Several issues regarding VW participation and learning are concerning. The first set can be called technical concerns for both facilitators and users. A standard issue is platform difficulty and a steep learning curve if this is a new teaching environment. In addition, there are platform performance and technical disrupters such lag. Other issues center around digital native vs. digital immigrant, non-commercial vs. commercial areas. Skepticism for professional ESL teachers center around possible gung-ho adoptions of lessons, an undefined SL learning curve due to a lack of clear objectives since most of the learning arises from self-determined experiences. Other issues center around confidentiality (recording chat), certified vs. non-certified teachers who have various linguistic backgrounds, reliability, and other collaboration difficulties, plus no apparent dominant standard such as American, British or ‘Globlish.’
Error corrections in VW’s are another minefield. Esl facilitators must think about active vs. passive correction, dealing with typos and missing punctuation, text manipulation, the absence of dynamic text, net and SL lingo which features abbreviated vs. non-abbreviated language.VW students favor pro-text, be anti-voice vs. pro-voice, anti-text, or adopters of both. Also, multiple language levels, needs, learning styles must be factored into the VW activities against the background of sometimes problematic concurrent communication with natives and non-natives. Determining teaching format and ideal group size (1-to-1, small, 5-10, large, 10 +) and set-up of groupings can be a challenge as the VW landscape is a fluid one. Also, when designing VW activities in-world content such as grammar exercises copyright vs. creative commons need to be vetted.
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.)
Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally.
Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference.
Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.
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