrote the blog
because I try to encourage my students to spend their time on something they like to do rather than on the similar kinds of blog in their mother tongue. I realized that most of my students had their own blogs and all of them were in their language, not English. Two days after that, I tried the blog http://eaiafivens.blogspot.com and tell my students to write their own step by step in English.
Actually, I am just a new learner in this field. I have done not much yet for the online teaching. However, I should say that I have learned a lot from my students, more than what I expected. That is why I wrote a slogan for my blog "Sharing life is one of the best ways to find yourself"