27
Jul
10

Enhancing Teaching Learning Process by Using ICT

Enhancing Teaching Learning Process by Using ICT

By Tri Ilma Septiana

Introduction

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral and accepted part of everyday life for many people. Technology is increasing in importance in people’s lives and it is expected that this trend will continue to the extend that technology literacy will become a functional requirement for people’s work, social, personal lives, and education. The creative uses of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education the capacity to increase the quality of people’s lives by enhancing teaching and learning. Ballenden (1984) points out that computer technology will increasingly penetrate all areas of life, including education. In addition, Maddison (1983) maintains that the technology of education and the technology of communication are two sides of the same coin.

ICT can be extra, useful tool for learning except some conventional tools such as books, pens, pencils, rulers, and so on.  In the past, Students were introduced and sometimes reluctantly to many such tools from slates to slide rules Heppell points out in the foreword to Loveless and Ellis (2001) that they have even had innovations such as the ballpoint pen and mobile phones confiscated. However, it is time to embrace new technologies and use them to change and improve pedagogy. In short, this article aims to discuss the using of ICT in school by some additional descriptions on the benefits of ICT in teaching learning process, selecting software, and evaluating software.

The using of ICT in school

Increasingly, schools will also want to develop ICT solutions that provide diagnostic and learning support and consolidation and extension resources to meet a range of needs across curriculum. Actually, school recognizes the need to provide all students with the skills to use ICT independently to promote their lifelong learning. Effective schools plan the teaching contexts in which ICT skills will be delivered. While these may vary from school to school and course to course, all students should be taught the skills they need.  As reported by Crowley and Richardson (2001) the specific aims for ICT use in school include:

  1. Enabling students to use a range of ICT tools in a relevant curriculum context.
  2. Enabling students to develop and use ICT skill in the attainment of curriculum learning objectives
  3. Fostering Students’ confidence in their use of ICT through enjoyable learning experience.
  4. Developing students’ understanding and practice of the safe use of ICT, and
  5. Supporting the development of the Students’ social skills through cooperative learning and problem-solving.

Regarding to Crowley and Richardson’s above explanation, we can summarize that many schools admits the power of ICT to promote learning process, both in improving their current practice, and responding to our developing awareness as to how, and at what pace students learn, and the skills they need for effective learning.

The Benefits of ICT

One of ultimate goal of the use of ICT in education is that the pupils are able to use the technology independently and appropriately.  Moseley et al. (1999) found that successful teachers of ICT gave students choices rather than directing them.

The main benefits of ICT to language learning are presented below by drawing on the perspective of Jonassen et.al (1999) defines technology-enhanced meaningful learning as active, authentic and cooperative.  First and foremost, ICT and the internet in particular provide language learners with opportunity to use the language that they are learning in meaningful ways in authentic context. The internet provides and easy and fast access to the use of current and authentic materials which is motivating for language learner. For example, online newspaper, webcasts, podcast, and newsroom video clips. A second important benefit derived from the use ICT in a language classroom is based on the opportunities it affords for cooperation and collaboration with one’s peers. A third major benefits of the use of ICT in blended language learning classrooms is the opportunity that ICT based tools give to language teachers so that they can tutor their students more effectively. In English ICT can enhance teaching learning process by enabling students to

  1. Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing by using a word processor and other desktop publishing package.
  2. Locating information quickly, confidently, and accurately.
  3. Publishing writing in variety forms,
  4. Integrating different media into one text
  5. Online translation facilities can be used to facilitate understanding and build bridges between languages.

In another subjects, ICT is an effective and appropriate resource to teach objectives within the National Curriculum and not the objective for ICT capability (Tyldesley 2002). ICT may support students through all their subjects but not necessarily all the time; the significant factor is the efficiency and effectiveness of the mode delivery. At the present, the first part of many lessons in most schools involves whole-class teaching. Coincidentally, presentation tools such as the digital projector or even better, the interactive white board have been developed, producing innovative uses of technology to support lessons. These resources actively engage and motivate the students. Furthermore, a teacher can model new concepts to the whole class simply and without much technical knowledge. The equipment is becoming easier to set up, and in some classroom, it will already be present. That is to say, the interactive white boards are merely an extension of what the teacher might use anyway. Moseley et al. (1999) described the characteristics of effective teachers relate to the use of ICT, that are;

  1. Use ICT selectively and appropriately to enliven the teaching process, to motivate students and to achieve positive attitudes to learning.
  2. Provide students with good opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning, both small in groups and individually.
  3. Identify aspects of course where students’ individual needs can be more effectively through the appropriate use of ICT, and
  4. Use their ICT skills to access the wealth of resources now available online.

Selecting ICT Software

There is wide range of ICT tools (software, CD-ROMS, and web sites) available to support teaching and learning. Students will learn to use these tools at home, school, and library. Student’s confidence and competence will develop quickly if they have access to ICT outside school. Teachers also need to become more familiar with the software so that students are provided with activities which enable them to develop and extend their learning.  Some generic software such as word processors, desktop publishers, spreadsheets, databases and hypermedia applications enable students to develop their own content. For instance, a student might write a story using a word processor or collect information on a topic and enter it into a database for later analysis. Content specific software such as CD-ROMs will have been written for a specific purpose, such as a storybook on CD helps to teach a student to read.

