Using Technology for Foreign Language Learning: The Teacher’s Role

The spread of information technology has changed the role of language teachers considerably. Being a good educator and an expert in their field are not enough anymore, but teachers are expected to be modern, which means, to possess the ability to design interactive classes (often by using digital tools) and use teaching methods that engage students in a creative way. Today it is a general requirement for teachers to know their way around technology and to possess the know-how of implementing it in a way that fosters language learning. To this purpose teachers need to take into account all facets of technology use, including the advantages and disadvantages of technology-mediated tasks, their usefulness for language learning (e.g. if they are related to the topic of the lesson, are challenging enough for students), helpful resources for students, etc. Technology is regarded as a supplementary instrument to traditional teaching methods that can impact students’ motivation to learn in a positive way, provided it is used for activities that are in line with their needs and expectations. Task-based activities are considered to be especially useful in this regard, allowing students to practice their language skills in an authentic context and also develop creative thinking and problem solving abilities. Web 2.0 technologies (e.g. software programs for creating quizzes and polls, language learning websites, chat programs, wikis, etc.) offer a variety of valuable resources both for activities in the classroom and for practice at home.

Encouraging Musical Creativity in Montenegrin Primary Education – A Case Study

The need to change the paradigm of music education, which primarily relies on performing and listening to music, implies a more systematic introduction of activities that would enable the direct involvement of children in the exploration of sounds and the creation of their own music. By analysing the curricula and textbooks for music education in Montenegrin primary schools, as well as examining the attitudes of teachers about the realisation of musical creativity in teaching practice, it was found that these activities are not given enough attention. In order to introduce innovations in practice, an action research study was conducted, during 2017/2018 school year with 30 fifth grade pupils in one primary school, belonging to the Southern region of Montenegro. The obtained results, based on the qualitative findings, showed the connection between the categories that make up musical creativity in the classroom: acquiring musical knowledge, developing musical skills, encouraging problem solving, developing critical thinking, supporting collaborative creativity, motivation and integrative teaching. Hopefully, the conducted research will contribute to a wide range of understanding of musical creativity in the classroom context, as one of the leading topics of contemporary music pedagogy.

Use of Electronic Resources in Teaching Religion in Higher Education: Best Practices from the SULSIT, Bulgaria

This paper describes actually methodical attempts to use library electronic resources in academic education. Some opportunities for improving the teaching of religious cultural heritage and for diversify the methods of assessment of students in Bulgarian universities are commented. The text describes the personal experience of the authors with students of 3rd-4th grades from the State University of Library Studies and IT (SULSIT), Bulgaria. Among the “best practices” are tasks of performing on-line survey of digital resources of periodicals from the digital resources of the “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library, of making content analysis of the database on a particular subject, of preparing bibliographic descriptions of the new discovered resources, of writing historical analyses, of generating thematic bibliographies on topics related to religion, using the resources of the electronic catalogs of regional public libraries in the country.

Digital Tools of Universal Music Education

The purpose of this article is to present various solutions concerning music education aided by computer technologies. The article applies public music education. The author attempts to provide an answer to questions concerning the role of music teachers working with new media , which requires them to constantly improve and expand their skills. How are they able to utilise new technological achievements while at the same time blending them with well-proven, traditional methods of music teaching/learning, without falling prey to the dangers of modern media ? Any attempts at using innovative solutions are bound to cause numerous challenges for students, teachers, and the entire education system. However, the effects of such actions could contribute to the improvement of the quality of music education in society, which justifies the efforts. The intention of the author is attempt to look into the future on the basis of the existing data sources, analyses and global pedagogical trends and to search for theoretical and practical solutions, which may influence the formulation of the paradigms in modern music teaching.

Scouts' and educational stakeholders' perceptions of integrating scouting methods into formal education

Scouting is a non-formal learning environment which implies a form of learning that is “less organised than formal learning, but still consists of planned activities and educational objectives. It is also seen as being more concerned with action, and learning by doing from experience; and more holistic, with a particular focus on developing social and emotional skills” (Bridwell, 2015: 27). The Scouting Method used relies on the concept of experiential learning or learning by doing and combines it with other educational elements such as the symbolic framework, team or patrol system, gamification elements such as the badge system (Christians 2018) and active learning or personal progression so that each young person is “consciously and actively involved in his or her own development” (WOSM 1998: 47). The present paper aims to explore scouts' and educational stakeholders' (teachers and scout teachers) beliefs and opinions regarding scouting methods and the way these methods could be integrated into the formal learning environment. Qualitative and quantitative methods of analyses were used to examine and interpret the results gathered through an online questionnaire. Results show that all respondents have a positive attitude towards scouting and the methods used within their activities and they would encourage others to join the association. Even school subjects have been identified which could serve as bridging points between non-formal and formal educational situations.

Pandemic and Education

The emergence and rapid spread of the Coronavirus in the spring of 2020 has fundamentally changed our lives. The most important change has been the attempt to minimise face–to–face contacts everywhere in order to keep the epidemic under control. Public gatherings were banned, shopping malls were closed, and sporting events were also cancelled. As COVID–19 spread as easily among children as among adults, schools could not escape the restrictions. During the first wave of the epidemic, institutions had to switch to emergency remote education (ERE) at very short notice, which presented a number of problems for all participants. These problems and experiences of the switch should be collected at all levels of education, as they not only help to prepare for similar situations, but may also lead to conclusions that can be used to make the methods and solutions of classroom–based teaching more motivating, more effective or even more efficient. In this paper, we review both the challenges of the transition and the possible implications for the future teaching–learning process by reflecting on the lessons learned.