Is technology going to lead to more, better learning?

Before you begin to use technology — either on your own (for your classes) or with your classes — I think there are at least two key things you should ask yourselves:

  1. How much time is it going to take — before, during and after class?
  2. Is that going to be time well spent — ie will it lead to more, better learning than would have been possible without technology?

Will using technology lead to better learning? "It depends," you are probably thinking. But it depends on what?

Is a particular website suitable for use?

Suggested criteria for whether or not you want to use a website with students Do you actually want to take your learners to a site that you have found?

Considerations include:

1. Is it going to be of interest to your learners?

2. Is the content suitable? Is there any possibility that it might break taboos?

3. Is the language of a suitable level of difficulty? (And is it actually correct English?)

4. Is it time-saving or time-consuming?

5. What interaction is it – and the tasks you set – going to produce? Is it going to get people to talk to each other?

6. How much English is the task you are setting going to produce?

7. What useful language are they going to learn from it?

8. How are you going to organise the task you set – with students working individually, in pairs, in groups…?

9. Could you do exactly the same without making any use of the Internet?

10. Could you do the same more easily without the Internet?

11. Is it attractive to look at?

12. Is it easy (intuitive) to navigate?

13. Is the URL (address) you have for the page current (when was the last time you checked it)?

14. Do all the links work?

15. When was the page last updated?

16. What is your "Plan B" if something goes wrong and you can't access the page – or the Internet at all?

Can you think of any others? Add them, via the "Comment this post" link below.