Pitrik, 2013). On the other hand, in socio-cognitive teaching, teachers offer scenarios whereby the students enter into the kinds of social discourse situations and societies that they (students) would encounter outside the traditional classroom. For example, students connect to various contexts for social interaction through the internet. In these contexts, they (students) meet and interact with native English speakers (Strambi & Bouvet, 2003), which allow them (students) to learn the English culture, and therefore, learning the language becomes easier. Therefore, socio-cognitive teaching explains the role of social interaction in the creation of an environment to learn a language, learn about the language, and learn through the language.
Fourthly, technology enhanced language teaching has a motivating effect on the students (Miller, Glover & Averis, 2004). According to David Crystal (2006) and Hampel & Baber (2003), students interact with others live by using state-of-the- art technology from emails, chats and video conferencing. In addition, students are adopting the use of emerging technologies in language learning, for example, wikis, blogs and Web 2.0 (Crystal, 2006). This media provides the students with real world situations, which offer effective forums for dialogue on emergent issues. In addition, through these interactions, the students’ international perspective broadens, and thus they (students) acquire diverse knowledge of the English culture. Moreover, the portable technological equipment, in this case the Ipad, allows the teachers and students to work, teach and learn at one’s convenience. Furthermore, learning can be anywhere and at any time. This leads to the development of individualized learning, where students proceed at their own speed (Motschnig-Pitrik, 2013). It calls only for the incorporation of management systems in the software used in learning, which automates the process. Consequently, technology enhanced language-teaching motivates students to navigate the Internet in order to acquire new knowledge.
Fifthly, technology supports multiple learning styles (Gonzales, Pickett, Hupert & Martin, 2002). That is, technology enhanced language-teaching avails similar educational material in various forms, for example, text, graphical, audio and video formats. These multiple learning styles give diversity in modes of teaching, which allow the incorporation of all students who learn through different styles. According to Wang and Coleman (2009) and Chang (2007), these formats are easy to understand, which brings good results for the teacher. Therefore, teachers are able to mount different learning material through the internet. This is through the creation of a personal home page, which acts as the focal point for students to get information from the teacher. On this page, the teacher indicates course times and changes, uploads reading lists, and publishes lecture notes and handouts. In addition, the teacher designs the coursework unique to the web involving interaction and feedback. The common software used for these designs includes HTML, Macromedia Dreamweaver, ToolBook, Question Tools and Multimedia Builder. In this platform, teachers obtain immediate feedback from their students (Hyland & Hyland, 2006), which enables them (teachers) to know if the students understood the material. In case the students did not understand, the teacher takes the best course of action of repeating the section not well understood. However, access of these multiple learning styles is on the Ipad as opposed to hard copy books, tapes and video compact discs (Gonzales, Pickett, Hupert & Martin, 2002).
Lastly, technology enhanced language-teaching prepares students adequately for the job market. This technology enhanced language teaching is the 21st Century teaching style, which prepares students for the 21st Century jobs (Cooner, 2010). It is essential to note that, most current jobs require knowledge of basic computer skills and the Internet. In addition, the world is a global village due to globalization. Therefore, in order for companies to survive in the global market, they must enhance communication (Shang, 2005), which is possible solely through the internet. This is through chat rooms, email dialogue and video conferencing. In addition, communication in the global market calls for a common language, which everybody understands. This allows sharing of information and transacting among companies. The English language is the most common language. Therefore, it is crucial that students familiarize with technology and the English language in order to secure employment in the global labor market. This is possible through educational technology provided by technology enhanced language-teaching.
However, despite having many positive effects, technology enhanced language teaching does come hand in hand with several negative effects. Firstly, there is a misuse of technology. Note that, with increased access to the Internet through the Ipads, students tend to visit other websites that interest them instead of the site from which they are learning the language. In other cases, while the teacher is teaching, some students tend to chat with their friends though social sites, for example, twitter, Facebook, MySpace and 2go. On other occasions, students use the Ipads for other purposes instead of learning purposes. For example, many students watch YouTube videos and listen to music on the Ipads, which distracts them from the normal classroom activities. Therefore, teachers have to carry the burden of supervising and monitoring how the students use the Ipads during class time, which is both hectic and tiring. These actions constitute misuse of the technology during class time. According to Angeli (2008), computers play an important role while teaching a language. However, when students misuse the technology, many teachers opt to use the traditional classrooms, with books and pens, to ensure full concentration of the students.
