1. Information and Communication Technologies
In English, technology includes cameras, audio equipment, computer technology, video equipment, overhead projection devices, scanners, printers, CD equipment almost any device that can access, present, manipulate and communicate words, sounds and images to enable us to create meaning.
English teachers have always used some technology but the explosion in digitaltechnologies has opened up new and exciting possibilities:
Examples of how some emerging technologies can be used in English
Bands C and D
Word processing/desk top publishing
Making lettersMaking wordsMaking signsWriting own illustrated books
Publishing - stories, poems, letters, brochures, reports, essays, signs, articles, reviews, recounts, biographies, diaries, journals, signs, information, arguments, illustrated books
Publishing -stories, poems, letters, resumes, brochures, reports, essays, signs, articles, reviews, recounts, biographies, diaries, journals, signs, information, arguments, illustrated books, scripts, research log
Internet for information
Information relating to themesGetting suitable images to illustrate work
Information aboutwritersSearch for song lyricsSearch for any topic
Author informationTopic searchesie "Shakespeare"English courses in years 11 TASSAB
Engaging in 'discussion' about particular reading ie. John Marsden
Web page Construction
Personal web page design
Personal web page on school site
Producing personal web siteOn-line magazine production
CD ROM information
Researching topicsCD ROM interactive educational games such as Hollywood High
Researching topicsResearching writers
Interactive book reading
Shared reading of interactive books for pleasure
A critical literacy approach to interactive books
Drawing letters of the alphabet
Making book covers
Constructing cartoonsIllustrating writing for effect
Digital image manipulation
Cutting, pasting and manipulating digital pictures to illustrate own writing
Placing appropriate photographs into document to promote ideas
Altering structures and features for effect - ie making a color photo into a gray one to illustrate a sad poem
Recording spoken stories
Adding sound to published works
Interviewing characters from a novel
The life cycle of an insect
Using a graphic organizer to show student's own family tree
Using Mind Man to show the relationship between characters in a novel
Word building and spelling Games
Using spelling programs for drill and practice to broaden spelling
A study of the gender/violence aspects of games
Sharing 'talking books'
Producing own 'talking book' using Power Point type software
Probably best accessed on intra - net rather than externally - but many students spend a great deal of time 'chatting' to people all around the world. This could open up interview possibilities.
E-mail friendsE-mail for information
E-mail dialoguebetween teacher and studentE-mail authors
1.1Why we use computer technology in English?
There are two kinds of reasons for using computer technology in English. First there are the benefits to teachers and students from including computer technology in any learning area:
For students technology can:
be very motivational
be the source of a significant amount of reading material
be fun - and when it's fun you learn!
help students to produce excellent published work
For teachers technology can:
allow for the easy production, storage and retrieval of prepared materials such as certificates and work required sheets.
free up communication with other teachers
help teachers to find information easily
assist good teaching but not replace it!
Secondly, there are the challenges and opportunities presented by computer technology that make it an increasingly important part of English in particular. These include:
the emergence of new kinds of texts and the consequent need to teach students to create and use these texts effectively;
changing social practices associated with communicating via computers and the consequent need to teach students how to make judgments about appropriate use of different avenues of communication;
the pervasiveness and power of texts created through computer technology and the consequent need to teach students to be critical readers and viewers of such texts.
Each of these is discussed briefly below.
1.2Creating and using new kinds of texts.- such as hyper-texts, web-pages, e-mail communications, and multi-media texts.Many of these texts blend the written, spoken and visual, so students can express ideas in exciting and powerful ways. The choices available to the creators and users of texts are expanding rapidly so English teachers need to start helping students to make informed choices.
Multi-media texts challenge readers and viewers to integrate information and ideas in new ways. Making meaning from the interplay of words, sound and vision involves a sophisticated set of skills, skills that have not necessarily been highly valued in the past: for hundreds of years western culture has privileged the verbal (print and oral) as the pre-eminent mode of conveying meaning and producing knowledge. However, with the arrival of the new communication and information technologies, the reign of the verbal has been at least interrupted, if not overthrown.
Hypertext heralds a different way of accessing texts since, even more than with traditional print or screen texts, the reader or viewer actively creates an individual text through choices made. We can choose to jump from link to link in different ways, creating many possible texts from one set of material. Adults often comment ironically on the almost irresistible lure of hypertext links that invite us to flit from site to site, searching for the better, brighter site that surely waits just one screen away. We need to explore the same issue with students to ask what effect this has on our understanding and how we judge when it is better to resist or go with the lure.
In a recent workshop presented by PETA, Katina Zammit presented Tasmanian teachers with some useful tools to help students read computer texts, including her analysis sheet for web sites:
Select an Internet site and consider the questions below:
How is the screen composed?