CHWP A.7 Heimpel, "The Multimedia Network-based Language Learning Centre: An Historical Approach"

5. Conclusion

Once conceived almost exclusively as the mysterious "other" of language teaching, computers have become a familiar and arguably indispensable component of modern language pedagogy. More students and teachers in the humanities are accepting and benefiting from technology each year. One important reason for this is the proliferation of more flexible, user-friendly software and hardware. Moreover, language teachers are no longer inviting their students to take part in experiments with technologies with limited relevance to real world tasks, but are rather teaching languages and basic Internet/computer skills, the same skills which students will require to obtain gainful employment in the years to come. Another equally important reason for the growing popularity of computing in the humanities is the increased emphasis on training and user support. [16] The recognition by language students and teachers that one need not be a computer expert to be a computer user can only have positive implications for the humanitisation of the technologies.

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[16] Training faculty, students and staff on the use of the new technologies is an important part of my mandate with respect to the Multimedia Centre for Learning in the Humanties. Several of my colleagues and I provide seminars highlighting the pedagogical potential of current multimedia and network technologies. We also have an open-door policy as far as ongoing technical assistance and support are concerned.