chapter  6
26 Pages

The role of digital technologies

For many years now, the use of technology has had a meaningful role to play in FLs classrooms. Where it tended to be mainly traditional writing and reading tools such as coursebooks, tape recorders, overhead projectors (OHPs), and TV and video recorders, there is now a plethora of digital technologies including (portable) com - puters and mobile devices (including tablets), which have become an integral part of the resource ecology of the FLs classroom. The distinction between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ technologies is, of course, in many ways artificial and flawed. For example, TV and video are increasingly available digitally and the OHP has been replaced by visualisers in FLs classrooms for many years. And an even older technology, the board, is increasingly being replaced by large displays linked via a data-projector to a computer, the so-called interactive whiteboards. Also, computerassisted language learning applications (CALL) have largely been replaced by apps on mobile devices. Therefore, the field is characterised as much by ‘evolution’ as it is by ‘revolution’. In this chapter we will use the terms ‘digital technologies’ and ‘educational technologies’ and we will do so relatively interchangeably as the latter term for us not only comprises technologies specifically developed for educational purposes, but also the use of any technology for such purposes.