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Exploring the Hype(r) of Languages Learning and Teaching | About this Research Study : Introduction

About this Research Study

Introduction

2007 Election promises in Australia of a "Digital Education Revolution" centre upon the provision of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for high school students. For many policy-makers, school leaders, teachers and parents, integrating ICTs in learning and teaching is a high priority.  The use of techology is promoted as being motivational (it relates to learners' real lives), collaborative, and essential for building students' skills for living and working in a multiliterate and l(IT)erate society.  There is great potential for enhancing the study of Languages with ICTs, and new technologies certainly offer a lot of opportunities for authentic language learning.

But is this potential being realised? Just how, and why, are Languages teachers and learners using ICTs for learning languages in ICT-enhanced and supported government schools?  What are their perceptions of the impact of ICTs, and what have they found to be effective?

This research study aims to explore the above questions from the point of view of learners and teachers, investigating "what is really going on" for Languages in government high schools with good access to ICT resources.  The schools that form case studies in this study were participants in the 100 Schools Project (now LwICT Project), which provided them with increased access to ICT resources, both in terms of equipment and support, compared to other government schools.  So what's going on three to four years later in languages classrooms, given this context?

Aim 1: To explore teacher and learner perceptions of the impact of ICTs for learning and teaching Languages.

  • How and why do teachers and learners use ICT for Languages learning in the ICT-enhanced school?
  • What, according to teachers and learners, supports and/or hinders effective use of ICTs for Languages learning, and why?
  • What have teachers and students found to be effective uses of ICTs to facilitate Languages learning, why?

Aim 2: To develop a set of recommendations to support effective use of ICTs for learning and teaching Languages in technology-enhanced WA government schools. Specifically:

  • What principles should guide the use of ICTs in classroom Languages learning and teaching?
  • How should the WADET "Teaching and learning with ICT: A self evaluation guide" be updated in light of research findings for Languages teachers?

Aim 3: To explore hypermedia ethnography as a methodology for educational research.

  • What are the benefits and limitations of hypermedia ethnography as a methodology for educational research?
  • What supports and/or hinders effective use of hypermedia ethnography for educational research?

This website presents learner and teacher experiences from four case study schools - three metropolitan and one country.  You can read more about how to access the ethnography and use this site here.