May 21st 2015
May 21st 2015
Technology in teaching is an integral part of AISC academic curriculum for both faculty and students alike.
3 FOLD PLAN FOR THE YEAR:
TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING:
I decided right at the start of this year that I needed to incorporate more technology into my classroom both for teaching and student learning. My knowledge of the latest tech tools and platforms being somewhat limited, I knew I needed help from experts. I decided to collaborate throughout the year with Tech integrator Ms. Geetha Venugopal whose patient one to one guidance especially of tech tools new to me, was in line with my style of learning.
TECHNOLOGY AS VIRTUAL TOOL FOR PRACTICE AT HOME AND REVISION:
My next step was to make technology based learning available to students at home through Moodle. Blendspace, a tool for creating engaging multimedia lessons, came to my rescue as a solution to curate readily available online video lessons and on specific topics of my lessons. To check how well students understood the various concepts they learnt daily, numerous sites like about.com, Frenchspanishonline.com. tolearnfrench.com and Quizlet were used first for further explanation and examples and later for online quizzes to test the skills of reading, writing and listening. For my 6th graders, Duolingo an online language learning platform was introduced as a way to practice French in a fun way. I incorporated the interactive Moodle Discussion Forum towards the end of the year for review discussions under each unit and even tried my hand at Poodle.
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION TO SHOWCASE STUDENT LEARNING:
To assess students at the end pf the year, I brought in a couple of projects incorporating technology for both my French 2 students of high and middle schools. Their project completed in the first week of May was to create their own fairy tale/ story using two past tenses adding visual supports like photos and sketches and having them to embed their own recorded voices reading the story. The High school French 2 students were also asked to do a final project as Semester 2 Exam on past holidays in a French speaking country and are currently in the process of research, creating electronic brochures and visual presentations.
GLOWS AND GROWS IN TECHNOLOGY :
GLOWS: I decided in August to first work on my Moodle page to improve uniformity of fonts as suggested last year. When I look at my Moodle pages today I know I have come a long way. I also worked on improving the appearance and organization of my Moodle pages with different folders.
An informal student feedback survey on my Moodle showed me that most students were satisfied with it and some even added that it is really helpful.
GROWS: Occasional hiccups in the form of inability for students to access some links at home came up. I realize that I should have incorporated the Discussion Forum earlier in the year and not just as a revision discussion tool. Students also sometimes found the loading process of Moodle page rather slow. Duolingo allowed students to cheat to get points and hence I quickly changed it from a graded homework to merely a practice tool. I had trouble understanding fully well how the online game Classcraft introduced to me by Ms.Hannah Kingsley works due to its complexity and hope to learn to use it better in the future.
2. STORY TELLING PROJECT:
GLOWS: Most students enjoyed doing this project and some even drew their own pictures to add to their stories. They presented their end products as using tools such as iMovie, Quick time player and Moviemaker to create stunning versions! I am eagerly waiting to see the electronic brochures of the semester exam project on past vacation.
GROWS: Typing the various French accents while preparing the script using google doc was an ordeal for students without Mac and corrections of the scripts was even more so for me as a teacher. Further, while doing the story telling project, students first used Power points to record their voices. But when it came to uploading them on google drive the audio did not work. Hence students had to use other means of recording their voices as all students were to read each other stories while listening simultaneously to the audio versions. This technical limitation was a good learning experience!
Despite technical glitches in the form of frequent slow connectivity and above mentioned hindrances, incorporating technology into my curriculum and instruction has been a great learning experience for me and I hope to take bolder steps with it next year!