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Maria's WK 10 discussion prompt

Sanchez-Serano (2008) talks about the difficulties in distance learning, and some of us may have experienced some of these difficulties in our last class. Many of these problems dealt with the technology itself. However, Sanchez-Serano mentions a more ethical concern dealing with the digital divide, and asks how this divide affects distance learning, in particular foreign language teaching. So, my question is have you seen first hand the effects of the digital divide in distance learning - foreign language? If not what do you think are the effects? What are some ways teachers and/or ELLs can overcome the digital divide?


Mar. 26th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
Digital devide exists and it can be done in different ways
Hi, Loula

This is an important issue about discussion of digital divide, and the access of digital technology also have some imporat on language learning. In most L2 or foreign language learning, teacher is the only resource for interation and knoweldge provider. However, based on interaction hypothesis, learning takes place when you have opportunity to interact with some targe language speakers to learn language, culture through the negotiation of meaning. Students from low SES might have these access, and they might lact of skills to operate these tools. The limit of these technolgy literacy would affect thier learning in the distant learning. Although not all students can affort the cost of technology, the notion has challenged the traditional ways of learning language. Therefore, teachers have to modify thier ways of teaching to increase the interactivity in the language learning process. Students might not have access to exchange e-mail, blogging, IMing to target language speakers, but they still can use pen-pal writing even thoguh it takes longer to communicate. My point is that technolgoy won't replace the teacher, and it's notion of interactivity has challenged the ways of learning. Another ways to modify if students do not have experience on blogging, I believe that each of student in the classroom can use a big poster. Students can create a paper-based blogging template. In different segment on the poster, they can pos thier journal reguallry, they can paste thier photos regularly, they can leave a section who allow others to post their comments by using sticky note, and they just leave it in the classroom. Students can brown each other's paper-blog to exchange ideas. This can be a variation to help students who do not have access, but teachers still use the notion digitally to narrow the gap.

Apr. 2nd, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Digital devide exists and it can be done in different ways
I really like the activities you mentioned. These are great ways to promote student interaction, and not much technology is necessary. It is also a good way to overcome the digital divide.


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