Lawn in front of the terrace at Hunstanton. I believe this is the first English country house you have stayed at, Miss Worsley? You have no country houses, I am told, in America? We have not many.
What is it that makes me do so? I did not grow up with technology; what is it that triggered in me the urge to learn about it and integrate it in my teaching? As I reflect on that, just three words come to my mind: How could he tell me that?! And this is when my passion for technology exploration started.
I taught myself how to type; how to use the word processor; how to use email; how to browse the Internet; and, finally, how to create and design web pages for educational purposes.
I spent endless hours in front of that computer screen, and not once did I even feel like giving up. As I was learning about technology, I started integrating it in my classrooms. I also taught my students how to create their own websites and publish their work.
Suddenly, they were no longer working only "for the teacher" or "for a grade," they were working for a real, authentic audience. Their whole attitude towards the language changed: I was thrilled to see my students thrive in my classes. They are already halfway there It is crucial to acknowledge the importance of the role technology plays nowadays in schools.
Integrating it in the classroom gives students the possibility of having a better future. In this paper, we shall study, first, the benefits of integrating technology focusing on the ESL classroom ; second, the factors that might hinder technology integration; third, the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge educators should have; and, last but not least, the implications for in-service and preservice teachers.
What are the benefits of integrating technology in the classroom? When teachers integrate technology in the classroom, their approaches seem to be more student-centered.
Students tend to work together more while using technology to write stories, search the web, and create multimedia presentations.
Hypermedia and hypertext increase their understanding-- hypermedia environments are dynamic and interactive and create a non-linear collection of information. Students are more motivated and have a greater sense of control over what they can access and read; their comprehension and ability to create text are improved.
Students develop a sense of story structure, build vocabulary, increase word knowledge, improve comprehension, improve in sight-word acquisition, move more quickly to independent reading levels thanks to the "point and click" pronunciation supportand improve motivation level.
Students can search the Internet, evaluate what they find, and then apply it to the solution of a problem. Their critical thinking is also improved as they learn how to create and design websites then publish their work. What are the factors that might hinder technology integration?
Technology integration is the "pervasive and productive use of educational technologies for purposes of curriculum-based learning and teaching" p. Some of the factors that might hinder it are the following: Second, teachers most often lack the training they need to incorporate technology in the classroom.
Taking one technology workshop or even a class here and there is definitely not enough for them to really learn how to incorporate technology and appreciate its use and value; not enough for them to overcome their functional fixedness which limits them to using technology in the way they are used to or are familiar with.
Third, most of the technologies teachers would use nowadays in their classrooms are newer and digital; they are not easy to apply: Besides, most software tools available today are designed primarily for the business world, and it is not easy for teachers to repurpose those tools for educational purposes.
In addition, learning to use those tools is not a once and for all issue because there are always new ones that are being created.
Fourth, classroom contexts are so varied. There are different kinds of students, different levels, different disciplines, different lessons and requirements. There are so many different ways teachers can incorporate technology; so many choices to make when it comes to the medium they will use, the time, the place, the context, etc.
Fifth, there are multiple digital divides with regards to equity of access to technology. The first one is access to technology infrastructure: The second is access to achievement enhancing Technology Mediated Instruction TMI in school, and technology mediated activities outside of school.
The third is access to culturally compatible or at least culturally sensitive TMI teachers knowledgeable about multicultural education, and able to incorporate this knowledge into teaching with technology.
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