INTERNET RESOURCES FOR CREATING CREATIVE TEACHING MATERIALS FOR ESL
(Presented at the Seminar on TESOL, UAD, 2009)
Endro Dwi Hatmanto, MA
“Like the anthropologist returning home from a foreign culture, the voyager in virtuality can return home to a real world better equipped to understand its artifices (Sherry Turkle).
Despite the vast research by lectures and teachers on the use of media in English Language Teaching (ELT), little is known about the wide opportunity for teachers of using internet materials for teaching English. While internet provides wide area of topics through superhighway information tools such as search engines, little attention is given to exploring the use of internet resources for teaching English. The common images of the employment of the media in ELT are newspapers, magazines, television, tape, radio and conventional games. This study covers some internet-based resources for ELT through observation by means of operating internet search engines. An exploration of the search engines yields several ELT materials which can boost creativity in teaching and learning process. The results include; YouTube, language game and internet-based tasks and blog. This paper argues that YouTube can be used to teach such skills as speaking, listening and writing. Language game and ELT tasks which can be accessed and printed online can also be downloaded, printed and used by teachers to teach grammar, conversation and reading. Teachers could use Blog to create a number collaborative works of students and to create writing materials. Blog could also facilitate interactions among students and teachers. In seeking the possibility of creating materials for teaching English, this paper will encourage the creativity of teachers in creating the materials for teaching English and will contribute to future research on similar topic.
Keywords: ELT, internet, creativity, English teaching material
It is now obvious that computer and internet technologies are influencing every aspect of our lives in dramatic inescapable ways, including the impact in English Language Teaching (ELT). While we admire the internet presence, the hardware that connects us and the enormous capabilities of the fiber-optic vines covering the planet, we have not integrated our observations of this new external world into the reality of our English class.
Despite the vast research by lecturers and teachers on the use of media in English language Teaching (ELT), little is known about the wide opportunity for teachers of using internet materials for teaching English. While internet provides wide area of topics through superhighway information, tools such as search engines, little attention is given to exploring the use of internet resources for teaching English. The common understanding of the media employment in ELT refers to magazines, newspaper, television, tape, radio. This study aims at exploring internet based-resources for ELT. To achieve this aim, the writer does observation using internet search engine operations to reveal internet resources that can be used for ELT.
For the purpose of the study, this paper will highlight the following things. First the internet and language learning environment will be explored. Second, varieties of teaching resources from internet and teachers’ creativity will be illuminated. Third,Youtube, web cartoon, language games, blog for classroom practice will be discussed.
2. Internet and language learning environment
The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). It is a network of networks which consists of millions of public and private business, academic, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by fiber-optic cables, copper wires, wireless connections and other technologies (Wikipedia, 2009)
The internet carries a vast array of information resources and services, and the most notable example is the inter-linked hypertext document of the World Wide Web (WWW). The internet also contains the infrastructure to support electronic mail, in addition to popular services such as file transfer and file sharing, online chat, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and person-to-person communication via voice and video (2009).
The origins of the internet reach back to the 1960s when the United States funded research projects of its military agencies to provide fault-tolerant, robust and distributed computer networks. This research and a period of civilian funding of a new U.S. backbone by the National Science Foundation attracted worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies. This also led to the commercialization of an international network in the mid 1990s, and resulted in the following popularization of a great number of applications in literally every aspect of modern human life. By 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth’s population uses the services of the internet (ibid, 2009).
2.2 Internet and language learning environment
Internet involves a number of ‘scary-sounding jargons’ such as; world wide web, CD-ROM, chat room, e-mail and virus. In fact technology presents a whole new language but the language of technology, although important, is not the most vital information that teachers need in order to use technology effectively in their language classroom. Hanson-Smith (1997) maintains that an understanding of good pedagogy and the relationship among teaching, learning and technology is more crucial.
Levy (1990) and other second language educators have pointed out the need for a theory of Computer Assisted Learning (CALL) that would provide educators with a framework for teaching and learning with technology. He notes that “our language teaching philosophy, method and approach needs to be broadened to encompass new technologies, and the inter-relationship between language teaching and computing needs to be carefully explored” (p. 5). Supporting the need for a theory of CALL is the increase in the number of computers available to language educators and learners and the desire of educators to apply theories of second language acquisition (SLA) to the computer using classroom. Ideally, a theory of CALL can assist teachers in making decisions about ways to prepare language learners for the high-technology which they face in the future; in initiating vital changes in curricula that can and should be made; and in assessing the types of technology needed to assist in the effective and efficient learning and teaching of English.
