Technology is all around us and many teachers are integrating various technology tools into their teaching. Though a new app, website, or computer software may appear (through marketing or other means) to be the “new best thing” you way want to decide this for yourself before using it with your students. A great way to assess this is through the SAMR model.
This model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning. It shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology. It is a framework through which teachers can assess and evaluate the technology used in the classroom. As teachers move along the continuum, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning.
The SAMR model explained by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.
This is a great new site that is extremely easy to navigate and is very user-friendly. The teacher can easily record his/her voice for students to hear, then the student simply clicks and records his/her own response to the question. The student can then listen to what he/she said and easily delete and redo. The teacher can add in text, YouTube Videos, and images as well. The great thing about this site is that it is completely online and does not require downloading any software onto your computer or the student’s computer. The students submit their spoken (or typed) response to the site and the teacher accesses the student work through his/her Lingt account. Student do not have to sign up for an account, just the teacher (and it is FREE). Students simply title their work with their name and the teacher accesses it that way.
I recently met the two MIT students who created this site and they are eager to get teachers using it so that they can make it as user-friendly and efficient as possible. They are also committed to keeping this fundamental part of the site FREE. You have to visit and try it out for yourself. Wow!
Here is a rubric that I use to assess student performance using Lingt.
Try it out HERE.
This site includes these Nursery Rhymes in French, German, Spanish, and Italian:
- Little Red Ridding Hood
- The Three Little Pigs
- Billy Goats Gruff
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
All of the stories are very interactive and have voices that read the story, words the screen, movement, Smartboard activities, and a very extensive downloadable pdf with activities to go along with each story. This is a free site and kids love it.
Check it out HERE.
This is a website from Australia that is completely interactive. There are listening activities, writing activity, and opportunities to read and respond. Students have lots of fun with this one.
Check it out HERE.
This is a great site out of England that has pages and pages of online activities for students. It is very well organized and you can find almost any topic that you want. It is comepletly free.
Check it out HERE.
The goals of using technology in the foreign language classroom are the same as in any foreign language classroom: to provide students with opportunities to engage the target language through reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. In fact, using technology, and computers in particular, can only help to give students opportunities to encounter the culture of the target language more authentically.
It the past, it was believed (during the audio-lingual days) that structured drills and repetition were all that were needed to make students more proficient in a language, and this is what “language labs” were mainly used for. Now, research in applied linguistics has shown that meaningful exposure to a language is the most important factor in language learning. The Internet, CD-Roms, recording software, and audio files all provides these opportunities for students to be exposed to the target language in a meaningful way.
The authentic language that students encounter when conducting web-quests or reading on-line versions of newspapers, magazines, and catalogs (store Web sites) is more engaging for students and also provides opportunities for cultural awareness and empathy.
Regardless of the type of technology that a teacher uses, it is important to keep in mind that the meaningful exposure to the target language is the most important factor. Many technology-based activities do not look like traditional classroom exercises, but this not a bad thing. When students are engaged in an activity that forces them to make meaning of the language that they encounter, they are gaining in proficiency.