Secondly, educational technology avails an informed learning environment. However, not all the information on the internet is appropriate, desirable or relevant. The Internet has sites where one can view pornographic material, access information containing racist propaganda and download content that will amount to piracy. Many students have the quest to explore the Internet as they search for new knowledge. In this process of search for new knowledge, they come across this information, which corrupts their (students) minds, resulting in increase of social crimes in the society. Therefore, teachers and parents have to bear the burden of supervising and monitoring the usage of the internet by the students (Egbert, Huff, McNeil, Preuss & Sellen, 2009). This will call for viewing all the web pages visited by the student. Common software to aid the teachers and parents in monitoring usage of the Internet is the Surf Watch. However, it is not always effective since with advancement in technology, students exhibit innovation and creativity (Lee, Linn, Varma & Liv, 2010), which allow them (students) to delete the history of the web pages visited.
Thirdly, technology enhanced language-teaching results in crimes of copyright piracy and plagiarism (Hartley, 2007). Plagiarism is the act of copying another person’s ideas and creative writing, and presenting it as their own, without that person’s permission. With easy access to the Internet, through the Ipads or tablets, students develop the behavior of cutting and pasting information with minimum effort. This is common in the scenario where a teacher gives a writing assignment. Since the information is available on the Internet, students just export it as it is without putting it in their own words. This amounts to plagiarism. Consequently, the students do not understand the content given in the assignment by the teacher, and this result in poor performance. Therefore, it is essential that teachers explain to students what constitutes plagiarism and how they (students) can avoid it. In addition, teachers and students can use software, for example, Plagiarist Finder Program, to aid them in identifying cases of plagiarism.
Lastly, due to lack of basic computer skills among students, teachers spend most of the class time teaching the students on how to use computers and software. For example, in a writing class, teachers spend more time teaching the students on how to switch on the computer and access the Word Page, which forces the teacher to spend less time on teaching composition and vocabulary (Abraham, 2008). In addition, other students do not know how to access learning resources mounted on the Internet. This makes them to lag behind in class work. Consequently, there is loss of class time as teachers aid the students learn basic ICT skills. This is a common occurrence in the United Arab Emirates and other students from disadvantaged backgrounds, where teachers teach students how to use Ipads first before proceeding with class work. In other occurrences, teachers themselves lack the required knowledge and skills to operate the computers. Therefore, in case of a technical hitch, the teacher is unable to rectify it and thus he or she stops disseminating the information. Subsequently, teachers compress class time in order to seek training and development in computers to keep up with the advancement in technology.
With the introduction of the technology enhanced language teaching in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, many schools promote an active approach to learning the English language. This is through the development of online collaboration and peer-to-peer teaching (Shang, 2007). This enables the student to get a deep understanding of the subject content, as well as get the ability to synthesize the information they learn. Moreover, cooperative learning facilitates critical thinking and inspired creativity among the students. However, teachers require careful planning and preparation, monitoring, and moderating students’ work in order to prevent misuse of technology. In addition, communication with native English speakers through the emerging technologies in language learning, for example, wikis, Web 2.0 and video conferencing (Crystal, 2006), the students develop good communication skills. Therefore, technology enhanced language teaching allows citizens of United Arab Emirates to communicate with the rest of the world.
