Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Language teachers vs software developers?

According to the following quote from Mike Levy (1997:1):

Developers in user-friendly human-computers interfaces and higher-level languages and authoring systems insulate the developer from the lower level workings of the computer, allowing comparatively complex applications to be written with relative ease.

Do you actually think that applications to create quizzes like "Hotpotatoes" are perfectly easy and intuitive to use stuff for language teachers or they need some special training and knowledge to use them?

Use the comments button to answer to this question either in English or Spanish.


Laura said...

These kind of applications are much more easy than the non-friendly interfaces Levy refers to in his books. I am not an expert in computer sciences and, nevertheless, I am able to create a "Hotpotatoes" activity, even though I can get very stressed when doing so!

As for the general question ("Language teachers vs software developers?"), I believe that we have to work together in order to get good results: a software developer may not know how to create meaningful activities for learners, and a teacher may not know how to use the software to help students learning...

María Jordano said...

That's right, Laura, but how? Any example?

Karina said...

Hello María,

I've just tried to use Hot Potatoes briefly. As I have degree of computer engineer, I do not find any difficulties to use new programs and I do not think that my opinion could be objective :). In my opinion, Hot Potatoes is quite easy and fast understandable.

At the moment I have one question about the evaluation scores (I was trying to find in tutorials, but I couldn't find exact answer which bothers me). Is it possible to have track of scores of pupils? Let's say, the teacher makes the test and wants to see the score after students do it (e.g., during the exam). Is it somewhere any record track where, you can register your name and later teacher see my test's score? I hope I've explained clear. Or this program is only useful for your own evaluation, but not to check the knowledge of students during the exam?

Well, I'll try to explore more this tool and to see it's possibilities.

P.D. My mother is a teacher and I've asked her to find the time to try this tool and to give me her opinion about it. It's a kind of test for her and to find out if the tool has friendly interface, is easy understandable, etc. Maybe she will find it useful and one day she could use it for her lessons...

Later I'll share my results of the "research" with you.

Thank you.