Activating Communication: Five Ways to Enhance Communication Using Technology-ACTFL Webinar-Answering your questions-Part 3

By Toni Theisen posted 10-10-2010 16:59

Hello to all,

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.

This is the last blog to answer the Webinar questions.  See also Part 1 and Part 2.

Question 15: Another great resource is FLTeach...a listserv for foreign language teachers. Go to

Thank you for sharing this valuable resource.  FLTeach was the first listserv that brought language teachers together.  It continues to be a very valuable tool.

Question 16: Any ideas for where to look for money to buy the class set of netbooks in order to be able to use the on-line tools in class?

Check our district.  Many are finding ways to integrate tech and have access to grants.  Sometimes the state offer grants.  Doing a new adoption of texts and materials?  Why not add tech to that proposal?  Less text more tech.
Digital wish is a site that matches teachers' wishes with tech. .  Also stores like Best Buy have educational connections.  Contact them for some ideas.   Good luck. Be resourceful.

Question 17: Thank you for your presentation.  More of a comment than a question: While I agree that teachers should incorporate technology to engage the students, I think we need to keep in mind what you had said earlier about "enhancing the learning".  At a conference I attended this summer, I remember the presenter saying that technology use *facilitate* learning and not produce the final product... because that will just be "bells and whistles".  For example: use the mp3s or Flip videos as tools for the students to *see* where they are making mistakes and use it as a learning tool.  The mp3 & video heighten the students awareness to produce something meaningful since there is an audience....  Thank you for your time.

Thank you for sharing this comment.

Question 18: My school system blocks many of these great sites, is there a way to get around this? 

There are ways to download videos. Do a google search and you will find one that works with your computer.
As far as others sites are concerned, so many teachers are not pushing and advocating for this.  And more and more school are responding.  For example, my school district has nothing blocked anymore. Why?  Well, many of us advocated for using 21st century tools.  We invited principals in to see actions and engagement of students when working on project integrating tech. We convinced administrators to join Twitter and create an active Personal Leaning Network.  We now have a hashtag on Twitter (#tsdr2j)  where  administrators tweet and share as well as teachers. Be informed.  Read the blogs of David Warlick, Seth Godin and Will Richardson for their points of view. Don't give up. Be persistent.  Ask them, "How can we teach 21st century skills with a 20th century mindset?"

Question 19: How to we get to Toni`s Blog?

On the ACTFL Online Community website:

Question 20: What cultural problems have you encountered when students use technology?

If you are referring to sites from different countries and things you might see in that country that would not be appropriate for students here, I recommend that you check out sites you are going to use in class.  That would also be a teacher's responsibility.  And if students are researching and come across an inappropriate site, make sure you have already established guidelines in class about being responsible digital citizens.

Question 21: Are all the sites you shared with us FREE?


Question 22: How can you locate schools abroad to collaborate on with communicative projects?

Check out my suggestions and links on the wikispace for this webinar: