Reflections on Teaching with Technology

After using technology in many of my courses, the benefits are clear.  Technology allows the instructor to share so much more with the students and go beyond textbooks and lectures.  Two courses that I taught, Linguistics 001 Introduction to Language and Spanish 215 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics, were particularly enhanced by using technology.  PowerPoint makes class presentations easy to follow and easy to post on ANGEL for further study.  Access to the internet in the classroom allowed me to share websites with my students that contained interesting linguistic information that would otherwise have been difficult to explain.  I was able to show videos, sound clips of different languages, dialect survey results, and more..  Technology really allowed me to expose my students to linguistics in a way that a textbook alone could not. 

However, in some cases technology isn’t the best method.  When teaching Spanish 110 Spanish Conversation, grammar or vocabulary presentations on PowerPoint were dull and uninteresting.  The focus of the class was speaking and improving conversational skills.  While vocabulary was an important aspect of the course, the students learned more by practicing dialogues and talking about current events than they did through any PowerPoint presentation.