Technology enhanced language teaching in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, makes students to develop into global citizens (Crystal, 2006). This 21st Century teaching style prepares students for the 21st Century jobs. In recent times, technology has broken boundaries between countries and continents, to make the world a global village. Therefore, many companies are opening branches in overseas countries in order to expand the markets for their products. This is common in the United Arab Emirates where oil is the main product. Many oil companies are going global as they try to increase the consumers of the oil to beat the competition from Africa and the United States of America. Therefore, in order for teachers to prepare their students for the global job environment, technology enhanced language training comes handy. This teaching familiarizes students with computers and the internet by interacting with the iPads in the learning process. In addition, teaching students the English language in the United Arab Emirates’ schools improves the students’ qualification in the global employment. This is because English language is the major language used for communication in the global environment (Crystal, 2006).
Emerging technologies in language learning, for example, wikis, blogs and Web 2.0 (Crystal, 2006), and state-of-the- art technology from emails, chats and video conferencing (Conole, 2008) allow students in the United Arab Emirates to interact live with other people in the world. These students learn listening, speaking, reading and writing through real world situations. In addition, the technology enhanced language teaching broadens the students’ international perspective as they interact with people from various cultural backgrounds (O’Dowd, 2007), who use the English language for communication. Moreover, theses students learn diverse knowledge forms, appreciate and accept different cultures as the technology stretches the normal curriculum beyond the traditional classrooms. In addition, people in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates join other people in the world as they dialogue in emergent issues in the global world. Further to this, citizens in United Arab Emirates learn different cultures as well as know how to interact with people of those diverse cultural backgrounds (O’Dowd, 2007). This allows them to be up-to-date in events that take place in the world. Therefore, one can conclude that technology enhanced language teaching is an essential element in learning institutions as the world becomes a global village.
Abraham, L. B. (2008). Computer-mediated glosses in second language reading comprehension and vocabulary learning: A meta-analysis. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(3), 199-226.
Angeli, C. (2008). Distributed cognition: A framework for understanding the role of computers in classroom teaching and learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 40(3), 271-279.
Ayas, C. (2006). An examination of the relationship between the integration of technology into social studies and constructivist pedagogies. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 5(1), 14-25.
Becker, H.J., & Riel, M. M. (2000). Teacher professional engagement and constructivecompatible computer usage (Report no. 7). Irvine,CA: Teaching, Learning, and Computing. Retrieved October 8, 2013, from http://www.crito.uci.edu/tlc/findings/report_7/
Beers, M., Paquette, K., & Warren, J. (2000). Student view of classroom technology use. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference: Proceedings of SITE 2000.
Bennett, F. (1999). Computers as tutors: Solving the crisis in education. Sarasota, FL: Faben Inc. Publishers.
Boyle, F. T. (1998). IBM talking head’s, and our classrooms. College English, 55 (6), pp. 618-626.
Chang, L. L. (2007). The effects of using CALL on advanced Chinese foreign language learners. Calico Journal, 24(2), 331-354.
Conole, G. (2008). Listening to the learner voice: The ever-changing landscape of technology use for language students. RECALL-HULL THEN CAMBRIDGE-, 20(2), 124.
Cooner, T. S. (2010). Creating opportunities for students in large cohorts to reflect in and on practice: Lessons learnt from a formative evaluation of students' experiences of a technology‐enhanced blended learning design. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 271-286.
Cradler,J., & Cradler,R. (1995). Prior studies for technology insertion. San Francisco, CA: FarWest Laboratory.
Crystal, D. (2006). Language and the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Earle, R. (2002). The integration of instructional technology in to public education: promises and challenges. Retrieved October 8, 2013 from http://www.asianvu.com/bookstoread/etp/earle.pdf.
Egbert, J., Huff, L., McNeil, L., Preuss, C., & Sellen, J. (2009). Pedagogy, Process, and Classroom Context: Integrating Teacher Voice and Experience Into Research on Technology‐Enhanced Language Learning. The Modern Language Journal, 93(s1), 754-768.
Erben, T., Ban, R., & Castañeda, M. (2008). Teaching English language learners through technology. Routledge.
Gömleksi˙ z, M. N. (2007). Effectiveness of cooperative learning (jigsaw II) method in teaching English as a foreign language to engineering students (Case of Firat University, Turkey). European journal of engineering education, 32(5), 613-625.
