Once you get a hang of the process, creating QR codes to access student recordings is fairly straight forward and students can quickly learn to do it themselves. There are mays ways to use QR codes in the foreign language classroom.
One thing I like to do is make the codes available to parents so that they can listen to their kids speaking the language. For example, I made this bulletin board interactive so that the students voices can be heard reading their writing assignment. All it takes is a QR reading app on a smartphone to quickly and instantly hear the student’s voice.
Here are the steps for recording audio and creating a QR Code. There are various apps for recording audio and a number of website to create QR codes. These are simply the ones that I use.
Record on an app like Voice Record (available for free).
You can use Google drive to upload the audio files or Dropbox . Create a folder for the audio. Put the audio files into the folder.
Click on an audio file and select share.
Copy the URL.
Generate a QR link. Use http://www.qrstuff.com/
Paste the URL into the box and QR code will generate to the right. You can download the image or copy the image from the screen.
On Wheel Decide, teachers can type in the words that they want displayed on the wheel and on each click the wheel spins and lands on a random word. There are so many uses for this online tool. Fill in verbs and students write or say a sentence; type in vocabulary words and students write sentences or say a sentence in small groups or pairs; type in topics for pairs or small groups to use as speaking prompts; type in student names for setting up groups…so many possibilities.
The teacher can even save the wheels that he/she creates for future use. It takes only minutes to create a wheel and you will be using it instantly. And the best part is that it’s free.
Take a spin of this wheel that I created to do a review activity with a 7th grade class.
This wheel is from an activity with Spanish verbs.
Padlet is an online, electronic “wall” where students can post comments or answer questions for the entire class to see and respond to. The possibilities are endless since the link can be shared with students who can easily access the wall electronically.
The teacher can upload videos, photos or documents. It can easily be used for a virtual exchange as well with another school. All students involved can comment on the same photo or video and everyone can see the different responses. Padlet can also be used in real time in class with all students entering comments on the board at the same time. Each comment begins with the student’s name so that everyone looking at the board knows who wrote the comment.
Pixton is a website where students can create their own comic strips by developing characters and dialog. There are various templates and tools to make characters.
There is a section of the website specifically for schools and students projects. You will also find some interesting reasons how Pixton is useful to language students in the ares of motivation, creativity and culture.
Technology can be used to enhance foreign language learning and instruction, but it should be integrated into the curriculum so that it is purposeful and supports learning objectives.
Many times technology is used as a tool that is separate from the learning objectives and it is most useful and effective when it it essential to carrying out a task in the target language rather than just an amusing or interesting way of engaging with the language. Consider the table below from the TeachBytes Webiste. There are concrete and effective idea for integrating technology in the foreign language classroom.
I call this game A Vos Risques (French) and A Su Riesgo (Spanish). It’s an interactive Powerpoint game with many opportunities for students to practice and review vocabulary in the target language. It is a great way to use the animation options in Powerpoint. I typically divide the class into teams that play together against the other teams.
Here’s how it works:
- –Teams choose a square and say the number. The teacher clicks on the number to reveal a question. The number is hyperlinked to a slide in the presentation.
- –The team answers the question on the slide. A click on that screen reveals the answer for verification.
- –This is where the “RISK” comes into play. If the team is correct, they choose a colored question mark on the slide (I put three options.) that will reveal 1, 2 or 3 points, a Zut (French)/Caramba (Spanish)–lose points, a slide with directions to take a point from another team or to give points to another team. I put a home icon on this screen that is hyperlinked back to the gameboard.
- –The team with the most points once all numbers have been chosen wins the game.
- –The three different point possibilities on each screen allow for this activity to be used multiple times with the same class.
You can create this activity using powerpoint animation and hyperlinking or you can download complete version of this game below:
Lingro.com: No need to look up words in the dictionary or with an online translator with this useful translation website. Enter a website address and you’ll be taken to a Lingro supported version of the page where every word is clickable. Click on a word to see its definition. There are 11 languages available with translation available between each of the individual languages. There are even ways to track the words that you click to check yourself after reading the page in the foreign language.
Students enjoy this activity that is fast paced and interactive. I call this game “Vocabu-Lettre” in French, “Vocabu-Letra” in Spanish and “Vocabo-Lettere” in Italian. It is basically played like the game Scattegories, but with only one letter and category at a time. This Powerpoint Template has the three language versions. Choose the two slides of the language that you want to use and copy the second slide as many times as you would like. The animation copies with the slide.
Prepare the slides by typing in a category and a letter in the category and letter boxes. Put students in groups of 2-3. Click on the slide and the category and a the letter are revealed. The timer then begins to count down from 20 to 1. It just takes one click to set everything in motion until the timer runs out. While the timer is running down, groups write as many words in the category that they can that begin with the letter. Once the timer runs out, all teams stop writing. Team one then begins reading their list to the class, one word at a time. If another team has that word, no points are scored. The team only gets a point when they are the only ones to have a particular word. Then move to the next team. With each team this will go more quickly because they will have eliminated (crossed out) the words that they heard from previous teams.
I usually use small white boards and markers in this activity and I also typically use the same category with 4-5 letters before changing the category. It is also a good idea to give students some phrases in the target language to use during the activity (“We have that word too”). This is a quick and fun way to review previously learned vocabulary so that it stays accessible to students.
I have seen several versions of the game “Bang”, “Zut”, “Caramba”, etc. on the Internet lately. The basic premise is that points for answering a question correctly in the game are not guaranteed, but rather the player or players may get points, lose points, take points from another team or give points to another team.
I like this type of activity because it keeps the points fluid and constantly changing. This can be done on cards in box. This is great because the teacher can use any topic and ask the questions orally to review a topic. When a team answers correctly they take a card out of the box. The cards have the following on them:
- 1 point
- 2 points
- 3 points
- Lose two points (Bang, Zut, Caramba)
- Give 2 points to another team
- Take 1 point from another team.
You can pull out the box anytime and use it with review questions. After the initial creation of the cards in the box there is almost no prep if the questions are asked orally by the teacher. I have also created a powerpoint version of the activity where teams choose a number and when clicked one of the possibilities above is revealed. I call this version “At Your Own Risk!”
Doodle Buddy is a fun app for vocabulary practice. Have students draw pictures of vocabulary, then have a partner guess what it is in the target language. Or you can use them as mini-white boards to have students write practice sentences on a given vocabulary/grammar topic. Just literally shake the iPod/iPad to clear the screen.