Takako Aikawa - "The Roles of Language Teachers and Technology in the Age of the New Normal"
From Yihan Zhou on 02/22/2021
About the talk
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a significant transformation in how class material is presented and taught. For instance, the delivery of lecture and teaching materials has had to be digitized. In addition, our instruction and communication have had to be done virtually. We are literally in the age of digital transformation, and the role of technology has become more invaluable than ever before to our teaching. With such rapid and unanticipated changes, we need to modify our pedagogical strategies accordingly. But how?
This talk aims to investigate this question by: (i) providing conceptual scaffolding and concrete strategies to tackle the underlying complexities of remote instruction (Goodell & Kessler 2020) and (ii) presenting sample learning activities that can demonstrate the connection between the theory of learning and its practice. I contend that the adoption of remote instruction into our curriculum has great potential to make our teaching more effective, and that we need to proactively integrate “blended learning” to maximize the strengths of both face-to-face and remote instruction.
About the speaker
Dr. Takako Aikawa is a Sr. Lecturer in Global Languages at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her responsibilities include shaping the future direction of MIT’s Japanese language program and adopting new technology into language pedagogy. Her recent interests include advocating for a “blended learning” that synergizes various learning modalities.
Aside from teaching Japanese, she conducts her own research project on the development of language learning tools, using emerging technologies such as virtual reality, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence.