Tech Solutions for Low-Tech Situations

Overview

For educators with limited access to resources, attempting to incorporate technology can be daunting:
  • What sorts of technology options exist for educators in low-tech contexts?
  • What are the “best practices” in using various technologies to promote language practice, interaction, communication, and collaboration among language learners?
  • What criteria might an educator use to determine which technologies are likely to have the biggest impact in a specific context?  
This workshop will present a wide range of technologies, including
  • manipulables
  • talking books and talking pens
  • mobile phones
  • low-cost computers and desktops with little or no internet access
Participants will learn and practice simple, effective ways to use a variety of options offering print, audio and video to focus on listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Participants will also learn about sources of free digital materials and how some teachers are constructing their own projectors, whiteboards, and smartboards from everyday materials.

Workshop Outcomes

  • Familiarity with a range of technologies for those with limited access to resources
  • Experience and confidence in using specific technologies 
  • Expertise in designing activities to achieve specific pedagogical objectives
  • Ability to identify criteria involved in selecting technologies for a specific context (and/or budget)
  • Knowledge of how to continue identifying low-tech solutions tailored for individual needs and contexts after the completion of the workshop

About Workshop Leader

Karen Price, a former lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the ESL teacher-training program at Harvard University, has authored more than 20 articles and textbook chapters, and won grants from sources such as Apple, IBM, and the Exxon Educational Foundation. She has consulted on projects for entities including the US State Department, Microsoft, Annenberg, USAID, AmidEast, Fulbright, and Kodak, and won awards for the development of early prototypes of technology now commonly used, such as lexical searching of audio and video. She has conducted workshops and given keynotes in Singapore, Jamaica, Egypt, Japan, France, Venezuela, the UAE, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. She is presently one of three external technology advisors for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a lecturer at Boston University’s Graduate School of Education, teaching courses addressing issues in second language acquisition and computer-assisted language learning.