Session 3C
Title: Video, blog or flash mob – using technology to personalise students' learning

Adapting course content, cloud-based platforms as well as classroom activities to suit students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses and cultural backgrounds is one of language teachers' "unsung" practices, but also one which makes teaching the same course very rewarding. Given that most language courses happen in the blended learning environment, teachers have an additional opportunity to select and modify online tasks to ensure students’ progress. Creative use of technology allows for a more personalized language pathway and online components are often quoted in feedback forms as very helpful to students’ learning.

The workshop will focus on creative ways to personalise students' learning experiences through the use of technology. I will share three types of online activities that I developed for a group of University English Entry Course (UEEC) students at UNSW Institute of Languages in 2014. The activities were based on students’ personal reflections conducted in the first week of the course in which students were asked to identify one language area that they needed more practice in. The activities designed focused on speaking, writing and discussion skills and involved three different online media - blogging, recording and flash mob writing. Participants will have the opportunity to share the activities they have used or would like to use in their classrooms.

Bianka Malecka has been an ESL teacher in tertiary institutions and language colleges in Poland and Australia since 1997. She has taught direct entry programs, Cambridge exam preparation courses and EAP. She currently teaches at UNSW Institute of Languages. Her research interests include technology integration into education contexts and personalised learning/ teaching. Aside her interests in English language methodology, she has published numerous articles on African American literature and was a Fulbright fellow at Louisiana State University. Outside classroom, she has been involved in contemporary dance, street theatre and filmmaking.