If technology is replaced with textbook, the hypothetical theory of CALL sounds not much different from an integrated theory of language acquisition; in fact it is the same. The fact that the technology changes does not mean that the principles of language development do. Included in this understanding of the principles of language development is the teachers’ creation of the condition for optimal language learning environment in the internet context. According to Egbert (1995) the following conditions can guide teachers’ deployment of internet technology in the language classroom.
A. Condition 1: Learners have opportunities to interact and negotiate meaning.
This proposition shares some proponents’ opinion of the interactive learning (e.g., Ahmad, Corbett, Rogers & Sussex, 1985). If learning is a social process, then interaction with other people is necessary. Long (1985) argues that this concept is not new to second language instruction as many researchers have called attention to the importance of the negotiation of meaning and modification of interaction in second language development.
B. Condition 2: Learners interact in the target language with an authentic audience.
Ernst (1994) has found that language learners must be involved not only in social interaction but in purposeful interaction. This includes a real audience that is actively engaged with the learners. The consequence, then, is that involving learners in authentic social interaction in the target language with a knowledgeable source is necessary (e.g. teacher, another learner, doctor, or another person who can negotiate in the target language).
C. Condition 3: Learners are involved in authentic tasks.
In the context of ELT, language teachers want students not simply to learn about English but rather to be engaged in the use of English ways that native speakers normally are. Meagher (1995) has reported that learners tend to be inspired by having not only a real audience but also an authentic goal for their activities, and in this context the language used tends to be candid and heartfelt.
D. Condition 4: Learners are exposed to and encouraged to produce varied and creative language.
Spolsky (1989) claims that “whatever the language learner brings to the task, whether innate ability, a language acquisition device, attitudes, previous knowledge, and experience of languages and language learning, the outcome of language learning depends in large measure on the amount and kind of exposure to the target language” (p. 166). Hence, the authentic task alone may not sufficient for language acquisition. In this juncture, Krashen and Terrell (1983) maintain that the phrase ‘varied’ and ‘creative’ language implies that learners are involved in a diversity of tasks with a variety of sources of language development.
E. Condition 5: Learners have enough time and feedback.
Learners need adequate time and feedback. Both of these factors facilitate the formulation of ideas. Within the classroom, individual differences in ability motivation, and other factors determine how much time each learner requires to complete a task successfully. This fact suggests that some flexibility must be built into the time line for the task. Only by this effort can all learners have the opportunity to communicate and reflect on their ideas.
In addition to the creation of condition for optimal learning proposed by Egbert (1995), the internet by its nature is “entertaining” technology in education. Games, puzzles, film previews, mysteries, music, live events, radio stations, entertainment and more are available online. Due to the various forms of materials internet can offer, learning English using internet resources can be enjoyable.
However, the advent of internet technology can also lead to the ‘fallout’ of the information age such as the phenomena of information overload and technophobia. One Web site described information overload as “an information Frankenstein” (An information Frankenstein”, available at http://inst.augie.edu/~asmith/frankenstein.html, no date). Goad (2002) relates information overload as a great deal of information uploaded on internet. According to Goad, this situation brings people a great deal of anxiety, making it difficult for them to deal with the tsunami of information. In this information era, students also face the following facts; a million books are published worldwide each year; the English language has reached 540, 000 words; and information double everyday either in the form of hard copy such as books or online in the internet. To overcome this problem, along with teaching students using internet resources, teachers should equip students with information literacy. Defined as ability to evaluate, use and analyze information for their own learning (ibid, 2002) information literacy enables students to overcome the information overload and to select the information in the internet. In addition to information literacy, internet literacy of students should be improved. Internet literacy refers to students’ competence to utilize internet technology. In the practical terms, internet literacy embraces such skills as; 1) distinguishing between verifiable facts and value claims, 2) determining reliability of source, 3) determining factual accuracy of a statement, 4) distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, 5) claims, or reasons, 6) detecting bias, 7) identifying unstated assumptions, 8) identifying ambiguous or equivalent claims or arguments, 9) recognizing logical inconsistencies or fallacies in a line of reasoning, distinguishing between warranted or unwarranted claims, and 10) determining the strength of an argument (ibid, 2002).