Gonzales, C., Pickett, L., Hupert, N., & Martin, W. (2002). The regional educational technology assistance program: Its effects on teaching practices. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35(1), 1-18.
Hampel, R., & Baber, E. (2003). Using internet-based audio-graphic and video conferencing for language teaching and learning. Language learning online: Towards best practice, 171-191.
Hartley, J. (2007). Teaching, learning and new technology: a review for teachers. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(1), 42-62.
Hinostroza, J. E., Labbé, C., López, L., & Iost, H. (2008). Traditional and emerging IT applications for learning. In International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education (pp. 81-96). Springer US.
Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). Contexts and issues in feedback on L2 writing: An introduction. Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues, 1-19.
Jang, S. J. (2008). Innovations in science teacher education: Effects of integrating technology and team-teaching strategies. Computers & Education, 51(2), 646-659.
Lee, H. S., Linn, M. C., Varma, K., & Liu, O. L. (2010). How do technology‐enhanced inquiry science units impact classroom learning?. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(1), 71-90.
Lord, G., & Lomicka, L. (2007). Foreign language teacher preparation and asynchronous CMC: Promoting reflective teaching. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(4), 513-532.
Miller, D., Glover, D., & Averis, D. (2004). Motivation: The contribution of interactive whiteboards to teaching and learning in mathematics. Retrieved October, 8, 2007.
Motschnig-Pitrik, R. (2013). Characteristics and effects of person-centered technology enhanced learning. In Interdisciplinary Applications of the Person-Centered Approach (pp. 125-131). Springer New York.
O'Dowd, R. (Ed.). (2007). Online intercultural exchange: An introduction for foreign language teachers (Vol. 15). Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Provenzo, E. F., Brett, A., & McCloskey, G. N. (1999). Computers, curriculum, and cultural change. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Rubio, F. (2012). The Effects of Blended Learning on Second Language Fluency and Proﬁciency. AAUSC 2012 Volume-Issues in Language Program Direction, 137.
Selwyn, N. (2008). Education 2.0? Designing the web for teaching and learning: A Commentary by the Technology Enhanced Learning phase of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme. Teaching and Learning Research Programme, Institute of Education, University of london.
Shang*, H. F. (2005). Email dialogue journaling: attitudes and impact on L2 reading performance. Educational studies, 31(2), 197-212.
Shang, H. F. (2007). An exploratory study of e-mail application on FL writing performance. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(1), 79-96.
Speaker, K. (2004). Student perspective: Expectations of multimedia technology in a college literature class. Reading Improvement, 41, 241-254.
Strambi, A., & Bouvet, E. J. (2003). Flexibility and Interaction at a Distance: A Mixed-Model Environment For Language Learning.
Strudler, N.B. (1995-96). The role ofschool-based technology coordinators as change agentsin elementary school programs: A follow-up study. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 28(2), 234-257. Retrieved May 1, 2008, from http://www.scsv.nevada.edu/~strudler/techcoordinator.html
Wang, L., & Coleman, J. A. (2009). A survey of Internet-mediated intercultural foreign language education in China. ReCALL, 21(1), 113-129.
Wehrle, R. (1998). Computers in education: The pros and the cons. Retrieved on October 8, 2013 from http://www.edweek.org/sreports/tc98/intr
Yang, S. C., & Chen, Y. J. (2007). Technology-enhanced language learning: A case study. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(1), 860-879.
Yücel, C., Acun, İ., Tarman, B. and Mete, T. (2010). A Model to Explore Teachers‟ ICT Integration Stages. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 9(4), 1-9.
Implications on the use of technology in education
The use of technology as a means of instruction in the learning in general and English in particular could have implications that any institution wanting to implement should take into account. The first one has to do with the perception of the integration of technology by the different genders. A study by Hong and Koh (2002) established that female teachers displayed more anxiety towards computer hardware than their male counterparts did. This could pose a challenge in that the female teachers may not use iPads in the teaching of English language consistently as expected. As a result, the universities implementing the integration of iPads in the teaching and learning of English language may not achieve the purpose of the initiative unless they put measures to ensure that they promote teachers’ interest and confidence in the use of technology in teaching.
