Technology in Education
Rivne Regional In-Service Teacher Training Institute
Technology in education gives a great opportunity for the current generation to get more information while using electronic devices. However, such opportunity brings to the modern generation of students disadvantages as well as some advantages. The research paper analyzes the use of contemporary technology achievements in educational institutions. It shows DELETE how technology can help teachers to save their time and effectively prepare for their lectures. Moreover, it highlights the advantages of using computers and software in classrooms. It provides the information about online resources for both teachers and students and illuminates the practical approach teachers can apply in their work. The paper also describes the high cost of using technology equipment in schools, colleges and universities. Finally, it explains how the use of technology in education can distract students from the studying process.
Keywords: technology, education process, classrooms, teacher, computers
The development of technology in the 21st century made a profound impact on the educational approach and the way of teaching. The vast majority of people who are not related to the process of education probably think that a teacher is a person who puts all his or her efforts into the process of teaching. However, it is not a completely true statement. A teacher is a figure in education that SPENDS A decent amount of time on the process of searching and preparing information for students. The teacher also serves as a counselor, psychologist, manager and activist of the community life. In order to accomplish all these duties and responsibilities, it is necessary for the teacher to shorten his or her time for such processes as collecting data, preparing information and educating students in classrooms. For this purpose, computers and other technological equipment WERE introduced in schools in order to help teachers to GATHER and present information. However, the introduction of technology in educational institutions has NEGATIVE AS WELL AS positive as well as negative effects on the educational process. On the one hand, this process has facilitated the conditions of teacher’s work. On the other hand, it poses some threats for students.
The introduction of technologies into the educational process is a great advantage for teachers to accelerate their efforts in order to provide more information for students in a short period of time. With the help of technology COMMA professional teachers can also increase THE efficiency of their work. One of the most efficient technologies that can deeply change the process of education is the employment of DELETE computers in schools.
Technologies in schools CAP S
Nowadays, all educational institutions IN UKRAINE? use computers, which triggered rearrangement of the education system. Teachers employ them in order to utilize visual models that help students to increase their learning experience and understand new concepts. The use of computer programs is an effective tool that helps students better retain information. It definitely makes a teacher’s life more efficient and easier. “Teachers can find suggestions, lesson plans, practical support, information, and materials through the Internet” (Simons, 2012). The Internet community can help regular teachers to NO TO upgrade their knowledge as well as apply new and more effective concepts and approaches in schools for students of different ages. The cyber space gives an opportunity for teachers to share information WITH each other. It is also a great tool for students to upgrade and expand their knowledge of any subject they want. Computer technology, while being introduced into schools, can provide students with the opportunity to learn information that was not introduced by the teacher during the course.
The e-reader is the next effective technological tool in education that might bring some benefits to the educational process. The electronic device allows students to download and display different texts and books instead of searching for them in libraries. The e-readers or Tablet PCs are A **great time-saver for all students. The introduction of these devices in schools will save not only time but also the considerable number of trees and paper (Walsh, 2011). It is a significant reason to incorporate technological appliances into the education process, especially when the world faces the environmental problems DELETE related to the process of deforestation. Talking about other technologies like visual tools, they can help students better understand the RELEVANT topics. The ability of students to watch videos, images, graphics and animations will help to compare the studied material with real-life situations and examples (Exposito, Trujillo, & Gamess, 2010). It could possibly help students to escape some mistakes and understand how they can apply their knowledge to future job positions.
Despite the fact that technology in education can accelerate the studying process, it has some disadvantages. From the financial point of view, it is impossible for each school to buy A multimedia classroom and provide access to it for each student. Even if some schools can afford technological devices, it is vital for those schools to collect extra money in order to maintain the work of the appliances. Additionally, extra expenses should be provided for the studying process of teachers WHO HAVE to have certain skills in order to operate technological devices and software programs. In the future, educational institutions WILL NEED TO pay money in order to repair broken equipment or for the service of the IT worker in case of problems with hardware and software programs. It also should be highlighted that some technical problems with technological equipment can significantly interrupt the process of education during laboratories or lectures.
Free access DEL to the Internet can also distract STUDENTattention from the issues discussed during classes and waste their time during lectures. Many students who have laptops or tablets not only waste their time in the Internet but also distract their peers (Tausend, 2013). Thus, technology could serve as an opportunity for students to hide behind computer screens in order to escape the discussion in the class. It is also a problem for teachers that should put extra efforts in order to turn students’ attention and distract them from computers. The computer technology could also be dangerous REALLY? from the point of view that students can search for information that does not concern the current lecture or education at all. As a consequence, in classrooms they can use the Internet for their entertainment rather than for educational purposes. Children in pre-school educational institutions can accept technology as entertainment rather than educational tool (Plowman & Stephen, 2005).
Technology in education can significantly contribute to the studying process and help students effectively use their time in terms of the immediate access to various pieces of information. Technology can also be a powerful tool for teachers who can use it in order to save time as well as effectively search and prepare information for their lectures. However, the lack of financial sources, unexpected problems with expensive equipment and distractive features of the Internet can undermine the DELETE process of education.
