This is my first post here.......and I thought I'd post some ideas I've had about educational approaches to using technology.
I recently read a study about Microsoft Powerpoint, and how apparently it fails as a communication strategy - the listeners pay attention to the visuals, and ignore the accompanying speech, and the one set of information probably interferes with the other. The psychologists who carried out the study suggested that in most cases, the visuals should be much more sparingly used, and in many cases were superfluous and obstructive.
This set me off thinking....how much current educational technology based practice has actually been studied from an evidential perspective? It might appear from a reasoned perspective that x or y should enhance learning, but we're not in the middle ages anymore - practice needs to be evidence based. What might appear on the face of it to be a good idea, might actually hinder progress, not advance it, or might have no significant effect at all, yet be resource and time-intensive to produce and administer.
Technologies can be useful, I think, when they act to simplify the information load the student needs to process at any one point in time.
I have noticed myself, when learning, that keeping information streams separate, seems to help. i.e. when
listening, NOT to have the text in front of me. The one seems to possibly compete with the other.
For example, is it really usful to listen to a text, while looking at the text on a screen, say with a flash presentation, with each word highlighted as it is read aloud? Can the brain actually effectively process these different (and competing) information streams? Personally, I doubt it - certainly, it would merit some research.
Insofar as to how this might inform language teaching strategy - maybe the aural/speaking component should be done without any textbooks or written material available for the student to look at while listening/learning, with the amount of competing sensory information limited....???
Processing a written text is possibly a different skill set to processing aural and oral information.......