Not all the activities will be available.
The definition of literacy is a fluid one that must change as society changes. It is not one set of rigid competencies, but a full and ever changing set of skills and bodies of knowledge. Computer technology and the World Wide Web have become essential to full literacy in this new Information Age.
For teachers considering using technology in the classroom, two major questions arise. Does the technology simply add a new skill that a teacher must add to the repertoire of necessary skills to be taught? Or can the technology be considered a tool to help the learners improve the skills that they are already learning?
There is a growing awareness that people need technological savvy, as well as critical thinking skills to succeed in the workplace. In addition, a very significant skill in today's world is that of critical literacy. In the World Wide Web, a user finds accurate and factual information alongside inaccurate and biased information. Web users must learn to distinguish among these different sources of information. Evaluation for authenticity is a critical thinking skill, and one which teachers can foster by the use of carefully crafted Web-based exercises. Finally, the Internet can provide a source for "authentic" language practice as learners negotiate meaning, communicate ideas, and work together on Web activities.
The Internet provides a teacher with an opportunity to open up a whole new world for the ESL student. The Internet, with its almost infinite resources, offers both teacher and student the opportunity to explore together a new realm of available information and interaction.
In this unit, you will:
- Reflect on your own experience with the Internet in the classroom
- Explore the specific uses of the Internet in the ESL classroom
- Consider methods of classroom management for classrooms with a variety of resources
- Evaluate websites for teachers and learners using an evaluation form
- Explore webquests and their use in the ESL classroom.