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:
"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."
"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:-
- 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!
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.