The Internet: The Killer Application

Carolina Ruiz MONTANI

Telematics is an additional medium for learning and communication . The inclusion of the new media in the language learning process takes time. On the other hand, the learning process can be dealt with easily and more effectively. The information industry is becoming a mega-industry which is evolving into the engine of growth in today's demands of rapid internationalization and global economy. The internet is its most visible manifestation: it has become more than a medium for connecting people and sharing and exchanging information. It is one of those transformational technologies that appears once in a lifetime. Since it enables parties of any kind to conduct interactions of any type the internet is a very powerful agent to deliver educational content. The language demands of a language learning community can alter extremely rapidly over a period of time not only for relevant language learning material, but also for intercultural training. Networks pull down barriers like time and distance that once limited market opportunity where interpersonal skills and technology increasingly play an important role. Internet users surf the net, skipping unwanted exercises and carrying out only the preferred, relevant ones. The system is supposed to think for them so that they can select the most suitable learning option. The net is a very powerful tool for delivering and managing education and training, because in the field of education it enables students to learn or supplement formal curricula at their own pace. Online learning offers the flexibility of learning at any time, anywhere, so that people can seize the best content whenever it suits them without suffering time constrains in their professional or private lives. It also involves collaborative work between teachers and parents enhancing learning as a result of sharing information on assignments or performance. Another feature is the possibility of delivering tailor-made programs, including on-line tutoring and tutors via e-mail, producing segments to target specific educational needs. The most remarkable features in this conditions are: delivering courseware, providing tools for integrating information, tutor support, collaborative work with peers. We need the right pedagogic tools as well as a new pedagogic culture that must be nurtured by those who actively promote change and the use of technology to prepare learners for reality. Technology will neither replace competent teachers nor classroom education, but if appropriately adapted and not adopted, will foster access to education, raise its quality and enable students to learn more comfortably. Also: A new pedagogic culture; Advantages of telematics and telelearning.; Open and distance education; Teaching adults via e-mail; Developing a Virtual Community; Project work at school: results; Research and facts (conducted in 1999); Emotion-motivation-feedback; Access-Exchange- Community- Discussion-Collaboration