Technology in classroom, TEFL Activity ideas

Technology enables teachers with so many capabilities to make learning fast, more efficient and fun, and considering the speed tech is growing with a lot of teachers might feel left out or just not dig the whole excitement about implementing blogs and smartphone apps into their activities during language teaching. The intimidation of new things might cause the teachers to stop using tech in classrooms and go all old school when it comes to language teaching.

One thing they fail to keep in mind when considering the usage of new tech or the implementation of gadgets into the learning process is that there’s a rule that in a way showcases clearly where to draw the border and basically when to stop with all the flashy screens and wires. It’s “If the task can be done without tech usage just as efficiently, don’t use tech just for the sake of it”.

Now this can be somewhat difficult considering the modern private and public school administration demands for the teachers. When private schools invest a lot of money to get that big interactive screen or public schools receive tech donations from US AID and such, the administration wants to see those being used heavily, as if the screen or the projector the one factor no teacher can avoid, this is, of course, for obvious reasons. But this kind of pressure from the non-teaching team of the school and the stress of not knowing how to turn on a projector can create a hoax for the teacher and kill any excitement. Thus having a balance is a priority when it comes to things that are in “beta” phase in your classroom.

Starting off with simple technology use such as blogging and microblogging, which the Armenian reality of EFL teachers is acquainted with, to a certain extent, I’d definitely first point out the usefulness of these tools in classrooms, bringing in advantages such as:

  • easier communication between learners/teacher
  • creativity boost (they can add media to their posts)
  • makes homework mobile, students can post on the go
  • better logistics, easier navigation for the teacher
  • better word count in writing tasks as suggested by Fellner and Apple (2006)