To use technologies or not to use it that is the question

As future ESL teachers the growing role of technologies cannot be understated. Numerous tools and social networking services are offered to us all. We cannot refute that such technologies have taken an increasingly considerable part of our lives. As teachers, it is crucial to understand the underlying mechanism behind technologies and their possible applications for enhancing the student’s experience.

However, there are good and bad ways when it comes to the use of technologies. To walk along this path unknowingly could be potentially dangerous. I, myself, am not too fond of technologies. While I was in school, I would always favor projects that did not involve too much of it. Nevertheless, I understand how in today’s World, it is crucial for teachers to have a thorough understanding of the possible implications of technologies as an agent of learning.

Therefore, the main objective of this blog will be to develop a better understanding of technologies and how they can positively impact on the student’s learning.

For this first week I looked at tools teachers can use for in-class game based activities.

As teachers, we must understand that technology does not limit itself to students going to the computer lab at the end of class if they behaved appropriately. We should monitor their learnings with the use of games. There are tools offered to us to help us give students their reward without compromising the educational task.

While surfing on the Internet I stumbled on two resourceful websites for ESL teachers.

1) Super Teacher Tools offers a wide range of activities for group projects. One that really caught my eye is the classroom Jeopardy. This tool allows students to create their very own questions based on the famous game. In doing so, the teacher is able to evaluate their writing skills as they have to come up with the questions. After the creative process, the teacher can then test the game on the students. I think this tool is awesome. The students are deeply involved in the process. They create the questions and play the game. It is also important to know that the teacher does not have to create the program but simply enter the data giving by the students. I suppose that for teachers who aren’t too familiar with technologies this tool could be an advantageous one.

2) Another interesting website is manythings.org. On this website students have access to many activities regarding different aspects of English. Whether it is the pronunciation, the vocabulary, reading and, or writing skills this website provides teachers with a bundle of different activities that could be applied for classroom. One tool that really caught my attention is the one for proverb use. I remember that when I was in primary school I loved learning about popular English expressions.

Although this research on possible technologies is new to me, this quick look has proven that there are many available resources for ESL teacher. These tools could obviously be used in a classroom.

According to the MELS document for ESL teachers, the two websites could possibly be of use. Mainly, I could use them to create opportunities for students to work on their competencies 1, 2 and 3.

In this section, they confirm that team work on computer could be a way to evaluate the student’s competency 1; oral interaction, as well as their competency 2; reinvest understandings. Finally it would also include the production of a written text, which would relate to their competency 3.  

Currently, I am doing my practicum in an elementary school. I would like to present my students with some of the activities I found while doing this research. I think some of them could be great for introducing concepts in a fun, stress free environment.

For more information visit

http://www.superteachertools.com/index.php

http://www.manythings.org/

http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/dgfj/dp/programme_de_formation/primaire/pdf/prform2001/prform2001-annexe.pdf (p.12)

See you next week! 🙂Image

Philippe

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