Another study by Shashaani (1997 as cited by Almekhlafi, and Almeqdadi, 2010), female students have less interest and confidence in computers. The study further indicated that male students had more experience than the females. Factors such as lack of role models, biased classroom practices, and home computer gender gaps contribute greatly to the significant differences between the male and female students. The implication of this problem is that unless the female students go through the necessary training, they may not get the motivation to learn the English language using iPads because of the phobia and the minimal experience that they have with computers. The study by Shashaani further indicated that the attitudes of the female students changed for the better after going through some training on the integration of technology in education suggesting that having courses to train the students will see the initiative achieve its objective.
The level of training of teachers with regard to the use of technology can also pose a challenge to the use of iPads in the teaching process. Teachers who have lower levels of education and skills in technology may have significant problems in using iPads to teach English among students joining universities in United Arab Emirates. However, this is not to mean that highly trained teachers will implement the initiative consistently. A study by Bauer and Kenton (2005) established that although teachers, who with high levels of education and skills in technology were creative and proficient at rising above obstacles, they did not include technology consistently as learning and a teaching tool. This implies that high level of education and skills among teachers is not a guarantee that the teachers will implement the use of iPads as a teaching tool in teaching the English language. The rate of change in technology could also be a big problem in the use of technology as learning and teaching tool as what is useful today may be obsolete tomorrow. This is especially so with the study of linguistics as linguistic studies that take place in technologically mediated communication may be out of date as soon as they are out (Crystal, 2001).
What teachers do with iPads in relation to language skills?
The iPad as a teaching tool, if used appropriately, enables the student to see, hear, and respond through verbal means to books and applications. There are applications that students, with the help of teachers, can use to help in the writing and reading skills. Additionally, the iPad enables students to receive instant feedback on their progress making learning an interesting experience. For instance, voice-recording applications enable the students to record while they read thereby helping to improve their fluency. On the other hand, there are applications with a dictionary, which may provide examples of the use of a word in a sentence, the word origins and audio pronunciations of words. This enables the teacher to teach students on the appropriate use of a word and its function.
The other application that teachers can use in teaching is the one that allows students to acquire books for use in their learning experience. The variety of English books that students can acquire makes the learning experience interesting unlike when using a single textbook. Other applications enable the teacher to record lessons in whiteboard style for sharing with the students anytime. Additionally, the teacher can record demonstrations, which students can have access to while at school or at home. To enhance writing skills, there are applications that provide lots of creative options which enable students to create and write stories on the iPads. Lastly, teachers can use some applications to set customized spelling test for students while offering the students a chance to practice spelling in an interesting and interactive way.
The research gap
Although there is a rich literature on the use of iPads in teaching, there is minimal literature to show how iPads can be used in teaching English as a second or foreign language. In addition, the use of the iPad in the United Arab Emirates is a new venture, which is yet to receive much attention from the scholar. The challenges associated with the use of iPads in education have not been addressed, which is the focus of this study. The study will help to identify the challenges that are specific to United Arab Emirates.
Designing language-learning activities could include a number of technologies (Zane, and Lin, 2013). When making a decision, on what technologies, if any, will better support a particular language task, one has to take into account a sizeable number of variables including ease of use of the application, platform dependencies, and learner and instructor accessibilities (Zane, and Lin, 2013). This presents a major question to the administrators and the practitioners; does the United Arab Emirates have the capacity of designing the appropriate language-learning activities, using iPads, which will enhance the learning of the English language in higher institutions of learning?
