Interview with Alla Krasulia

Would you please say a few words about yourself?

My present job position is Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Philology and Social Communication. Having a diploma as a teacher of English and German, American and British Literature, and a PhD in Pedagogy (Education Sciences), I give English language classes to the 1st and 2nd year students, as well as to Master’s Degree Students of Translation Studies Department, and to the staff of an IT Company MindK. Currently I’m doing research within the fields of innovative teaching techniques, comparative education, English language teaching methods, and project-based learning. Furthermore I’ve developed 2 curricula entitled “Academic Writing” and “Project Management” (in education and science) that will be taught to the 2nd-year PhD students at my home university. Besides, I am a member of Ukrainian Educational Research Association (UERA). In the 2013/14 academic year I was awarded a Doctorate Erasmus Mundus scholarship, provided by the European Commission, to do my PhD research at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. It was a great experience to live in an international atmosphere for a year. It allowed me to meet people from different backgrounds, and discover common touch-points between our unique cultures. I significantly broadened my horizons and improved my leadership, communication, problem-solving, critical-thinking and networking skills during my stay.

How do you see educational technology? What has come to resonate with you in this specific field?

The world is experiencing a technology revolution, so, becoming more integrated with the digital world, education sector is at the forefront of change. More educators will likely incorporate ed tech into their lessons as virtual reality continues to develop, moving beyond virtual field trips toward the augmentation of history, science, and literacy lessons. Ultimately, our goal as educators goes far beyond achieving success in the classroom. We want to see our students become lifelong learners who will bring new ideas and innovation to their future careers. As ed tech continues to grow and develop, students and educators alike are sure to reap the benefits as long as effective pedagogy remains at the center of education.

I’m interested in the Educational Technology MA course at the University of Tartu, because it has a great potential for me as an educator to make English learning/teaching process more efficient, as well as for my current and prospect students (both at university and in an IT area) to acquire new knowledge faster, and to make learning more diverse.

Besides, an increase in the amount of blended learning in the classroom is a definite for the near future. For example, the university I work at is launching a new project to develop a blended learning model. The project aims to transform traditional views and teaching approaches, and implement innovative IT and communicative technologies into the educational process in various fields of studies at all the departments. I have applied for this 2-year project as a Senior Lecturer of German Philology Department. The preference is given to those teachers who have new ideas and a successful experience in combining traditional training technologies with e-learning technologies. While technology is hugely important in an increasingly digitised world, nothing can replace the face-to-face contact that comes through personal interaction. So, in my opinion, there will be a bigger integration of technology in the classroom but a teacher’s presence won’t be diminished, and the two will begin to work in conjunction to provide the ideal teaching environment.

Moreover, we know that great success often comes from great collaborations, so it is exciting to see how ed tech is giving us more opportunities to network through the use of collaborative tools such as online calendars, Google Docs, and virtual workrooms. Plus, Skype, email, and even texting allows us to stay in touch with our colleagues and meet other learners from around the world.

What do you expect at this point in time from our master?

All in all, having a teaching experience at the Foreign Languages Department of a pedagogical university, and being a mid-career, highly-motivated practitioner from an institution of higher education, I can draw on my professional skills as a university instructor, a researcher, and a NGO activist to the fullest, and thus contribute greatly to the Master Program through collaboration, research and more. Besides, I will enjoy the opportunity to build lasting relationships with Tartu University in order to run a joint international project on intercultural communication and educational technology. I strongly expect that my MA studies will give me greater international experience, enrich my professional qualifications, and last but not least quench my thirst to get a hands-on experience in educational technologies. I believe that I will not only reap individual benefits but will also be enabled to positively effect my home university, local community, Ukraine and the world.