Digital technologies in language learning and teaching


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Digital technologies in language learning and teaching

  1. 1. LUDĚK KNITTL UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD JAMES LITTLE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS S H E F F I E L D, 1 7 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 Digital technologies in language learning and teaching
  2. 2. A Short History of Technology and Learning
  3. 3. First thoughts  What do you think could be the positives of using technologies in teaching?  What could be some of the drawbacks?  What are your experiences (if any) of using teaching technologies?
  4. 4. Technologies and learning and teaching  Discrepancies between discourse about technology and its use  The “digital natives vs. immigrants” and “digital residents vs. visitors” debates  Expectations vs. reality  Technologies as part of pedagogy  Examples of using technologies in teaching practice  Getting started
  5. 5. Teaching technology debates  Literature promoting the use of technology  E.g. E-learning, Journal of computer assisted learning, British journal of educational technology, or Journal of teaching and learning with technology  Critical voices  How do e-learning and technology affect students?  How do they affect academics/teachers?
  6. 6. Critical voices  A gap between the rhetoric in the literature and how technologies are being implemented (Njenga & Fourie, 2010)  Paradoxes in the implementation of technologies (Guri- Rosenblit, 2005), e.g.  preparedness and readiness of HE institutions to realise the potential of technologies  cost consideration  personal issues, such as the impact of the new technologies on students  the human capacity to adapt to new learning styles
  7. 7. “The Digital Natives”  The generation born after 1980 find it easier to interact with digital technologies; they learn, create and even socialise differently (Prensky, 2001)  The older generation – “digital immigrants” – will never be so “fluent” in the use of technologies
  8. 8. Is there evidence for “digital nativness”?  A complex issue affected by factors such as  Access to technologies  Socio-economic background  Perceived usefulness  The discipline (e.g. Facer & Furlong, 2001)  Differences in the quantity rather than the quality of use in different groups, e.g. engineering vs. social work (Margaryan et al., 2011)
  9. 9. A newer concept: Digital Residents vs. Digital Visitors Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’  David White  t-natives-immigrants-but-visitors-residents/
  10. 10. A newer concept: Digital Residents vs. Digital Visitors  The ‘Resident’ The resident is an individual who lives a percentage of their life online.  The ‘Visitor’ The Visitor is an individual who uses the web as a tool in an organised manner whenever the need arises.
  11. 11. Current Students’ Experiences  Expectations gap between previous educational experiences (primary and secondary school)  Expectations of use but not sure how to *actually* use technology for learning  Where does learning take place… classroom or outside…
  12. 12. What has changed?  Learning takes place the same way  Changes in learning contexts, expectations and practices  Increasing availability of ICT (internet, mobile devices etc.)  Increasing range of places where students can learn  Expectations of greater flexibility in educational provision  What does that mean for us, teachers?
  13. 13. Student preferences  Online media used for looking up content and communication rather than for creating (i.e. wikies or blogs for learning)  No adoption of different learning styles by the younger generation  Satisfaction with traditional methods of teaching  Attitude towards learning influenced by the teaching style of the lecturer  Face-to-face interaction with teachers (Margaryan et al., 2011; Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005; Hargittai, 2010)
  14. 14. Threat or opportunity?  Engagement with traditional printed resources  Flexibility of electronic materials  Use of dubious online sources, plagiarism, Google translate etc.  Example: Using Google translate creatively as a pedagogical tool in a translation module
  15. 15. The SAMR Model
  16. 16. Considering Technology  Considerations for ‘normal’ session/programme design aspects and technology should be the same…  Purpose of what should be achieved (aims and outcomes) is the focus  Tech as a way of enhancing/new opportunities (SAMR model).  Enabling alternatives and/or new options which can be considered for use.
  17. 17.  Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values.  Heilbroner (1994) content/uploads/2011/05/2-Heilbroner- TechnologicalDeterminismRevisited2.pdf  Technological Determinism (Danger!)