Whereas it may be fairly straightforward to exploit a new technology in a controlled environment, for example in a classroom or own computer laboratory, it is mostly a much more overwhelming task to design technology-supported language learning tasks across an entire curriculum that includes numerous departments with possibly varying technological skills and computing devices (Collins and Halverson, 2010). The implementation process may begin with an assessment of the various tools which could assist with the given language task. For instance, a listening activity could be made more learner-accessible through a podcast uploaded to a web service while a writing activity may be reinforced through practice exercises using “Hot Potatoes.” A speaking exercise, on the other hand, could be made more authentic through setting up an online conference with a class from a different location, or through having the learners participate in a discussion through voice postings. It remains to be seen whether the various institutions of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates have the capacity of implementing the use of iPads in the teaching and learning of the English language in an appropriate manner.
The other limitation that is apparent with the use of iPads in teaching of the English language in higher institutions of learning in the United Arab Emirates is the lack of teacher preparation with regard to classroom management of iPads. Providing teachers with iPads to use in a personal environment before using them for teaching may not translate to expertise in the classroom environment (Maffit, 2013). There is a need for teachers to receive instructions on how to integrate the devices into the learning process, which is a bit different from trying out just a few apps. Research has shown that whenever teachers have an access to fresh technologies, their intuition is to employ the technologies to extend the practices that are on hand (Maffit, 2013). If the teachers do not receive guidance, the iPads will become expensive notebooks, which students use in traditionally structured classrooms that are stand-and-deliver. Teachers require time for external support and professional collaboration to learn on how to nurture writing, speaking, reading, and listening skills and to work out strategies to distinguish instruction employing tablet-friendly web tools and a range of apps. Apart from the incorporation of the iPad in the teaching of language skills, the basic of workflow such as the sharing of materials, collection of the student’s work, making of comments and grading of the students’ assignments, and passing back the students’ work can be unknown and quite complicated to the teachers (Maffit, 2013). Understanding whether the teachers in the United Arab Emirates have the ability to use the iPads in teaching English will enhance the students learning of the language as it will help the stakeholders to address the issues related to using the iPad.
Just like any other new technological innovation, which is introduced into education, the introduction of the use of iPads in the teaching of English in institutions of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates requires backing up through training. This is to ensure the effective use of iPads in the teaching of the English language (Gliksman, 2012). Although the iPad is not a difficult tool to learn to use, it may sometimes prove difficult for teachers to use it well hence the need for support (Gliksman, 2012). This will require an additional amount of finances thereby making the venture a costly one. Any institution that is thinking of introducing iPads in the teaching of the English language then should begin by first having a few iPads for the teachers and allowing them to explore them and enable them to decide what they can do with them (Gliksman, 2012). It is not yet clear whether the United Arab Emirates has decided on whether they want to spend some money to train teachers on how to use the iPad effectively.
One of the most common mistakes, which teachers make with iPads, is the concentration on subject-specific apps (McClanahan, et al., 2012). By doing this, they are likely to neglect completely the full range of prospects with the iPad. There are numerous possibilities with iPad apps but in many cases, teachers are oblivious of them. Given that it may be difficult to acquire subject-specific apps to aid teachers in the teaching of the language skills, it may be difficult to achieve the intended goals of introducing the iPads in the learning and teaching of the English language unless teachers are knowledgeable of the possibilities. Whether the teachers in the United Arab Emirates understand this, is yet to be established.
Most often, teaches presume that all students know how to use technology or they can learn and pick it up quickly. However, the truth is that not all students do requiring the teacher to look for apps, which will work for the English language learning and demonstrate how the apps work and show students how they will use them in carrying out assignments (Shuler, 2009; Huber, 2012). The teacher should invest some time to talk to students regarding the advantages and limitations of using the iPad (McClanahan, et al., 2012). This will help to ease any frustrations that the students may experience later. The pertinent question that is useful in ensuring the successful use of iPads in teaching is whether the teachers in the United Arab Emirates have the capacity to prepare their students with regard to the use of iPads in learning.
For the use of iPad in teaching to be successful, there is a need for the administrators to push for a widespread adoption, and facilitate the training of the faculty on the ways to adapt assignments (Marshall, 2013). The commitment by and large involves infrastructure such as the wireless networks for lecture rooms, which will enable the teachers to broadcast class materials to the students, and provide the teachers and students alike the choice of sending material to everyone (Shuler, 2009). This begs the question of whether the United Arab Emirates is ready to foot the cost that will be incurred in providing the essential infrastructure.
