Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Putting it all together: Using technology in the language classroom

Les Contes de Fées

This is a unit that could be in a grade 10, 11 or 12 FSL classroom. The unit focus is on fairy tales, and the focus questions of the unit is "What are the lessons of our childhood" "Quelles sont les morales de notre enfance?". The final project of the unit is a group project where students will modify or create their own fairy tale, the project consists of a script/ prose of their fairy tale and a presentation of their fairy tale to the class (play, video, audio recording with powerpoint slides, prezi etc.) There are so many places in this unit that technology can play a role but here are a few key things I might try in the classroom.

Giving an example of a final product:
It is always important to show students what they are striving for in terms of the final product of their project. I would show examples of final products that other students had done before. Using youblisher to upload PDFs of students work and I would embed videos from other students past work. We might look at the examples briefly in class but by having them up on the blog the students can go back and look at them more closely to get ideas for their own project. 


Reading and listening to fairy tales:
Rather than have story time in class (which can take a lot of time and isn't always all that interesting) I would pre record my own voice, or the voice of a francophone friend, reading short fairy tales or fables. I could use an online program like soundcloud to record the stories and then I could embed the recording onto a blog that the students have access to and include the words to the fairy tale or fable or a set of questions to answer about the fairy tale in a google form . 

Creating an online forum for the students to communicate with each other. The project would be done in groups of 3-5 and I would show the students how to create a googledoc or a wikipage space where they can talk to each other bounce ideas around and put their rough drafts together

Correcting the work using BonPatron:
I would be sure to show the students how to use BonPatron in order to have them correct their written work before handing it in.

Reading 10: BYOD

Bring your own device! It's such a great idea when used effectively. The one argument of "not everyone has access" is becoming a non-issue in many school. I know in my practicum school I used technology that asked students to use their cell phones in class for things like poll everywhere and taking pictures of assignments and things we did on the white board together.

This article outlines some great ways that technology is being used with cell phones in the classroom. I would like to learn some new and exciting things that teachers are doing to integrate BYOD into the classroom. The criticism I have of this article is that it is not brining in any new ideas for me.

I would love to have a class set of ipads or tablets or similar devices and to create notes and activities all set around electronic devices rather than spend so much time photocopying paper and asking students to carry around a 20 pound text book. I'm pretty certain that we are going in that direction and we are using paper less and less for certain purposes (the use of the kindle and e readers rather than real paper back and text books). I am very excited to try in my future classroom to use these BYOD technologies and ideas and I hope that BYOD becomes less controversial and more like normal teaching. I am embracing the idea of students using their phones in class and becoming engaged with the learning by using technology.

Day 10: Presentations

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Reading 9: Comments

Powerpointless: I love this saying. I have had to sit through so many awful powerpoints throughout university and at conferences, but I have also seen some great presentations. I think that powerpoint is a good tool for students to use in class but they do need to be given a set of rules, or examples of what to do an what not to do in their presentation. I thought the author gave a good overview of what most people already know about presentations, and he made some good points about how to help students to create effective powerpoints. In class there is often a time when you want students to present their ideas to the class, and in a language class presentations can be a part of oral practice. It is important that you give students options on how they can present their projects, some students might feel more comfortable using a poster board, others might want to use powerpoint, or prezi or other online tools for presenting information. I like the idea of showing students new ways to present their projects and allowing them the opportunity to test out presentation tools. It is also important that the focus of the presentation be on the actual learned material and not the presentation tools exclusively. It may be important to have a class on how to best use the presentation tools before giving the students the time to create their own presentations.

Day 9: Group Work

I love google docs. I don't think I would have managed to get through all of the group work that we needed to do in the teaching program without google docs. I know that group work in school is often difficult with students who have different schedules, maybe sports after school etc and who have difficulty getting together with their groups. Using google docs allows students to do work more easily with each other without having to get together in real life to exchange ideas. 

I've also used google slideshow many times for projects where we need to present something. Having google slideshow means that the roles can be distributed more evenly, you don't need to have one person creating the powerpoint, everyone can contribute to the slideshow their own material. This allows for everyone to do a part of the actual learning. 

I've never used google forms but I can see it being a really great tool to communicate with students and parents. It might be great to use for teacher-teacher relationships and for Pro-D communication. 

Google Docs

Google Slideshow

Google Form

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Reading 8: Comments

This authors Blog post was very interesting if maybe a little scattered. I know from my own experience as a student and also from my practicum that there is real value to doing group work but a lot of the time they are more trouble than doing something on your own. I love the idea of using technology to make group work better. Using things like wikipages etc to create a forum where students can communicate with their group members at their own times and in their own space. I thought it was interesting that the author talked about using hyperlink, I can remember using hyperlink when I was in elementary school. I don't really see the application of hyperlink to group work but I think it's interesting that the author has been thinking about how to use technology in the classroom for so long. He must have some great ideas. I would like to read more of his blog posts and try to integrate some of his ideas on group work into projects I create in the future.

Day 8: Curating Content

I created a scoop it account with the Topic of French as a Second Language. I selected a couple of pages from the web that I liked. I know that it would take more time to create a really interesting scoop it page and I hope that I will get some suggestions from the scoop it site for my topic. I can see creating a scoop it with good resources for the classroom for students or for other teachers. I think if used properly delicious can be a great way to share resources among teachers. I haven't really researched the livebinder site but if you can upload word documents to the livebinder as well as webpages it think it would be a great site to create an online resource for teachers to share their content.