Language Learning in a World of Screens

This page is a supplement to Mark Pegrum's talk entitled Language Learning in a World of Screens: Customising Online Spaces, delivered at GloCALL in Manila, Philippines, 28-29 October 2011.

--Abstract-- As we move into an increasingly digitised ‘world of screens’, important trends are emerging which will impact many areas of our lives, including education. This paper identifies four key trends linked to our world of screens and examines their implications for language teaching and learning.

Firstly, the trend towards multimedia allows us to tailor materials to students’ varying learning styles as well as enhancing students’ multimedia literacy skills, as they learn to express themselves in multiple media. Secondly, the trend towards networking allows students to connect and converse with other students around the world, practising language use at the same time as they develop cultural and intercultural literacy skills. Thirdly, the trend towards mobility promotes ‘u-learning’, or ubiquitous learning, allowing students to learn in immersive target language environments at the intersection of the web and the world.

The fourth and final trend, effectively a macro-trend which builds on the first three, is towards customisation. Not only can teachers draw on principles of multimedia, networking and mobility to tailor learning environments to students’ needs, but language learners themselves can increasingly customise their own learning spaces. Such personalised educational spaces may well represent the future of language learning.

--Links-- A number of key web-based services, websites, and mobile apps are discussed in the presentation. Links to these are found below.

The web-based services mentioned in relation to developing students' multimedia literacy skills include Capzles (multimedia timelines), Dvolver (animated cartoons), Glogster (multimedia posters), Storybird (storybooks), Tiki-Toki (multimedia timelines), VoiceThread (audio commentary on images), Voki (animated avatars) and Xtranormal (animated cartoons).

The platforms mentioned in relation to setting up cross-cultural networking include blogs, discussion boards, websites and wikis. The specific organisations mentioned include Global Voices, iEARN, Rising Voices and TakingITGlobal.

The apps mentioned in relation to mobility come from the iTunes Store. The augmented reality apps include Google Goggles, Junaio, Layar and Wikitude.

  • Bilton, N. (2010). I live in the future and here's how it works: Why your world, work, and brain are being creatively disrupted. New York: Crown Business.
  • Bilton, N. (n.d.). H79.2768 - 1’, 2’, 10’.
  • Crystal, D. (2011). Internet linguistics: A student guide. London: Routledge.
  • Dudeney, G., Hockly, N., & Pegrum, M. (in preparation). Digital literacies.
  • Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., & Haywood, K. (2011). The 2011 horizon report. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium.
  • Pegrum, M. (2011). Modified, multiplied and (re-)mixed: Social media and digital literacies. In M. Thomas (Ed.), Digital education: Opportunities for social collaboration (pp.9-35). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [draft] [book details]
  • Snyder, I. (2009). Shuffling towards the future: The enduring dominance of book culture in literacy education. In M. Baynham & M. Prinsloo (Eds.), The future of literacy studies (pp.141-159). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Please feel free to explore the rest of this E-language resource wiki. You are welcome to contact me with comments, suggestions or questions.