The next fallout of internet era is called technophobia. This ‘fear of technology’ is closely related to information overload (ibid, 2002). Newspaper, magazines, and televisions now incorporate regular features designed to keep us up-to-date on the latest in technological gadgetry, software and all the other forms technology takes. Computer and technology sections in book stores and libraries continue to demand more shelf space. For a good example of how rapidly technology changes, and in particular software packages is that stores offers new types of information technology quickly, making people difficult to keep abreast with this fast development. The point is that technology makes such great leaps and makes them on a time scale that decrease with each new development-and this causes grief and headaches along with the progress. To overcome this problem, teachers should assist to deal and solve the problems.
3. Varieties of teaching resources from internet and teachers’ creativity
3.1 Facts of teaching resources on internet
Just as learners need many modes and sources of input and many ways to produce language, teachers in computer-enhanced environments require many types of resources and ways to share what they have learned or created. The internet resources are amazingly rich and diverse. Whether teachers like to provide a great deal of guidance for their students or prefer to set them free to discover and learn for themselves, there are hundreds of on-line and off-line resources to choose from, including thousands of language-specific and general-interest World Wide Web sites that teachers seek.
It should be noted, however, that Web sites are set up by ordinary people. Some of them are maintained by classroom teachers, whereas others are set up by language program as well as small-and medium-scale software design firms and the students themselves. In fact, one of the most important aspects of good educational use of the web is to develop a critical stance toward the material you will be examining. In an age of information overflow, perhaps the most significant question about any medium are, “Why are they telling me this?” “What use is it to me?” and “How does this fit in with what I already know?”. These questions are particularly crucial in a medium that has no editors-anyone with a computer and internet connection can put up a Web page, and anyone else in the world can locate it through an electronic key-word search.
The following are examples of the internet resources for ESL that can be accessed and used by teachers for creating the materials of ELT;
· Reading Software—Reading skills software that allows the importation of text of personalized vocabularies can be adapted to particular themes and topics. A free corpus or reading matter is found at Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberb.net/). Teachers can select material that are relevant to the topic and allow students to work at their own pace. Students can also use their own compositions and texts they have read in class as reading matter for skills enhancement.
· Internet E-Zines, Web Site sound and Video Clip—With sufficient resources, a class or department can maintain an intranet or bulletin board system on which all members can read about, view, or listen to relevant information, events and materials. Teachers can create Web pages with links to topic-related texts and to sound and video clips in order to make tasks to topic-related texts and to sound and video clips in order to make tasks and activities more concrete. Web-based news sources, such as CNN interactive (http://www.cnn.coom/), PBS online (http://www.pbs.org/) and USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com) provide adaptable educational materials in support of current news events. A sample task for students would be to have students answer four questions based on a speech of Barack Obama.
· Newsgroups—Lurking on select newsgroups (e.g., the news source http://www.clari/net.newstree.html) is a good way to gather information on specific topics. Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator 1997 offer directs access to the newsgroups themselves and the archives that store past files. Students can decide on topics ahead of time and do focused research and reading. These articles also copy and paste handily into word-processing applications so that teachers can create reading packets, cloze exercise and other activities.
· Search Engine and Gropher research—Browsers can link users to one or more internet search engines (e.g., Dogpile: A Multisearch Engine, http://www.dogpile.com/; Infoseek, http://www.infoseek.com/; Lycos, http://www.lycos.com/; Yahoo!, http://www.yahoo.com/), in which the organization and operators differ slightly. Advanced students can be directed to on-line search engines and appropriate databases, archives and other sites for individualized research projects. Prior information literacy training in search methodology is critical for this level of research.
3.2 Classroom practice: YouTube, web cartoon, language games, blog,
Utilizing videos for language teaching has been one of the most effective ways to achieve success in the classroom. The ELT has been using the videos for teaching English language skills since many years now. The organizations like BBC and CNN have even made billions of dollars selling the video content for teaching purposes.
