A computer offers countless possibilities of freedom, as there are plenty of sites to visit. This happens throughout all ages, from children to adults. As a result, classroom management is necessary. We teachers have to make sure that there are certain rules that are to be observed when students go into a computer lab, and that students know what they are. Additionally, if they are broken, then the consequences have to be carried out as well.
And it's the fact that nowadays internet is so much more attractive than it was a few years ago that draws students of practically all ages to the computer labs at schools! Teachers who have internet 2.0 in mind will have many different activities for students to carry out, especially those that involve collaborative learning.
The fact that broadband is much more available now helps have better access to free platforms and students create blogs and wikis, exploring more meaningful ways to use language. Pictures, video and audio enrich a language learning experience because it thankfully appeals to many types of learning styles. Thus, teachers have yet another tool that they can use with their students, and that they can have access to outside the classroom anytime, anywhere, increasing learner autonomy.
I know that my students already use social networks and video host sites such as YouTube and some use Flickr. They definitely know how to copy and paste images and especially text. However I wonder if they have had the opportunity to explore collaborative learning on the net, especially the way we are doing now for this course.They probably haven't, which leaves this big gap I think, in thier learning process. This is exactly the reason why I wanted to take this course, to be able to teach in a diffrent way that they are accustomed to, and especially be able to meet halfway between "their" language and "mine."
This is turn would also help them develop critical thinking skills, create rather than copy and most importantly for me: read to know, rather than learn to memorize.Sometimes I wonder if it's just wishful thinking...
But then, I remember the quote that keeps me sane: "Teachers open the door, but students enter by themselves."