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Computer Assisted Learning

Computer Assisted Learning

Computer Assisted Learning

  1. How Does Computer Assisted Learning Work?

It appears like we are continuously combating technology in today’s classroom.

On the one hand, technology has transformed how instructors and students learn.

On the other hand, it can become a source of distraction, detracting from the learning process.

If you’re a teacher like me, you know how difficult it can be to convince pupils to put down their phones or laptops and focus on the lesson.

While they communicate and post on social media, you can only see the tops of their heads—and you know they’re not posting about the irregular verbs you’re now teaching them!

Fortunately, there is a method to bring the same technology that is distracting your children into your classroom and utilize it to help them study more effectively.

 

  1. Understanding the Pros and Cons: What Is CAL?

Most kids (and adults!) these days spend a significant amount of time at home and at school on their computers, tablets, and phones, so it’s no wonder that computers are being integrated into the classroom.

Computer Assisted Learning (or CAL) has revolutionized the way students study in both traditional classrooms and language-learning environments. Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) may make classes more dynamic and interesting, piquing the attention of even the most apathetic students.

This is not to argue, however, that CAL is without problems. The same individualism and enjoyment that make CAL so successful may also contribute to student isolation and distract them from the material at hand.

Let’s take a closer look at what Computer Assisted Learning is and what the pros and downsides of using it in your classroom are before you make your decision.

 

What Is Computer Assisted Learning?

Computer Assisted Learning spans a wide range of technology and concepts, yet it’s simple easy to grasp. “The use of electronic devices/computers to deliver educational teaching and to study,” according to the Intense School, which specializes on computer and information technology.

 

In colleges, homeschooling, and distance learning, computer assisted learning also includes online courses and extra course materials. Basically, Computer Assisted Learning encompasses any type of technology that may be used for studying.

The beauty of this teaching style is that it can be used in any sort of classroom, from a kindergarten painting class to a medical school class where students learn to operate on the human body using computer models. It can also assist students in taking lessons at home on their own or to augment their existing education. This can result in a far more customized experience as well as a deeper grasp of the information being conveyed.

 

  1. What Are the Benefits of Computer Assisted Learning for Language Students?

While using CAL in any classroom may be beneficial, it is especially advantageous in language learning courses.

It’s so powerful, in fact, that it has its own acronym! Computer Assisted Language Learning, or CALL, is swiftly becoming one of the most popular teaching methods among foreign language teachers.

Language teachers may use CALL to help their students recall more vocabulary and grammar by requiring them to watch videos play computer games, or even surf the internet solely in their target language. It also allows students to engage in more active usage of the target language, allowing them to acquire it more organically than through rote memory. They become more helpful to them as a result of the language’s terms and norms, and they are better able to recall them.

Here are a few instances of how Computer Assisted Learning may be utilized to aid language learning:

 

  • Visual Learning

Many students are visual learners, and seeing an image or an example of the terms being discussed in class can help them understand them better. Teachers benefit greatly from computers since they have access to the entire internet. You can easily find photographs of fruits, animals, and even colors on the internet to assist your kids understand what you’re talking about and have an image to match with the term you’re explaining.

To assist demonstrate a topic, you can use films from DVDs, YouTube, or your own personal initiatives. When a student sees something that is actually occurring or being utilized in a video, it becomes much more real to them, and they remember it much better.

 

  • Listening Practice

Listening practice is an essential component of every language acquisition programmed. This is made easier using CAL, which allows you to play music or record conversations so that your students can hear the language in context. They can then imitate the speakers or singers and develop their own distinctive voice in their new language.

 

  • Tests

Exams can be given to students using computers. You may either make your own test and have them take it at the classroom computers, or you can go online and discover pre-written exams and other exam resources to utilize in your classes. Students may feel less harried and have more privacy when taking examinations on the computer than if they were in a packed classroom.

 

  • Games

One of the most effective methods to incorporate CAL into the classroom is through games. Students like playing computer games or solving puzzles in their target language, especially the younger ones.