Money and time are two factors which have been creating so many hurdles in accessing the authentic video content in the past time. But for last three and a half years, YouTube, a video content sharing website has been making the difference to it. At YouTube, anyone can post or access video content.
YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. YouTube uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, UMG and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program (Wikipedia, 2009)
YouTube now contains enormous amount of video content, some of which is highly exploitable in the classroom. YouTube features videos in several categories. Some of them are: autos and vehicles, comedy, education, entertainment, film and animation, gaming, how to and style, music, news and politics, nonprofits and activism, people and Blogs, pets and animals, science and technology, sports, travel and events.
From the point of view of ELT, the real benefit of YouTube is that it offers authentic examples of everyday English used by everyday people. YouTube give challenges as well. Students may enjoy watching these clips, but poor sound quality, pronunciation and slang can make these short videos even more difficult to understand.
The use of YouTube videos also enables teachers to attach the students to the “real life” nature of these videos. By creating context for these short videos students can be assisted to explore a world of online English learning possibilities.
According to Patel (2009) key benefits of using YouTube for ELT are that teachers can: 1)obtain free video content, 2) obtain enormous variety, 3) reproduce authentic language in the classroom, 4) access comprehensible input which is offered through videos. Teachers can also use Tube videos in an ELT classroom for various teaching such vocabulary, accents, pronunciations, voice modulation as well as teaching such English skills as listening, speaking, and writing.
Recently, YouTube and BBC’s international commercial television channel have collaborated. With this around 30 news clips per day will be offered, with up-to-the-minute news and analysis from around the world. The advertising-funded clips will be available to users outside the UK only. Users will be able to comment on clips, rate them, recommend them to friends and post their own video responses to communicate with the BBC and other viewers. This makes possible for teachers to have even “authentic” authentic video content for their classrooms. The BBC content on YouTube is available at http://www.youtube.com/BBC (ibid, 2009)
Other than BBC, there are several ELT experts worldwide who have been posting their English Language Teaching content on YouTube. Such videos include English teaching tips, tricks, methods, approaches and more. If the internet users search for “ELT” on YouTube, the search engine will bring up about 1830 videos (Patel, 2009). And if they will search for “English Language Teaching” the search engine will bring about 1240 videos (Ibid, 2009).
YouTube also features hundreds of videos in the following categories too ; English Language Learning, English Language Lessons, English Language Course, English, Language Comedy, English Language Tutorials, English Language History, English Language Commercials, English Language Teaching Tips, English Language Teaching Methods and much more.
All this ELT video content is offered on YouTube on the following channels; Quality English Lessons, English Language Teaching, Edufinder, Macmillan ELT, Teaching English in China with EF English First, eezenglish, Imagine, Learning English, Using YouTube for Vocabulary Development, 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers (ibid, 2009)
Students in many contexts have said they like video activities because they provide a break from the usual textbook-based activities, and even when the activities challenge students, learning with video is more enjoyable.
B. Language games and internet resources-based task
Internet contain a great number of language games that teachers can access and utilize. One of them is ELT games.com. The following table shows the page of this site;
Figure 1: ELT games
In this site such features as grammar game, conversation games and reading games are provided for ELT. For conversation games, for example, teachers can print materials freely and use it for setting up activities in the ELT class. The following is the figure of the printable materials of conversation;
Figure 2: Conversation game
Another internet resources is ‘Esl Jokes’. This site provides a great number of reading materials and exercises for students. The following figure is the figure of this site;
Figure 3: Esl Jokes
The types of task following each reading topic are reading comprehension, grammar and vocabularies test. However, teachers can adapt to their purpose.
Next, cartoons on the next can be useful materials for encouraging students to speak, thus improving the students speaking skill. Different from cartoons on the printed media, cartoons on the internet offer two benefits. First, teachers will have more varieties of cartoon topics. Secondly, teachers can use the internet cartoons by means of another technology (e.g., LCD projector) or just simply print them out and give to the students. In addition to be used as the main materials for ELT, the use of cartoons can be an ‘ice breaker’ to eliminate the boredom in the classroom. The following figure is the cartoons taken from the internet resources.
Figure 4: Cartoon from internet
Blog is a frequently updated website that often resembles an online journal (Campbell, 2003).
Nowadays, blogs can also display photos and many people are using them with audio and even video, but this section will concentrate on the fundamental one, how a simple text-based blog can be used to great effect with English language learners.
Campbell (2003) has outlined three types of blogs for use with language classes:
- The Tutor Blog is created and run by the teacher of a class. The content of this blog type can be limited to syllabus, course information, homework, assignments, etc. The teacher may also choose to write about his or her life, sharing reflections about the target culture, local culture and other materials to stimulate online and in-class discussion. In this type of blog, students are usually restricted to being able to write comments to the teacher’s posts.
- The Class Blog is a shared space, with teacher and students being able to create dialogue and discussion. It is best used as a collaborative discussion space. This can function as an extra-curricular extension of the classroom. Teachers can encourage students to reflect in more depth, in writing, on themes chosen in class. Students are given a greater sense of freedom and involvement than with the tutor blog.
- The Learner Blog is the third type of blog. This type of Blog requires more time and attempt from the teacher to both create and moderate, but is perhaps the most rewarding. It involves giving each student an individual blog. The benefit of this is that this becomes the student’s own personal online space. Students can be encouraged to write frequently about what interests them, and can post comments on other students’ blogs.
Of course, teachers who decide to use blogs often use a combination of Tutor or Class blog and Learner blogs, with hyperlinks connecting them.
There are several reasons for encouraging teachers to use blogs for creating ELT materials. One of the best reasons is to provide a real audience for student writing. Usually, the teacher is the only person who reads student writing, and the focus of this reading is usually on form, not content. With weblogs, students can find themselves writing for a real audience that, apart from the teacher, may include their peers, students from other classes, or even other countries, their parents, and potentially anyone with access to the Internet.
Stanley points out several other reasons for using blogs (Stanley, 2009):
- To provide extra reading practice for students.
This reading can be produced by the teacher, other students in the same class, or, in the case of comments posted to a blog, by people from all over the world.
- As online student learner journals that can be read by their peers.
The value of using learner journals has been well documented. Usually they are private channels between teacher and student. Using a blog as a learner journal can increase the audience.
- To guide students to online resources appropriate for their level.
The Internet has a bewildering array of resources that are potentially useful for your students. The problem is finding and directing your learners to them. For this reason, you can use your tutor blog as a portal for your learners.
- To increase the sense of community in a class.
A class blog can help foster a feeling of community between the members of a class, especially if learners are sharing information about themselves and their interests, and are responding to what other students are writing.
- To encourage shy students to participate.
There is evidence to suggest that students who are quiet in class can find their voice when given the opportunity to express themselves in a blog.
- To stimulate out-of-class discussion.
A blog can be an ideal space for pre-class or post-class discussion. And what students write about in the blog can also be used to promote discussion in class.
- To encourage a process-writing approach.
Because students are writing for publication, they are usually more concerned about getting things right, and usually understand the value of rewriting more than if the only audience for their written work is the teacher.
- As an online portfolio of student written work.
There is much to be gained from students keeping a portfolio of their work. One example is the ease at which learners can return to previous written work and evaluate the progress they have made during a course.
- To help build a closer relationship between students in large classes.
Sometimes students in large classes can spend all year studying with the same people without getting to know them well. A blog is another tool that can help bring students together.
There are a great number of sites where teachers can set up a blog for free, but perhaps the best known and one of the most reliable and simple blogging tools to use with students is Blogger (http://blogger.com). It takes only fifteen minutes from setting up an account to publishing the first post using this valuable tool.
The teacher sets up the tutor blog or a class blog. With a Class blog, students will need to be invited to participate by e-mail. Learner blog accounts can either be set up beforehand by the teacher, or done at the same time with a whole class in a computer room. The former gives the teacher more control of student accounts, but some advantages of the latter is that learners are given more choice (of username, design of the blog, etc) and a greater sense of ‘ownership’ of their new virtual writing space.
To manage blogs, teachers are advised to take into consideration the following strategies (ibid, 2009);
- Use the ‘Settings’ in Blogger to add yourself (under Members) as Administrator of the learner blog. This is invaluable if students later forget usernames or passwords, and can also help if inappropriate posts are published
- Make sure teachers change the setting and turn the ‘Comments’ feature on. This will allow the others to respond to things the students write on their learner blogs.
- Also in ‘Settings’, teachers will find an option to receive an email whenever a student publishes their blog. This will save teachers’ time regularly checking learner blogs to see if any of the students have posted. Another way of being informed of this is to use the ‘Site Feed’ function (discussed further below).
Many teachers who start to use blogs find the novelty factor is enough to create student interest in starting to use them. However, blogs work best when learners get into the habit of using them. If learners are not motivated to post to their blogs frequently, then they can quickly be abandoned. Here, the teacher in the role of facilitator is vital for maintaining student interest. Here are some ideas to how this can be done:
- Respond to student posts quickly. Write a short comment related to the content. Ask questions about what the learner writes to create stimulus for writing.
- Students should be actively encouraged to read and respond (through the commenting feature of the blog) to their classmates.
- Writing to the blog could be required, and it may form part of the class assessment. Students should be encouraged to post their writing homework on the blog instead of only giving it to the teacher.
The following are ideas of blog-based activities that teachers can use in ELT (ibid, 2009):
- Mystery guest. Invite another teacher or someone from another school or country as a mystery guest to your blog. Ask the students to engage him or her in dialogue and guess their identity.
- Project work. A blog is an ideal space for developing a project, especially if the project is a shared one between several classes or even classes in different countries.
- International link-ups. Contact another educational establishment to see if they are interested in a joint blogging project. Students can write about their lives, culture, interests, etc, and be encouraged to read about the other class and respond by writing comments.
- Photoblog. If you plan on using photographs in your blog, there are lots of tools available to help you. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com) makes publishing photographs to blogs easy. If you want to make photographs central to the blog, however, it is better to use a blogging tool such as Buzznet (http://www.buzznet.com), which is a photo publishing tool and blog rolled into one.
3.3 Creativity and framework for resources use
Dealing with creating teaching resources from the information superhighway on internet, teachers are expected be creative ‘creatures’. According to Hornby, AS(1986), the word ‘creative’ means “having power to create, e.g., requiring intelligence and imagination, not merely mechanical skills. Related to the use of internet resources, teachers creativity in using their intelligence and imagination from the vast array of information in the internet will determine the success of the teaching and learning process. In terms of language learning, the terms creativity does not exist in vacuum but should be in line with framework of educational methodology. According to Honebein (1996), the framework for learning process should; 1) give learners experience in the knowledge construction process, 2) give learners experience in and foster their appreciation for multiple perspectives, 3) embed learning in realistic and relevant contexts, 4) encourage ownership and a voice in the learning process for learners, 5) embed learning in social experience, 6) foster the use of multiple modes of knowledge presentation and 7) foster awareness of the knowledge construction process.
Viewing the Honebein’ perspectives, Buell (in Ebert and Hanson-Smith,1999) maintains that ESL teachers are using the Web and other CALL resources today to help their learners in all these areas. Even without teachers’ involvement, electronic resources can give students immediate access to a world of authentic language samples, task and audiences. But it is up to the teachers’ creativity to help learners by structuring activities and projects that promote authentic and meaningful with these materials and with each other. With the right mix of resources, instruction and opportunities for local and distant collaboration, learners even in foreign language settings can overcome the constraints imposed by narrow textbook-based study and break into the real world of English language interactions. In particular, for students with access to the necessary technology, the World Wide Web offers unprecedented opportunities to communicate unencumbered by geographic limits, whether the locus of communication is one to one, one to many, or many to many.
Two crucial points emerge from this discussion. First, no matter what new opportunities are created for interaction and learning, the quality of the teaching and learning process is critical. The achievement of success of the ELT process is ensured by the teachers’ creativity in utilizing and managing the internet resources.
Second, teachers are central to the process of creating opportunities for students to create meaningful activity. Therefore teachers also need to continually shape and examine those opportunities and their outcomes. These two conclusions shares the Ambach opinion that if teachers expand their thinking about computers as simply tools and use them as a medium to facilitate communication and sharing, they can fundamentally change their ways of thinking and learning (Ambach in Egbert & Hanson-Smith, 1999). In other words, teachers need to look continually at the patterns of ‘human’s experience of the students’ that emerge so that they meet the ideals of equity, productive exploration, and educational excellence.
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