EFL Geek On The Changine Role Of Technology In The EFL Classroom
I thought EFL Geek is in a good position to speak about the changing role of technology in the language classroom because a) he seems to know about and like the stuff b) he has extensive experience as well as an advanced degree and c) he works in a fairly technologically-savvy country. I asked him to share his thoughts on this topic in an email interview, the first portion of which is here.
“This is a tough question. Easy answer is I see it expanding. The difficult answer is how and in what way. I think that depends on the context of your teaching situation. In my school there is very little support for technology or experimenting with materials outside of the textbook, chalkboard, and cassettes or CDs. I’ve seen some interesting things being mentioned about using online games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft that I would like to try out, but due to administrative constraints I am unable to do that.
I do spend a large amount of time on my moodle developing resources for students and extensively linking off site to enable students to more easily find resources. But I don’t think it is enough as there is no guidance provided, again due to contextual constraints. One area of the internet that I see getting more and more usage is online video sharing sites such as YouTube. They are easy to integrate into your own site, whether a moodle, blog, or static html page. 12 months ago there were very few videos for language learners, but if you search now there are several high quality productions that teachers can use with students or that the autonomous learner can take advantage of.
Clearly the best aspect of Technology for the classroom is the internet as it offers limitless potential in diverse areas. The best part of this is of course social networking which gives learners the opportunity for authentic interaction with other English speakers.”