A Reflection on Teaching and Learning with Technology
Today, the use of technology is a key element in essentially every classroom, and it is particularly useful for language teaching. Technology is one of the most effective tools to accommodate the different learning styles. To facilitate the language learning process of visual learners, in my presentations I include abundant visual aid and materials, such as pictures, maps, videos, different colors to highlight important information, etc. I also use songs, videos and other samples of oral input, to address the needs of auditory learners. Finally, I try to include realia and role play activities in my classroom to engage those students with a kinesthetic learning style.
Course Web Space
In the Spanish Basic Language Program, students have available two on-line learning resources. The first one is the Penn State Course Management System (CMS), which provides a space for constant communication between students and their instructor. Here students can find all types of useful information and materials for the course, such as:
- Syllabus and Policies
- Goals and Expectations
- Grading Criteria
- Study Guides
- Exam Reviews
- Handouts with Useful Expressions and Common Mistakes.
Through the CMS the instructor can also communicate with their students via email, regarding deadlines and assignments, as well as any other questions or concerns students may have. I keep and update the grade book weekly with student’s participation and grades, and these are released periodically, so that students can be aware anytime of where they stand in the course.
The second component is MySpanishLab (MSL), an online learning platform where students can find presentations on the different course units, videoclips, tutorials and flashcards, as well as weekly homework assignments, which include listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary activities. MSL is a very important component of the course, since it covers the grammar/vocabulary instruction and writing practice, whereas the in-class time is allotted to review with the instructor, to put in practice what students learn on-line, and to speaking activities.
Example of Class Presentation with Technology
Example of Electronic Communication with Students