Using Technology to Facilitate Teaching and Learning in a Language Class March 1, 2010.
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Using Technology to Facilitate Teaching and Learning in a Language Class March 1, 2010
“ [A] dozen ways technology can support teaching and learning. 1.Give students access to on-line or multimedia resources 2.Enhance lectures 3.Teach concepts that are difficult to convey with words or on a chalkboard 4.Vary how content is presented and applied 5.Facilitate discussion, problem-solving, simulations, and other learning activities 6.Help students work collaboratively”
“[A] dozen ways technology can support teaching and learning (cont.) 7.Drill students on basic concepts, e.g., give quizzes with built-in feedback 8.Support real-world learning experiences 9.Extend interactions and activities beyond the classroom 10.Save time on grading and course administration 11.Provide skill-building exercises and tutorials 12.Reach new students who can’t come to campus 13.Use the Internet to individualize learning.”
Most important consideration when using technology to enhance a course: Are there sound pedagogical reasons that support the use of this technology? What learning goals will be met with the use of this technology? How will this technology facilitate these goals, exactly? Are there other, better ways to achieve this learning goal? How will the success of this technology in meeting learning goals be measured?
Also, don’t fall into the Toy trap: The technology is new, exciting and cool, so let’s use it. Tool trap: We understand the nuts & bolts of how to use it, so that’s all we need. Just because you know how to use a hammer and a saw doesn’t necessarily mean you can build a house.
Take your time! Don’t try to implement multiple new strategies and technologies in a single semester. Give yourself sufficient time to determine where these technologies might fit in your course and to plan how to implement changes. Try just one, and expect it to go wrong (and to work) in ways that you couldn’t predict. Experiment to see what works with your class, your teaching style, your course content. Get together a group of others teaching your same courses who are also interested in incorporating new strategies/technologies and collaborate.
Questions that can help you select the right strategies/technologies: What do you want your students to learn? What class activities and/or assignments would help students meet the course learning goals? How would increased student interaction and knowledge sharing contribute to the assignments and course goals? What technologies would facilitate student interaction in your course? How do you assess classroom technology?
Course Management Systems (CMS) RamCT: the “official” CSU CMS Writing Studio: CSU CMS developed specifically for writing intensive courses Moodle: an Open Source CMS Google or Yahoo Groups Blogs Wikis (extreme collaboration): Example (Frederique: www.frede.wikispaces.com)www.frede.wikispaces.com
Some specific strategies/technologies for use in a language course: Read: Blogs, online newspapers, webcomics, (Frederique: http://ossiane.blog.lemonde.fr/)http://ossiane.blog.lemonde.fr/ Listen: Spanish website example, online radio, podcasts Speak: Audacity Write and Play: Blogs, Story, Games (Examples: Sue, Maite) Discuss: Discussion Forums
Advantages of Using Discussion Forums in Class (short list) Extends learning opportunities Fosters sense of (academic) community Allows for different learning styles Ensures that every student participates Provides a place for regular writing (thinking, communicating and learning) opportunities Enables collaborative learning
Discussion Forum Strategies Allow time Create effective discussion questions, (open- ended, but specific enough to promote a focused discussion) Be present, but don’t dominate the discussion Respond and redirect effectively. Make expectations clear through standards and modeling Connect discussion forums to what’s happening in the classroom