Most software and CD-ROMs cost money to purchase whereas most web sites are free. Some software is free, but this is often an outdated or truncated version of the software. Therefore, before purchasing software it is important to consider the following:

  1. What can be downloaded for free from the internet and are there any copyright implications.
  2. Which resources can be created using productivity software?
  3. Are trial copies available prior to purchase?
  4. Will the software will operate on your network.

Westwood (2003) stated that when selecting software for use during whole class teaching learning activities, teacher will need to:

  1. Become familiar with the software to be used.
  2. Assess the potential for differentiating learning outcomes.
  3. Identifying key language; subject specific vocabulary, language structures, language functions and grammar.
  4. Select programs with clear visual presentation and navigation that suitable for students with little previous experience of using ICT.
  5. Identify whether the entire program or selected parts will be used.
  6. Organize groups for computer-based activities that enable early stage learners to work with other first language speakers and to hear good models of English. Groups should be no longer than three.

Evaluating ICT Software

Before using and ICT software a teacher will need to try it out for his self in order to see the strengths and weaknesses and identify how it might support teacher’s aims. At least there are three aspects namely design, content, teaching and learning should considered by a teacher. Below are some questions to help teacher in evaluating ICT software;

  1. Design:
  • Do students find it easy to work out how to use it
  • Is it fairly self-explanatory?
  • Is it easy to navigate or can students use it independently?
  1. Content:
  • Are there useful support materials which come with the package?
  • Does it encourage cultural diversity?
  • Is it relevant to teacher’s scheme of work?
  • Is the subject interesting and motivating students?
  1. Teaching and Learning:
  • Does it encourage open or closed responses from students?
  • Will it support and enhance teaching process? In what way?
  • Does it support a range of teaching and learning styles and models of class room management?

Conclusion

The use of ICT to support students is becoming increasingly common place in the mainstream and specialist classroom. The value of using ICT is considerable and works on a variety of levels to support both teaching and learning. The motivational aspect of ICT is clear, students who are very new to learn a new subject such as English, find activities on the computer that they can do instantly. Furthermore, creative use of ICT in the classroom can promote inclusion and reflect cultural and linguistic diversity. Students who have had very little experience of using ICT can engage in exciting activities.

It seems that the computer was introduced in class to stay. The establishment of the computer in education is not without appeal, it is the kind of challenges to which one feels drawn to respond to it. The new conditions created by the advent of multimedia in teaching and learning makes  it necessary for both teachers and students to understand that their roles have to change since electronic communication can help foster a new teacher -student relationship in which the student becomes more autonomous and  teacher more a facilitator. Computers and teachers should not be seen as rivals but as complements to each other and students should view the computer as an allay willing to help them in their learning process.

One of the optimal ways to intensify and increase the relevance of foreign language learning and teaching is to integrate the use of media technologies and the internet in the teaching and learning process. Integrating ICT in teaching a foreign language seems to be now the present and future progress in education. The many authoring packages available in the market make it feasible.

In conclusion, despite the various criticisms against the usefulness of ICT, the future of foreign language teaching will we think is endowed with that little spark capable of setting great motivation and interest in the most apathetic class. In short, the computer, which presents the teacher with a clear challenge and a unique opportunity for change, should, we think, be part and parcel of any teaching program.

References

Ager,D., (1986) “Help levels in CALL materials ” in Cameron, K. C. Dodd, W.S. and Rahtz, S.P.Q. Computers and Modern Language Studies Ellis Horwood Ltd.

Ahmad, K., Greville, C., Rogers. M., & Sussex R., 1985.Computers, Language Learning and Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP.

Geoffrion, Leo D & Olga P. Geoffrion. 1999: Supporting Learning and Teaching. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Goodwyn Andrew & Jane Branson. 2005., Teaching English: a Handbook for Primary and Secondary School Teachers. New York: Routledge Company.

Kenning and Kenning (1983:2) An introduction to Computer Assisted Language Teaching Cambridge: CUP.

Kumar Swapna & Maija Tammelin, (2008). Integrating ICT into Language Learning and Teaching: Guide for Instituiton. New Delhi: ODLAC Press.

Levy, M., (2003) Using ICT in Learning and Teaching: How Good is Our School?. London: Clarendon  Paperbacks.

Phillips, M., (1986). “CALL in its educational context”. In Geoffrey Leech & Christopher N. Candlin (eds), Computers in English Language Teaching and Research, London: Longman.

Taylor, R. P., (1980) (ed.), The Computer in the School: Tutor, Tool ,Tutee, Teacher’s College, Collumbia University (New York: Teacher;s College Press, New Work) .

Warschaucer, M., (1995) Using ICT to Support Students Who Have English as an Additional Language: General Guide for a Teacher Illinois: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wyatt, D. H.,(ed), (1984). Computer Assisted Language Instruction .Oxford: Pergamon

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