The illusion that the use of iPads in the teaching will help reduce costs that the institutions incur, may be misleading. These institutions will have to spend the money on technology and infrastructure instead (Andrei, 2013). Another consideration to take into account is the cost of apps, which the students will require. The pertinent challenge here is who will buy the apps. Is it the institutions or the buy the students who will buy the apps? If it is the institutions, are they ready to meet the cost? On the other hand, if it is the students, can they afford the cost that is associated with the purchase of these apps? The other consideration is whether the teachers will be able to teach the students on how to use the apps on their own, or whether they will require the help of the technical support staffs (Gary, Glenda, Randolph, 2013). If the teachers will have to teach the students on their own, will the technical training that they will be providing detract them from other more valuable assignments?
Justification of the study
This study is justified because it will help stakeholder in the Education sector in the United Arab Emirates to address the issues associated with it as well as take advantage of the iPad in teaching and learning. This generation of technology provides students and teachers with innovative approaches to learning and teaching, which were not available a few years ago (Reutzel, 2013). The teachers are finding that to some level, combining technology and learning has motivated students (Proffitt, 2011). The approach ultimately ensures the maximization of the teacher’s overall effectiveness in teaching (Roberts, 2009). The strategy is beneficial but it also presents a myriad of challenges and limitations, which if they do not receive the appropriate attention, the technological gadgets will be just expensive toys.
With the appropriate applications, iPads can be gadgets, which can be employed for imparting knowledge and teaching students in almost any environment. The iPads have numerous apps that are designed specifically to enhance skills in reading, writing, and speaking (Kopp, 2013). Whereas a number of applications and uses of the iPad keeps growing all the time, one of the major ways to use the iPad is as an English teaching tool (Kopp, 2013). Given the numerous language apps that are available for the iPad, its ability to play both video and audio, and the access to the internet, the iPad forms an exceptionally efficient teaching tool for the English language (Waugh, and Jolliffe, 2013). Technology, especially the iPad has the power to promote instruction and develop a rich learning environment if teachers use it effectively (ChanLin, 2008). The iPad, like other technological tools enables teachers to create a learner-oriented approach to teaching where the teacher can promote “learning by doing” (Collins and Halverson, 2010, p.20).
Just like in exercise routines, warm-up is an essential part of any English lesson. The advantage of using iPad as an English teaching tool is that the language apps for the iPad such as Word pop are essential in playing this role well (Collins and Halverson, 2010). Online websites including Discovery Puzzle Maker can help to generate puzzles that enhance vocabulary learning such as word searches and crosswords. These can be employed to warm up the students to the English learning mode at the start of the lesson (Collins and Halverson, 2010). The use of iPads in teaching and learning enables the teacher and the students to work collaboratively from an innovative teaching and learning perspective (Murray and Olcese, 2011) and gives numerous opportunities, which would not be possible otherwise. The iPad wields the power to create new learning environments by allowing interactive, hands-on engagement with the content among the students. From the point of view of teachers, the iPad possesses assessment tool capabilities, which allow them the opportunity to pursue innovative approaches to assessment (Kats, and IGI Global, 2013).
The other advantage of using the iPad in teaching and learning is that it enhances self-paced study (Stockwell, 2012). Self-paced study is an integral part in the learning of the English language especially the listening and vocabulary skills (Stockwell, 2012). The iPad enables students to learn in a pace that is in line with their strengths and weaknesses as it gives them to opportunity to learn any time anywhere depending on their capacities (Warschauer, 2011; Ortlieb, and Cheek, 2013; Brown, 2010; Torgesen, and Barker, 1995).
