ILTA 2008


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ILTA 2008

  1. 1. Best Practices in Using Technology to support Language Teaching and Learning Dennie Hoopingarner Michigan State University November 7, 2008
  2. 2. Four myths about technology <ul><li>Robert Blake “What Language Professionals Need to Know about Technology” ADFL Bulletin Spring 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>There is a “technology” </li></ul><ul><li>Technology = methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s technology is all you need to know </li></ul><ul><li>Technology will replace teachers </li></ul>
  3. 3. Myth 1: There is a “technology” What is technology?
  4. 4. What is “technology?” <ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><li>Overhead projector </li></ul><ul><li>Smartboard </li></ul><ul><li>DVD player </li></ul><ul><li>DVR </li></ul><ul><li>Cell phone </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul><ul><li>iPod </li></ul><ul><li>Document camera/ELMO </li></ul><ul><li>PDA </li></ul><ul><li>Transporter </li></ul><ul><li>Replicator </li></ul><ul><li>Light saber </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperdrive </li></ul><ul><li>Cylon brain downloader </li></ul>
  5. 5. Do you have to “know” all these in order to “know” technology?
  6. 6. Lumping all technology together into a monolithic entity is overly simplistic and discouraging
  7. 7. Different technologies are suitable for different pedagogies
  8. 8. Best Practice: Recognize that “technology” can mean many different things
  9. 9. Myth 2: Technology = methodology
  10. 10. Technology is not a methodology <ul><li>Saying “I teach with technology” is as meaningless as saying “I cook with heat” </li></ul><ul><li>That tells me nothing </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching is teaching, technology is a TOOL </li></ul><ul><li>Does chalk teach? Does a hammer build a house? </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers teach with technology, technology doesn’t teach for teachers </li></ul>
  11. 11. Best Practice: Enhance your teaching methods and personal style with technology
  12. 12. Myth 3: Today’s technology is all you need to know
  13. 13. Remember this?
  14. 14. Many innovative applications <ul><li>A La Rencontre de Philippe </li></ul><ul><li>Destinos </li></ul><ul><li>Video clips, simulations, language in context </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary multimedia language teaching </li></ul>
  15. 15. What happened? <ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>New technology that was: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheaper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portable </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Which would you rather use?
  17. 17. What about the investment? <ul><li>Time, Effort, Money </li></ul><ul><li>Development of content </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities changes </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility of the technology’s proponents </li></ul>
  18. 18. It wasn’t wasted <ul><li>We learned a LOT about language teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies of yesterday inform the development of tomorrow’s technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to language teaching methodologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar-translation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio-Lingual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on Form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructivist </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Lessons learned: <ul><li>Technology is a moving target </li></ul><ul><li>There will always be a new technology </li></ul><ul><li>Next year’s models will be better & cheaper </li></ul><ul><li>Doing nothing is not an option: If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards </li></ul>
  20. 20. Today’s technologies will seem quaint and old-fashioned before you know it
  21. 21. Best Practice: Keep current If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward
  22. 22. Myth 4: Technology will replace teachers
  23. 23. What computers can’t do: <ul><li>Parse spoken language: “Computers can wreck a nice beach.” </li></ul><ul><li>Process language: &quot;I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know&quot; --Groucho Marx </li></ul><ul><li>Convince a human being that the computer is human (Turing Test) </li></ul>
  24. 24. What do language teachers do? <ul><li>Listen to students and correct their language </li></ul><ul><li>(Parse spoken language) </li></ul><ul><li>Guide the development of students’ interlanguage </li></ul><ul><li>(Process language) </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with learners </li></ul><ul><li>(Have learners communicate with you as if you are human) </li></ul>
  25. 25. It is very difficult for computers to do with language what humans can do very easily
  26. 26. Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, should be replaced by a computer
  27. 27. Best Practice: treat technology as a partner, not as a competitor
  28. 28. The four myths: <ul><li>There is a “technology” </li></ul><ul><li>Technology = methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s technology is all you need to know </li></ul><ul><li>Technology will replace teachers </li></ul>
  29. 29. Principles of using Technology
  30. 30. Technology as a RAT <ul><li>R eplace teaching tasks </li></ul><ul><li>A ugment aspects of teaching </li></ul><ul><li>T ransform the learning experience </li></ul>
  31. 31. Example: Replace The Oral Interview
  32. 32. The Oral Interview <ul><li>German 101 Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-point in first semester </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnostic activity: “touch base” </li></ul><ul><li>Short, 4-5 question interview </li></ul><ul><li>Old way: schedule interviews with teachers </li></ul><ul><li>New way: simulated interview with software program </li></ul>
  33. 33. Technology: Conversations <ul><li>Record questions for students </li></ul><ul><li>Simulate an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Students access the program online </li></ul><ul><li>Collect students’ responses </li></ul><ul><li>Replace student-teacher interaction with student-computer-teacher interaction </li></ul>
  34. 34. See it in action: http:// =MjQ0OA==
  35. 35. Example: Augment Homework as Formative Assessment
  36. 36. Homework as Formative Assessment <ul><li>Speaking assignments: audio cassettes </li></ul><ul><li>Writing assignments: drafts and red pencils </li></ul>
  37. 37. Technologies: <ul><li>Audio Dropboxes : tool for online speaking assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Revisions : tool for process writing </li></ul>
  38. 38. See it in action: /
  39. 39. Example: Transform Constructivist Language Learning
  40. 40. Constructivist Language Learning <ul><li>Theory: learn by creating knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Research on technology and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Cf Chomsky’s theory of language acquisition </li></ul>
  41. 41. Technology: Mashups <ul><li>Authoring Tool </li></ul><ul><li>Create interactive, multimedia web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Combine data from many sources </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Students learning by creating teaching materials that help them learn </li></ul>
  42. 42. These tools are free and available:
  43. 43. See it in action: YouTube: Integrated:
  44. 44. Best Practice: Use technology when (and only when) there’s a good reason to use it.
  45. 45. Corrollary: “Because it’s cool” is not a good reason.
  46. 46. Technology in the context of standards and skills Its role, functions
  47. 47. ACTFL’s Standards <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Connections </li></ul><ul><li>Comparisons </li></ul><ul><li>Communities </li></ul>
  48. 48. Four Skills <ul><li>Listening </li></ul><ul><li>Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul>
  49. 49. Technology is neither a language standard nor a language skill Where does it fit?
  50. 50. Filling in a Matrix? Listening Reading Speaking Writing Communication Cultures Connections Comparisons Communities
  51. 51. Bridge gaps? Listening Speaking Reading Connections Communication Comparison
  52. 52. Sticks things together?
  53. 53. Regardless, technology CAN <ul><li>Streamline teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Individualize learning </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers to do some new things </li></ul>
  54. 54. Sure bets about technology: <ul><li>You will always know less than you want </li></ul><ul><li>You will always be discovering new things </li></ul><ul><li>It will always cause problems </li></ul><ul><li>It will always be changing </li></ul><ul><li>It will never go away </li></ul>
  55. 55. Best Practices <ul><li>Be open to thinking outside the box </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize the potential of technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for ways to RAT teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stay grounded in good pedagogy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t get “wow’ed” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include technology when it makes sense to you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat technology as a means to an end, not as an end in itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust your instincts as a teacher </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. To sum it all up: <ul><li>Good teaching is good teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching and learning can both benefit from the judicious inclusion of technology </li></ul><ul><li>How to do that is up to you to decide </li></ul>
  57. 57. Thank you!