April 25, 2006

The MorayCast - and introduction to ICT for modern languages

The cool cats at Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh Uni, have been learning this morning about lots of technology. I started out by putting the teacher in his or her place, the place I believe we should be: the guide on the side. I am grateful to AJ for his two writings which set the scene:

The Coach's Role

"Like a coach, the teacher has a limited role. The coach cant play in the games. The coach doesnt do the workouts. When it comes down to it... its always the players who do the sweating, the intense training, the defending, the scoring.

The coach is a strategist and a motivator. He gives the players a practice plan and a game plan. He (or She) strives to build the players' confidence... to urge them on to greater and greater efforts."

Intuition versus Analysis

"Ive been living in San Francisco for about five months now. Last year I lived in Bangkok, but I was ready for a change so I decided to come here and give it a try".

Imagine the above is a quote from a native speaker. Now imagine you ask that speaker, "why did you say 'have been living' instead of 'live'? Imagine you ask them, "Why didnt you say 'I have lived'.... "Why did you use the past tense in the second sentence?"

Unless they are English teachers, most will hesitate and struggle to give a clear, rational explanation. Why? Because native speakers are masters of Understanding & Using the language... not analyzing it "logically". Native speakers have what Krashen calls a "feeling for grammaticality". Native speakers operate on "feel", "intuition". Native speakers detect errors not through formulas or complicated analysis.. rather, most will tell you "it just doesn't sound right".

Having set the tone, here are some of the tools we discovered today:-

  • Quia,
  • HotPots,
  • PowerPoint: These three tools, it was suggested, were not really achieving the Teacher as Coach model we would like to attain. But if students were making up the games, not teachers, then we would be getting closer. This led me to...
  • GameMaker This is what Steve has been using - or rather Steve's students have been using - to create games to help their peers learn. Great potential as the games produced match those that the students are playing on their PSPs at home.
  • Garageband for Mac to make podcasts, Audacity for Mac and PC (and LAME, of course, to convert the Audacity file into an MP3), Garageband 3.0's free music (including the sheep bah),
  • Radiolover (for Mac) or LiveMedia (for PC) to record any sound playing on your computer (such as .amr audio files transferred by Bluetooth from a Mobile Phone). I normally use AudioHijack (for Mac) for this, with its 10 minute limit for recording on the free version. But Radiolover has a 30 minute limit and LiveMedia, for the PC, is limitless in the time it can record. Great for recording radio programmes from online sources, too.
  • Google as a concordancer (le podcast or la podcast - the number of results show you),
  • World of Warcraft,
  • Digital video and animation work taking place over at PiE.
  • Flickr and, right now,
  • blogging. You can read some Scottish Education blogs at scotedublogs.wikispaces.com.
  • Oh, and that means we also took a look at students becoming experts by creating articles in Wikipedia or collaborating using free wiki spaces such as wikispaces.com.

Here is the podcast we've just made in 30 minutes featuring the silky tones of Olivier and Charlie. Charlie speaks Spanish and explains how she would organise a class to do a podcasting activity. She's spot on. I didn't even know that Olivier didn't speak Spanish. Hats off!

Download moraycast.mp3

If any of the students present (or not!) have questions, points to make, concerns, or - best of all - ideas about how they might use some of this in their projects, units or next placement, please do share with us here. It was a joy to work with such a nice bunch this morning. Thanks.

Comments

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I think you guys are great! I wonder what your pals over at Glasgow Uni would reckon. Hazel?

¡Cuánto me ha gustado el podcast! ¡Enhorabuena! Sobretodo para Charlie y sus contribuiciones...

Esta mañana estoy trabajando con Rafa y Ester, dos auxiliares españoles y ¡preparamos podcasts para los estudiantes de Higher Spanish!

Más información en www.pie.org.uk

Sheep say "baa". Thought you were a linguist :-)

Gle mhath! Look forward to hearing more when you're all out in schools and to hearing the Spanish Piecasts so I can improve my poor Spanish!

Gle mhath! Look forward to hearing more in the future...

Hi Ewan!

Thanks for your talk yesterday it was really interesting... we're already planning to do some podcasting for our course conference!
Just a wee question, where do I go to find the 'homework' assignment you sent us with the pretty picture? Iss it on here somewhere and I'm just being silly for not finding it???
Thanks again,
Claire @Moray House

It's the next post.

Bonjour,
Thanks a lot for yesterday.
When I clicked on the wikispace link this morning before going to Moray House I did not think I would create 8 different wikispaces in the bink of an eye. Easy!
The spaces go from froggies to superfroggies
the link is www.froggies.wikispaces.com
Looking into podcasting next.
Your talk was a great enhancement to the issue of the learner and ICT. Thanks again

I tried to download the standard grade listening files on MFLE yesterday, but it did not work. They are waw files - Is it a problem?
Regards
Caroline

I have some questions regarding wikipages.com
I have put text, not to sure about putting pictures, but know it is possible to do so.
Can you put a podcast on a wiki?
Did you mention that we could, as educators, not have adverts on the wikipage without having to pay the fee?

If I want a medium for access to podcast, do I need a blog page like yours. If yes can you give the starting link.

Thanks again for all the good work.

I really enjoyed the presentation even if I have to try all the things you have suggested now knowing that I am usually rubbish with computers. Let's see if it works.

Merci encore.
Judith

Buenas, Ewan!

I really enjoyed your talk, and I believe most of my did too. We left feeling fired up - if a wee bit daunted.

I'm now the proud ownder of a webcam & headset, and tomorrow a few of us are going to gather together and produce our first podcast.

Next for me... a blog... and I'm pretty keen to get some more stuff going in Spanish...

Charlie

Well, we can't ask for more than that!

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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