Have you heard of prezi.com? It’s a powerful, new-ish presentation and collaboration tool useful to both educators and students alike. I’ve used it to introduce vocabulary (students really respond to the zooming feature) and most recently as class-wide cultural project:
It’s the traditional research-this-spanish-speaking-country poster project but with a technology twist! Students pretend to be part of a company and delegate particular tasks to one another in order to create a product that showcases their assigned Spanish-speaking country. The best part about this project is that they actually COLLABORATE TOGETHER IN REAL TIME to create an awesome presentation, each from their own computers! My Spanish I students completed this project at the beginning of the second semester. By then, they had already seen my utilize Prezi in the classroom and were always curious to know how to make a presentation of their own. So this is what I did:
Google Voice is an online voicemail service that can be easily adapted to assess oral presentations without putting students on the spot. It’s easy to set up, and it even gives you a “Google number” that you can give to your students so they can leave you voice messages using their cellphones.
Last year, I tried this out for the first time during a unit on food and healthy eating habits. My students (novice-level) filled out a brief script in which they indicated what they eat and drink for breakfast and lunch. Then, they were asked to call the Google number to record their messages.
Many of them were really afraid to call! The thought of getting only one chance to record a message with good Spanish pronunciation really intimidated them, but they seemed excited to receive feedback via text and also to see their recordings posted on the website. Next time, I would love to incorporate spontaneity using Google voice, but perhaps this would be more suited for intermediate and advanced levels. How have you used Google Voice in your classroom?
Here are some the submitted messages categorized by class period.
Primera hora 10/22 total students = 45%
T. C. Bliss: