Due to the development of technology and online learning, various opportunities for educational institutes and businesses have been appeared. Globalized world requires being equipped with technical skills in order to be competent for learning and working. In the teaching process teachers are to be flexible to make students learn English using with new technological tools. It is part of the teacher’s professional toolbox. In other words, it is among the resources that teachers use to help facilitate student learning. Technological devices such as computers are more useful to use and come in different forms than other common tools. Technology in schools has become mobiles, with laptop computers, tablet devices and smart phones now part of the teaching and learning context. Some examples of technological tools that support teaching and learning processes include:
Concept or mind mapping tools: These tools help learners to identify, link concepts and represent those concepts visually.
Database software: This type of software allows learners to record, report on a variety of data in numerical, textual and media forms.
Spreadsheet software: This type of software allows learners to record, arrange, mathematically analyze and represent numerical data in tabular or graphical forms.
Multimedia teachings enrich teaching content, make the best of class time, break the “teacher centered” teaching pattern and improve efficiency fundamentally in class. Due to large classes it is difficult for students to have speaking communication. The utilization of multimedia sound lab materializes the individualized and co-operative teaching. The traditional teaching model mainly emphasized on teachers’ instruction, and the information provided is limited due to traditional classes. On the contrary, multimedia technology goes beyond time and space, creates more vivid, visual, authentic environment for English learning, stimulates students’ initiatives and saves class time meanwhile increases class information. Here we can see a sample for a lesson:
Introductory activity: When the teacher asks the question student’s answers are recorded;
a) “What do you know about being environmentally-friendly?
b) “What criteria could we use to judge the usefulness of the information concerning environmental problem?”
The criteria are posted for future reference. After that, students are asked to develop a concept map representing what they know about the issue. Using the two pre-assessment techniques, the teacher controls that there are three distinct levels of readiness to accomplish the task. All students will use the posted criteria to judge the information they will use for the activity.
Step I: Students will use reading material to represent required information and conduct a pre-developed survey of science teachers and students to determine their awareness of the issue and what they believe and why they hold that belief. Students will apply the validity criteria to the information gathered. Findings will be presented.
Step II: Students will use grade-level reading material to gather secondary information, develop and conduct a survey of a least two scientists currently investigating the issue. Students will apply the validity criteria to the information gathered. Findings will be presented.
Step III: Students will make a comparison on their knowledge of being environmentally-friendly with at least one other environmental issue and note the similarities and differences in the evidence that is presented by each side of the issue. Each issue being addressed must meet the established criteria. Findings will be presented.
Culminating activity: Students present their findings on being environmentally-friendly and explain how this issue is an example of conflict as being a catalyst for change. After all presentations are completed, the teacher asks; “What can we generally say about the issue of being environmentally-friendly? What predictions could we make based on our current knowledge of this issue?” Creating interactive power points could help learners understand the content obligatory language of any given topic. In this case, effective second language learning environment can be created. For example: Games such as “the Jeopardy”, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” can be used to match terms with their definitions or events with the date they occurred. Students can work through games where one picture item must be eliminated because it is unlike other pictures in the set. This allows students to try them out in a very constructive way to promote their retention of subject matter. In teaching and learning processes, we may come across with the word “integration”. The idea of integrating technology into the curriculum came about through teaching how to use technology without addressing how students can apply technology related to knowledge and skills. Technology has become an integral part of the learning experience and a crucial consideration for teachers, from the outset of preparing learning experiences and working with students. Students have to improve the ability to create and bring their visions and ideas alive with the help of different types of media. Technology provides so many options as making teaching interesting and also making teaching more productive in terms of improvements. Using different modes of technology students would learn to collaborate, create, to acquire knowledge to develop productive skills and find solutions.
Digital processing systems that encourage active learning, knowledge construction, inquiry, exploration on the part of learners as well as assists in data sharing to take place between teachers and learners in different physical classroom locations as it is said in the following:
Digital resources combine multimedia elements including text, image, video and audio to present information. Research on multimedia learning have demonstrated positive outcomes for students who learn from resources that effectively combine words and pictures, rather than those that include words alone [Mayer, 2008].
When students significantly interact with the multimedia information, they encode this information into memory. This meaningful interaction might involve learning activities within the digital resource itself and as a lesson that is created by the teacher. Digital resources for a variety of purposes can be used in the following ways:
To introduce a topic to students
As part of a teacher lecture or demonstration
As a stimulus to group or whole-class discussion
To provide students with access to different text types
To motivate students in activities during the class
To allow students work on their own in extensive activities.
Furthermore, it is important to be aware that some learners may be less confident in learning with digital technologies and steps need to be taken to ensure equality of access. Digital technology offers immediate feedback for both the learner and the teacher.
According to Jensen , interactive abstract learning that includes the use of various media, such as CD-ROMs, the internet, distance learning, or virtual reality, utilizes the categorical memory and requires little intrinsic motivation. Students today are able to insert videos or DVDs of programs into the appropriate devices for viewing from the time that they were three years old. If they want to know something, they search the internet. It should not be surprising to us that these same students have difficulty sitting all day in classrooms that rely on low technology, such as overheads, whiteboards, lectures, and note taking, as the major sources of information gathering. For the majority of students, who are visual, just hearing the information is not enough; they need to see it and to experience it. Teacher’s knowledge and skills are important factors in the use of technology in the classroom. Lack of specific technological skills is a common reason teachers give for not using technology [Hew & Brush, 2007]. However, those teachers who take the opportunity to build skills through professional development activities are much more likely to integrate technology into their teaching than those who do not [Mueller et al., 2008].
Teachers are faced with challenges and barriers all the time. Technology’s place in society causes teachers to consider the implications for them in their role as an educator and as lifelong learners themselves. The constant challenge for teachers is to draw upon their continually developing knowledge and skills about what to teach and how to teach. Technology is just one, but an important consideration in that equation. The use of technology in teaching EFL classrooms can provide a meaningful and interesting approach for language learning. It motivates the learners as well as engages them in speaking, reading, listening and writing easier [Ilter, 2009]; however, technology alone is not sufficient to teach ELLs. It requires a teacher with clear objectives, who knows the curriculum and effective instructional strategies, and who can give children engaging learning experiences to grow and to have more experiences to relate to their prior knowledge [Schwartz and Pollishuke, 2013]. The computer is not a substitute for a teacher; it has to be seen as a support or medium for language teaching and learning. There are many uses of the computer in the classroom; however, it is important to note that when using a computer, students should be involved in the authentic learning settings [Egbert, 2005]. According to Stanley, teachers should take into account enhancement, technical experience, availability in the classroom, time (at the beginning/end), and efficiency in using technology.
Thus, if we neglect or ignore technological developments they will continue and we may never be able to catch up, irrespective of our discipline or branch. Teachers can use Multimedia Technology to give more colorful, stimulating lectures. We believe that this process can fully improve students’ practical language skills, which are useful to ensure and fulfill an effective result of teaching and learning.
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