Saturday, February 18, 2012

As the technology-enhanced project goes by in week 6…..

For the past five years, teaching language with technology like Internet is a fantasy dream for me. I have never thought of the useful way of Internet beyond finding information, communicating with friends, networking, reading news, e-books, and articles and using other entertainment programs. Besides that, Internet is a huge resources bank for me as I always download various kinds of worksheets and activities. Did I mention teaching using Internet? Neither had I done that in my life nor had any idea of my students learning language directly from Internet. For me, the only means of technology using in the class are CD player, projector and computers with some learning software.

No one knows what will happen in the future but one should seek to achieve their dream despite all the barriers. It is my dream of teaching students to use international language fluently in their lives. Taking this Webskills course is a rare chance for me and I enjoy learning new things every week. When I knew about doing a final project with innovative tools from the course, teaching using Internet was the first thing that came up in my mind. Thanks to many effective language practice websites, I could be able to teach my first technology-enhanced lesson as my project this week. When I first created the technology-enhanced lesson plan in week 4, I thought using suitable language practice websites can enhance students’ motivation and learning. I included one of the lessons with a different approach in my lesson plan in this week. The lesson is for practicing listening, grammar and vocabulary skills based on the context of ‘food and drinks’ with the use of Internet in the class. My lesson stages are :
Warming-up, Pre-teach vocabulary game, Pre listening, While listening, Vocabulary exercises and Post listening

Students practiced listening and vocabulary exercises about ‘Food’ from Randall’s Cyber Listening Lab.
Then, they played ‘Hangman’ game about ‘Food and Drinks’ on

Actually, I wanted to use projector to do all these activities in the class. Unfortunately, the projector was not available as it was used for another program. Here I want to tell you about some difficulties to use projector at my school. We have only one projector for the whole school and we need to share it among the teachers.It is quite difficult to set up the laptop and projector in the class too. We need to inform to the principal for before we use it and most teachers do not know how to set it up by themselves except computer and music subject teachers. They have their own classes to teach and cannot always assist to do all the setting. There is also no professional IT technician in my school. Therefore, most teachers prefer to use video room instead of using projector. The first part of the lessons which are warming up and pre-teach vocabulary game was taught in the class. Then we went to the computer room to practice listening using Internet. When I talked about learning with Internet, students felt excited and they wanted to learn eagerly with this new way.  It surprised me that nobody asked me any doubtful questions about learning in this way even though this was their first time taking the language class in the computer room. They were totally engaged in the lesson and it was marvelous to see the way all the students enjoy learning using technology. The students had one computer each but we did not have headphones. So, I played the listening conversation with one speaker in front of the room. They did really well for all the activities and they were talking excitedly about their scores after they submitted. They enjoyed playing ‘Hangman’ game on and there were a lot of conversations going on during this activity.

I found that technology helps students’ learning in an effective and motivated way and on the other hand, I experienced some unexpected moments during the lesson at the same time. For instance, some students at the back of the room sometimes could not hear the listening conversation very well, one student played the game unrelated with the lesson, some students did not listen to the instructions once they started using computer, two computers were not working properly so that two students had to share with other students. Although I had prepared and checked the condition of all the computers and made restrictions of using other unrelated software in advance, the lesson did have some slight flaws. However, I am totally satisfied with my technology-enhanced lesson as I think a lot of students’ learning happening in that time. This is one of the best times I see my students highly motivated for learning language.

It is no doubt that technology is a great tool to enhance students’ motivation in their learning. I am certain that technology will always be a part of my lessons in the future when my students asked, “When shall we do like this again?” after coming back from the computer room.

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