While technology is now widely regarded as an all-important resource in the 21st century classroom, utilising its core advantages can present most of us with overwhelming challenges; not least of which is choosing pedagogically sound tools from amongst the plethora of latest technologies. For many educators, meeting the needs of today’s internet-defined students is not a choice but a necessity; however, with new technological products appearing with increasing regularity, new dilemmas come into play. How are teachers supposed to confidently evaluate the potential of new technologies in achieving or even surpassing curriculum objectives?

Is every technology really transformative? How can we respond to the latest trends advocating the adoption of every ‘cool’ tool? How can we make informed decisions about whether - or not - to integrate them into our classrooms?

In this session, we will take a closer look at the transformative role of technology in language learning in an attempt to separate the hope from the hype surrounding it. We will also explore effective and practical ways to help you evaluate learning technologies and create engaging, relevant, and personalised learning experiences for your students. Finally, we will look at how certain barriers such as time constraints and insufficient digital literacies can be dealt with by the language practitioner, teacher educator, academic manager and school owner.

About the speaker

Sophia Mavridi’s love for language education spans over the course of 20 years during which she has had wonderful opportunities to work as a primary and secondary school EFL teacher, director of studies, examiner, and more recently lecturer, teacher trainer, and researcher. She is currently teaching in UK higher education as well as providing in-service training for institutions and publishers around the world. Her latest co-edited volumes are ‘English for 21st century skills’ and ‘Digital innovations and research in language learning’’ both of which reflect her great interest in the transformational role of innovative pedagogies in language education. Sophia is the IATEFL learning technologies SIG co-ordinator, a special interest group that focuses on the principled use of technology in language learning and teaching.

She is also a regular presenter at international conferences and enjoys providing realistic and practical ideas to the teachers who attend her sessions.

Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @SophiaMav and take a look at her website www.sophiamavridi.com