Interview with M.A. Nasiha Imamović, specialist in German studies and trainer at the BPI of ÖJAB
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Nasiha Imamović. I am from Goražde, a beautiful town located in the eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the banks of the Drina river. I am a qualified German teacher with over 13 years of professional experience. During my professional career, I spent several years working in the area of project management with international NGOs. I have a master`s degree in German studies and a Master of Arts and Business focused on European Studies and Management of EU projects.
What experience do you have in the field of digital education?
I´ve acquired my digital literacy independently, through open-source research and study. I have used extensively YouTube and other resources available online to enrich my work and make teaching more entertaining and more learning conducive. I aimed at my teaching being as interactive as possible as well as modern and innovative. The digital world is changing the way people learn like no other previous phenomena. In the future, virtual learning will become even more prominent, besides the traditional classroom learning, and e-lectures, online webinars, and learning applications will be an integral part of learning and teaching processes. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that teaching can indeed be delivered in excellent quality via the Internet. Many opponents of online teaching and ICT tools have now changed their minds on this topic.
How do you integrate ICT tools into your daily work with young people?
I experience digital work as a great help. There is a huge range of digital learning tools available. Below are some of the tools I currently use for planning and delivery of my classes:
- for the organisation and preparation of lessons
Evernote, LehrerApp, Etherpad, Zoom, WhatsApp, Signal, YouTube, online exercises, etc.
- for interactions
LearningApps.org, lehrerlenz.de, Kahoot, Quizlet, Microsoft Sway, AntonApp, BaBaDum, planet-schule.de, goethe.de
In your experience, what is the biggest challenge for youth workers and trainers to integrate ICT tools into their daily work?
In my opinion, some of the biggest challenges in using ICT tools would be an unstable Internet connection, lack of school support, lack of education, and lack of time. Certainly, appropriate training on the use of ICT tools in education would ensure their more successful implementation in education.
How do you think the digital „revolution“ affects youth organisations and youth workers?
There are obvious advantages and disadvantages of using new media in the classroom. Although some may mock this trend, the use of technology provides many advantages for students as well as for youth organizations and youth workers. The lessons are more interesting and, thanks to the new methods, students learn and understand the material faster. Through the digital revolution, the rapid changes in our world have been so great that students’ responses to traditional teaching methods have changed fundamentally. Students often behave as not interested in the classroom, or they may feel bored and be completely passive, which impedes their learning process. In the past few decades, there is a visible resistance to change in the teaching methods among teachers; as the average age of teachers has. However, I have an increasing need to update and improve my teaching methods in order to provide quality classes and increase students’ motivation and creativity. Teachers of today need to keep up with the digital revolution and be able to use the right tools at the right time! Learning and apply different ways of planning and delivery of lessons has become a necessity.
Using ICT tools in the classroom mostly has a positive impact on students. However, if not used appropriately, the use of modern technology can bring disadvantages. This comes not from whether the technology is used, but rather from how it is used. For example, replacing the reading of novels, poetry, and textbooks should not be replaced with watching video materials such as TV, movies, etc. Otherwise, the students will not learn the efficiency of reading which is an important element of learning a language. A large number of studies have shown that excessive use of new media deprives students of the ability to develop imagination and creative thinking. This is not in line with the teaching objectives.
Our planet and daily life are constantly changing. The saying “The only constant in the universe is a change” still stands. Today’s students have access to resources that were hardly imaginable in the past. Many of these resources are free and easily available to students, which helps in their learning and development. However, some of the resources can negatively affect the intellectual development of students, so it is important to strike a good balance between innovation and tradition. If resources are used properly, it is possible to take advantage and thus reduce the disadvantages of teaching.