From my TELE teaching experience thus far, though it was in second language acquisition, I found that my students really learned a lot from interactive lessons that corresponded with their textbooks. The interactive lessons had digital response cues and textbook work that allowed them to follow along, regardless of whether they were learning individually or as a group/class. Second Language Learning is already really hard, but the most successful lesson pedagogies I found and used were usually related to the practicality of the topics and their presentation. Students learned and retained more from practical useful topics, and topics they could relate to in their own lives. I would define technologies in TELE’s to be the means to make the connection that isn’t easily achievable in a learning environment. For example, showing a video of a scenario instead of explaining it then asking students to imagine, or getting people to come re-enact the scenario each time.
I think designers of learning experiences often aims to create experiences with technologies that are most popular because then the users would need less “learning time” for the technology and would be able to “dive” into the content quicker. That’s probably why many learning experiences uses social media applications as a tool for interaction. So if I was to apply what I’ve learned to my own TELE math or science classroom, I would probably choose to use technology(like a computer) to run simulations for science experiments, if materials aren’t readily available. Or use the technology as an access point to math manipulatives that the classroom lacks.
Learning a second language is definitely hard for some students. I’m curious to know what programs or apps you use that correspond to certain textbooks? I find that technology can play a huge role in capturing student’s interest when it comes to learning a new language, as opposed to the teacher using direct instruction.
I’m curious when you say, “I would define technologies in TELE’s to be the means to make the connection that isn’t easily achievable in a learning environment. For example, showing a video of a scenario instead of explaining it then asking students to imagine, or getting people to come re-enact the scenario each time.” Do you agree or disagree when I say, “Isn’t it better for students to see something in person firsthand, rather than just seeing it on a screen?
To answer your first question about second language learning, because I taught in South Korea where ESL is an important focus in education for many families, a lot of textbook publishers would create textbooks with CD-Roms with digital lessons that go with the books. Teachers can teach with just only the textbook, or use the CD-Roms along side. The CD-Roms have videos of each chapter’s content and activities that students would have to complete. It could be something simple like matching words to the correct pictures or listening to recorded audios and then answering comprehension questions. The questions are can also be completed in their books with they want to follow along. The Interactive CD-Rom program would also have components that involve research and sometimes would link to the internet for more information as well. The CD-Roms were designed to be used by teachers, parents or students themselves. Some of the activities suggested are also meant to be completed in class through physical interactions. It even includes scoreboards for games or fun funny punishments that students can do when playing with others. To make it more realistic, the developers would use both comic and real characters as well. Teachers who choose to use the program can also get more teaching ideas from the teaching guides that are available for educators.
For your second question, I agree that it’s always better for students to see or do something firsthand, rather than seeing it on screen, but educators can’t create every possible thought up example physically. I mean, if the school has the resources and ability to demonstrate everything themselves, without technology, it would be great. I mean, I want to go to space to see space in person too. But it’s hard to find such an ideal learning environment. I mean, it would be awesome if we can all have let’s say a holodeck from Star Trek as a classroom, but I don’t think we are quite there yet, though it would be really cool. I also hear from teachers that school districts would spend more money to get let’s say a smartboard than a math manipulative, even the government would allot funds to get technologies for classrooms and I don’t think they quite meant a math block. So that’s why I think it seems more and more affordable to show students the examples on screen than in firsthand.
What do you think?
I like the fact that you brought up “second language acquisition”. My first couple of years high school was ESL — it was a lot of fun.
I wonder if designers consider ESL students when they are developing their content?
A good next step might be would be to give examples of “practical useful topics, and topics they could relate to in their own lives.”
I think you brought up a good question, do the designers consider their audience (ESL Students) when developing their content. I think it’s a yes and no. I think it’s a yes, in that they try to find practical useful topics, like how to order food in English. But the designers usually create the content to be TOO general or outdated or some would say cliche, and it doesn’t match up with the level of knowledge the users are used to. For example: My grade 6 students who play on their smartphones every other minute they get, would be asked to learn how to write a physical letter home while on vacation, which is good to know in the long term, but to my students, they would think it’s an obsolete method of communicating whereas a messenger chat room, or email would be faster in the same scenario.
Just my thoughts.