It doesn’t feel like studying to them; it feels like having a good time. They won’t know they’re growing smarter while they struggle to advance to the next level or do a difficult crossword, but they’re really learning and remembering more than they would have otherwise!

 

  • Internet Searches

Another enjoyable technique to include a student’s target language into the classroom is to have them conduct an online search in it. The teacher gives pupils a question to seek up using a search engine in activities like WebQuest. The students must then locate the solution using just their target language, which may be a difficult (but enjoyable!) task!

 

  • Online Courses

Finally, but by no means least, CAL can incorporate online courses. These courses can be studied at home on one’s own time, potentially as part of a full college course load, or as a complement to a language course that is currently being taken in person. There are hundreds of free and commercial language courses available on the internet, and many of them may be quite useful.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems of CAL before we get onto the positives.

 

Some Disadvantages of Computer Assisted Learning

 

While CAL appears to be a perfect strategy, it does have certain drawbacks. Here are some of the drawbacks of incorporating Computer Assisted Learning into your classroom.

 

  • It Can Be Expensive

 

While CAL appears to be a faultless method, it does have certain drawbacks. Here are some of the drawbacks of incorporating computer-assisted learning into your classroom.

 

  • It might be difficult for teachers to put into practice.

 

When electronics are used in something, it becomes more sophisticated, at least at first. Teachers must first learn how to utilize the technology before they can teach it to their pupils, and adequate training may take up a lot of time. Nobody wants to be that teacher that spends a lot of time during the lecture because they don’t know how to utilize the computer or the overhead projector.

 

  • CAL Activities Don’t Always Fit the Teacher’s Goals

 

It might be difficult to locate a third-party application, video, or lesson that perfectly suits your goals or teaching style while using third-party resources. There will be instances when an online quiz does not have the exact phrases you need to test for, or when the video you’re viewing does not contain all of the parts of speech you need to emphasize. Teachers must find a way to include CAL into their classes without allowing it to determine the content to be studied, and achieving that balance can be difficult at times.

 

  • It may cause students to feel alone.

 

While having a tailored learning experience is beneficial, the isolation that it might cause is not. Consider a classroom full of pupils, each seated at their own computer and only engaging with the computer in front of them. We learn new things about language by engaging with other people, which is a crucial element of language usage. Students require the assistance of other students in order to study, and CAL may prevent this.

When used in the classroom, however, CAL may be a fantastic teaching tool. By supplementing rather than dictating your curriculum, CAL may change the way kids learn languages—or anything else for that matter!

 

5 Advantages of Computer Assisted Learning

 

 

  • It is tailored to the individual.

 

Each student may work at their own speed and make progress at their own pace with CAL. Individual computer classes or games usually adjust to the learner’s development rather than a predefined standard, allowing each student to have a more personalized experience.

 

  • It encourages active participation and the use of the target language.

 

It’s all well and well to sit in class and repeat words and build verb charts, but the true learning happens when you put what you’ve learned into practice. Students who actively use the language they are learning are more likely to retain specific words or phrases.

 

  • It allows students to track their progress.

 

Again, success and happiness are important factors in motivating pupils to want to study more. As a result, CAL is an excellent tool to employ in the classroom. Students can simply observe how far they’ve come. They feel good about themselves when they complete a puzzle or advance to the next level in a game or an online course, which keeps them interested in the courses.

 

  • It simplifies complex topics by breaking them down into smaller chunks.

 

Teachers may struggle to break down complicated concepts because they are unsure of the proper approach. Computer games and courses, on the other hand, accomplish this for you and break down data into bite-sized bits that are easier to learn and remember.

 

  • It’s engrossing and intriguing.

 

Let’s face it: A dissatisfied student isn’t a good one. While some students like lectures, many others require additional stimulation in order to remain engaged and actively studying. CAL is ideal for this since it provides several opportunities for each student to interact with and remain interested in the issue at hand.

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