The next SECTION will provide A practical approach for teachers to overcome some problems mentioned above DEL and will REDUCE the negative effect of DEL technology in school.
To apply DEL technology efficiently in the classroom COMMA teachers should learn this tool at least to be the LEVEL OF intermediate users. They should know practical ways to solve any REALLY? possible type of problem with technology during the class.
The problem with AN expensive Internet CONNECTION can be solved by A collaborative approach when all teachers in a specific school pay for the Internet from their own pocketS. The more teachers are in school the less money to pay. It is the way we OPERATIE in our own school. Every teacher in our school regularly pays a certain amount of money per year to cover the Internet expenses.
The best way to make students learn through technology during classes is to give them short-time passwords which will allow them to use Internet only for a short period of time. Teachers can also use software to see the screen of each student in class.
All REALLY? broken hardware can be replaced by not very expensive but used hardware; this will save some money for repair.
So, what is the best way to apply technology while teaching English in school? Where do I find the information?
Answering these questions I have to admit that there is no one main approach or pattern teachers can follow while introducing technology into their classes. The advantage of such situation is that it gives you an opportunity to create your own approach to English teaching through technology. It allows you to choose the resources from the variety of sources available online on the Internet.
There will ARE A couple OF resources I find really useful for teaching English. THE First one is Storybird. This tool allows students TO make visual stories in seconds. It can be used by the teacher at the beginning of the topic to introduce it to students and it can be used by students during a certain number of classes to make their own stories on a specific topic. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read and print. You can also get a class account here. I use this tool with my students duringDEL project work. Colorful templates AND A simple interface WITH their resource easily teachES students to use it. Here is the link to this resource www.storybird.com It is free and I recommend it for ESL teachers to improve writing and reading skills.
THE Second resource is Tagxedo. This resource is about making a word cloud. ESL teachers can use it to introduce new words into the students’ active vocabulary. You can create word clouds in real time by choosing different shapes and forms. Your students can use it to make a word cloud of the words which relate to a certain topic during the project or home task. The following is the link to the resource www.tagxedo.com It is also free and I recommend it as a tool for vocabulary building.
The third resource is probably my favorite. It is called Kubbu. It is an online e-learning tool designed to facilitate teachers’ work and enhance the learning process. Teachers can register here and they can also create accounts for their students they work with. Tests, quizzes, activities for listening, writing and reading comprehensions can be designed within this tool. THE Teacher creates the activity at home and gives a student a password to access it online, after that the result will be displayed for both student and DEL teacher. It means that all tests and exams can be done in class or out of class and evaluated right away. The link will take you to this resource www.kubbu.com You can you use it for free for a limited number of students (30) and limited number of activities (15). As I have already mentioned COMMA it can be used to evaluate students’ skills as in the end of the topic so in the end of the semester WHAT?. IT SAVES saves not only the time for evaluation but also the paper and thus trees.
Voki is the next service should be mentioned. It is a service that lets you create customized speaking characters. You can create speaking avatars with voice from the service or your own voice. You can also teach students to use it and later employ it as an effective learning tool to engage students with Interactive lessons; introduce technology in a fun way; enhance language skills, which is an essential factor for ESL teachers. This service can be used with students of different age. It is a great tool for homework and projects. It shapes active vocabulary, writing skills and speaking skills. Find it by the following link www.voki.com
A lot of my colleagues very often use songs in English to teach students. So, I found one really nice tool that can be introduced into the classroom for English teaching through songs. It is called LyricsTraining. It is an easy and fun way to learn and improve foreign language skills, through the music videos and the lyrics of favorite songs. The service also has a Karaoke mode that lets you sing and enjoy the full lyrics. Students will learn new vocabulary and expressions with it; they will reinforce grammar concepts through continuous exercise of writing the missing words; it will train their capacity to recognize the sounds and words of the language in a short time. Recent studies have shown that simple exposure to the sounds of another language sets up in our brain the structures and connections necessary for learning it. What’s more it is fun way to learn and listen to different accents and types of pronunciations. THE Link is available here lyricstraining.com
These five resources mentioned above I use for my classes. You can sticks SSTICK with them or you can find otherS for yourself and your classes. Here are some tips how to do it:
- Find 7 to 10 different resources for different comprehensive and productive activities and learn how to use them;
- Try them in class with your students;
- Select 3 to 5 resources you will be able to use in class for further English teaching;
- Teach your students how to use them;
- Use them regularly for at least 1 school year;
Such method will give you an opportunity to try and filter the resources available on the
Internet. You cannot use new resource every single class as it won’t allow students even to get the basic skills, so DEL you must filter and choose A couple to work with during a certain period of time.
Technology should be incorporated into the classroom activities. It should replace chalk
and blackboard as it more effective and advanced teaching tool. You can also create your own resources if you are advanced in programming, but still it is easier to search for already designed tools.
Online teaching and learning
Another vital issue in education of today is how to shape and improve our own foreign
language skills as an ESL teacher.
The answer to this question is simple – online education, known as lifetime education.
