Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Analysis of the Implementation of a WebQuest for Learning English in a Secondary School in Spain

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Analysis of the Implementation of a WebQuest for Learning English in a Secondary School in Spain

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Technology along with the impact of the Internet has led to rapid progress of our history, consisting of sudden changes, globalization and multiculturalism of the society, which has brought new challenges to the citizens to face. These challenges need that people may have a great command of the new technologies such as computer and the Internet in order to become a competitive person. Technology improves education to a great extent and it has now become a need for revolutionizing education for the better. With the help of various resources for education, the Internet, teachers and students themselves see the advantage of educational technology. With the advent of educational technology in the classroom, education is faced with the challenge that teachers integrate educational technology in their daily work. Numerous studies have shown that a small number of teachers is willing to integrate educational technology in their teaching activities (Becker, 2000; Hermans et al., 2008; Stosic and Stosic 2013; Wang et al., 2004).

The ability of the World Wide Web inspired Dodge (1998) in creating a new model of teaching that incorporates the use of technological tools in the classroom, this model was named as WebQuest, hereinafter WQ. In this paper we critically analyse an approach to technology integration in English teaching through the implementation of a WQ. The purpose of this study is to implement a WQ for an ESL environment in a high school. For this reason, a WQ dealing with culture of the different English-speaking countries has been designed in order to assess the usefulness of this activity in terms of digital competence, cultural competence and motivation. In this sense, this didactic unit is based on the Valencian Decree 112/2007, on July 20th, in which the curriculum is established. According to the Decree, knowing a foreign language gives us access to different information. At the same time it offers the possibility of using it to communicate. Foreign languages require contact with various linguistic models and the use of digital learning resources. All this contributes directly to the development of the digital competence (Decree, 2007). The main significance of the analysis of the implementation of this technological tool is twofold: on the one hand, we want to measure the motivation of the students in this new English learning process and on the other hand, we want to compare this methodology with the traditional one taking into account some important limitations such as reduced number of students and reduced time for implementation.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Technology and the Internet

According to Gallego and Garcia (2011) the integration of technology and knowledge are two important pillars of nowadays society. The emerging advance of technology invades much of the daily activities that the human being do, for instance, education. Thus, schooling and particularly teaching methods should take the lead and make use of the Internet and digital tools in everyday activities.

A recent article appeared in ElPais stated that the Spanish government has agreed to give the Internet access to more than 16500 schools between 2016 and 2017, thanks to the project called "Connected schools", a program funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The goal is to improve or to give connectivity to schools that are in rural or isolated regions to give them the same opportunities that those from the city (ElPais, 2015). If this occurs, it will be much easier for teachers to promote digital competence, regardless school location. This technological progress in education, especially in the process of teaching and learning, is developing the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom. Although its incorporation has significantly improved the quality of teaching in all ways, it does not necessarily imply either integration or innovation of the teaching process (Area, 2010). …

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