Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Technology as aid, crutch and impediment to learning

The following was written in preparation for a discussion at TESOL 2009. It was held on Mar. 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM, in the Colorado Convention Center Rm. 712. It was a Discussion (#142376) for the Second Language Writing Interest Section. My partner for this discussion was Elisa Hunt, also here at Southern Illinois University. You are welcome to attend! This site is unfinished and will be updated as time permits. -Thomas Leverett, CESL, Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale IL USA 62901-4518. It originally appeared at

Summary (50 words)

Instructors should be aware of the extent to which technology may influence a student's understanding of a text, or production of his or her classwork. This session explores unforeseen complications, brought on by technology, in the process of learning.

Session description (300 words)

Technology advances at a rate that often catches busy teachers unaware. Technological advances from spell-check and electronic dictionaries to cell phones and computer translators have all added a dimension of complexity to the processes of learning: to both students' understanding of what they read or encounter, and to teachers' understanding of what students are producing or trying to say. As the technology becomes more advanced, and methods of using it more discreet, teachers may ask how they can determine when or what technology has been used, what it has done, how this may be unraveled, if necessary, and what strategies can be used, by both student and teacher, to reach the ultimate goal: timely and efficient learning of a second language.
Handout for this presentation
Green line to the commons: Grammar-check takes ESL for a ride

[ CESL ][ Tom Leverett's weblog ]

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