Changes in the Use of Technology for Language Instruction at the University of Chicago, 2000-2007

  • Kyung-Hwa Kay Yang

Abstract

This report is based on my own experience, which i gained through assisting foreign language instruction and linguistics research at the University of Chicago. Over the past few years, technology has become increasingly integrated in language instruction and changed not only the content but also the teaching paradigm. Instructors approach technology quite differently from the past and students are more actively involved in their learning process. Although it is open to dispute whether my observations correlate to general changes in the field of instructional technology, this script, however, may provide a vivid description of a recent situation in this field and suggest a future direction of the working ground.

For over eight years my career has been dedicated to the uses of technology in higher education. I began my career as an intern in the Advanced Multimedia Production Studio at Northwestern University, Illinois in 1999, and since 2000 have served as a manager and multimedia specialist in the Center for the Study of Languages at the University of Chicago (U of C). Over my period at the U of C, my daily tasks have changed although the crucial role of my position has not. I did and still do define the basis of my job as providing instructors with technology assistance for more effective teaching. Meanwhile, a subtle change has occurred: recently instructors began doing certain tasks which earlier were done by me or other trained staff. One of the reasons for this change is that many instructors now seem to consider technology not only as a pedagogical medium but also a tool that they need to learn how to use and incorporate into class. This use of technology often runs parallel with the changing roles of their counterpart, the students.

This report is based on my own experience, which I gained through assisting foreign language instruction and linguistics research at the U of C. Therefore, it is open to dispute whether my observations correlate to general changes in the field of instructional technology over the past few years. This report, however, may provide a vivid description of a recent situation in this field and suggest a future direction of the working ground.

Published
2008-04-15