Monday, February 11, 2013

Technology and the ESL Classroom

We need to be vigilant as educators to ensure that technology is contributing constructively to the progress of our students. A recent post by Mondo's ESL/EFL World Blog commented directly to the point of this issue: is the integration of the internet in our classrooms degrading the modesty of our education?

The post alerts readers to the dangers of allowing the youth to have unfettered internet access. Excessive technology use has been linked to shorter attention spans, poor focus, and an increased risk of clinical depression. In many situations, adolescents possess a higher degree of computer savviness than educators! Mondo's World links to the following video, which should serve as a warning to us all.

However, we must not place too tight a grip on students' browsing habits. Overly strict internet filters do not allow students to practice any real moderation. In a situation wherein a student commits immodest browsing, punishment can be dealt, like in any other school violation. Educators should grant students some liberty in their browsing endeavors, but exercise reasonable supervision over students. There is no question that allowing for some browsing freedom communicates trust to students.

If implemented properly, the internet can improve ESL education, expand social networks, and even promote civic engagement. Yet parents, educators, and legislators need to work meticulously to ensure that the use of technology is working towards building these desirable goals. As we all can imagine, the use of the internet has its drawbacks. Our task is to stay sharp and be aware of the risks that accompany internet use.


1 comment:

  1. I think that you have highlighted one of the new responsibilities we have as teachers. That is we need to be aware of the risks that accompany internet use and make sure our students know how to handle them.