Activating Communication: Five Ways to Enhance Communication Using Technology-ACTFL Webinar-Answering your questions-Part 2

By Toni Theisen posted 10-10-2010 15:12

Thank you for your participation in the Webinar.  I am going to answer the questions in several parts of this blog in order to make the reading more manageable.

Please remember to go the the ACTFL webinar wiki for access to more resources and support for the tools I discussed on the webinar.

Please check the ACTFL Webinar Tech Wiki:

Question 8: How does the speaker enforce second-language-only practice on the part of the students?  in other words, how does she make sure that her students are only speaking in French (in her class`s case)?

Like any situation I establish classroom guidelines.  Granted sometimes when students are trying to figure out the tech (especially lower levels) that conversation goes to English, but the task and the planning, etc. can easily be done in the target language.  The guidelines you have in your classes will guide the activity.

Question 9: You say kids can use tools like wallwisher as a reading tool. The age-old debate about errors comes up. If they are reading each other`s work, when it contains errors, do those errors solidify? Or, would you use this as a tool to call attention to errors that impede communication?

It depends on the focus and goals of the task.  If this was a task to communicate, I honor the communication that went on.  I might also participate on the Wallwisher and put my response up.  then the students can see the correct forms and use the model.  If this were an activity where we were all practicing then I would point out errors.  For both of these circumstances I could also highlight the common errors and discuss and work with the class at the time to correct them, reteach the correct form in any ways or model the correct ways with other activities. 

Question 10: In the case of collaboration between students of different schools, are there privacy issues connected with the use of technological tools?

It is always important to not compromise the identify of students.  Also some schools have permission slips where students can load up movies to YouTube or use other tools if their whole names are not used.  If students are 13 years old or less than they cannot register for this tools.

So how do I solve this?  First of all some of the tools like Wallwisher, I am the one that registers and sets up the wallwisher board.  Students do not need to register to add a note to the board.  How do I know who responded?  I have them sign their first name and the first initial of their last name.  Also my students have chosen French names so they sign as French name, first initial of last name and year of graduation. (SophieW10). 

For many of these tools multiple logins are available.  For example, I register.  I have a user name and password I use for all these tools.  Students sign in as me.  All the students can be online signed in as me at the same time. When they are done with the projects or task they just use their French name, first initial of last name and year of graduation.  Also when our go back into the site, all their projects are in one site.

There are also many tools that  have free educational accounts and protect student information.

Question 11: Can you show the xtranormal video so we have an idea.

Go to the wikispace for this webinar and see a link and several examples.

Question 12:Will the powerpoint be available after the webinar? I`m having difficulty taking notes on everything that I want to remember!

Yes, it is available for download on the ACTFL site.

Question 13: When you use vocaroo - what is the format?  Is it an MP3 file?


Question 14: What would you suggest for those of us who are no longer in the classroom working directly with students?

I would suggest that you go to the wikispace for this webinar and start playing.  Learn how these tools work.  think how you might use them for your personal life.  Google docs is a set of great tools to use with family and friends to collaborate on events and projects.  Load up our pictures on FLICKR and share with your family.  Just get out there and try.  Enjoy.