Digital technology is transforming modern education, and it has the potential to do the same for teaching languages.
|Download Full Opinion Paper|
Where teachers once relied on dusty text books and rote learning, now powerful digital tools are helping them create immersive experiences that stimulate students and lead to better academic results.
The trend is particularly relevant in the push to improve Mandarin literacy levels among Australian school students. Here are three ways digital technology can be put to work:
- Improved content. Digital content can be created and delivered to students in new and compelling ways. Video and audio tools can augment text to bring the language to life. Increasing the range of content will broaden its appeal to students with different interests and at different stages of the learning process.
- Extended classroom. Instead of being limited to classroom-based learning, students can access materials from wherever they happen to be. Armed with a suitable digital device, the world can become their new classroom. Enabling interaction with other students, particularly in other countries, has the potential to fast-track fluency in Mandarin.
- A digital learning portal. A diverse range of content and digital tools can be brought together for a purpose-built online learning system. This reduces complexity for teachers and allows students to access the learning tools any time, on a broad range of devices and in a single place.
Putting digital technology to work in these ways will help the school students of today to be ready to meet the challenges and opportunities that our closer ties to China will bring.
For more details on these digital technologies, see the third paper in our Learning Mandarin in Australian Schools series.
By Katrina Reynen, Industry Manager, Education. More from Katrina on Twitter: @ReynenKatrina