Activity 3 – Apply reading to my context (25 Years of Ed Tech)

Of the second 1/3 part of Weller’s book, 2 points stand out in terms of their relationships with my current study and work. Firstly, the application of video has an underlying relevance to the promotion of distance education. From my personal experience in language training for international students, recording courses ahead of schedule has been proven to be a practical solution to deal with the time and geographical impediments. This is particularly practical when students enrolled in an online course inhabit different times zones, making it difficult for synchronous communication and meeting. The advantage of class videos becomes more manifest during the current COVID 19, when these premade materials allows international students to study at their own pace. When it comes to the weakness in synchronous communication, students can leave comment under the video page, and teachers will answer within 24 hours. Meanwhile, our school do offer options for online face-to-face communication via tools such as Microsoft teams, where teachers can have video conference with students. It is exactly the same case as the discussion of the “flipped learning concept.”

On the contrary, the practice of e-portfolios among students contradicts the expectation of the designers. As mentioned in Weller’s essay, e-portfolios are not appreciated by students due to various reasons, from complexity in operation to cost concerns (Singh & Ritzhaupt, 2006), the same is true from my personal experience with students. Few of them bother to record their development in the blogs spontaneously unless required, with many reckon the task as an extra time-consuming work. Also, apart from the reasons listed in the chapter (e.g. overcomplication, lack of ownership, etc.), the linguistic barriers for international students is another salient issue. For example, a lot of students in my school are from foreign students learning Chinese, most of whom are frustrated by the grammar and terminology in Chinese to express their feeling concisely. As a consequence, the academic blogs of students are usually deserted, rather than a digital domain of lifelong learning and development for individuals, as discussed in the chapter.


Singh, O., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2006). Student perspective of organizational uses of eportfolios in higher education. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2006(1).

Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. In 25 Years of Ed Tech.

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Eric Yu is a dynamic English Second Language Instructor in the areas of distant learning. He holds a Bachelor degree from the Shanghai International Studies University and is currently studying in the MS degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, Canada. Since moving to Canada in 2011, he acclimated himself to the local anculture, and quickly built a cross nation online learning practice, getting involved in IELTS teaching and other online training projects between China and Canada. Eric Yu currently lives in Shanghai, China and work as the team leader of online after-school education in Global Eduation of Puxin Limited. He loves music and is fascinated to search for rare CDs and LPs of rock and jazz musicians in 1960s. Eric Yu has performed well in a diverse range of team environments, from every corner of the world. He lives in Shanghai, China but travels around the world frequently both for work and leisure.

5 thoughts on “Activity 3 – Apply reading to my context (25 Years of Ed Tech)”

  1. Good thoughts on e-portfolios, Eric. There’s a conversation about e-portfolios over at Ash’s comments section as well. The point you make about ownership is quite relevant to that conversation, and could help move it in an interesting direction if you’d like to contribute there.

    1. Thanks very much George,
      I would join the discuss and looking forward to see how other think about the conundrum of students reluctance in constructing academic blogs.

  2. Eric, I really appreciate your perspective on these topics as it often mirrors my own experience. While I am not involved in language training, I often have a high percentage of international students in my courses. The challenges faced by students who are learning in a language that is not their first (there must be a shorter way to say that) are complex and diverse. Having someone who has grown up speaking English write a blog post in English is a far more straightforward experience that someone who is still grappling with communicating effectively in English.

    I’m interested to hear more about how you’ve handled this struggle within online learning. You mentioned having students watch pre-recorded videos and allowing the students to work at their own pace. What struggles have you experience from the flipped classroom approach in relation to international students and what strategies have worked to resolve them?

    1. Let me clarify… *somewhat* mirrors mine. Our situations are very different, but I find the international student aspect is similar.

    2. Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment and question. The efficacy of shifting the onus of learning onto students differs with individuals from our practices, particularly when it comes to international students whose cognitive ability are limited by their linguistics. This problem adds extra work to our preparation in recording content – we need to add detailed footnote in both Chinese and English for the video, coupled with briefing notes and illustrations of each chapter (the same as our MALAT meeting), thus making the videos courses easy to follow. Had it not been for these supporting materials, students would have not comprehend the content completely purely by asynchronous sessions. Adding to the point is the discussion forum same as MALAT, which acts as an indispensable platform for us to keep contacted with the progress of students, making sure all their problems are dealt with.

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