Teaching with technologies requires a major shift in the manner of thinking for both the administrators and the practitioners (Zane, and Lin, 2013). Today’s learning focus is experiencing a transformation with the traditional teacher-centred learning shifting to include informal learning and knowledge-based assessment (European Conference on Games Based Learning, and Felicia, 2012). Employing tools such as wikis and blogs, learners can construct portfolios where the content and knowledge is emerging from the learner, and understanding and knowledge of the process of completing a task takes precedence over the memorization of the learning material (Facer and Abdous, 2011). This is a major challenge especially in the United Arab Emirates where teaching is still largely teacher-centred, with teachers giving lectures to students while students are mere recipients of the taught content. To make the introduction of the use of iPads in learning and teaching requires the consideration of a number of pertinent questions. Take into account the reason for wanting to use the iPad in the teaching and learning process (Facer and Abdous, 2011). Will it really enhance learning, or will it be just a “cool” gadget, which will make the higher institutions of learning in the United Arab Emirates to look trendy? Are the teachers willing to shift the way of teaching to integrate iPad-friendly formants? If they do, how will the overhauled assignments help the students?
Andrei, E. (2013). Technology integration in three English as a second language (ESL) language arts middle school classrooms.(Order No. 3570853, University of Virginia). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 213. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1419455919?accountid=458. (1419455919).
Brown, V. (2010). Review of research: Digital media learning supports individuals with cognitive disabilities. Childhood education, 87 (1), pp. 68-71.
ChanLin, L. (2007). Perceived importance and manageability of teachers towards the factors of integrating computer technology into classrooms. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 44(1), pp. 45-55.
Collins, A. & Halverson, R. (2010). The second education revolution: Rethinking education in the age of technology. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26, pp. 18-27.
European Conference on Games Based Learning, & Felicia, P. (2012). Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 4-5 October 2012, [College Cork], Ireland: Edited by Patrick Felicia. Reading: Academic Publishing International Limited.
Facer, B. R., & Abdous, M. (2011). Academic podcasting and mobile assisted language learning: Applications and outcomes. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Gary, B. S., Glenda, A. G., Randolph, E. G. (2013). Teachers Discovering Computers. Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Gliksman, S. (2012). iPad in Education For Dummies. New York: Wiley.
Huber, S. (2012). iPads in the classroom: A development of a taxonomy for the use of tablets in schools. Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand GmbH.
Kats, Y., & IGI Global. (2013). Learning management systems and instructional design: Best practices in online education. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA.
Kopp, K. (2013). Using interactive whiteboards in the classroom. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education.
Maffit, R. (2013). Effect of teaching phonological awareness using iPad applications on reading fluency. (Order No. 1537929, Texas Christian University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 24. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1369939285?accountid=458. (1369939285).
Marshall, K. (2013). Rethinking teacher supervision and evaluation: How to work smart, build collaboration, and close the achievement gap. London: Cengage.
McClanahan, B., Williams, K., Kennedy, E., & Tate, S. (2012). How use of an iPad facilitated reading improvements. Tech trends, 56 (3), pp. 20-28.
Murray, O.T., & Olcese, N.R. (2010). Teaching and learning with iPads, ready or not? Tech Trends, 55(6), pp. 42-48.
Ortlieb, E., & Cheek, E. H. (2013). School-Based Interventions For Struggling Readers, K-8. Bradford: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Proffitt, B. (2011). IPad for kids: Using the iPad to play and learn. Boston, Mass: Course Technology.
Reutzel, D.R. (2013). Handbook of research-based Practice in early education. New York: Guilford Press.
Roberts, T. A. (2009). No limits to literacy for preschool English learners. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin.
Shuler, C. (2009). Pockets of potential: Using mobile technologies to promote children’s learning. New York: Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
Stockwell, G. (2012). Computer-assisted language learning: Diversity in research and practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Torgesen, J.K., & Barker, T.A. (1995). Computers as aids in the prevention and remediation of reading disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 18(2), pp. 76-87.
Warschauer, M. (2011). Learning in the cloud: How (and why) to transform schools with digital media. New York: Teachers College Press.
Waugh, D. & Jolliffe, W. (2013).English 5–11: A Guide for Teachers. London: Routledge.
Zane, L. B., & Lin, M. (2013). Handbook of Mobile Education. London: Routledge.