Schools are looking not only to expand offerings in foreign languages, but also in helping students learn more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages. As we become a global community and as technologies bring us closer together, it’s important for students to learn the languages of other cultures and to better understand these cultures. Today’s students can learn languages online, practice speaking/writing skills with native speakers/writers through the Internet, and learn about cultures through global social media, blogs, video conferences, video, and other technology communication tools. Teaching global languages today differs from teaching of the past because a great emphasis is placed on communication and culture—skills which our students will need to make their way in a global economy.
TabCam, a wireless streaming camera, works with iPads, Android tablets, and computers and can present live video with annotations, highlighting, and more without “being tethered to the camera.” The device captures lessons, which can be used for future reference and for use with substitute teachers and students who were not present for the lesson. The advantage of having a wireless device that has a battery life of eight hours can’t be underestimated in a mobile classroom. Take a look at the videos, which describe using TabCam for flipped and blended instruction. The price on the Touchboard site is listed at $527.99. Kathy Hagar, a Director of Technology on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, tells us that she purchased several at a price of about $515 each and that her teachers love them. If interested, do a query on the AVer site.
With Twitter’s app, Vine, your students can create videos in six seconds. Put that together with Facebook’s Instagram video-capturing feature and challenge your students, or yourself, to create. Take a look at Edutopia’s “Five Minute Film Festival: Vine and Instagram Video in the Classroom.” It features examples of teachers having fun by producing short videos using these digital resources, and it compares uses of Vine and Instagram video.
Bridget McCrea’s article in t|h|e Journal tells how teacher Natasha Rausch struggled with finding the right app for her lessons. When introduced to Knowmia Teach, she not only embraced the tool, but also made suggestions for improvement to its developers. She wanted to “incorporate a camera and video recording option so that teachers could record themselves over the slides...” FaceTime was added and other changes were made to make the product even better. Rausch says that the app helps her not only with homework videos, but also with materials to help students review content, lessons for use when she must be absent, and much more.
John Wiley & Sons
publishers, together with the American Graphics Institute, offer an e-learning
system that, at this time, includes more than 3000 videos, learning
tutorials, and over 50 digital books. It’s a comprehensive online learning
resource that offers a blended learning experience. The Classroom helps
teachers, parents, and students learn about apps, operating systems, Web
design, and graphic design techniques. For individuals, the cost is $20 a month
or $10 a month with a year’s subscription. Group rates are available.
Open new worlds of knowledge by going to iTunes Virtual Field Trips. There, you’ll find “trips” to museums, historic
sites, historic site apps, National Parks, National Parks apps, Libraries,
Library apps, Performing Arts, and Performing Arts apps. There are Mummy
Chamber videos from the Brooklyn Museum, Musee du Louvre HD app ($2.99), Beyond
New York Sight (audio, Manhattan), Garden Grounds New York Botanical Garden
(free, audio/video), Guggenheim app (free), Smithsonian Mobile app (free),
National Parks by National Geographic app (free), Treasures of the New York
Public Library (audio), Today’s Document from the National Archives app (free),
MoMA Audio: Kids (free), A Jazzy Day: Music Education Book for Kids app
($4.99), and much more. By the way, A
Jazzy Day has garnered great reviews.
The site, Headstrong
Nation, provides help to the world’s largest disability group—those with
dyslexia. It includes videos, books, and other resources for those with
dyslexia and those working with those with dyslexia. You’ll find information on
classroom accommodation tools and mapping children’s dyslexia. The fact section
features information such as: 35% of American entrepreneurs are dyslexic, there
are many different ways to read, being dyslexic does not mean those who have it
are slow learners or stupid, dyslexia is not something anyone outgrows, and
boys and girls are just as likely to be dyslexic. The mapping feature
encourages parents and teachers to assess children’s strengths and attitudes by
using the assessment survey provided. Areas used for mapping are Visual,
Kinesthetic, Spatial, Narrative, Social, Verbal, Musical, and
available on the site help parents and students learn to use technologies to
help with learning, learn to understand the world of dyslexics and those with
attention deficit disorders, and learn to understand how disabilities affect
With the integration of technologies into K-12 and college
classrooms, Stanford researchers at the Graduate School of Education warn us
that while the idea of Flipped Classrooms is gaining momentum, it’s important to
continue with hands-on
learning. Exploration should, according to the research, come before
reading a text or watching a video rather than, as in flipped classrooms,
after.In the Stanford study, students
were much better able to understand what they were learning if they had the
opportunity to explore on their own. Paulo Blikstein, the assistant professor
of Education who directed the research, commented, “In this study, we are
showing that research in education is useful because sometimes our intuitions
about ‘what works’ are simply dead wrong.”
The School of
Thought video series, by Pearson, demonstrates how technology integrates
smoothly into everyday life and learning. The focus of the series is to show
how “innovative connections among technology, educational psychology, and
cognitive neuroscience can change how we think about learning.” The five videos
are part of Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network and feature some of the
products included in Pearson’s vision of the future. You’ll especially enjoy
the videos featuring the students Rey and Victoria.