I am taking a break in preparing the technology session for the World Language Mini Conference on Monday.
Topics for the technology session are free online tools, the WL teacher wiki page, networking with other teachers, and finding authentic material online.
For several of my online tools I have a class account. I have a Google account that is just for my classroom. Students log in to many sites with that email address and the class password. They joke each time we do a new website because they already know they password… I like to have them use the class account in sites such as Photo Peach where I can see their finished products all on the same page. The trick is they need to name their project with their name because “Sra. Hildinger” is the default author. Their Photo Peach project might be called “Breanna S” for example. I do discourage them from using last names.
The online tools I will present include:
Quizlet: an online flashcard maker. It is incredibly easy for me because my textbook is online. I just copy and paste the vocabulary words from the book into the “Import” section and they are created in seconds. We take a few minutes every day in class to review with flashcards. I was annoyed at first because some students would yell out the answers before other students could have a chance to think about it. My solution (for now) is they have to wait 3 beats. As soon as we hear the words we do 3 beats (a mixture of claps, stomps, snaps, etc). They cannot give the answer until then.
It is much more than simply a flashcard maker and presenter. I put the link on our EdLine page so they can practice anywhere. I even made QR Codes from the URL. I print them out and post them in the room for the students to scan.
Only2clicks: I like using Only 2 Clicks when I want the students to do directed research. We have all had experiences when most of the lab time was spent doing research. If I know the best sites to find the information, I make an Only 2 Clicks page for them to use. Example.
Wallwisher: one of those sticky note sites. I like that students can add a picture. One of the activities that works great is creating a class Wallwisher. Each student builds a different wall and poses a question in the target language. For example, “What do you like to do on the weekends?”. Then they walk around and answer each other’s sticky notes. Great for a change of state during a 70 minute block.
Photo Peach: Photo Peach is a slideshow creator. Since we use a class log in, I can see all of their projects on one page. Students first have to upload their photos or clip art, then write a sentence or two about the page. I tell them what vocabulary and grammar structures I expect to see. The slideshow is nice because it has some movement in the final project.
Issuu: Easily turn a research project into a beautiful magazine. When finished, the students can get an embed code to put on their wiki page. Much better than grading 30 research papers with no pictures. I do have the students do a bibliography at the end of such research projects.
Well, back to preparing for the technology session. Cresting this post has helped me organize my thoughts a bit. 🙂