Simplifying the technological enhancement of language learning
From books, boards and pens to video cameras, smart-phones and tablet computers, technology has always had an important role to play in any language learning environment. The integration of such technology into the language classroom is an issue faced on a daily basis by educators and learners and is an issue fraught with complexities. There is technological complexity involved with the selection and use of the best tool for the language curriculum and organisational complexity involved with how the tool is funded and supported in the wider context of the educational institution. This article outlines a way of trying to simplify the complexity by explaining how teachers can immediately start to technologically enhance their language classes, simply and effectively, with a ‘teaching techbox’. A ‘teaching techbox’ is the name I give to my box of technological tools, including a mobile phone with camera, video camera, timer, bell, dice, and paper scraps, which I take to each class and use to enhance the language activities. As language education moves evermore into Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL), with the increased use of standard mobile phones, smart-phones and tablet computers both inside and outside of the classroom, the ‘teaching techbox’ allows teachers to embrace the opportunities afforded by MALL while at the same time simplifying how technology is used in the class.
Barrs, K. (2010). Simplifying the technological enhancement of language learning. The JALT CALL Journal, 6(3), 251-258.