  18. 18.  Application to learning:  Assumption that technology determines use within society  Temptation to pick technology first over other considerations  We would argue:  Society determines use of technology (e.g. SMS / e-mail)  Educational aims should determine technology use Technological Determinism (Danger!)
  19. 19. Learner in the centre?  Incorporating cutting-edge technology  Social media  Mobile learning  Paradigm shift - design focused on what technology can do  Technology-centred teaching and learning
  20. 20. Designing materials with the learner in mind Morville's user experience honeycomb (
  21. 21. Examples of using technologies in teaching practice  Reading in Czech (Sheffield VLE-based course)  Varieties of Czech (Moodle-based course)  Beginners’ Czech Exercises
  22. 22. Examples of tools available online  Vocabulary learning  Quizlet  Memrise  Interactive exercises  Hot Potatoes
  23. 23. Getting started  What function will the tool serve in your class/teaching?  Reflect on how students’ experience and your teaching will be enhanced or changed  Common functions: 1. Enhancing interaction (student-teacher, student-student) 2. Creating online content 3. Creating online activity to integrate student-generated content or participatory learning  Any tool should always be used in support of pedagogy!
  24. 24. Getting started II  Who will use the tool?  Provide how-to instructions  Explain the purpose  Why you are using the tool  How it will help students learn
  25. 25. The technology and pedagogy cycle Set your pedagogical aims Find an appropriate tool (or a compromise ) Teach students to use the materials Implement the materials in your practice Reflect on your teaching and ask students for feedback Improve your materials
  26. 26. Give it a go!  Engaging with learning technologies will help you:  Engage with students at a different level and understand better the way they learn  Learn about the potential as well as limitations of technologies  Open new possibilities for (even) better teaching
  27. 27. Final thoughts  Tools in context  These are a selection of tools; different generations of tools (HP – older; Quizlet – online service)  You can pick other tools once you know what’s possible  Time-consuming to set up but it can be changed, developed easier than printed materials  Embedding into VLE –  E.g. Blackboard – might have good functions for testing? Is it very useful for learning?  Fitting into teaching – i.e. look at your teaching as a whole and see how this can fit in rather than thinking you have to use it for everything and all the time
  28. 28. Further reading  Beetham, H and Sharpe, R. (eds.) (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age. London: Routlage  Ellis, R.A. & Goodyear, P. (2010) Students’ Experiences of E-Learning in Higher Education: The Ecology of Sustainable Innovation. London:Routlage.  Clark, R.C. and Mayer, R.E. (2011) E-Learning and the Science of Instruction (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.  Horton, W. (2006) E-Learning by Design. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.  Mason, R. and Rennie, F. (2008) E-Learning and Social Networking Handbook: Resources for Higher Education. Oxon: Routlage  Mayer, R.E. (2009) Media Learning (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.  Pacansky-Brock, M. (2013) Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. London: Routlage
  29. 29. References  Figure Slide 2: content/uploads/2012/12/historyelearning.jpg  Figure Slide 13: JISC, 2013. Usability and user experience. experience.aspx  Facer, K. & Furlong, R. (2001) Beyond the myth of the ‘Cyberkid’: young people at the margins ofthe I nformation revolution, Journal of Youth Studies, 4(4), 451–469.  Guri-Rosenblit, S. (2005). Eight paradoxes in the implementation process of eLearning in higher education. Higher Education Policy, 18, 1, 5–29.  Hargittai, E. (2010). Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in internet skills and uses among members of the “Net Generation”. Sociological Inquiry, 80(1), 92–113.
  30. 30. References  Njenga, J.K. and Fourie, L.C.H. (2010) The myths about e-learning in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 199-212.  Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A. & Vojt, G. (2011) Are digital natives a myth or reality? University studets’ use of digital technologies. Computers & Education, 56, 429-440.  Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (2005). Is it age or IT: first steps towards understanding the net generation. In D. Oblinger, & J. Oblinger (Eds.), Educating the Net Generation (pp. 2.1–2.20). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE, Online: publications/books/educating-net-generation  Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9 (5), 1–6. Available online at: %20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf