EVALUATING ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING SOFTWARE FOR KIDS: EDUCATION OR ENTERTAINMENT OR BOTH?


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KAZANCI Z. , OKAN Z.

TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, cilt.8, ss.30-38, 2009 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 8 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2009
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/s10508-008-9311-7
  • Dergi Adı: TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
  • Sayfa Sayısı: ss.30-38

Özet

The purpose of this study is to offer a critical consideration of instructional software designed particularly for children. Since the early 1990s computer applications integrating education with entertainment have been adopted on a large scale by both educators and parents. It is expected that through edutainment software the process of learning is going to be colorful and fun and that learners can acquire information without work and serious study. The aim of this article is to draw attention to possible harmful effects of this wholesale adoption of edutainment software, particularly to introducing learning "as a bitter medicine that needs the sugar-coating of entertainment to become palatable" (Resnick, 2004). It argues that it may be time to examine critically the educational potential of such software together with the advantages and disadvantages it might bring to the instructional process. The discussion focuses, after a brief definition of edutainment, on five English language teaching software packages for kids which are randomly selected from the market. They are examined through McKenzie's (2000) Assessment Chart to see to what extent the implementation of edutainment software has been able to match their promises. The study calls for critical awareness of how instructional software is impacting education and at the same time for the engagement of teachers in exploring the computer applications that shape classroom learning and teaching.