Benefits of integrating technology into teaching practices

Nowadays, technology is present everywhere in our lives. Thus, having to use technology at school is now part of our reality. Many teachers are integrating a Website or a blog to their teaching practices. The teacher and the students usually have access to it. They can login the Website and have access to an online teaching platform. It becomes very pertinent for the teacher and the students to have access to that kind of technology because teachers and students are in contact all the time via the Web. According to Rebekah Bennetch, a Lecturer of Professional Communication at University of Saskatchewan, a website page reinforces the learning community environment of a group. If a student has a question he can login on the website page or the blog and post his question so every students and the teacher can answer it. The student and the teacher can save lot of time that way. Instead of waiting the whole weekend to get an answer, the student can get an answer faster either by a classmate or his teacher. On the other side, if a question is asked 10 times to the teacher, instead of answering 10 different emails, the teacher can post the answer on the page so every student can see it. Also, it gives the chance to the teacher to give extra information to his students at any time. This is very interesting for a teacher because it can be easy to forget to tell essential information in class and that way you don’t need to wait until the other class before transmitting the important information.

Also, Jay Wilson, an assistant professor Of University of Saskatchewan, pointed out something really interesting. He says that those website pages and blogs give students the opportunity to learn at their own pace. The teacher can put all the information seen in class on the website and if a student missed a part or did not understand a certain notion, he can go on the website and read again the course notes or watch again a video that was shown in class. Thus, it gives a chance to poorer learner to take time at home to review with all the same information that was given in class. As a student and future ESL teacher, having the opportunity the reread the information can be really helpful for some people. Learning a second language can be hard for some students as they are not all learning the same way. Having access to blog or a website page allow visual students to see an image, a video or simply the course notes again and again. The teacher saves time by putting the information on a Web page or a blog because he does not have to repeat over and over again; he only has to refer his students to internet.

Posting the course plan and course note in advance is also something we can do with Websites and blogs. Having students that come in class prepared and aware of what will be discuss can change the whole atmosphere of the classroom. You can push the knowledge further and you can have more interaction with students because they know what’s going on. Heather M. Ross, a design specialist of University of Saskatchewan, who uses a website and a blog for her course, uses that technique and she says that it gives a total different energy to her classroom as there are more interactions.

Thus, I think that a Website page or a blog is really useful for an ESL class. In fact, it gives students tools to keep in touch with English even at home. It reminds them to do their homework and the teacher can share articles in English, videos in English, etc. That way students don’t have to look for information and tools in English because everything can be posted on the Website. It can help students improve their level of proficiency in English.

Catherine Hébert

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