Image courtesy of Steven Lilley
Note: This post is a copy of my submission for one of the IATEFL scholarships. Since I didn’t get the scholarship, I thought I would share it with you all. I hope you get something out of it.
From overhead projectors to interactive whiteboards, vinyl records to MP3s, the application of technology to the language classroom has been going on for decades, but not always smoothly. Most difficulties that emerge are due to a failure of both the learner and the teacher to anticipate how these changes may affect other areas as well. Take the use of mobile devices in the classroom as an example. There is a stark division between those who endorse the use of personal phones, tablets, and laptops in the classroom, and those who forbid them. Advocates point to a high level of student engagement along with the ability for students to access material beyond the classroom. This encourages students to take ownership of their learning in ways that the traditional classroom often cannot. Detractors highlight the ways devices distract from and often disrupt the learning process, with students accessing social networks, texting with friends, playing games, and ignoring others. But are these simply surface problems that mask a deeper issue? Continue reading Negotiating