Technology attacks

I had this feeling that apart from the fact that I was probably the only English teacher registered on Blogger, I was also the last person in the world who didn’t have a smartphone. The truth is that I had been thinking of getting one for ages, but at the same time, I had deliberately resisted the change. The thing is that I have a tendency to get addicted to gadgets of all sorts. I already had a laptop and an i-pad, after all, so I knew that when one of these were within easy reach, I couldn’t resist the temptation to constantly check e-mails, all the social media notifications, latest blog posts, etc. I realized all too well that having a smartphone meant having it at my disposal all the time, which, in consequence, meant I would constantly be tapping the shiny screen.

But I don’t live in a vacuum and I know I have to adjust from time to time. I remember that whenever I was about to take a picture with my good, old phone, my students would smile understandingly and they would automatically offer their phones. They didn’t want to believe that my Nokia was actually quite good at taking photos. Anyway, I always kindly refused their generosity and stubbornly used my old buddy.

But it’s not just my students who make me reconsider my attitudes. I remember an occasion when Shaun Wilden asked us participants of his workshop at IH Brno to take out our phones. I looked around and saw the embarrassed expressions on some teachers’ faces. Shaun reacted promptly, saying: “Don’t be ashamed. It doesn’t matter what type of phone you have. By the way, I know that teachers typically have the worst phones in the world”.

As I had used my phone in the lessons on a regular basis, for example, to take pictures of the board or to make videos of parts of the lessons, my students immediately noticed and appreciated the upgrade. The first picture I took with my smartphone in class was a drawing one of my students had done on the board (see above). I was so excited about the fact that a student had taken the effort to draw such a beautiful scribble that I wanted to share it. And I did. And I immediately realized the power of this cool mobile device.

Some say progress is optional, but I think it’s inevitable. It’s not about feeling concerned about the type of phone you have; it’s about keeping up with people around you – in this case, your students. Also, having a smartphone myself, I’ll be able to get familiar with all the yet unexplored ways of learning English. Take Instagram, for example; by using English hashtags and comments, your students can interact with people all around the world and practice the language in a meaningful, authentic way. The possibilities technology offers are infinite. Let’s start exploring …

About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for almost 25 years and I still love my job. You can find out more about my passion here on my blog.
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4 Responses to Technology attacks

  1. Chewie says:

    Well said!
    I felt the exact same way when I got a smart phone, too!
    “Teachers have the worst phones.” Oh, I think the teachers in Korea (that is, Koreans, not foreign English teachers) would disagree. They usually have the latest and greatest phones! But anyway, enjoy your new phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandy Millin says:

    I had a smartphone for a year (a secondhand iPhone when my mum upgraded). When it died I went back to the cheapest Nokia in the shop, but had to upgrade to the second cheapest when it kept switching itself off. I don’t have internet access on it – just texting and calls. I don’t switch it on very often, especially this year when I most people don’t have my number because it changes all the time! My iPad deliberately only has wifi and not 3G. I figure I spend enough time on the internet anyway 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Isn’t it funny how the Internet always gets us, regardless of the traps we set? 🙂 I don’t have internet access on my phone either (quite deliberately, I should stress), but there is a wi-fi connection almost everywhere you go these days, so it’s hard to resist checking e-mails and notifications every thirty minutes!


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