This part of my work will give a short glimpse on the methods ESL teachers can use to keep their foreign language in shape.
Online/distant learning education is a fast growing trend in the global education through
its use technology. Distant education is a broader category compared to online learning, but the two overlap each other since their use the latest technology in learning. In the distance learning process, lessons are designed to assist students to undertake different tasks and get important information. Students who engage in distance training are usually conversant with the new technologies that they use in their studies (Berg, 2002). I consider online/distant learning as a great tool for training teachers from different regions in more simple way.
Distance learning meets THE diverse needs of the user and is used in many places that include home and work place. The content provided in distance education is readily available to users and learners; therefore, maximum information is kept???? by the participants. Learners who study in their natural environments reduce the costs of travelling and any other expenses associated with training from the classrooms. Distance learning has developed to a greater extent and is mostly used by those students who are working as they study (Finkelstein, 2006).
Distance learning refers to education that is enhanced by use of computers and recently, it is extending to rising technologies, for example, Personal Digital Assistants and mobile computing. Distance education also use technologies that are web-based, they include: blogs, simulation games, polls and wikis (Anderson, 2008). Distance learning is very useful in tertiary education, for example in the universities. Distance electronic training serves different groups of learners; they range from novice learners, middle learners, advanced learners and learners with experience. Both dependent and independent learners attend the distance electronic learning that consists of either partHYPEN time or fullHYPHEN time classes. The prerequisites of distance electronic learning are culture, IT and management (Anderson, 2008).
There are various multimedia contents that are fit for different distance electronic learning students; they include: e-libraries, where students FIND books online; e-books, and streaming audio files. There are various methods of distance electronic learning; they include: Computer Based Training WHERE students’ study by performing special training courses on a computer. Web Based Training – in this form of distance learning, students study by conducting special training through theCAP internet using a computer (Miller et al, 2002). Virtual Classroom, Lab – in this form, students study while at home, and they use webcams and voice over IP during their virtual classes. Finally, there is DEL Digital Learning GameS, EDUCATIONAL computer games DEL(Miller et al, 2002).
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.(Wikipedia, 2014). DEL it is one of the best tools for ESL teachers to use in order to improve their language skills. For this reason I would like to give the list of seven best MOOC platforms for online education from across the world. These platforms are used by the famous universities around the globe to provide access to free knowledge for people both with limited and unlimited financial resources. As an ESL teacher I am registered at one DEL such platform and take regularly classes there.
Number one is www.coursera.org , second is www.khanacademy.org SPACE, third one is www.udacity.com , next is www.edx.org , PERIOD CAPthis is the one I am registered at, so I will speak a little bit about the ways they work AS AN example of this platformPERIOD fifth is i-tunes U for IOS users, sixth is www.udemy.com , where you can design and teach your own courses, and final one is our native one, designed in Ukraine by the leading Ukrainian universities http://prometheus.org.ua/ , DEL very similar to EDX.
So, how do they operate? Are they free or not? What will be the proof of the completion of the course? They all are online educational platforms which allow taking courses online for a wide range of participants around the world. I am registered at EDX. So, first thing you have to do is to register at one of these platforms. Then you enrol in the course or course you choose at the web-site,PERIOD CAP they all are categorized, so it is rather easy to pick the most suitable for you. Course lengthS range from 4 to 9 weeks,SEMI-COLON each weeksNO S involves some theoretical and practical activities and homework with due dates. You can take the course as a verified student, MEANING you pay for participation and receive a certificate upon a course completion with a certain pass grade,PERIOD CAP you can also take a course with honor code, it means you will get the certificate in the end of the course if you score with some certain grade to pass it and it is free, PEROD CAPthe third way to take a course is to become an audit student, it means you won’t get a certificate and you can do any assignments of the course you want without a due time. If you want to learn more you should enrol yourself in any of the available courses and try.
In my opinion, such educational tools create a great opportunity for people from distant regions TO take high quality education by using A computer and Internet.
Distance learning is essential for those individuals who are employed and need to further their education. The instructors use various ways to assess the understanding of their distant students. They use tests and homework that assist them in assessing the knowledge. The success of distant education is determined by the availability of the new technology and the students’ knowledge on the IT so that they are able to use the computers in their research and to access the data sent to them by their instructors in the form of soft copies (Miller et al, 2002). RUN-ON SENTENCEThe different forms of training help the students to undertake all the activities associated with distance education, such as performing experiments and communicating with the instructor. The methods of communication used in distant learning enable the students and the instructor to convey their messages. The learners are capable of presenting their queries and comments on the training while the instructor guides them in their education.
Unfortunately THE Ukrainian system of education is not quite ready for such challenges due to such factors as:
- Low access to Internet connection in the vast majority of regions;
- RoughINADEUATE knowledge of technologies by teachers and students;
- High level of bureaucratic procedures connected with incorporation technology to schools;
- Insufficient financing, etc;
However, there is a hope that our online education will change in the future and teachers will be able not only use the technology effectively but shape and improve their teaching and learning skills via web-based platforms for online learning.
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