Friday, September 14, 2012

Technology in Today's Classroom and Standards

    When cyberspace is part of everyone's life, education could not survive if online technologies are not utilized in classroom setting. As an English teacher in China, I have seen the struggle of English-learners. Ten years ago, when I started to learn English, I have never heard about computer, let alone internet. Library books and old-fashioned tapes were the best tools for English-learning. More than a decade later, now with computers becoming household necessities, I still feel that students are using the same old tools to learn English. They know how to make friends online, how to play games online, and how to search information online, but they don't know how to use web tools to learn English. What's worse, teaching faculty is much less agile with those internet tools and they stick to those old ways of teaching English.
    Now the transition moment has arrived. As far as I am concerned, web tools could be made to great use in classroom instruction and students will benefit a lot by exploring those web tools. Take blogs for example for both the teacher and the students, blogs could become

    1. Online filing cabinet

    With everything from national grid bill to online purchase receipt going green, class could also go paperless. Students can use blogs to post their homework and teachers could also make comments directly online. This not only saves teachers the trouble of carrying home a heavy load of homework, but also saves time as submitted homework could be viewed anytime anywhere. Besides, blogs could be used as an online archive which will never be accidently tossed into dustbin like paper work does.
    2. Collaborative space

Teachers and students can post relevant materials or information online. And the information is now available to all students all the time. Supplementary materials could also be created in a separate post so that students who read more if they have free time. Blogs can also become a place where students help each other solve problems. For students body which consists of people from different cultures, bloggs can also serve as a out-of-classroom platform on which students could share their different cultural experiences and stories.   

   By using blogs in this way, at least two learning standards could be met. I draw the standards from ACTFL.

Communicate in Languages Other Than English
  • Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions
Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
  • Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.  

1 comment:

  1. You have chosen some very good uses for blogs for learning English.