Investigating the usefulness of online technology in the teaching and learning of a second language: Two contrasting case studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
There is a common acceptance that online technologies have the capacity to transform the way we learn. It appears the call for alternative modes of learning and the effective integration of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) into the regular classroom is no longer peripheral. There is sound evidence that increasingly teachers and schools are embracing the technologies available to them. This study examines the merits, barriers and issues associated with the employment of online technologies in the teaching and learning of second and foreign languages. Data is sourced from the views and opinions of five participants from a ‘brick and mortar’ school, three participants from a virtual school and the perspectives from two outside experts. The findings reveal participants show an overall satisfaction with the usefulness of online technologies. Compatible with the literature, the study shows that there are systemic factors undermining the efforts of individuals to fully utilise the technologies available to them. The overarching epistemology of this research is congruent with an Ecological model. This approach allows for a multi-level perspective of the complexity and disambiguation ICT has thrust upon educators and learners. This paper concludes with a positive view of the usefulness of online technologies and reaffirms what many researchers are claiming; most schools are only at the beginning of their ICT journey.