“Computers are meant to have transformed the way language is taught and learned but in many classrooms expensive equipment is of little value and barriers to successful integration remain.
We are now 12 years into the new millennium and technology has become a prime element of almost all English language teaching (ELT) conferences and journals around the world. Yet, when we look for real improvements in student performance and effective use of technology by teachers, I think that the results are pretty disappointing.
I have spent the past 10 years doing technology-focused training work, materials writing and conference presentations and it still saddens me to see how much resistance and cynicism exists among teachers to the introduction of technology. But is it their fault? I don’t think so. Even as an enthusiastic and experienced trainer, I can see that once technology gets into schools, things start to go wrong.
Investment in technology has often been equated with investment in hardware. In many ways this is the easy fix: throw money at the challenges that technology integration poses. For example, education ministries around the world have been willing to invest in expensive interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology without really considering the benefits inside classrooms. Having made the investment, teachers are often left to sort out how to use IWBs in a pedagogically effective way, often with very little training or support. Meanwhile managers can wash their hands of the problem and report back that they have done their part in integrating technology…”
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