By Siham Abejja
By Siham Abejja
Rabat – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been critical in the last few years for English language teachers who are familiar with their role as purveyors of information and education needs. The expansion of cloud computing and an increasing tendency by people to acquire English on social networks have threatened teachers’ traditional instruction methods. To stay current with the current trends, many students are acknowledging the flexibility of electronic books and up-to-date textbooks and e-journals in a way that marks 21st-century youth as leaders of the digital age. However, there are a few cultural challenges.
“Today’s students are leaders in the use of technology and we know they want their learning experiences in school to reflect this,” said Colleen Schenk, president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA). “Students want to take the technology they use in their daily lives and integrate it with how they learn. They want their learning clearly connected to the world beyond the school.”
The students of the 21st century are highly active in information technology. They want their teachers to know they are not the generation who can only text through cell phones, play internet games, or watch online videos, as these are no longer sufficient. This new generation of students demonstrates marked capabilities to engage in learning on a new global level. Having the world literally in front of them, students hope their educators re-envision the role of technology in the classroom.
1- Language as Key
The first transition to make instruction technology up-to-date with the times is to examine the service enabled by technology. This involves changing the language of strategic planning lessons, class control, techniques and other aspects of ICT. Education leaders need to encourage their teaching staff to think of their students as technology pupils, helping to speak and write the language on a daily basis rather than simply restricting it to the input provided in school textbooks. When people start using IT tools, you actually get language that serves communication.
2- The Technology Stack
There is a lot to learn when it comes to having access to IT tools in the classroom, as technology is deemed less important than integration.
Simon Hooper and Lloyd P. Rieber in Teaching with Technology (1995) made a distinction between educational technology and technology in education. The first concept inefficiently emphasizes hardware in terms of quantity. Technology in education, however, involves applying ideas from technology to create a world of options to create the best learning conditions possible for students.
Technologists also believe that the adoption model means moving from a traditional approach of educational technology to a modern approach which places ‘idea’ and ‘product’ technologies in one basket. First, teachers attend workshops about technology such as word processing, software updating, and motivational strategies. This is said to be the familiarization phase. Second, teachers who are committed to the new methods will try to use it extensively; however, some who may find difficulty with the methods will be satisfied with a limited use of technologies. Third, technology begins to take a part in instruction planning; thus, teaching becomes integrative. Fourth, teachers are reoriented towards student-centered views of education. Being with technology, teachers start to dismiss the need to be experts rather than shift their attention to how it may allow students to engage content and not on simple organization. Finally, as educational systems always seek to evololve, the classroom-learning environment should incorporate multiple changes to meet the challenges of effective learning.
3- Think Technology
Effective in-service training involves making IC technologies and applications available and accessible to the teaching and administrative staff as they need them, and giving them the opportunity to integrate it in a variety of ways. It is not the job of the English teaching staff, for example, to teach how to use the computer but it is for them to tell students the applications that best suit their linguistic needs.
Teachers often welcome the idea of using technology to support different learning styles to suit a wide range of students’ abilities, incorporating web activities, videos, and songs in their professional practice. Nonetheless, teachers are not motivated at all to involve technology in teaching because infrastructural development appears to be a hallmark of the teaching profession in Morocco. Indeed, access to technology in education is less expected at a time when the economy is in deep recession and there is a critical view as to whether allocating resources will make the greatest cost-effectiveness.
The Moroccan government should advocate for the establishment of a larger study to investigate the readiness of the school system to adopt the trend of learning and teaching through technology.
4- Emphasize Integration
Transforming classrooms into e-learning environments does not mean abdicating responsibility for teaching. An upgrade of teaching methodologies is strongly recommended in terms of the interdependencies such as: the risk factors, the availability factors, the distance learning factors, and the performance factors. Yet, a set of comprehensible guidelines is scarce, if available at all; teachers across all regions still hope to take advantage of the governmental educational reforms.
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.