New Technology in the classroom The technology Era has transformed the


The technology Era has transformed the options for teaching in the classroom. Gone are the days when the teacher only had a blackboard and a chalk. If available or possible the possibilities of having a computer in the classroom are infinite. There are many activities and software to aid the students in their challenge of learning a new language. With just a computer, the students can practice the alphabet by looking at the keyboard, see words used when opening a program and interact with them. As Bernie Poole stated in What Every Teacher Should Know about Technology, 'Every teacher should be proficient in the use of productivity tools. Teachers have to process many different types of data. Productivity tools (word processor, spreadsheet) are available on all computers and are the obvious tools to use for most teaching and learning tasks'

Most of the time computer comes with installed software in English language, being this very useful. Even more, with the internet the students have all the resources needed to improve their learning experience. They have 'in hand' dictionaries, encyclopedias, readings, novels (e-books), games activities, short films, pronunciation tutorials and most important, students and/or people who can actually chat and interact and therefore practice their English. There are websites specialized for certain group of learners, elemental, intermediate and advanced. This is useful for the teacher; they can choose from a wide range of visual and interactive activities. There are also tutorials and websites specialized for the Business English learner. Many websites have slang, phrases and business words used for this specific environment. The learners could also interact with Biz People of all over the world, practice their negotiations and see examples of real business conversations. The analysis of Lynn Schrum in Technology as a Tool to Support Instruction is plausible to our discussion, 'Technology lends itself to exploration. But before technology can be used effectively, exploration must be valued as important to both teaching and learning. In a technology-rich classroom, students might search the Web for information, analyze river water, chart the results, and record what they´ve learned on the computer. In such an environment, acquiring content changes from a static process to one of defining goals the learners wish to pursue. Students are active, rather than passive producing knowledge and presenting that knowledge in a variety of formats. In such an environment, educators can encourage a diversity of outcomes rather than insisting on one right answer. They can evaluate learning in multiple ways, instead of relying predominately on traditional paper and pencil tests'

Although all these aids can seem as the perfect substitute for a teacher I believe that as human beings we will always need the interaction of our English mentor. With a real teacher the students can have the motivation of a real person that will be there for them in their doubts, inquiries and to be their confidant for their English experiences. It's also important to develop a great rapport with the classmates. The classroom should be a place where the students can have the confidence for sharing their experiences, be able to learn and accept corrections. With teachings aids and motivational activities I believe the teacher for ESL would be successful. Technology aids can assist the students in helping one and other, share what they have found, make friends and practice in their our homes. What is important is to be up to date of new technology resources in the market for their ESL process. 'Every teacher should be familiar with what´s available on the Web in his or her subject area. The Web is a magnificent resource for teaching and learning -- and getting better by the day. Conscientious technology-using teachers take time to research what´s available so that they can enrich the learning experience for their students.' (Bernie Poole) This will give them a whole spectrum of possibilities of learning and teaching that will not stop. As technology doesn't stop, everyday there are new materials that can improve our lives as eternal students. 'The school days when computers meant word processing or playing games are already behind us. Yet no matter how great a part computers and other technologies play in the school of the future, it is only a means, advocates of technology say, to the greater end of enabling students to learn through interaction with various aspects of life.' (Sharon Cromwell)

Resources:

Schrum, Lynn. (01/24/2000) Technology as a Tool to Support Instruction. Education World. Retrieved August 31, 2006 from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech004.shtml

Poole, Bernie. (02/14/2006) What Every Teacher Should Know About Technology. Education World. Retrieved August 31, 2006 from http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech/tech227.shtml

Cromwell, Sharon. (01/12/1998) The School of the Future. Education World. Retrieved August 31, 2006 from http://www.education- world.com/a_curr/curr046.shtml

Buckshaw, Lisa and Lyon, Aimee. (05/23/2006) Integrating Technology and Science. Education World. Retrieved August 31, 2006 from http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech/tech233.shtml