Technology, English, and Education
The British Council estimates that by 2020, 2 billion people will be learning English across the world.
With 85% of all webpages in English, by default, it’s become the language of the Internet. Information is passed freely from computer to computer and user-to-user no matter where in the world they are based, meaning country borders no longer define the use of languages.
With a wealth of knowledge and information at our fingertips, web-based learning and research has changed the way we consume information and paved the way for open education and e-learning. In this way, new skills and information are accessible through a range of online learning programs, eBooks, podcasts, videos, and mobile apps. In many cases, these resources have completely replaced teachers and in-person lessons altogether; however, it’s the mix of both that proves the quickest method in picking up new skills.
When learning a new language like English, student-to-teacher interaction is important and the introduction of technology in the classroom should support teaching methods and engage the students. Check out this infographic on the History of Learning, and find out how things have changed through the times.
How Kaplan International uses technology
At Kaplan, lessons are designed around technology, with systems in place to help support and encourage students to participate.
- Interactive whiteboards - teachers use interactive whiteboards in class, which allows students to select words, move images, and draw on the boards. Games specifically developed for our classroom and created by our Product Development team aim to encourage group work and create fun and engaging lessons.
- K +tools - this is our interactive online learning program, which can be accessed online. Much of the content integrates closely with the K +notes coursebook and includes exercises, quizzes, and video content to help students practice what they learnt in class.
- K +extra - available to all students (except those taking Vacation English), this is an additional resource for students to practice and test their English skills. Available online and with access to video content, interactive conversations, listening exercises, grammar lessons and pronunciation tutorials, students can freely pick any area they want to improve.
Take a look at this lesson on apps and the Internet which is available on the Kaplan International YouTube page.
Other ways technology can help you learn English
Through technology and the endless amounts of information on the web, English is available and accessible from anywhere in the world, whether you are in Brazil, Japan, Italy, or anywhere else. If you're learning English, why not try to include some helpful ways to improve your language through these simple changes you can make to your every day routine.
- Social Media - you can easily change the settings on your social media accounts to English, helping you to practice your reading and writing skills.
- Videos - You can access thousands of videos on YouTube in English which will help with familiar words, listening skills and pronunciation.
- News - access articles about news, showbiz, travel, or business in English to practice your reading skills.
- Apps - with a huge amount of apps available to download, it's easy to find apps specifically designed for improving your pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary.
- Podcasts - this is a fun way to continue practicing your English: you can pick from English lessons or the more entertaining podcasts that cover interesting stories, history, crime, politics, and business, amongst others.
The improvements and ever-evolving technology has changed the way students, teachers, and schools approach education, and how professionals consume information and conduct business. As long as technology is changing, so too will the way in which we do things in our everyday lives.
How has technology changed the way you learn?