With a constantly increasing amount of technologies available to foreign language educators a common dilemma is which technology to use and how to implement it meaningfully into your classroom activities. This challenge is further magnified by the varying tools, from basic email and discussion boards to social networking platforms and an array of web 2.0 tools. Often, we know how to use some of these technologies for personal use; however, many are unable to extend this use to their teaching practices. Regardless, the value of integrating technology is apparent when considering these tools offer the potential to create and enhance communication-based interactions including student-to-student, student-to-instructor, or student-to-other native speaker.
With the challenge of integrating technology and the potential benefits in mind, this blog is designed to serve as a beacon to light the way for new and experienced foreign language educators. It is my hope that this blog will encourage you to think about how technology fits into your teaching methodology and challenge you to become a lifelong learner and user of technology. For this purpose each month I will post CALL tips, including general advice, tool overviews, samples for technology-based materials, and templates for technology-based lesson plans and assessments.
For the first LRC CALL Tip, I decided to start with something basic.
When attempting to integrate technology into your teaching methods and learning activities with the students, it is important to keep in mind your end goals. End goals are the learning outcomes that you absolutely will not compromise. These end goals, linguistic outcomes, should always drive the use of technology and aid to meaningfully select the appropriate tool for the task. Never start with the technology in mind; start with the linguistic outcomes and work backward. With the end goals in mind, you will be better positioned to select the most appropriate piece of technology and utilize it meaningfully.