Technology for ESL

The Advantages of Integrating Technology Into the Classroom
By:Amanda Stovall

Technology can help better train students for their future careers as well as vastly increase their access to information. Using technology in the classroom is beneficial for teaching research strategies and how to use software tools as well as broadening the scope of material available to students. With grants and funding available to purchase technological equipment, schools are increasingly able to acquire the technological hardware that makes technology in the classroom possible.

Research
Using technology for research literally opens thousands of libraries and archives to a student. Schools have the capability of registering to use university archives, scholarly journals and print media archives. These archives can teach students to look beyond the first hit of a search engine to dig deep into the research process as well as their topic of research.

Communication
Companies like Google that provide free services for student and faculty email, synced calendars, blog and website services and shared documents enable students and teachers to communicate with each other in a highly effective manner. Using technology, teachers can upload documents and assignments for students to access at home, and students can easily ask teachers questions outside of the classroom.

Projects
Technology projects mirror the type of tasks and work students will be presented with upon graduating college and entering the workforce. Projects that use technology range from creating a web site to creating PowerPoint presentations. Creating this type of project also teaches students how to effectively use both different hardware and software platforms to create neat, visual and clearly articulated projects.

Engagement and Extended Learning
The percentage of students using technology for personal use increases every year, and the classroom can easily mimic the technologies that students use for entertainment in the classroom. For example, a teacher could create a Twitter account that students could follow to receive updates, learn a fact of the day and check for upcoming deadlines. Students could have a class home page or their own Twitter account to discuss reading selections and discussion topics. This use of technology in the classroom teaches students that the value of technology goes beyond social networking and into creating an extended learning environment.






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