Others' Experiences Using Technology

Looking at others' experiences allows us all to reflect upon the do's and the do-not's in technology use. What works well for one may not necessarily work well for another. But then again, quite the contrary might be true. Read with interest the featured experiences below, and if you wish, send a comment or recommendation to the person whose experiences you have read! E-mail addresses are provided for contacting those who have shared their experiences.

My Experiences:

Mary Slider, Frankfort Community High School, Illinois
email : mslider@wf168.frkln.k12.il.us

I currently teach with a variety of technology as supplementary to text materials and engaged learning activities: webquests; cultural research employing picture editing, manipulation and word processing; PowerPoint presentations; Publication production (country research project); web page development.

I also teach two video courses live with students in front of me and at two rural schools. The lab and age of electronic materials often present challenges quite different from the regular classroom. Bottom line, we will only be as good as the technology we have to work with. Video is still limited to camera and the VCR, due to the fact few of our computers can support video streaming and clips. I hope to incorporate video conferencing with other language classrooms in other schools in the future. Students need to have input in the evaluation process of all projects. Their input is vital to the validation and success of any project done in the foreign language classroom.

We are provided opportunities to learn about employing technology through our district courses (continuing ed credits) which also allows us to receive laptop computers for school use. I load software and use them as an extension of the 6 computers we currently maintain in the computer lab. We also have listening stations and a recording room. Oral evaluation is a part of both the Spanish and French programs. Latin is also offered at our school with web-based programs employed as a supplement to the text programs.

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