Open educational resources for CALL teacher education: the iTILT interactive whiteboard project

ImageOur new paper in CALL journal on designing open educational resources for exploiting interactive technologies in language teaching is just out (full-text access for limited time).

Open educational resources for CALL teacher education: the iTILT interactive whiteboard project

DOI:10.1080/09588221.2013.818558
Shona Whyte, Euline Cutrim Schmid, Sanderin van Hazebrouck Thompson & Margret Oberhoferd

Received: 15 Nov 2012
Accepted: 1 Mar 2013
Published online: 23 Jul 2013

Abstract
This paper discusses challenges and opportunities arising during the development of open educational resources (OERs) to support communicative language teaching (CLT) with interactive whiteboards (IWBs). iTILT 1 (interactive Technologies in Language Teaching), a European Lifelong Learning Project, has two main aims: (a) to promote “best practice” or effective CLT teaching with IWBs, and (b) to support continuing professional development among language teachers both in formal training contexts and through informal independent study. Some 40 teachers in seven European countries, working with learners of six foreign languages at various educational and proficiency levels, were trained and followed over one school year in order to collect over 200 video examples of classroom practice. These short (3-minute) class videos were selected collaboratively by teachers and researchers, and supported by learner and teacher commentaries. The main outcome of the project is an open-access website (http://itilt.eu), a searchable repository of training materials (manual, sample materials) and classroom illustrations (video clips, participant comments). This study explores the action research dimension of successive phases of the project from the development of appropriate training materials, data collection in language classrooms, selection of illustrative teaching episodes, and preparation for online presentation for future teacher education. It investigates the influence of research-based training on teacher development and the inclusion of participant perspectives, and explores how this kind of OER can support open practices. The paper also raises issues with respect to “best practice” and user requirements. The paper concludes with “lessons learned” throughout the project, showing both the advantages and drawbacks to this kind of collaboration between teachers and researchers, as well as furnishing suggestions for future OER development.

Keywords
teacher education, interactive whiteboards, open educational resources, integrated CALL, teachers’ perspectives

 

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